You got yourself a bullet journal to make the best use of your time, right? Only, now you’re thinking, where do I start? All those bullet journals I see on Instagram are so pretty and so organized, but I don’t have the time to do all those pretty doodles and figure out what I’ve written and where!
Never fear. We have some handy hacks to help you make sure your bullet journal works for you—not the other way around.
Create an indexing system
- Add page numbers to the bottom of each. Yes, this is time-consuming to begin with but you will thank yourself for it in the long run. Page numbers will help you keep track of things you’ve had to continue on different pages
- Leave good few pages at the front of the journal for contents
- Create a Dutch door
Make friends with ‘threading’
- This is where you carry an entry over numerous pages that might not be grouped together. Use your creativity to come up with a symbol or signifier at the foot of each page, and make a note of it in your contents
- Signifiers are small icons or symbols that represent a particular topic or journal entry. They can be used to code pages so you don’t need to write large passages of text and they can be used as an alternative indexing system.
- Create a signifier key at the front of your journal to make it really easy to see what you’re looking to locate. When you use a signifier, put it at the top or bottom outside corner of your journal pages so you can simply flick through and spot them quickly.
- Draw your calendar out on a double page spread. Then, next to the appropriate date write a page number. When you flick to that page you can see all the details needed for that day. So, if you want to list appointments, to do’s, habit trackers etc, you can include all those on a full page.
Now, this wouldn’t be a proper hack guide if we didn’t include a reference to the ultimate tool—the pen! It’s all well and good being organized about how you spend your time, but what if you don’t have a reliable pen with which to record everything from your day?
Our advice is to look for a pen that is quick-drying so you can turn the pages without worrying about your pretty sketches and scribbles getting smudged. You could also look for something less permanent, like a stainless steel mechanical bolt action pencil. Make sure whatever you choose is comfortable. Some people like a weightier pen, like a stainless steel pen or a bolt action pen. Others prefer lighter weight pens like a titanium bolt action pen or a carbon fiber bolt action pen.
Finally, if you’re a die-hard journaler, you’ll be taking that baby everywhere with you. So, you’ll need a pen that is super durable. Try an EDC bolt action pen in stainless steel for a good-looking, high performance pen that has been built to outlive you.
If you are a traveling journal junkie, you need to be prepared for every eventuality. You don’t want a low ink cartridge to stop you from recording those valuable thoughts! Make sure you pack your pen replacement ink cartridge, the necessary parts of a ballpoint pen and a stainless steel pen replacement tip, and any other parts you think you might need.