Updated: Jul 27
"Documenting little details of your everyday life becomes a celebration of who you are" - Carolyn .V. Hamilton.
As a teenager, I kept a diary. It was almost a rite of passage. Here you recorded all your teenage angst - your first crush, first kiss, and of course, your first heartbreak.
Diaries have been replaced by Bullet Journals -which are now being used to record significant areas of our personal/ business journeys.
Created by Ryder Carroll a New York-based designer, a bullet journal (or BuJo to aficionados) is an analog system, used "to help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future."
With this in mind, a critical aspect of Bullet Journalizing is Mindset - your motivation for doing this; what you want the system to do for YOU (we'll talk about some prompts later on).
Properly utilized, it can go beyond just organizing your tasks- it can allow you to manage your daily routines, act as a repository for your ideas, track your spending, help you figure out a strategy and so much more.
An important aspect of BuJo is its LAYOUT. As the name suggests, information is captured quickly - referred to as 'rapid logging' - with clearly defined keys or bullet syntax; these include (among others):
🔻Tasks which are represented as '▪️' and which signifies an incomplete task; a task 'in progress' is indicated as '/ '
🔻'x' signifies a completed task;
🔻'>' signifies a task migrated to Collection;
🔻'<' signifies a task scheduled to be performed at a future date; or a canceled task;
🔻'!' signifies a task that must be performed within a short time frame, while a due date task is indicated using a ⏱️;
🔻Events are represented as 'O'- these can be date-related or scheduled; they can even be entered/ logged after the event; appointments are indicated as ⚠️ or 🔺.
🔻'-' or '.' are notes. These can be facts, ideas, thoughts, and/or observations. This works well for students (lectures, classroom notes) or entrepreneurs (objectives met/not met)and the challenges/benefits of each.
These bullets can also be used in combination depending on the particular situation since they can help you to quickly capture and organize your thoughts. The important thing is to WRITE THEM DOWN!!
Bullet Journal 101: More on Layouts
A modular framework, BuJos serve to organize related information, using a very simple layout- pages are numbered with short descriptors added for each topic.
While there are MANY different versions, I'm partial to the original Ryder Carroll method, which only requires a notebook, pen and a ruler-Washi tape and brush pens can wait for when you get the system RIGHT📝
There are FOUR MAIN THEMES - The Index, Future Log, Monthly Log, and Daily Log - all are used to organize information for easy access, review, and analysis.
🔻Index: Located at the front of the Journal, this is used to find content. Indicated here are all the topics contained and the related page numbers for easy access.
🔻 Future Log: Stores Events/Tasks/Notes that will occur outside of the dated month. Allows you to track goals you're working towards. For best results, this should be reviewed at the end of each month, to ensure that nothing has moved over/migrated into your Monthly Log.
🔻 Monthly Log: Two facing pages are needed here - a Calendar Page and a Task Page. Scheduled Tasks/Events are recorded; as well as those that may have already occurred. Entries are short, as this page is only used as a reference.
🔻 Task Page: Priority tasks for the month or those undone from the month before are recorded here. The left margin remains empty, with signifiers ( * - priority; ! - inspiration) used to mark important entries.
🔻 Daily Log: Designed for daily use, the date is recorded as your topic at the top of the page. Throughout the day, important Tasks/Events/Notes are added using rapid logging. If space remains, this is used for the following day. Daily Logs are created as you go or the night before, as you can never know how much space you need on any given day.
"Who we are and where we want to go determines what we do now and what we accomplish over time." - Jimmy Tomczak
Look out for part 2 of this series ...in the meantime for more tips and strategies for entrepreneurs and startups check out my Instagram page here