Intricate hand-drawn designs, complex layouts, and elaborate diary pages. Most people have probably seen a bullet journal on some form of social media, whether it’s Instagram, Youtube, or Pinterest. However, though people may lack artistry, they shouldn’t be intimidated. In essence, a bullet journal is the genius, yet trendy, cross between a planner, to-do list, and diary. Whether you are exploring new ways to organize your thoughts or just seeking to get away from technology, I guarantee that you will be intrigued by the simplicity and convenience of the bullet journal.
So, how does a bullet journal work? It starts with an “index”, which is a table of contents to help find specific entries throughout the notebook. Next is a “future log” that gives you a general overview of the upcoming six months of your life. The “monthly log” then organizes each month with further detail, although entries should be as short as possible. The “daily log” is meant for everyday use and is designed for tasks, events, and notes to be written down as they occur.
When writing the first entry in a blank page notebook, begin with a title and page number. This is crucial for a clear and understandable page, but once this is done, you are ready for “rapid logging”. Rapid Logging allows you to organize your bullet journal into short, bulleted pieces of information that are under one of the three categories: Tasks, Events, or Notes.
A Task is essentially a “to-do” and that is indicated by a dot “•”. This comes in three additional forms: an “X” means that the Task is completed, a “<” means that the Task is officially scheduled for a certain date, and the “>” means that the Task needs to be rescheduled. Finally, the “o” bullet represents an event and the dash “—” represents a note, including any random thought, idea, or observation you have during the day. As you become more familiar with the system, feel free to make up your own symbols to improve your efficiency.
Congratulations! You are now prepared to begin your very own bullet journal. Believe me, with so many rules and guidelines, it’s difficult to remain motivated. But, remember that the purpose of a bullet journal is to keep everything concise and organized, and the way to do so is not the same for every individual. Simply figure out a system that works for you and stick to it! Writing in a bullet journal will keep your mind refreshed and relaxed. And a bullet journal will do more than just manage your to-do list, the blank pages leave more room for illustrations, charts, and symbols than a premade gridded calendar or a lined notebook.
The bullet journal may not won’t work for everyone, but it certainly does have an appeal. If you struggle to retain a traditional planner, have countless to-do lists laying around on your breakfast table, or just want to be more productive, take this opportunity and start a bullet journal!
Rachel Kahng, Grade 11
Seoul Foreign School