Bullet Journal Basics: What is Bullet Journaling?

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I talk about bullet journaling. A lot. And I’ve probably neglected to answer the most fundamental of questions – what the hell is bullet journaling?!

What is bullet journaling?

It’s a system originally created by Ryder Carroll as a means of rapid productivity. Journalers start with a blank notebook and instead of spending hours painstakingly creating calendars and weekly plan layouts, they use symbols and bullet points to captures lots of information. Think of it as a shorthand for organisation.

The symbols are explained in a key and differentiate between types of event (actionable tasks,  events, notes) as well as denoting progress with tasks (outstanding, in progress, postponed, completed or cancelled).

As well as monthly, weekly or daily planning you can also create Collections. A collection is simply a way of grouping related information. You might want to track your exercise habit throughout a month, a gratitude list, a meal planner; anything that you want to keep grouped in one place is called a Collection.

Bullet journal weekly spread
February 2020 Weekly Spread

Who uses bullet journals?

Anyone! It’s hugely popular amongst university students, teenagers, parents, side-hustlers, hobbyists; the list is endless. Basically it’s an organisation system for anyone who is juggling multiple aspects of life (and frankly these days, aren’t we all?!) and who want to keep everything in one place.

Different styles of bullet journal

The original system from Ryder Carroll is very text-based. If you like no fluff, just data – you’ll probably find this suits you. However bullet journaling has also evolved over time to encompass a hybrid of art journaling and organisation. Creative folk like myself who want create lists and organisation plans that are both functional, inspirational and nice to look at. Don’t let this intimidate you though, even if drawing is not something you feel confident with. There are lots of simple, easy ways to add creativity and beautiful flourishes to your journal even if feel drawing is not your thing! Head over to my account on Instagram if you’re looking for some simple inspiration or sign up to my email list to get some free templates that you can print and use in your journal.

Family outings spread
Family Outings

Why I love bullet journaling

Bullet journaling combines my need for organisation with my creative side. I know lots of people don’t need an excuse to sit down to create, but for me it was something I put to the bottom of list for so many years while I focused on career, kids. Starting my bullet journal gave me a purposeful excuse to draw.

Whether it’s my 20 for 2020 goals, listing places I want to visit, tracking my reading for the year or finding a way to prioritise my tasks: bullet journaling keeps me organised¬† while also helping me remember the other parts of my life that make me happy.

Head over to my post on how I set up a bullet journal if you’re interesting in learning more.

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