Pick up a pen and paper and learn how to bullet journal.

By Elizabeth Rhodes
May 17, 2020
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If you’ve been feeling disheveled or unorganized juggling multiple roles while working from home, you’re not alone. Managing your workload, caring for kids (and teaching them while they’re distance-learning), and cooking more meals than ever before — it can certainly feel like a lot. Enter: the bullet journal. Travel and Leisure chatted with Ryder Carroll, inventor of the bullet journal method, to understand why this journaling practice might be just what we need right now. We’ve broken down the basics, so you can discover the benefits and learn how to bullet journal.

What is a bullet journal?

According to Carroll, the bullet journal method is “a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system.” Using pen and paper to organize your thoughts minimizes digital distractions, so you can declutter your mind and focus on the tasks at hand. Bullet journals help you keep track of the past, stay organized in the present, and prepare for the future. You can use any journal as a bullet journal, but BulletJournal.com also sells a notebook designed just for this method.

How to Bullet Journal

There are four core collections in a bullet journal. The index is at the front of the notebook, and it helps you keep track of the pages of your journal, so you can flip black and forth. The future log is next, recording upcoming events and tasks. Meanwhile, the monthly log is meant to monitor everything happening in the current month, and the daily log is for everyday use. Every morning, you can list the tasks, events, and notes for the day, reflecting on it all that night. For more detailed information, check out this educational video on the Bullet Journal site.

Bullet Journal Ideas

Bullet journals can be used to keep track of pretty much anything — Ryder says they’re like a “Lego set” because you can put together the system that you need. In addition to your index, future log, monthly log, and daily log, you can make custom collections to log meals, track fitness, sketch and doodle, and more. Even though Pinterest and Instagram are full of beautifully decorated bullet journals, you don’t actually need any artistic skills to get started.