What Is a Bullet Journal and How Do You Use It?

If you’re the kind of person who has notoriously been an “on-again, off-again” with journaling, perhaps it’s time to consider a new method. 

Meet the bullet journal. Created by Ryder Carrol, a designer and author living in NYC, the bullet journal a methodology of journaling. Described by Carrol as “a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system” bullet journaling is meant to “help its practitioners (Bullet Journalists) live intentional lives, ones that are both productive and meaningful.” 

It seems to be working, too, as the phenomenon has caught on all over the world. By using streamlined systems, bullet journalling eliminates the potential for writer’s block, making it particularly effective for people who have never been natural writers. “With sections to log your daily to-do’s, monthly calendar, notes, long-term wants and more, your BuJo (Bullet Journal) is customised to your life,” Good Housekeeping shares. Whatever you want to keep track of is up to you.  

How Do You Use a Bullet Journal

Many bloggers — including Bullet Journal expert, Kim from Tiny Ray of Sunshine — agree that the best place to get started bullet journaling is on the official Bullet Journal website. There, you can find an introductory tutorial as well as a breakdown of different ways to journal different things. As far as materials, any notebook and pen will do.

Made up of four key concepts, bullet journaling is completely systemised, so learning the system is the first (integral) step in starting a new bullet journal. “Indexing, Collections, Rapid-Logging, and Migration make up the foundation of the Bullet Journal,” Tiny Ray of Sunshine shares. 

Understanding the system might sound complicated at first, but there are plenty of guides to be found on Pinterest and YouTube. After all, the only thing that matters is that you understand what you’re writing, and once you get the hang of it you’re journalling will take off. 

Many people who bullet journal take care with their presentation, so if you want to make something that looks like a work of art by the time it’s done, investing in some colourful pens or decorative elements might help you create a beautiful bullet journal. Remember that the method is meant to be equally meditative as it is productive, so don’t be afraid to use your journaling time as an excuse to express your creative side. 

If you’re interested in learning more, there are plenty of tips, tricks and guides online including a step-by-step breakdown from BuzzFeed. If you’re at all curious, you might as well give it a go. So many people swear by the bullet journal for not only keeping them organised but giving their thoughts a place to live in the hectic world of modern life.

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