80+ Resources for Creating a Powerful Bullet Journal You’ll Love

TL;DR

A notebook + pen + commitment to consistent braindumps + reviewing notes regularly = the basics of a bullet journaling lifestyle. Unlike other self-management systems, the BuJo (nickname for a bullet journal) personifies flexibility— you determine its structure and contents. This page provides a one-shot resource, to learn the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How as regards bullet journaling.

Caution: Because the BuJo lives to reflect your needs and enhance your personal organizational flow, examples provided by others should serve as inspiration, rather than fodder for duplication. It’s like building a house. You may love another’s bedroom layout, yet toss their living room scheme.

Estimated Reading time: 9 minutes.

Bullet Journal fundamentals, with tweaks
Bullet Journal fundamentals, with tweaks

Who created the Bullet Journal? Ryder Carroll

What is a Bullet Journal?

  • Boho Berry: Bullet Journal 101 – What is a Bullet Journal?
  • BuzzFeed: WTF Is A Bullet Journal And Why Should You Start One? An Explainer
  • Cory L Dork: BuJo 101: focusing on logs and migration
  • The Lazy Genius Collective: How to Bullet Journal: The Absolute Ultimate Guide: includes digital vs analog discussion
  • Page Flutter: The Bullet Journal: What It Is & Why You Need It: covering the typical components of a bullet journal, with illustrative pages

When would/should one adopt a Bullet Journal?

Mid-year, mid-month, mid-week. The time for starting a bullet journal mirrors the time you feel a need to get it togetha. That’s the joy of a planner/diary you alone create: it’s your world, so exploit it!

  • DNSimple Blog: The Bullet Journal: when reliability and practicality outweigh technology: Trello, FourSquare & TripIt ~ BuJo style
  • Paper Planning: Using Your Bullet Journal to Have a Productive Day… When You Feel Brain Dead: includes “How to write an idiot’s guide to your day” 🤗
  • Writesquire: When 3+ Apps Pluck Your Last Nerve, Create a Bullet Journal: when one too many devs perceived yours truly as a personal piggy bank, offering no or irrelevant new features, I rebelled

Where can a Bullet Journal prove helpful?

✧︎ Businesses

  • Being Boss: Creative Entrepreneurs: Getting Started with a Bullet Journal: quick yet efficient discussions re Weekly brain dumps, daily schedule and tasks, and tools
  • Bullet Journal for Professionals – Journaling on the Job: interviews with assorted professionals (lotsa info, so you might want to grab your favorite beverage and find a comfy chair)
  • Small Business Bonfire: How to Use a Bullet Journal as an Entrepreneur: concise yet informative; best section → Things to Remember ← I absolutely concur!
  • Working Mom’s Balance: Bullet Journal Basics for Working Moms

✧︎ Home Offices: Freelancers / Writers

  • Boho Berry: Bullet Journal for Freelancers & Writers: tracking clients, content, and more
  • Page Flutter: 14 Bullet Journal Lists to Supercharge Your Writing Skills: Flabby Words, Grammar Anatomy and other gems
  • Bullet Journal: The Writer’s Answer to Getting Things Done: I agree ~ productivity skyrocketed after adopting a bullet journal (the magic phrase – enhanced focus via writing)
  • Something Delicious: A Fiction Writer‘s Bullet Journal: bonus ~ additional resources
  • Writers Edit: The Complete Guide To Bullet Journaling For Writers: “complete” indeed; and, excellent points presented in the Notebook section.

✧︎ Legal Field

✧︎ ︎Medical Field

  • Diary of a Medical Student: My Bullet Journal, In-Depth: seven photos of this bullet journal’s contents, each explained
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center News: My New Obsession: The Bullet Journal: “Let me tell you something: the concept of a bullet journal is amazing.”

✧︎ OnLine

  • Little Coffee Fox: The Bullet Journal for Bloggers – 13 Easy Ways to Organize Your Blog: project checklists, Pinterest maintenance, habit tracker, daily planning & more ~ a plate full of delectable goodies for your plan-a-blog meal
  • So Not Together: Bullet Journal for Blogging: unique “get published” and “online engagement” spreads

✧︎ Schools: Educators / Students

✧︎ Streets & Parks: Runners.

Why use a Bullet Journal?

How do I create/use a Bullet Journal? How do I set it up? How can I find layouts and ideas for creating my Bullet Journal?

Bullet Journals vary, in terms of both form/layout and substance/content.

As regards form, the artistically inclined find relaxation in drawing elaborate eye-candy filled pages. Others, like yours truly, opt instead for minimalism. What’s best is whatever keeps you faithful to the system.

With respect to substance, some prefer a one-notebook-handles-all approach. Others may relegate certain components (e.g. logs, lists, trackers) to companion notebooks. Different folks; different strokes.

Suggestion: Consider your lifestyle as well as your needs/desires within the context of planning. Wisdom suggests taking your maiden voyage in an old notebook. A month or so in, you’ll have a better feel for the system, allowing informed tweaks. At that point, you may want to pinpoint a notebook and pen/pencil promising to emerge as faves. What we like, we want to use. Critical, since any self-management scheme worthy of the name mandates regular use!

✧︎ Key

✧︎ Index

✧︎ Daily Log

✧︎ Weekly Spread

✧︎ Monthly Spread

✧︎︎ Future Log

  • Jacqueline Gonzales: How to Bullet Journal, Part Three: The Future Log: delightfully comprehensive discussion
  • Kim Alvarez: Future Log Inspiration – Bullet Journal: good “food for thought” collection of layouts
  • → → Pics / Examples: Flickr, Instagram

✧︎ Daily Time Bar

✧︎ Dutch Door

✧︎ Collections / Lists / Logs

Conclusion

As you view the bullet journals folks generously present on InstaGram, Flickr and elsewhere, feel no intimidation by the artistic flourishes. As noted by creator Ryder Carroll: “There are a lot of very beautiful and elaborate Bullet Journals out there on Instagram. This can be very intimidating. It’s not about how your Bullet Journal looks, it’s about how effective it is.” 1 Effectiveness, in turn, requires multiple productivity-enhancing habits. For that reason, I’ve included the following Bonus Section.

Bonus Section (cuz a BuJo needs a Goals umbrella for true productivity enhancement)

  • List of time management & productivity blogs: sharing ideas to maximize your workflow
  • Top Ten Techniques to Develop Self-Discipline
  • The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right For You?: Some love it; some despise it; some massage it to better reflect their work circumstances. In any event, worthy of consideration.
  • Ten Thought-Provoking Questions Peak Performers Ask Themselves Every Morning
  • 11 Things Smart People Don’t Say
  • 12 Proven Productivity Hacks to Help You Win Every Day (Michael Hyatt)
  • Keeping a Time Log: How to Do It and Its Benefits | The Art of Manliness
  • PDF, Printable Template: the 15-minute increment time log: a sure fire method to fight procrastination – log your work day as you tackle tasks
  • 3 Productivity Habits (Not Tools!) for Busy Professionals
  • Time Blocking — The Secret Weapon For Better Focus: I use color-coded blocks, each representing a work category, e.g. Writing, Admin(istration), Author Platform, Prospecting (leads for submitting articles), Law (related to my legal practice)
  • 10 Simple Steps to Exceptional Daily Productivity
  • How to Overcome Your Inner Dialogue of Doubt and Get Stuff Done: Understand, the moment you step outside your comfort zone—focusing on an unknown—the beast of resistance will attack, powering negative self-talk. I’ve learned running from that voice is like trying to unring a bell. Instead, I acknowledge the would-be pulverizing thoughts, respond & move on. (Yep, today I’m a dummie on this subject, but there are countless books for dummies. So kiss my skleeboop as I work my way through every dang dummie book ‘out dere’ focused on this new-to-me field!)
  • How to Set Up Your Workspace for Maximum Productivity (Infographic)
  • How to Become More Resilient So Nothing Can Keep You Down
  • The 2 Most Powerful Words for Reaching Your Goals (if/then)

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Call to Action

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the basics of a Bullet Journal course. 😜 Your graduate degree 👨🏽‍🎓👩🏼‍🎓 requires using the BuJo system ✍🏽 faithfully, determining what does 😍 and does not 😡 work for you, tweaking accordingly 🛠📔✒️📝, AND incorporating it into your overall convert dreams into reality scheme.

To begin, do you have a favorite pen, notebook? Is there a goal you’ve yet to break down into discrete steps/tasks/milestones, to track accomplishments? Do you regularly review your daily activity, to discern your overall effectiveness in tackling the milestones moving you closer to your goals? Amazon’s current offerings may trigger your imaginative juices in terms of formulating S.M.A.R.T.2 goals and creating action steps:

Whether you now have a system calling out for tweaks, or you’re about to implement a life-management system to navigate your goal-quest journey, “now” is a friend: Be stronger than your excuses. (Eric Thomas)

Til later!

Background Music While Drafting/Polishing this Article:

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Footnotes

  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/02/07/what-the-hell-is-a-bullet-journal-and-why-are-people-using-the/, last accessed 2/8/2017 (boldface emphasis added)
  2. Specific :: Measurable :: Action-oriented :: Realistic :: Trackable :::: Example: At my age, setting a goal to become a famous ballerina defies nature’s laws of physicality. But if I’m determined to become a premier grant-writer, I’d start at the end and work backward. In a nutshell, I’d sit down & scrutinize oodles of successful grant applications; find related (free) webinars as well as Kindle Unlimited & Audible books; feed my RSS reader with niche blogs; study job postings for grant writers to discern frequently stated requirements … the list goes on. I’d then set quarterly milestones (what will be accomplished when), broken down further into monthly → weekly milestones, and finally, daily agendas.

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