How Organizing My Planner Has Made My Life Easier and Tips to Make Your Own Bullet Journal

By Stefani Muñoz

There’s nothing worse than having that feeling that you’ve forgotten something. If you’ve ever felt this way, you may want to consider creating a bullet journal. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I realized just how unorganized I am. Everything I did was haphazard, unplanned, and unaccounted for. I often forgot appointments and meetings for school and was never really sure when my next workday was. That’s when I discovered bullet journaling.

You may be tempted to see what sorts of bullet journals have been created out in the big wide world, but a word of caution: some people are very detailed. When I first started exploring bullet journaling, I was immediately intimidated by the immaculate and seriously creative bullet journals flooding pinterest.

But it’s not about the decoration. Instead, it’s always smart to start off small. Don’t think that you need a fancy layout in order to use a bullet journal successfully. Even if it’s the most basic it’ll still be supremely helpful!

What is a Bullet Journal?

Before we get into the exciting stuff, let’s get the basics. In a bullet journal you’ll find three main things:

Index: This is the place where you organize the different entries in your journal so as to easily keep track of them. Tip: It may help to number your pages as well as leave a few blank pages at the beginning of your journal.

Collections: The collections within a bullet journal is simply the topic of each of your entries which you will organize into your index. Three basic entries that can be found within a bullet journal are Future, Monthly, and Daily. Tip: It may help to create your own Collections, such as Nutrition, Goals, and Budget.

Migration: Migration is simply the act of pulling tasks and goals that you have yet to finish from previous entries, whether it be Daily or Monthly, and incorporating them into your current ones.

What You Need

The Basics:

  • Notebook, preferably one that utilizes a grid setup though a regular generic one will do

  • Your favorite writing utensils

Going the Extra Mile:

  • A ruler

  • Colored pencils/markers

  • Washi tape for added decoration

  • And anything else that you can think of (stickers, pictures, etc.)

How to Start: Tips and Tricks

Now that you have all of your supplies it’s time to begin your journey with bullet journaling! Below I have included some of my favorite tips and tricks that have helped me make bullet journaling a successful organization tool.

Where Should You Begin?

Pick a day that is easiest for you to begin journaling. Begin by outlining simple goals you wish to accomplish that day as well as any tasks that need to be done, such as homework, meetings, grocery list, etc. Then as you go about your day refer back to your journal and tick off anything that you were able to accomplish. Continue this way until you feel more comfortable with bullet journaling.

Create A Template

Before beginning your bullet journal it may help to create a template or outline that you can use to create each entry. When first starting out you may want to begin with the date and your collections (such as goals, budget, tasks). Below I have included a simple example of a bullet journal:

journal.jpg

In this example we can see that the person has collections (homework, goals, checklist) as well as short weekly schedule of their plans. This template is great because it can be used over and over again for different entries.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Keep each bullet journal entry as short as possible to help keep track of tasks and goals without the clutter. Think of it as a place to put all your thoughts and plans in a neat and simple place that you can easily find when needed!

Sometimes Planning Ahead Isn’t Always the Best

Some people who create their bullet journals find it helpful to plan months in advance. They’ll often look at trends that they found from previous entries and plan their months accordingly. But this takes time to learn. The point of a bullet journal is not to make you feel stressed about all the stuff you have going on in your life. Rather, it is meant to hopefully allow you to find some sense of organization and peace when dealing with everyday tasks and goals. So make sure to start off small and work your way to a more comprehensive breakdown of future entries!