Bullet journaling is a free form, customizable organizational system created by Brooklyn designer Ryder Carroll. Inspired by the reflective practice of journaling and a desire to intentionally slow down, the bullet journal is an old-school solution to the relentless pace of life. Aside from a myriad of research that posits that handwriting boosts memory and makes you smarter, a bullet journal can be a creative outlet and a powerful form of self-care. Bullet journaling is a self-curated system that has room for your weekly planning as well as your workout schedule. Here’s how to get started with your own bullet journal:
The official Bullet Journal site sells a dot grid journal in two colors, but you can easily create your own bullet journal using any type of notebook that appeals to you. When looking for pens, you want to find ink that does not bleed to the back of the page. On the more affordable end, Sharpie Fine pens or classic PaperMate Flairs work great. If you find that you love using the bullet journal, you might experiment with pricier pens like Pigma Microns or the colorful Tombow brush pens. Using washi tape, Post-Its, stickers and watercolors can make your bullet journals beautiful as well as useful.
Create an index
Go ahead and leave a few pages blank at the beginning of your notebook. Each entry in your bullet journal can be catalogued in the index for easy referencing.
Create a key
Creating a key for your journal will help you track progress. You can make long-term and short-term to-do lists, and use a variety of symbols to track the status of your projects. To start, consider adopting a simple key like this one:
As you use your journal more, you might consider a more elaborate way of tracking your tasks. Here is a great example of the power of color-coding your key:
Use it as a weekly planner
This colorful layout mixes self-care with professional needs. Here, the week’s highs alongside reminders to drink water, are tracked.
This layout is pretty, simple and easy to reproduce.
Teachers can use it for lesson planning
This third-grade teacher planned her measurement unit using a Greek theme.
This user keeps herself on track with planning her grading incrementally.
Use it as a to-do list
Consider using your bullet journal to keep a list of quick tasks to fill just 15 minutes––the only free time you might actually get in a principal’s day.
Who wouldn’t want to cross off items on this gorgeous to-do list?
Use it to track activity
You can use your bullet journal to track habits.
Use a tracker to log your professional development and your collaborations.
I love how this user tracks her mood––this could be helpful in figuring out how to maintain composure throughout the year.
Use it to boost your gratitude practice
The rainbow design of this spread makes me happy just looking at it.
This gratitude list is as beautiful as it is inspiring.
Use it to reflect and solve problems
You might find that you can use your journal to observe teacher and classroom behaviors. Then, reflect on ways to solve management issues.
Use it to doodle
We all know that doodling releases stress and can help increase your cognitive function. Why not intentionally dedicate some pages to this important practice?