If you’ve never heard of the bullet journal method, you’ve managed to miss a huge community online – on blogs, youtube, facebook, instagram and who knows what else. A bullet journal is basically a diary, but it’s one that is super customisable and easy to keep track of various things.
Know your planner needs
I think I first starting reading/writing about bullet journals way back in 2014, and whilst I loved the concept, the notebook style just wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to feel trapped in a notebook where I couldn’t move anything around. I’ve been a firm planner addict since before even this, so I started to combine the bullet journal method with filofax, and eventually moving through other planner styles.
If you don’t know too much about this way of planning, you can even grab the Bullet Journal Method book by Ryder Carroll. My system has continuously changed and evolved over the years, and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about my style of planning, so here’s a few different ways you can try out the bullet journal method with Filofax and other planners.
Using the bullet journal method key
If you look on his bullet journal website, you can see that Ryder Carroll very much likes using symbols to help with your planning notes. A symbol for tasks, events, notes, important reminders and the like. Even for when you need to move a task to a new day.
In my Filofax, I very much stuck to this idea. I created my own key, staying quite similar to the original. My check boxes for tasks, circle bullets for appointments and notes with a dash. I half colour in the check boxes for any task that is half done, or started.
There are also ‘extra information’ symbols. A check box with an arrow means that task has been moved to another day, and one with a cross in it is not relevant any more. An exclamation mark is used for important details, a heart is used to show ideas or inspiration and a question mark used to show something that needs more research. These things aren’t everyday symbols, but they are there just in case a simple check box, circle or dash isn’t enough information.
You’ll notice that there’s also a colour code: green for work, purple for fitness, pink for appointments/reminders and blue for personal. It’s really simple and it means that, at a glance, you can see what type of information is written down. Sticky notes will occasionally be used, but they’re not something I carry with me at all times. It might be for you!
Create Pages, Lists, And Much More
Within bullet journals, quite a lot of people will create pages such as habit trackers, list pages, pages to track stats and much more. These would usually be mixed within the main diary pages if using the notebook bullet journal method. When using a planner, you can insert these wherever you’d like – and move them around too!
Habit trackers are a big concept, and you can see that I’ve tried having it mixed in with my weekly pages, and with it’s own page. Admittedly for me, these trackers are not something I can keep up with, but it’s very easy to include them in your planners if it helps you.
I also created dates pages, my own calendars, blog stats pages and the like to help me with my planning. Some people track meditation, drinking enough water, not spending, exercise done – you can do all sorts here. With the option to add/remove these pages whenever you like, you can try so many different things.
Find the planner that works for you
You can use this bullet journal method in anything at all. It doesn’t matter whether your planner has rings, is glue bound, has discs or is even just a memo pad style desk planner. The main concept of bulleting your tasks is adaptable to any kind of planner.
The Happy Planner is my current planner of choice – yes I’ve moved on from Filofax! I started with a classic, decided it was too big and moved into a mini. I chose the fitness happy planner for the boxes in the weekly, so each week I have to edit it a little to suit my needs. The beauty of the bullet journal method is that I can utilise the bullet key, migrate tasks, create stats pages and whatnot, but still be able to move all my pages about. I’ll do a full update on that when I’m completely settled!