Bullet Journaling- a Zen Hobby that Brings Out your Creative Side

With the new year just upon us, a lot of people have made resolutions to become better people. Maybe you want to be more organized, healthier, or even more punctual. All of these new tasks may seem daunting, but there is a solution that brings them all together in a nice little package- the bullet journal.

What is a Bullet Journal?

The bullet journal is part-diary part-planner, helping you accomplish whatever goals you want while also having a couple of fun extras. You can make it extremely practical or even use it as a way to test your creativity. Essentially, it is a book that you jot down your daily tasks in and plan for the future. While there are many features you can add, the most basic journal includes a yearly calendar where you note down significant events- the annual log, monthly logs to track happenings throughout the month, and daily logs to keep a note of your tasks for the day.

Using this type of planner can be very helpful if you have a hard time remembering things. Here, you have the entire month laid out for you, so you know exactly when to plan out your appointments. 

A bullet journal can also be used to keep track of any small snippets you wish to write down if you don’t like the idea of committing yourself to a diary. You can write down how you feel or any enjoyable moments you had in the daily logs, and there is no pressure to write a long entry.

Additionally, bullet journals can also help you track your habits, your sleep schedules, and even your mood. 

There are many more, but journals differ from person to person. After all, you’re the one making this for yourself, so you can customize it in any way that suits you. Depending on your lifestyle, your needs may vary. 

weekly log
Image credit: Wikihow

How to Make a Bullet Journal

You only need two things to start- a notebook and a pen. Create a key at the beginning of your journal, so you know what symbols correlate to the task. Then draw up a calendar, and you’re ready to go! If you like, there are templates online that you can print out and stick in your notebook as well. Some readymade planners already have these features that you can use.

bullet journal templates
Image credit: @loashleydoodles

If you want to be more creative, there is a world of opportunities waiting for you. You can design and colour the pages however you like. You can maintain a theme, using a selected palette of colours, and even try and write in a fancy font. There are so many images that can inspire you if you look them up online. It’s your choice.

The important thing is to remember to keep things practical. Make it pretty, or keep it simple- either way, you will want to make sure that it is easy for you to use. Do not add complicated features that will become a pain to use in the future. Remember- this journal is going to be your companion for the rest of the year- so treat it well.

bullet journal planning
Image credit: Google

Types of Pages in a Bullet Journal

There are many types of pages you can create. As discussed above, you can have a yearly, monthly, and daily log to keep track of events. Another level is the weekly log if you prefer that.

Then come the trackers. Let us start with a sleep tracker. The sleep tracker allows you to monitor how much sleep you’re getting every night. While most of us always plan to get a healthy amount of sleep, we often fall short, claiming that “there are more important things to do”. However, if you track how much sleep you’re getting by actively writing down the number of hours, you may realise that maybe that’s why you’re so tired. Tracking your sleep can also bring to light behaviours that cause less sleep- for example, you didn’t sleep that well on Thursday because you were stressed about that thing from work. This way, you can actively work towards a healthier lifestyle.

The same applies to an exercise tracker, a hydration tracker, a diet tracker, and so much more. You can make a list of habits you want to start or even stop, and mark them off each day you complete the habit. As you go further, it is very satisfying to see a row of checkboxes, and you feel a sense of accomplishment. 

A mood tracker would also force you to think about your day, and the data would compel you to try and feel better as well.

In all of these trackers, there is so much opportunity to bring out your creative side. You can use colours, draw shapes, use a fancy font, and so much more to make it even more exciting to fill out. If it gets boring, you can switch to a different layout so that the process doesn’t become mundane.

monthly tracker
Image credit: Google

Finally, you can add different pages every month- maybe a page to act as a grocery list, somewhere to write down any song, book, or movie recommendations, or even just a blank page to fill up with spur-of-the-moment ideas. At the end of each month, you can add a monthly recap to jot down your thoughts and feelings. You can even print out and stick special pictures from that month.

journal for movie recs
Image credit: Google

A bullet journal may seem like a lot of work, but it is a great stress reliever. It boosts creativity and helps keep you organised. More importantly, it is a tangible object that removes the fear and anxiety of being overwhelmed with too much work.

There are many tutorials on how to make one online. Follow whichever one you want; there is no right or wrong. The only wrong way to make a bullet journal is the way that doesn’t make you happy when you use it. So go ahead, and create and write a journal that is bespoke to you, and transform into a more organised, productive, and healthy version of yourself!

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