List lovers, this one is for you! Turn a notebook into the keeper of your calendar, thoughts, to do list, and anything else you can dream up. The bullet journal makes capturing and organizing ideas really fast with a practice called "rapid logging." It's designed to help you focus on things that are worth your time.

All you need is a blank journal and pen or pencil. The original Bullet Journal tutorial can be found here, but you can always adapt the concepts however you want. Take standard symbols used in a bullet journal and tweak them to fit your needs:

*    task
/    in progress
X   done
<   scheduled
-    note
O   event
>   migrated

For example: Start on a new page for this week's tasks. When you have a new task, write it in the list with a dot in front of it. If you've started working on it already, change the dot to a slash (/). When it's done, make it an X. If you don't get around to a task during the week, you can migrate it to the next week's page - or not, if you decide that task is no longer important.

You can also use pages in your journal for things like:

  • Project plans
  • Reading or movie lists
  • Gift ideas
  • Weekly menus
  • Meeting notes
  • Shopping lists
  • Tracking exercise habits
  • Listing things you're thankful for

Keep the first page of the journal as an ongoing Table of Contents. That way, you don't have to worry about leaving enough blank pages to keep all related thoughts in one section. If you need to start a second page for a certain project, just use the next available page in your notebook. In the Table of Contents next to that item, add a comma and the new page number next to the original.

Some people use the bullet journal in a purely functional way, while others have a carefully crafted style. The Art of Simple has a great example of how a full-time blogger and mother of three uses her bullet journal. You can also check out inspiring examples on Instagram and Pinterest, and see what works best for you.


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  • Michelle Chang