My favorite tips and tricks after 3 months with the bullet journal.

A few months ago I took the plunge with the bullet journal, finally. I’m loving it, and this is why: my bullet journal holds the exact same information I’ve been tracking on legal pads and sheets of loose-leaf paper for years, but all in one place, plus an index. I should have made the switch a long time ago.

I learned a lot in my first week with the bullet journal, especially that this is something you have to learn by doing.

I kept mine super-simple at the beginning. It’s still relatively simple, but as I’ve gotten comfortable with the basics, I’ve branched out a little and tweaked the system to meet my own needs.

bullet journal with coffee and pens horizontal

The gear: 

For me, the right tools matter. I’m still using and loving my Leuchtturm 1917 (dotted, in navy). My favorite pen is the Pilot Precise V5. I also have and happily use my Staedtler fineliners (especially in grey, which I can’t find online but are at my local Target) and the Uniball Signo 207.

A few signifiers that are working for me: 

bullet journal daily list

The daily log is hands-down the thing I use the most in the journal. I use a handful of signifiers on a daily basis to keep everything organized.

• a dot designates a task, and I cross it through when the task is completed (or turn it into an arrow if I’m passing it to the next day)
• a line designates something to remember, but doesn’t require action (like a note about who’s driving carpool)
• an empty triangle is for an appointment, and I fill it in when it’s completed
• a star designates something crucial to get done
• a heart is for something I want to remember. This one’s my favorite! I use these for when someone loses a tooth, or we have an especially fun dinner hour, or a friend dropped by. I’ve started using these when we travel to keep track of what we did on our trip—this alone makes me wish I started bullet journaling years ago.

bullet journal close ups

A few things I love keeping in my journal:

When I started, I kept to the future log, monthly log, and daily log, and began adding the “extras” slowly.

Now I include something in my journal if I want to have it easily available at all times. If I only need the information at my desk or in my home it doesn’t need to be in my journal.

For me that looks like:

• kids’ baseball schedules—because I want easy reference to these, from anywhere
• a few more collections, including movies I want to watch, podcast episodes I loved, and a simple list of books I’ve read
• my Summer Reading Guide prep lists
• notes from meetings and conferences (if I suspect they’ll be worth keeping)
• literary matchmaking notes for What Should I Read Next
• the occasional weekly log

bullet journal close ups-2

About that weekly layout (which I mostly use for blog/podcast planning): lots of you have asked in comments and over on instagram what this layout looks like. Prepare to be underwhelmed because it couldn’t be simpler: I just make a list of the posts I have in mind for each day of the week on one side of the page, and their corresponding tasks on the right side of the page. (Those notes at the top of the page were post ideas I was considering bringing to life that week.)

This layout is simple, but as a visual planner it’s so helpful to capture a week’s worth of prospective content in one place. I used to do this on a legal pad, but it makes so much more sense to keep it here. (For weekly layouts that are more complex and beautiful than mine, check out these ideas.)

A few accessories I’ve come to love: 

washi tape. I mark my collections by taking a 1 inch piece of tape and folding it over the edge of the page so I can find them easily in my journal. However, lately there have been two pages I was constantly searching for and the washi tape wasn’t prominent enough, so I tried …

book darts and they’re working beautifully to highlight pages I’m using all the time at the moment (Books I Read, and Summer Reading Guide prep). The dart makes it super simple to find what I’m looking for in a snap, and when Summer Reading Guide prep is no longer something I’m turning to daily, I’ll remove the dart.

bullet journal close ups-3
post-it notes. It drives me crazy to have twenty piddly tasks on my daily log for two-minute tasks like emails and phone calls: it distracts me from the truly essential, important, and memorable. If I see a lot of these piling up for the day I grab a post-it, stick it next to the daily log, and jot those pesky tasks there. When the list is complete I trash the post-it.

I’m comfortable enough with my journal now that I agreed to teach a session at my local library’s How-To Festival on May 14. (If you’re in Louisville, my session is at noon.) Help me make sure I’m hitting all the basics! If you’re new to bullet journaling, what do you wish you knew before you started? If you’re thinking about starting, what would you like to know?

I’d love to hear about your experience with the bullet journal in comments. 

P.S. Read about my first week with the bullet journal here. Find out more about planning for visual types here. And if you need a primer on how to get started bullet journaling, this is my favorite resource.

P.P.S. You can now purchase my Bullet Journaling for Book Lovers webinar!

My favorite tips and tricks after 3 months with the bullet journal


Leave A Comment
  1. Nina says:

    The daily wasn’t as helpful as keeping a weekly page. All the extras for the week go in the journal. It’s almost making my calendar obsolete. For me writing things down makes them stay top of mind. I wonder if it’s making be a bit OCD – but all in all positive

  2. Katie says:

    Thanks for this! I have been wanting to take the plunge, but feel frozen anytime I try to start! (story of my life, ha!)

    My biggest hang up: how do you organize your book? — Meaning, I am hesitant to have a few pages of daily planner-type work, and then insert a different collection, such as a book list. I’m worried that the book list would get lost among the planning pages and it would halt the flow of my daily planning. Do you have a strategy for this? Or do you mostly free flow and allow all of the pages to just become what they will? Does that make sense?

    • Dot says:

      Because you have the table of contents and every page is numbered, you just start those collections on the next page. If it’s something you return to all the time, use washi tape, or a book dart.
      Google bullet journaling and watch the little you tube video. It’s a great, short not too overwhelming, place to start and then you just figure out how to make it work for you. It’s totally customizable!

    • Jenn says:

      I’m putting all of my “collections” in the back section of my journal…

      So, the first 12 pages are for Monthly lists… then 2-page spreads x52 for Weekly pages (where I’ll put to-do’s and habit tracking)… then a section for my Goals… then my Collections section… and lastly, a “Brain Dump” (random, scribbles, etc) section.

      Just my 2 cents.

    • Anne says:

      The index keeps it straight. Some people subdivide their journal into sections for daily logs, monthly logs, collections … but I just go straight through.

  3. Ashley says:

    I’m in the process of setting one up for my summer (I know, I know … Jump in … but I really want to finish out my previous journal first! I’m so close!) and somehow it’s a relief to hear again that doing it ALL at once really isn’t necessary. (Pinterest has been … intimidating.)

    I also suddenly want to pick your brain about must-sees in your area as I’ll be driving through Kentucky next week. Any One Big Thing I really shouldn’t miss?

    • Dawn says:

      Not sure you are meaning this literally, but the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum has a Really Big Thing right outside; can’t miss it. Ha!

  4. Sreekala says:

    Loved this post! I used bullet journaling for most of last year. Then bought a new planner this year. Now I’m just waiting for the year to be over so that I can go back completely to bullet journaling. I’m never buying another planner again!

    The best thing I love about the bullet journal is that it can be customized to suit me to a T. I have occasional pages that I call Brain Dumps for when my head is buzzing with to-dos and ideas. Once they are down on paper, they are very easy to categorize and assign to whatever list they need to be on. And no fear of ever losing them!

    I also used to track my expenses on separate monthly pages. I love the idea of the Index in which I can find all my pages easily. I used to indent my months and color code my Brain Dumps so that I could find them easily.

    Fun aside, it helped me quite a bit when my Mom was dying. I journaled in it while I was at her bedside at the hospice. And I listed all the people who I would have to inform and the basics for organizing a funeral. Once the inevitable happened, I was able to get the news out quickly and efficiently and it served to keep me sane.

    That said, I like your idea of post-it notes to note down the niggling little things. A bullet journal is good for habit tracking too. I used to put the beginning letters of my habits – Y for yoga, W for writing etc under each day and tick them at EOD. Tremendous feeling of accomplishment!

    • Jenn says:

      Love the idea of the “Brain Dump” page… thank you! (though, I think mine will be a section in the back of my BuJo, specifically for this purpose).

  5. Kim says:

    After doing some research online about how to bullet journal, I quickly became overwhelmed so after getting a handle on the basics I decided to stop looking at all the creative bullet journal examples online and just jump in and start doing the basics. I realized that since we all have unique lives and unique ways of organizing, there isn’t a “correct” way to do this. Even the original bullet journal directions won’t suit everyone. It all depends, I think, on what you have going on in your life and how you need to see information on the page.

    For example, for my future log, I knew that the original bullet journal method of listing dates and appointments/tasks in one long list would never work for me because I need to see those things in a calendar format to really see what I have going on (busy mom of 3 very active children). So I made little calendars for the year (3 to a page) with tasks/appointments listed right next to each calendar. When it became the next month (March, for example), I made a larger 2-page calendar spread for that month and transferred all the tasks/appointments to it so that I could see everything visually. However, I soon realized that instead of those small calendars for my future log, I needed to see the larger 2-page spread for all upcoming months (not just the current month). So I made those, May through December 2016, on the next available pages of my journal. It’s so much better for me. It may not be ideal for everyone, but I needed to see the information that way. So what I’ve learned are these things:

    1. Let go of your perfectionism and just start. There is no one “correct” way of doing this…it’s ok to use your regular messy handwriting, cross things out, doodle on the page, use wite-out. Life isn’t perfect…let your bullet journal reflect that! 🙂

    2. You will start to learn what’s working for you and what you need to change. You can’t discover what’s going to work for you until you start. Try a format for your daily logs and future logs that you think might work for you and go from there.

    3. I started trying to use a nice pen and colored pencils, but I soon gave that up. Now I use any pen I have around and I only use a red colored pencil to fill in hearts in my daily log so that I can see those special memories when I flip through the pages.

    A few more things… I just use the next available space for whatever I need to record. For example, in the middle of my daily logs I wrote a list of state quarters that my son needs to complete his state quarter collection and notes from an author’s lecture that I attended at my library.

    When we visited family for a week, my daily logs were filled with special memories rather than tasks/appointments. How wonderful to have a space to record things like that!

    Finally, I just want to mention that I create a habit tracker for each month and it really works for me (helps me track regular daily things like water consumption so I don’t have to list those little reminders over and over again in each daily log).

  6. Dot says:

    I looking into bullet journaling after Tsh wrote about it. And then once you posted your first post and said just get started, I did. And talk about it not being pretty, or perfect! I had a notebook I had been jotting things in for over a year;notes from phone calls, to do lists, recommended books etc. I started where I was in the middle of the book and I made a table of contents and numbered all the pages going forward, and then, because there might be information I needed before that point, I numbered all the previous pages with an A in front of the number. Then anything I thought was important got added to the table of contents. I then used washi tape on the table of contents so that I could find it easily. It’s not pretty. Some pages started falling out, so they are taped in, but it’s working for me. Now I have a smaller, prettier one all set to go when I finish this one in 3 pages! Thanks for the push to get started!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Hi Anne! I started using a bullet journal in March of this year and it has been life-changing! I too, wish that I had started earlier. I’ve been an avid journal-er for the past eight years but I love the ability to keep things chronologically in the bullet journal.

    I did have a question…how long do those notebooks last for you? I’ve been using up old notebooks for the bullet journal and they have lasted anywhere from 1-3 weeks (depending on how big they are). I’m wondering if I need a bigger notebook to last one month or more. Approximately how often do you need to renew yours?

    Thanks for your wonderful blog, podcast and emails. I rarely subscribe to blogs but love supporting your endeavors. Keep up the great work!

  8. Bridget says:

    I’m in love with my bullet journal. I keep tweaking/adding/stopping spreads. But I am close to having several spreads that have become essential. I’ve not settled on signifiers that I love yet. My daily pages are all on one page because I add work things as well as personal. I track the weather and I list what I am currently reading. I use two time-trackers. One along the top that’s color coded and one along the side that has details. It’s redundant, but it makes me happy LOL.

    Have you checked out Boho Berry? She is AWESOME.

  9. Evelyn says:

    Thank you for your posts on BuJos. Your very first one was the push I needed to get started. I have a Franklin binder that was a gift from my hubby, so I decided to use it for a BuJo – sort of. I put together a section of weekly pages, monthly pages, trackers, and blank lined paper. I use huge paper clips to show where I am in the first two. The monthly pages are perfect for me. For each month, there is a beginning page for things needed to be done in the month. I write the days down the side, then fill in days I know there are plans. Open it and there is a two page spread showing the month with side bars on the right hand for notes. Close that and there is a page for how the month turned out. For April I took part in the write_on project, so I numbered down the side and listed who I wrote to on each day. On the lined papers is where I keep the index, the legends I use, and collections. Like you, at first I made a gazillion collections – everything I could think important to me. Some I’ve used, others not at all. Also like you, I love that I can add or subtract legends I don’t use and ones that are needed for my life. Example for me is for meds. I have a pain pill that I only take as needed. It can make me very sleepy and I’ll forget when I had it. So I keep a square with an L in it and write the time I take it. For my daily meds, I use a square with an M and cross it out as soon as I have had them all. And on and on to personalize to me. One thing, at the bottom of my legends page, I have written K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple, Stupid! It helps me catch myself from going on and on and on. All and all, I love this system. I thank you for blogging about it. For the pens, too. I got the small set of Staedtlers. I use the black and gray ones for almost everything. Since I track a lot of my snail mail friends, I’ll post the date I receive in red and when I send in green. The purple and blue I’ll use for writing the letters. If you haven’t tried the Pentel Energel, you should. It dries quickly and is recommended for lefties as it doesn’t smear. I use the fine tip ones and love them. I even keep several in my purse at all times to give those who might use them. They are the breast cancer awareness ones, so I more or less kill two birds with one stone. Now that you know more than you ever wanted to about my BuJo habits, I’ll quit rambling!

  10. Janice says:

    Anne, I hadn’t heard of a Bullet Journal before your last post (which is when I learned that I apparently live under a rock…) but I thought it was an intriguing idea. It’s rattled around in my brain since then, and then seeing this I’ve decided I want to try it. Thanks!

  11. I’ve been using a Moleskine graph paper BuJo since last October. It’s been fun to see it evolve over the past months into my own custom planning headquarters. If anyone is interested in seeing what really creative people (not me) are doing, check out the “Bullet Journal Junkies” Facebook page.

  12. I started a bullet journal two months ago and it’s been helpful, but I don’t think my life is anywhere close to crazy busy right now so it isn’t an “essential” tool. However, I love the concept and will keep using it whenever it’s needed.

    One extra that I’ve found helpful is a packing / to-do list for upcoming trips! I can jot down things I want to remember as soon as they pop up, which is making the prep process much less stressful for my upcoming London/Paris adventure!!

    • Heather says:

      I totally feel the same way as you Rachel!! I don’t blog enough to track all of that info, and I am not necessarily busy enough. I like having it though…especially for random lists, random ideas, and random sayings from my kids, etc!

  13. Christine says:

    I don’t love the bullet journal… yet. I’m trying. I still have a hard time doing and keeping up with the index, monthly & future logs. I seem to prefer just doing the weekly, although I see the potential for using the others. I think I am just a slow starter. I have added books to read list, grocery lists and my 30 day exercise plan which I download and glue onto the pages. This also helps me see the month at a glance which works better for me than listing the dates.
    But I love using all the colors!

    • Benny says:

      Just do what works for you! I don’t use the icons at all, nor do I use a monthly or future log. I love making lists so I have lots of those!

  14. Heather Braun says:

    Yup. Bullet journal. Thank you Anne (and Tsh and several others). This is working so well. I also am a fan of simple, and therefore hardly even look at my now-neglected Table of Contents. The Daily Log is huge for me, followed by the Monthly Logs.
    The one big thing I did instinctively at the start was to start at the back of the journal for collections (TBR, movies, and a birthday/anniversary list). I like how they don’t interrupt the flow of the Daily Log.
    Best. Thing. Ever.

  15. Angela says:

    One thing I really like having in my bullet journal is the Nightly Examen. This is something I do at night and involves two simple questions: What am I most grateful for today? and Where did I recognize God working in my life today?

    I also have a weight tracker as I am working on getting healthier. I have a column for my current weight, and next to it is how much I have lost to date.

    I enjoy reading your experiences! Thanks for sharing them.

  16. Michelle says:

    I’m a relative newbie (started after your first post!) and hit my stride in April. Here are some things that worked for me:

    For me, a weekly spread is MUCH better than daily. I tend to be too optimistic about how much I can accomplish in one day, so my “to-dos” kept getting migrated over and over, which left me deflated and discouraged! With a weekly To Do list I’ve got more time to complete tasks. On one page I have Mon – Sun with a space for appointments and such for each day, and on the facing page I have spots for the To Do list and Meals for the week.

    Memories page for each month – I got this idea from Boho Berry (she has wonderfully helpful YouTube videos, a great IG account, and a blog.) I record trips, happy things that happen, milestones, etc. It’s just one page, but it’s become my favorite part of my bujo!

    Like another commenter, I cut and pasted my marathon training plan directly into the bujo, along with a sewing inspiration page, gratitude page, training log, etc. It’s so nice to have one notebook rather than five for each of my interests!

    • Jenn says:

      Thanks for sharing how YOU do this, too, Michelle! 🙂

      I’m finding that I, too, am a “weekly” layout girl. Like you, I’d get overly optimistic about what I could do in one day, only to be left deflated.

  17. Meghan says:

    I love the heart signifier! I hadn’t seen that before. My bujo is suuuuper simple and plain, but I like it that way. I use a Le Petit Foxy Notebook, which has 4 elastic bands for holding staple-bound notebooks. I use one notebook for my active bujo and keep more-or-less permanent collections in a separate notebook (ones that are just for the current month, like party planning, stay in the active bujo notebook). The third slot is for a regular journaling journal and the fourth right now just holds a gorgeous blank notebook that I haven’t used yet 🙂 I’ll make it my permanent collection when my current collections are full (it’s 3x the number of pages). I also don’t do a daily – I have a planner that was too expensive to quit using, so I do daily tasks there for now. I’ll use a post-it in the future. I do weekly, monthly and meal spreads, with a printable meal planner/grocery list washi-taped on one page (I can unstick it from my bujo and stick it to my grocery cart!) and a list of stuff coming from our CSA (and what we still have left) on the other (a complicated system, for sure).
    That all sounds not-so-simple, but it really is. Pictures would be easier than words here 🙂

  18. Kim says:

    I loved this post. I’m using both a bullet journal and a happy planner right now. I started a bullet journal in a dollar store purchase, so I could get the hang of it. That took some of the fear factor of “getting started” away. It is great to see how you’ve made it work for you. That is what is so great about bullet journals. They are so darn flexible.

  19. Erin says:

    Anne, You introduced me to Planner Pads which is my current calendar/to do list — but I have also experimented with bullet journaling off & on. I think you have moved away from Planner Pads. But if not, thoughts on how you have integrated these two systems?

  20. Jenn says:

    I’m loving following your Bullet Journal journey! I’m at about stage 6 (according to Tiny Ray of Sunshine’s post on the 8 stages…). I had started a BuJo a while back, but ended up getting overwhelmed, and then using it like a notebook, instead of its intended purpose.

    I just ordered a new Leuchtturm journal, and can’t wait to re-start. This time, I’m going more minimal… and have taken note of what I NEED to use it for, rather than just randomly throwing things in there. Essentials… that’s it.

    For me, I want my Bullet Journal to be for my daily business to-do lists, and for tracking the habits I’m trying to build into my life (eg. going to the gym, eating healthier, decluttering, etc.).

    I’m learning from you, too. So, thanks! 😀

  21. Laurie says:

    I started my Bullet Journal after your first post about them. I’ve always used planners, but also used binders and various ways of organizing all my “stuff”. I’ve even printed out my own preferred version of a planner and had it bound at our local printing shop one year. I never felt satisfied with anything I used because it all felt so disconnected. I thought this Bullet Journal thing might work for me!
    I started in a really nice 5″ X 6″ bound notebook that I knew I would be happy to grab and use. I tried many layouts and lists and various forms, giving myself permission to try things out and see what works. After many weeks and many lists and lots of doodles and experiments I decided this was really going to work for me!
    As my first bullet journal was getting near the end I discovered the ARC system notebook from Staples, I was very excited to see how easily the pages can be moved around or completely removed and archived or tossed out. I purchased my Martha Stewart Discbound notebook in the junior size and I bought the tabbed dividers, and I love it! I had a section I was using for a recent month-long-bout with hives, and I was able to simply remove this section and archive it when I was done with it. I love the versatility of this notebook!
    I’ve been following bullet journal junkies on FB, and I love the diversity of people who use it. You make it what you want it to be.
    I prefer to use a weekly spread with meals and weekly tasks included. I also enjoy doodling and writing something to inspire me for the week. I’ve recently started a page with small posts about each day, giving me a memory of what went on or what was important. It has inspired me to focus more on my creative self and to give that a chance to bloom, even if it’s only in some doodles in my bullet journal. I have a section of “challenges” where I write in my Sudoku time every morning, and any other challenges I may be trying at the time are kept. Photo a day, lettering challenge, doodle a day, C25K, Books I read this year, things like that.
    I’m so happy to have come across this through your blog!
    Thank you!!

  22. Erin in CA says:

    I must not be the Bullet Journal type (I wonder if it correlates to Meyer Briggs!), because I just don’t … get it? Although I admit I’m fascinated by it, like it’s a foreign country that I’d like to visit but not live in. It seems so incredibly complicated to me. I have a busy life as a mom, and the learning curve for this seems really intimidating. I also haven’t used any kind of paper calendar/planner in years (I’m all electronic), so maybe that’s why this isn’t appealing to me. So I guess my question at the seminar would be, what’s the payoff/goal of doing this?

    • Maryalene says:

      Lol! That’s a good way of putting it and sums up how I feel. I am fascinated by bullet journals and love reading about them, but I can’t fathom how they would make my life easier. Guess I love my Google calendar a little too much! But I do like the idea of one (organized) place for all planning lists. (I’m an INTJ btw).

    • Angie says:

      Another INTJ chiming in. . .I’m still playing with bullet journal ideas. I learned about it after buying a weekly planner for this year, and I’m too frugal to replace it so I’ve just modified how I use it. I do keep it simple because I like clean aesthetics, but I am definitely a pen and paper girl. The only reason I use Google calendar is because my husband (an ESTP with ADD) *might* remember to use that on his phone. 😉

    • Benny says:

      I love your description about the foreign country! I felt the exact same way you did, it bothered me that I could figure out what it was about the BJ that was so life changing. All I can say is learn by starting ….but if you’re all electronic, I don’t know that you will even want to create a bullet journal. I think it’s more for those that love paper and pens and love writing

  23. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been debating bullet journaling for a few months now, especially since I just can’t get myself to buy into an app or system online that keeps me as engaged. I’m so excited to give this a try (and was equally excited to buy a new notebook for the occassion!).

  24. Kiran says:

    This is the first I have heard of a Bullet Journal, definitely intrigued. Thanks for sharing, I am always looking at ways to make my life more organised

  25. Caroline says:

    I’m a mother of 3, and so need to keep track of everyones activities in my agenda, how do you do that with a bullet journal?

  26. jamie says:

    I would love for you to do a video for those of us that can’t make it to the class on the 14th. got my journal, but haven’t started yet!

    • Talk about different personality types: I hate when a blog (vlog) only offers videos. I’m a print person and would much rather read something than look at a video. The best of both worlds for me is when the video is available, but the content is also described in print. Demanding, aren’t I?

  27. Tracy says:

    Before I tried bullet journaling, my favorite calendar was a Moleskine one with the week on the left-hand page and a notes page on the right. My bullet journal calendar looks pretty much like that, but with an added column for menus. I found I didn’t need a monthly calendar because important stuff still goes on my Google calendar. I just have a “future dates” list that I check every week.

    I also didn’t need a daily list/notes page–a weekly one was just fine–and I have a little weekly checklist of habits I am trying to establish at the bottom of the page. I am limiting myself to four habits, so as not to get overwhelmed. I am currently making my bed every morning, meditating, practicing Spanish and exercising.

    The life-changing thing has been the extra lists and pages of research, as I spent the last month getting my house ready to sell. I marked my house lists with washi tape so they were easy to spot.

  28. HW says:

    A bullet journal is NOT the same thing as a Dear-Diary journal is it? I keep getting the two confused… A bullet journal does everything else a dear-diary journal does not and it doesn’t make sense to combine the two right? It seems a bullet journal is about everyday life and keeping on task (thus you take it everywhere) but I can’t imagine someone wanting to take their dear-diary everywhere. Does that sound about right?
    The reason why I haven’t started a bullet journal is I’m afraid of dirtying it up.. I don’t know why I regard it as this super ‘precious’ and ‘perfect’ thing…

    • Anne says:

      Yes I do! And I don’t see YouTube in the cards but I DID do a bullet journal-styled reading journal video for the physical MMD journal.

  29. Wendy says:

    A question for you, Anne (and anyone else who may want to chime in) regarding how you record the special things you want to remember and mark with a heart. Do you then transfer those anywhere else, or just leave them where they are in your journal? I don’t worry about the tasks and other items, but I wonder if I would ever look back through and remember the special memories? How do you experienced bullet-journalers do this? 😉

    • Anne says:

      It depends on what they are for. Sometimes I transfer them onto the monthly page (I’d do this with a special visit or a lost tooth), sometimes I leave them where they are (like for a week-long vacation), maybe eventually I’ll make a “moments to remember” page for the really special stuff.

    • Kim says:

      I transfer all these precious memories into a separate book of memories for each of my kids. I think when my little ones are older I will like looking back at the memories of the times when they were wee.

  30. Jean says:

    I bought a nice planner binder with a zipper at local thrift store for $2. Then bought a student planner for 2016-2017 from a local dollar store for $1. (they had regular planners for $1 but the student planners work best for me) I have a hole puncher that adjusts so I could punch the holes in the planner to fit my binder. Then added pages I printed out (school calendar, birthdays/anniversaries, savings challenge, reading journal) This is a work in progress and so far I really like it. I can open it up and jot down quick notes, ideas, appointments, memories, lists because the student planner has note areas for each month and the binder has an area to hold my pens. Love this much better than using an electronic system that I tried. I’m more of a pen/pencil kinda lady. I have been reading the comments and I have found I may try to add some of the suggestions. This article got me started so my journal/planner is still in its beginning stage. Only been using a few weeks. So thank you Anne for the inspiration.

  31. Sherry says:

    I just started reading about bojo this weekend, and am intrigued by many of the features, but a bit perplexed at the idea of having to dig back though months of entires to find the things to remember or ongoing things that cross months and books. I’m thinking of using a 5×8 loose leaf binder so I can transfer notes to an archives section of things to track for auditors, etc and using dividers for a section of collections, numbered separately. I currently try to do in electronic files, but I want to try handwritten notes so that I am not interrupted by constant email requests that hinder my progress. I could also insert things from other sources. Have you seen any discussion of a loose leaf approach? I’m the director of finance and supply chain at a healthcare system who works 10-12 hour days and likes the rapid journaling concept.

    • Anne says:

      I haven’t seen anything outlining a loose leaf approach, but I’m sure you can’t be the only one who thinks it’s a good idea. If you try it let us know how it works for you?

      • Sherry says:

        I have been using this approach. I have not kept up with my journal as well as I should, but having a separate archives and notes section has really helped me, especially for ongoing projects. I’m considering another section for my weekly meetings and rounding instead of extreme threading. It should be easier for me to find everything my boss has asked me to do, especially if noted on something else that I can later insert.
        My next new approach is to start page number series each month. That is 401-499 for April or 4101-4999 because I frequently have more than 100 pages. Also, my notebook feels quickly, but as things are resolved, I can shred pages no longer needed or transfer project pages to a file folder. The trick is going to be having the correct balance of sections and just day after day notes. My Collections section has an index so that A is notes for Auditors, B is Board meeting schedules, etc., and I number pages in that section a-1, a-2, b-1, etc.

    • Jen in Oz says:

      I have been using a Bujo in a Traveller’s Notebook style of layout and every week (or when I remember) I scan my pages as images into OneNote. You could do the same with Evernote I think. Then I use the tagging feature in OneNote to write index type entries beside the image. When I want to find an old note I look through the tag system and search my scanned images by section or notebook to find the note I am looking for. I don’t rewrite the whole handwritten note, just add a tag.

      For instance I have a tag for each child and for things like school subjects or doctor’s visits. I can bring up a child’s tag and have it all in one easy list. Or I can search tags by Doctor or Maths.

      Jen in Oz

  32. Jessica says:

    I love the idea of using hearts to designate special memories. My daughter is a month old and this seems like an easy way to jot down memories that can later be transferred to a photo album/baby book . Also I’m intrigued by Sherry’s comment about a loose leaf option because I’m wondering what to do when my notebook fills up but I still want to reference pages from this one. Has anyone started their second journal? What did you do with the first one and its contents?

    • Melissa says:

      I actually copied everything by hand. I KNOW. But I was in front of the TV anyway, and it really gave me a chance to consider whether the information was still relevant (and neaten up the lists, which had gotten messy).

  33. I’m having a terrible time doing the bullet journal. I want to try it, I just can’t wrap my head around it. But I think what’s blocking me is having this huge forever written list of all the stuff I have to do. . . even tiny 2-minute tasks!! I’d be more likely to use it with post-it notes, though. This is the first time I’ve seen that by the way. When I was a public school teacher working 60+ hours a week, I had a weekly schedule and filled it with post-its when I had time to get tasks done–emails, grading, paper signed etc–I’d put my to-do list on the post-its and space them out on my schedule–seing when I’d get them done. Post it notes can be faced in batches (depending on the time you have) and they can be moved to another day when you don’t have time. . .I see a bullet list and want to have a heart attack sometimes.

  34. Heather says:

    Thank you for keeping it simple! There are many examples of Bujos that are beautiful, but I don’t have time to make it fancy. This is a great example of why I love it- simple and easy to modify for one’s needs!

  35. Barbara Poe says:

    I began my BUJO in January. I love it! I had little spiral notebooks and Post-its all over the place. No more. A couple of things I’ve incorporated are a habit tracker (10,000 steps, 0-1 serving of sweets, retainers/floss, stretching, etc., plus a line for “something fun with my husband – a weekly goal), and a few pages set aside to write “One Good Thing” each day. I’m also tracking expenses and composing a packing list for a 3-month vacation to Australia/NZ later this year. The flexibility is phenomenal. Pinterest is a great source for inspiration. I found Staedtler pens at Michaels and used a 50% off coupon. Love ’em.

  36. Cathy Garland says:

    Found you blog via Mystie Winkler – read the sentence about you favorite pen (Pilot Precise V5 – NOT V7) and was hooked! I refuse to write with anything else! I’ve been writing in a journal since I was a teen – mostly gathering my thoughts on life, deep things of God, and what I learn from Him. Then I have a separate planner that I use for work and tasks. I have been using Franklin Covey’s system for the longest time, but have adapted it to be a bit more like bullet journal over time. Just didn’t know the word for it. Now, I’ve moved from the daily page system (was tired of seeing too many pages go to waste) to the weekly one. And, because it’s PRETTY and organized, I love it.

  37. Lance says:

    I’ve been bulleting for about a year and love it. It’s easy to find lots of bullet journal examples online that make me feel inadequate and completely devoid of artistry. Mine look like chicken scratch and aren’t always perfectly organized and illustrated with flowers and beautiful doodles.


    Because I now know that I’m not the only one keeping it simple. 🙂

  38. Meagan says:

    Totally irrelevant comment here, but our writing is so similar that I had to look twice to make sure I wasn’t on my own blog looking at my own photo. I’ve never come across a penmanship twin before!

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