Many people are not sure how to Bullet Journal and don’t have the time to learn. This is a short summary of the stages required to set up your Bullet Journal. You can also print a cheat sheet for future reference. Your bullet journal setup has to work for you so don’t feel you need to strictly abide by any rules. Find a system that works for you and use it. Open our free online app to create custom printables.
Don’t want to start from scratch? Use our free Bullet Journal template.
How To Bullet Journal
The bullets will help organize your entries into three categories: Tasks, Events, and Notes.
• = Task
X = Task Complete
> = Task Migrated
< = Task Scheduled
Mark events with “O”
Events are date-related entries that can either be scheduled or logged after they occur. They should be as objective and brief as possible.
Mark notes with “–”
Notes are entries that you want to remember
Priority – *
Inspiration – !
You can print a bullet journal key with a list of all the signifiers.
Modules are methods designed to help collect and organize specific entries. There are four core modules: The Index, Future Log, Monthly Log, Daily Log.
Step 1: Set up the Index
Add the topics and their page numbers to the Index.
One page topic – Topic Name: 5
Consecutive spreads – Topic Name: 6-12
Recurring collections – Topic Name: 13-15, 24-28
Topics and Pages Numbers
Add a topic on the top outer corner of the page. A topic is simply a short descriptive title. Title and number your pages before you add content. See our title and date layouts for inspiration.
Step 2: Set up the Future Log, the Monthly Log, and the Daily Log
The Future Log
For items that either need to be scheduled way in advance or things that you want to get around to someday. This appears right after the index, at the beginning of your notebook, so that you can scan items periodically and move them to either the monthly log or the daily log when relevant.
The bullet journal monthly spread helps you organize your month. It includes a calendar to schedule and/or record events and monthly tasks (left page) and a task list (right page).
How to set up the monthly log:
- Title the page with the current month’s name.
- List all the dates of that month down the left margin, followed by the first letter of the corresponding day.
- Schedule events next to the relevant day.
- Add tasks on the right page.
- Add signifiers to the left of each task.
- Add a list of tasks you want to complete that month.
- Add any unfinished tasks that have migrated from the previous month. Before you migrate a task, make sure that it is still relevant and adds value to your life. If it doesn’t then don’t migrate it. The migration system filters out tasks that are no longer relevant or are not worth your time.
- Scan the future log to see if there are any tasks that have now become relevant. If they have, then you should migrate them from the future log to the new monthly log.
The Daily Log
How to set up the daily log:
- At the top of the page, record the date as your topic.
- Rapid Log your Tasks, Events, and Notes as they occur.
The Bullet Journal® (or BuJo® for short) was developed by Ryder Carroll.
Open our free online app to create your own custom printables.