Bullet journals or the BuJo system seems to be all over the place. However, what exactly are they and how can they be of benefit to you? A bullet journal is a notebook-based system designed to organize your thoughts, so you can declutter your mind and minimize distractions. As simple as it is efficient, bullet journaling needs to serve a real purpose and meaning to have the utmost impact – and only you can define that.

How Bullet Journaling Works?

Invented by Ryder Carroll, the idea of the bullet journal is to create a template or system where you have daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists based on a yearly overview.

What are the Main Features?

Bullet journal is based on four core collections. The index (at the front of the notebook) followed by the future log, the monthly log (monitors everything happening in the current month), and the daily log (for everyday use). Every morning, you can list the tasks, events, and notes for the day, reflecting on it all that night.

Who Can Use Bullet Journals?

A bullet journal is good for people (i) who actually love planners, (ii) who really want to keep a journal but are having difficulty sticking to the habits (iii) who want to be more organized (iv) who have many to-do lists floating around (v) who love setting goals (vi) who wants freedom to write down whatever comes in mind and organize it in a very particular way.

Bullet Journal Tips

There are many ways to use a bullet journal, but the following business journal tips demonstrate how you can use a bullet journal to calm your mind, among many others.

  • Adjust Your Mindset: Like any productivity method, find a bullet journaling book that works best for you. Any creative effort entails letting go of perfection, and the BuJo system is no different.
  • Get a Journal and Writing tools: Start with a cheap notebook that you can throw away if you make mistakes in or your bullet journaling does not work out. Choose a journal with blank pages (lined/ unlined) instead of one with pre-existing sections to enable you to customize it. As for writing materials, you can start with a pencil so you can erase it easily.
  • Start an Index Page: The index is the backbone of your Bullet Journal system. See it as the table of contents in a book.  This will be your reference key to finding certain sections or pages in your bullet journal.
  • Create Logs: Logs are staples of the BuJo system. They are the places where you can brain-dump tasks you are currently working on. It is also your storeroom for future goals. Make sure you keep your entries brief.
  • Pick Signifiers: Bullets, dashes, circles, and stars are some common signifiers that many people often use. Over time, you will arrive at a system of symbols that is unique to you. You will track personal signifiers on a reference page.
  • Use Collections to document tasks: Collections are running lists, and should contain anything you want to remember for later. It may include things you are thankful for, people you want to reconnect with, books you want to read and lots more. These are usually kept towards the back of your notebook since they do not change very often.
  • Create Time for It: No productivity technique will work except you put effort into it. Cross off tasks on your logs as they are completed. You can write page numbers at the bottom of each page and update your Index. Many bullet journal fans prefer a monthly or quarterly evaluation, taking time to consider what they have accomplished and their future goals and then transfer items from one log to the next.
  • Get Better, little by little: Over time, you will home in on a bullet journaling process that fits your needs and preferences. Once you get your standard page formats down, you can move on to optimizing your process in other ways, maybe you work on improving your handwriting.

Benefits of Bullet Journaling

Bullet journaling has tons of benefits. It has been shown to:

  • Help encourage mindfulness, reduce stress, and calm the mind.
  • Help to take away distractions, which frees up mental space so you can concentrate better and think more clearly.
  • Help promote better retention, a sense of wellbeing and allow users to reflect on what they already have in their lives.
  • Help increase productivity and make life easier in the end.
  • Help users commit tasks to memory, sending signals to your brain that your goals are important.

The Best Bullet Journal Accessories

Of course, the basic items you need to start bullet journaling are pen and paper. But if you really want to make your journaling special and exceptional, you will need some bullet journal accessories. These include colored pens, bullet journal ruler, Paper adhesive, Notebook Pen loop, Bic Mechanical pencil, Eraser, Bullet journal page markers, Bullet journal stencils, Bullet Journal stamps, Bullet journal stickers, and many others.

What You Can Use Bullet Journals for

A bullet journal is just not a notebook. You can use it to effectively and creatively keep your daily life running smoothly as well as plan strategies to make your future goals a reality.

Best Bullet Journal Examples

There are many optiions out there when it bomes to Bullet Journal. The secreat is to try them out and choose the one that suits you. It is really important to like the one you choose. It will help you to keep motivated and build the habit of using Bullet Journal.

Paperblanks

 

I have been using PaperBlanks(R) for years. I love their covers. Actually, it is a hardcover, which for me is a pre-requisite when it comes to Bullet Journal. By the way, I use my Bullet Journal to write down my thoughts, my feelings, my plans, and I do so whenever I feel like, sometimes is almost everyday, other times it takes me one, two or even a month to write something down. But this is just the way it works for me. I love going back to my previous journal books and read what I wrote back then. It is amazing how much we progress, change, evolve. After all, that’s the purpose of our life, to grow and expand through our daily experiences.

Final Thought on How to Use Bullet Journaling to Calm your Mind

Hopefully, this inspires you in somehow. Doesn’t matter if you use it for your daily, weekly activities, your yearly plan or just write down your thoughs. It is a really good think. It free yourself. It calms your mind.

Certainly, your life can be captured on the pages of your bullet journal. If you use your bullet journal regularly, before you know it, it would have become a habit that has a positive impact on your life.

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12 Comments

  1. Thank you for this awesome post! As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and a Disabled Veteran, I am always on the lookout for tools, tips, and ideas to help myself and others get more organized and get in the right mindset for whatever task is at hand! I think a bullet journal is an excellent tool to use to do this and one that I have not implemented before but I will now! Thanks again!

    1. Hi Tom, thanks for your comment. It is a great tool. I think anything that can help us to get organised, more focused and be more productivity is worthy to try. Actually, that is the thing, try it out and see if it works for you or not. Good luck and if need help, please, just contact me 🙂

  2. Great post on Bullet Journaling. I discovered this way of journaling a couple of years ago and it improved my way of journaling, but most of all I am now able to search for things I wrote in the past.

    That was the biggest gain for me, the index. After discovering that I was really wondering why I never thought of that before myself!! So handy. You put it in front of the journal, I put it in the back. The reason for that is, that I never know up front how many pages it will be. And if I reserve 4 pages for instance, either way there is a risk of having short or be left with empty pages. How do you solve that?

    And you’re right about the benefits. Once it is a habit, it’s a big help in every day life.
    Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

    1. Hi Hannie, I’m glad you are using Bullet Journal and experiencing the benefits of it. Great question in relation to the index and space. What I do is to divide my journal book in sessions, and as I already have some experience I know more or less how much space I will need for each session. What I recommend is to leave as much space as you think you will use and then, as the time goes by, you will be able to figure it out in a much better way based in your past experience. Btw, I love to go back to my past journals and read it again. I always pick up some idea that was forgotten…. It’s truly amazing. Love that 🙂

  3. Thanks a lot for sharing this post. I’m not familiar with bullet journals. However, I use a similar principle to plan my days, weeks, months, and ultimately a whole year ahead. I might try using bullet journal as well.

    I agree with you that having a bullet journal (a plan in written form) helps to encourage mindfulness, reduce stress, and calm the mind. You know what you have to do to reach your goals, which in turn clams the mind and prevents your mind from overthinking your goals.

    Thanks again for sharing this post. Keep up the good work!

    1. Absolutely Ivan, the main thing is to have it clear and written down. There is power when you write things out. I have a whole post about it called “Write it down to make it happen”. It really helps you to think, see things in a different perspective, and free your mind. I love planners so that’s work just beautiful for me 🙂 I’m glad that you have your plans written down too. Well-done.

  4. This bujo system seems to be the perfect for calming the mind. I have been looking for something that brings clarity and helps me focus on a task better. As I get distracted very easily and tend to move from tasks to task, because I seem to have a lot thinking going on on my mind. Would this bullet journaling help with that?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Habib, this bujo system is very good but there is no hard structure. You have the freedom to create the structure that works for you. In your case, it looks like you have more a time management problem than anything else. To start, I would strongly recommend to check out this weekly planner. This have a very good structure in place and it come with time management, that uses the time blocking concept as well as 6 daily activity concept. Focus on the activities that will bring you close to your goals. It also comes with a guide that will walk you thorough it all. Hopefully it makes sense and help you in somehow. Let me know if you need anything else and it will be a pleasure to help you out.

  5. It takes a specific type of personality to keep a bullet journal. Those that love organization and like to be tidy would find this very beneficial; yet those who are messy and actually perform better among disorganization would not think this would be useful. What are your thoughts?

    1. Agree Andrea, it is not for everyone. There are people that say they can perform better among disorganisation indeed. It is hard for me to think it is really true as I can’t even think if I’m not organised. I feel so overwhelmed, confused and almost paralysed 🙂 The good thing about this Bujo system is that you can create your “own planner”, so give you more freedom to create something that works for you, in the way that it works for you. My advice is always try it out and then decide if this works for you or not.

  6. Hi,
    Amazing post on bullet journal/Bujo system, often writing down all our goals or thoughts will push us to achieve them rather than keeping it in mind and getting diverted from it.

    Maintaining planners would really help to streamline our plans, notes to-do lists, and makes it easier to prioritize and manage life enabling us to be more productive and organized towards achieving it.

    Bullet journal seems great as it allows us to easily track things in a visual and organized format and also helps to explore our creative side. This journal will surely transform life in more ways than imagined!

    Thanks for sharing
    Have a Great Day!

    1. Indeed Bullet Journal are very good tool to help you to live better. Whether you use it to plan your day or just write down your thoughts. I use it as a journal and a I love it. Some of them are very inspired, beautiful covers. It is worth to try it out. Thank you for your comment.

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