Say 'eff you' to stress with this savvy habit.
It’s not an iCal, a shiny new Ban.do agenda or even an old school Filofax. Nope, low-tech, analogue Bullet Journalling is the hottest, coolest way to keep track of your life right now, and all it requires is a notebook (you could even use a copybook) and a biro. If you want to be super fancy about it, you can dicky things up with stickers, washi tape, coloured pens and calligraphy, but they’re not strictly necessary.
So, um, just what is Bullet Journalling? In essence, it’s a paper-based filing system for your thoughts, appointments, goals, tasks, doodles and more. You create an index and key at the front of your pad and then connect it to pages within your notebook on which you scribble down your daily, monthly and future diary dates, goals and things you want to achieve. You can set up reading and boxset lists, fitness goals, bucket lists and whatever else you’d like.
You don’t have to stick to a strict chronological page order either; as long as you number your pages and check those pages into your index, you’ll always be able to find what you need. Creating a clever key of symbols to tag your items helps too, so that you can easily stay on track of your fitness, appointments, books you want to read and so much more. The beauty of it is you create your journal, so you can control it – unusual in an era of 17 month agendas in which you never get to use the lot. And if you find your system’s not quite working? Well, that’s just no problem: simply tweak until you find a Bullet Journalling style that suits you.
All BuJos have shared characteristics: there’s the index, a future log for adding stuff that might be a year away, like weddings or holidays, a monthly log with a calendar and a task list for each month, plus a daily log to which you can add tasks, events, or notes – lots of people use these to write motivational mantras, keep track of nice things that happen or even log recipes. Want more on the logistics? Check out bulletjournal.com for everything else you need to know on getting set up.
Colour-coding or adding different hued tape alongside tasks can make it easier to stay on track with your intentions. Adding doodles and stickers in the margins turns your notebook from something pedestrian into something pretty special, meaning it’s less a journal and more a jewel. The idea of a Bullet Journal is that it should be a life enhancer – much more than just a diary, you can use yours to plot a fitness switch-up, power up your positive thoughts and bring some clarity to your days.
Your key contains a set of signifiers that you can use to identify specific tasks. For example, you might mark all work-related tasks with a skull and crossbones, and all date nights with a heart. Setting yourself up with a workable set of symbols at the start of your BuJo journey will help you to use it much more effectively.
This article first appeared in STELLAR’s October issue. The December issue is on shelves now!
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