Getting Your Life Together: Bullet Journal Basics

Getting Your Life Together: Bullet Journal Basics

Bullet journals are a planning system that has recently gained more internet attention for its flexible and personalized approach to "track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future". This article is a guide to the fundamentals of this method and how it can help YOU get your life together.

Getting Your Life Together: Bullet Journal Basics

A bullet journal at its core has a few key parts: the Index, Future Log, Monthly Log, and Daily Log, and is highly customizeable from there. To get started, all you need is a pen and the notebook of your choice. Of course, more complex and artistic bullet journal spreads can be found all over the Internet for inspiration. Personally, I find other people's spreads to be quite motivating and bullet journals are an introduction to a welcoming community.


The Index is located at the beginning of your notebook and is pretty self-explanatory. This page is where you keep track of where all your spreads are located, like a table of contents for your plans and observations. Your Index is updated every time you make a new page and comes in handy when looking for a spread you've previously made.


For the Future Log, creator Ryder Carroll recommends you set aside two pages and divide them into six equal parts. Add the months to each box. This gives you space to do some advanced planning for six months. The Future Log sets longer-term goals you want to achieve for the year, or map out longer projects over a period of time.

an example of a future log setup


The Monthly Log is a more focused approach at your tasks, tackling each month in detail. It includes a monthly calendar, detailing every day of the month and the tasks you hope to complete. Each tasks is preceded with a task bullet, a simple dot mark. If you want, you can devise a key for your task bullets, indicating tasks of different categories, priorities, or degrees of progress.

Ryder Carroll's sample


As the name suggests, a Daily Log contains entries for the day. Entries can consist of tasks, events, and notes. The Daily Log is the narrowest view of your goals, and the planning method expands out into a bird's eye view as you go back to your monthly and future logs. Some people also use daily logs to journal their thoughts or reflect on the day. The bullet journal system is versatile and fits your own purposes depending on your needs.


The bullet journal community is thriving on the internet and has since added their own twists to the original system. Creatives looking to start bullet journaling or using the system for specific purposes such as studying and academics, language learning, or fine art can take a lot of inspiration from personalized bullet journal content around the community. These include spreads to track habits, mental health reflections, study plans, and even tracking the making of online bullet journal content.

popular study content creator Jasmine from

Toronto-based bullet journal artist Amanda Rach

The flexible framework of the bullet journal system and the wide array of personal spreads created to aid every individual's lifestyle ensures bullet journalling is something anyone can start and accommodate to their needs. Now that the basics have been covered, I'd encourage trying out journals for yourself and see the difference in productivity!

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