If you’ve gotten within hitting distance of Pinterest, you’ve probably heard of bullet journaling before. When a mommy organizer and a daddy diary come together, a bullet journal – also called “BuJo” for short – is the result. It’s like a to-do list with heart.
The concept behind bullet journaling is simple and its application very flexible. Bullet journals are all about what the inventor of bullet journaling calls “rapid logging”. So no word vomit: brevity is key. Sentences are short and to the point and use a simple system of symbols to organize and identify different kinds of information; typically events, tasks, appointments and notes. In the key I use (see below), events are signified by circles, tasks by squares, appointments by triangles, and notes by dots or lines. These are coloured in when the event, task or appointment is completed, allowing you to easily keep track of what to expect from your day, and how it went by the end of it.
You can write whatever you like in your bullet journal, of course, but it’s primarily about planning, recording and keeping track of things, events, feelings and so on without dumping down everything in chunky, disheveled paragraphs. This makes it easier (and, if you’re like me, more palatable) to flip back through the pages later on, allowing you to identify patterns in your own life or way of thinking.
When I first came across bullet journaling, I immediately wondered how you could incorporate it into your spiritual life. In setting up my bullet journal, I added a few specifically spiritual goals to track on my monthly goal tracker and added a “scripture log” to record where in scripture I’ve been spending my time. I suspect it will also be a really useful way to keep track of spiritual themes in my life, church and scripture readings, and a nifty way to remember (and give thanks for!) answered prayers.
How straightforward or artsy your bullet journal is is really up to you. I suspect at some point the practicality of the system will surpass my haphazard attempts at embellishment. Of course there are absolutely gorgeous BuJos out there, but ultimately it’s about utility: you need to use it in a way that works for you!
To help you start out, I’ll walk you through a few things. Be sure to check out the bottom of this article for useful links and some BuJo inspiration.
You don’t need anything fancy; any pen and notebook will do. However, paper with squares or dots work best.
An index page and page numbers are essential to keeping track of things in your bullet journal. You don’t plan space out ahead; you use it as it’s available. So an index is just the thing.
A future log:
A future log is a good way to keep track of things that will be happening throughout the year, or things you want or need to do at one point or another. Later you’ll transfer these dates to your monthly log.
Exactly what it says on the tin! A look ahead and back at the month. This is the place to write down monthly goals, if you have them. Monthly themes or points of improvement; birthdays, events, anniversaries, payments etc.
This is where you keep track/log of daily activities. People also record things like the weather, small daily goals they set themselves and so on.
Not just for wildebeests – when an event, task or appointment moves, just draw an arrow through its key so that you remember to add it to another daily or monthly log. Or scrap it entirely. Nothing’s set in stone, right?
The idea behind collections is that recurring things in your daily log would be transferred to a single place, for easier access. People use collections for things like ideas, movies they’ve watched, places they’ve been, books they’ve read or want to read and so on.
Where to from here? Here are a few sites to peak your interest:
- The official bullet journal page.
- An “ultimate guide” to bullet journaling.
- Bullet journal hacks.
- A Marie Claire article on the subject.
- A “thorough” guide (not being sarcastic, but actually attributing).
And a few visuals to grab you: (I found all these on Pinterest)