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Bullet journal on a rug.

Begging for BuJo: The Bullet Journal Craze

Imagine the tactile feel of a new journal in your hands, the crisp smell of the silky paper, the feeling of a pen nib dragging across the page.

While we live in a digital world, many of us prefer the analog feeling of a journal or a planner in our hands. Sure, you can keep pretty much any note or appointment kept safe on your phone or computer, but there’s something quite magical about opening the pages of the world you create in your journal.

Bullet journaling, also known as bujo¸ is the new journaling craze that makes keeping a journal even more personalized and customizable.

What is BuJo?

Bullet journaling was created by designer Ryder Carroll and is unique from other types of journaling because it involves a specific type of journal with a dot grid pattern. While most journals come with blank, lined, or graph pages, bullet journals utilize the dot grid system to allow you to do just about anything you want within the covers.

In Carroll’s own words, the purpose of bujo is to “help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”

Your bullet journal can be a place to record your thoughts, doodle, jot down ideas, plan for the future, keep appointments, make weekly/monthly calendars, and much more.

Read This Next: Written Emotions: How Journaling Heals Mental Blocks

How to Start a Bullet Journal

The first thing you’ll need is the motivation and drive to start bullet journaling.

Set your intentions for your journaling process: do you plan on recording a spiritual journey, or creating a customizable planner? Are you more interested in the physical layout or the content? Take a few moments to decide what you want to get out of bujo.

The second thing you’ll need is the actual journal. My favorite bullet journals are the A5 Dot Grid journals offered by Archer & Olive.

There are many covers to choose from, and you can even decide between white or black paper—a refreshing option for those of us who love our pastel gel pens. You can also find many dot grid journals on Amazon. The only stipulation for creating a bullet journal is the dot grid pattern that allows you to create different templates and patterns.

And, of course, you’ll need a pen.

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, you’re ready to dive into what makes bullet journaling so unique and effective.

The Contents

There are four basic components to any bullet journal: the index, collections, rapid logging, and migration.

1. Index

The index is basically your table of contents. In order for this system to work, you’ll need to number your pages. Some bullet journals come with numbers printed on each page, so you can choose one of those if you’d rather save yourself some time. In the index, you’ll write down each section of your journal and where it’s located.

2. Collections

There are three basic collections for any bullet journal: the future log, the monthly log, and the daily log.

You can set these pages up however you’d like, but there are some basic designs that many people stick to. These logs are where you’ll keep track of events, goals, and appointments.

You can also include lists and logs in your collections. Lists might include your favorite movies, books, or albums. Logs would keep track of things like what you’re grateful for your sleeping habits.

Your collections might also include sketches or doodles, or pages for mixed media art and collage.

3. Rapid Logging

Rapid logging pretty much defines the bullet journaling system, because this portion includes bullets and signifiers.

Bullets are essentially symbols that help you determine the content they’re associated with.

There are four symbols most commonly used in rapid logging:

x Indicates a completed task

Indicates a task

> Indicates a migrated task

< Indicates a scheduled task

Signifiers add additional information about your bulleted tasks, such as using “$” to indicate that a task will cost money, or “*” to give a task priority. You can customize and create your own bullets and signifiers as well. Simply jot down a key to remind yourself what each symbol means to you.

4. Migration

Migration is one of the most important aspects of bujo. Migration involves the transfer of an unfinished task from one collection to another.

This action takes place at the end of the month when you are creating your next monthly log. Simply take note of the tasks that have yet to be completed and transfer them to your next month’s schedule. This is where the handy bullets and signifiers can help you keep track of the tasks that have been migrated.

5. Get Creative

Half of the reason why people are obsessed with bujo is the creative aspect of it. You can spend hours on Pinterest looking at creative layouts in their journals that involve beautiful penmanship, gorgeous vision drawings, and stunningly sleek planing outlines.

The best part about it is that it is unique to you. It’s a creative outlet that helps you express yourself and get organized all at the same time. How beautiful is that?

Additional Tips

Whenever a new collection is created, simply add it to the index.

When rapid logging, start with bullets and add signifiers next to them if needed.

Migration should take place on a monthly basis—no need to do this every day or even every week.

The Learning Curve

Once you get the hang of it, bullet journaling is an easy and extremely efficient method for planning and logging the events in your life. However, getting started can seem overwhelming. If you need an additional boost to help you feel confident beginning your bujo journey, check out this quick tutorial video, made by the creator of bullet journaling himself, Ryder Carroll.

We recommend getting some fun writing tools and highlighters to make your bujo unique to you. Once you feel ready to get started, you might have a hard time putting the pen down. Happy bujo-ing!

Related Article: Colour Me Calm: Why You Need A Coloring Book

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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