This blog post is designed to give an introduction to my simplified and imperfect version of bullet journalling, an amazing system created by Ryder Carroll for organising thoughts, projects and basically your whole life. Some also see it as a mindfulness practice.
You might find this system useful if:
- you can't keep up with life
- you can't keep up with your ideas
- you love the idea of planners and diaries but you end up giving up on them
Materials: 1 notebook and 1 pen
I use nice notebooks because it makes me more likely to use them, I use coloured pens and stickers sometimes because it helps me tell the contents of each page apart when I'm flicking through. But I love that this system works just as well in your old school notebook with a biro you find under your sofa.
So here are my top tips for simple bullet journalling Badibidu-style
1. #Antiperfection - if you make a mistake just cross it out, the point is to have a functional tool and not a work of art (although some people enjoy creating beautiful spreads, it slows me down and distracts me). Some people make them artistic and intricate, and you can find incredible examples if you search for 'beautiful bullet journal pages' online, but my use is largely functional. If I really want to tidy part of a page up, I stick a white printer label over any area and carry on.
2. Index - the key to the whole system! Number your pages in the corner as you go. Number the first five pages of the notebook and write Index at the top. Each time you start a fresh page you title it and add the item to your index along with a page number. That way you can come back and add to it easily by finding it in the index.
3. Be flexible - Should you plan monthly, weekly or daily? I tend towards creating a double page spread with the days of the week written across the top and I use that to plan, but do what works for your brain. I write appointments and to do lists on each day. But when the world moves too fast and I feel like I can’t quite keep up I add a daily page which I brain dump onto. Things which get done I cross out and do a happy dance, things which don’t get done I move onto the next day.
4. Don't save pages - I found this so strange when I got started! Each time you want to start a topic you start a fresh page, title it, and add the page number to your index with the title, but you don’t keep spare pages. If you change topic you turn the page, title it and add it to the index. If you want to go back to a past topic you turn the page and start again then add that page number to the original index listing. So eventually you might get an index item with several pages listed after it for example ‘Holiday plans page 10, 25, 31’
5. Make it work for you - Use this system for everything, from to-do lists to reading lists, gratitude journal to holiday packing list. The options for what to include in here are endless! Birthdays, gift lists, instructions, recipes, plans, bucket lists, exercise trackers, house finances, life goals. Get it all on paper and see if your brain feels better for it. You can even slip a few 'Dear Diary' pages in there and get some thoughts and feelings out!
So there they are, my top tips for minimalist bullet journalling, but how this works for each person is so individual the most important things is to make it work for you. Please make it into something that you will actually use, and that improves your life rather than just adding to your to do list... and if it doesn't work it doesn't matter, you haven't failed in any way it's just not for you.
I would totally recommend reading The Bullet Journal Method or listening to the audiobook but I am also did a Facebook Live session where I set up a bullet journal notebook from scratch and answer questions in case your mind isn't quite ready for reading a full book right now. You can find it on my Facebook page!
Resources if you want more info
This post contains tips for bullet journalling Badibidu-style, it's a simplified and slightly tweaked version but the resources below will help you to learn the full and correct method if you want to see what you're missing.
Best Book: The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
This will talk you through every aspect of the full bullet journal method. Its written by Ryder Carroll the inventor of the bullet journal system and I personally find it motivating and inspiring as more than just an instruction manual.
Best Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkZEEQG6IVE
A great set of videos with information and instructions in a shorter form than the official book. A great intro or reminder of how it all works if you want an easy-listening option.
Best Notebook IN THE WORLD 😂: Mine clearly...
Like I said above, you can use any notebook at all for this. But if you’d like to use a super colourful Badibidu notebook then you can find A5 notebooks and larger hardback notebooks with a ribbon to save your page in my shop 💕📖💕
Do you already journal? What stage of your notebook love am I catching you in?! Let me know in the comments!