I started Bullet Journaling at the beginning of August – so I am still a bit new to all of this. In this video I show you how I’ve set up my first daily logs ever: quite simple with a monthly overview, some meal ideas and general goals in the upper part and my daily tasks, meetings and expenses in the lower part. What do you think? Enjoy, Lena ♥︎

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Plan your month with a monthly log – to plan ahead, remember all important meetings and to do's.

This August Spread by @Journalsanctuary is the perfect combination of a planner on the one hand and a sketch book on the other hand. The left page shows a monthly log in a grid style (explained this one in my „How to start“-Post), the right page unites a calendar overview, goals for this one month, motivational quotes, soft handlettering and some great galaxy sketches. Couldn’t be better!

August Spread by @Journalsanctuary
August Spread by @Journalsanctuary

For get more Bullet Journal inspiration, feel free to join our Facebook-group „Daily Bullet Journal Inspiration“. This group is meant to inspire you by picked innovative, creative layouts and arty decoration for your Bullet Journal everyday. No content overload, I promise! Submit your own photos to this group and I’d be happy to share your creativity. Happy Journaling everyone!

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Even though it’s October already, I’d like to share my monthly setup from September with you. In this video I show you how I decorated my opening page for September, how I setup my monthly log, my habit and sleep tracker as well as my monthly log. Enjoy! <3


My Bullet Journal Essentials used in this video:

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Monthly Log

I’ve never been into digital planning tools so far as I love my analogue black moleskine planner with soft cover for my daily to do’s, appointments and working hours. I really loved the space for writing that I had but I somehow missed the space for creativity – for changing my daily schedule, individualize my schedule, review my months, write down my best memories and getting more productive in this way.

In August I finally started my first bullet journal and can’t live without it anymore. As a beginner’s guide would have been so helpful for me with all important information at one place instead of looking for inspiration and different techniques, possible layout etc. all over the internet, here it is – a guide how to get started, with the different parts of a bullet journal and some bullet journal hacks worth knowing.

First of all: What’s a bullet journal?

The system of the bullet journal was developed by Ryder Carroll. As the name already suggests, the main characteristic of this planning system is the bullet. A bullet is used for tasks [・]. Furthermore, there is a circle for events [○], meetings and appointments and an indent for notes [-].

You can also use check boxes or any other icons, if you like. Because, and that’s one of the most important things about bullet journaling: Feel free to make something different. Just because all other people are using bullets, that doesn’t mean you have to act the same. If you prefer check boxes, use them.

The idea of a bullet journal is to create an individual planner for your own life, combining organization, inspiration, productivity and mindfulness in one notebook only.

I bought a dotted journal from Leuchtturm1917 and I couldn’t imagine any better. But if you’re still not sure if bullet journal is the right way to do it for you, you better start with a cheap lined, squared or blank notebook.


How to start 

1. Index

The first pages of a bullet journal should be kept free as an index where you can record your pages step by step. At the beginning there’s nothing to write down, which hardly needs to be mentioned.

The index offers an overview of your entire Bullet Journal.
Your index gives an overview of your pages in your Bullet Journal.

2. Key

The Key Page follows right after your index. It shows all the icons you use in your Bullet Journal and its meaning. As I already mentioned above, I use a dot for my To Do’s, a circle for events/ meetings and a dash for personal notes.

The Key Page shows all icons you use in your Bullet Journal.
Which icons do you use in your Bullet Journal? Write them down.

3. Future Log

Plan your year and upcoming months with a future log.
Get an overall overview of your long-term events, meetings, holidays etc.

Your first double page after your index is your yearly overview. Even though you haven’t started your bullet journal at the beginning of a new year you can create your own overview of the remaining months. I started in August, so my overview includes five months. This one is perfect to note birthdays, events which have been planned ahead or holidays.

4. Monthly Log

After you’ve got a general overview of the upcoming months it’s time to plan your next month. Which events and tasks are coming up? Write down every meeting and to do you already know because this log is your orientation for this month. You can do this with a calendar layout as well as with a list.

This monthly log for October shows all your important meetings, tasks and events.
Plan your month in a grid. You can use different colours to highlight specific meetings and dates.
A monthly log can be also a list in your Bullet Journal.
Use a blank double page to write down your meetings on one page and your tasks on the other page.

5. Habit Tracker

The next part is something which is not necessarily needed: a habit tracker. I also set up a tracker for my sleep, gym habits, amount of coffee, regular posting etc. But I didn’t manage to fill it in every evening so that I always did it some days later when I’d already forgotten when I drank coffee, went to gym or woke up. For some people this might be helpful, for example to track vital things like water intake but for me a habit tracker is not necessarily needed.

Track your sleep and habits with a habit tracker.
Track your sleeping hours and habits (good as well as bad ones 🙂 )
Note down your sleep hours and habits in a habit tracker.
Find habits which are worth to track – habits you want to change, improve or drop. But don’t over-track yourself.

6. Weekly Spread

After you’ve already planned your months, we’re getting closer to the point: the weekly spread. On this double page you’re free to plan your week day by day or rather by topics, work/ free time or any other scheme. I usually have some boxes for my daily tasks and other boxes for my work to do’s, house cleaning, further plans for next week, meal ideas etc.

You can either plan your week on the basis of different topics like work, uni and me-time…

A weekly log can include different boxes for topics like uni, work or me-time.
What do you need to do for work, at home, for uni or also for yourself?

… or also add some some boxes for the different days. I prefer the second version, as you can see below, because otherwise I can’t keep overview.

Plan your week ahead – with daily planners.

7. Daily Logs

Your daily log is probably the part of your bullet journal you’re working with the most. It offers you as much space as you need to write down your daily tasks, meetings and notes. If you like, you can also add a tracker of your daily expenses or a box for the best three memories of the day you’re grateful for. Again: Feel free to find a layout which fits your needs perfectly.

Write down your daily to do's and meetings in your daily logs.
Note your daily tasks, meetings, daily expenses, feelings and meal ideas.

As you can see below, I love to keep it simple with enough space for my daily tasks and a box to note my daily expenses.

Stay up to date with the help of your daily logs.

If you want to plan your day more in detail, you should rather use a time ladder system which helps you to organize all your meetings and to do’s hour by hour.

Daily logs with a time ladder system
Take the space you need – even though it’s one entire page a day.

This time ladder system is my favorite layout so far: You have enough space for all your meetings, to do’s, post it’s or whatever you like.

8. Personal stuff & memories

Over time you’ll find out quickly which part is working for you and which doesn’t. Don’t hesitate to cut off some parts I presented above or customize them until they really support your productivity.

It’s not about only making use of the logs and spreads I mentioned above but also about using the space for yourself. Write down your favorite holiday memories, review your months with sketches, motivate yourself with an inspiring quote, create bucket lists, note your chains of thoughts or write a list with books you’ve always wanted to read.

Quotes 

Motivational quote
Find a quote that motivates you everyday.

Motivational quote

Opening pages for new months 

August Decoration

Travel plans 

Plan your next holidays in your Bullet Journal.
Use your Bullet Journal to plan your holidays!

Write a travel packing list in your Bullet Journal.

Memory pages

Keep your best memories in mind and make some sketches in your Bullet Journal.
Use your Bullet Journal to keep your best memories in mind.
Write down all your thoughts in your Bullet Journal.
Write down your thoughts without thinking too much or being afraid of making ‘mistakes’.

As you can see, a bullet journal is a never ending progress and gives you not only space to develop your layouts but also develop on a personal level and turn your life upside down. With this in mind: Stay open, feel inspired and let loose your creative energy. Happy journaling!


My Bullet Journal Essentials shown in this post:

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