Do you ever find yourself stressing over organizational things like squeezing ‘time for friends’ in your busy schedule or keeping track of your daily tasks? Well, it’s probably high time you said goodbye to Google Calendar and got a nice new journal where you can literally plan your life for months ahead! If I just sparked interest in you, read on as I guide you through the 8 bullet journal ideas that will change your life.
But first, if you’ll be getting into bullet journaling … you’ll need a journal. For complete newbies, I’d recommend getting a generic version. It’ll give you a pretty good idea of what you’re diving into, and if you absolutely hate it, you won’t have spent an arm and a leg on it.
However, if you already own a beautiful bujo and need some fresh ideas for how to utilize it to the max, here they come:
Productivity Bullet Journal Ideas
Probably the number-one reason most people start bullet journaling is that it helps with productivity. That’s especially important if your days are packed with errands and it’s hard for you to keep track of everything.
1. To-Do Lists
If you find it difficult to organize your tasks, you can make simple, yet effective to-do lists. They help you set priorities and focus on what’s important instead of wasting your time wondering what to do first.
If you’re a beginner, it’s a good idea to start by planning your days one by one. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed. Write down what you need to do the following day and cross out the tasks you’ve completed.
You can also color-code your to-do lists and divide them by importance. That is a great method to use if you have a ton of errands to run. For example, you can indicate a task is urgent by placing a red dot next to it. A blue dot could mean the errand is of lesser importance, and so on. Feel free to experiment until you’ve found what works best for you.
Also, never put pressure on yourself if you can’t manage to perform everything on your list in a day. If that happens, simply move what’s left for the next one and don’t stress over it.
Once you get used to pre-planning your next day, you can move on to making to-do lists for a week ahead. They work the same way — you assign yourself tasks for each day of the week, prioritize them, and voilà — no more messy schedules and stress!
2. Project Trackers
Do you get multiple weekly or monthly projects that consist of various tasks and need careful prosecution? If yes, then you probably find it challenging to monitor their progress.
Well, not if you create project trackers. With them, you easily and effectively keep everything in check. Thousands of busy professionals have benefited from using project trackers, hence their second place on my list of bullet journal ideas.
I suggest dedicating a page of your journal for each project and planning every step that needs to be taken. Thus, you create a clear outline that you just have to follow.
How to Create a Simple Project Tracker?
• Title — write the title of your project at the top of the page.
• Description — add a brief description of your project. It should contain all the essential information you must consider.
• Date column — divide the page into three columns, the first of which is dedicated to writing all the dates up to your deadline.
• To-do column — that’s the second column, where you should write what needs to be done each day of the week.
• Progress column — this is the third and last column, where you’d write ‘Done’ when you’ve performed everything you’ve assigned yourself for the day.
You can see that the project tracker I’ve outlined is quite basic. However, it’s a good foundation, on which you can build.
For example, you can add more columns, color-code everything, add a box for notes or ideas, etc.
Another option would be to go the opposite route and simplify things even more. If you choose to do that, you can use the following outline: title, deadline, and progress. That way, you can fit multiple projects on one page.
3. Exam Preparation
This one’s for the students. No matter if you’re still at high school or university, you have midterms and finals to prepare for. And we all know how stressful exam season can get.
That’s why I chose to include ‘exam preparation’ in my list of bullet journal ideas. Making a plan of what you need to revise for is just one of those steps that makes your life so much easier and ensures you don’t miss anything important. So without further ado, here’s how to make an exam preparation section in your bullet journal:
Step 1: Make an Exam Schedule
Exam schedules are essential, especially if you have multiple exams to sit in a single month. Dedicate a page of your journal where you’ll write the subject, topic, date, and time of each of your upcoming exams.
Here’s an example:
a. History — World War II — 02.09.2020 — 9 A.M.
b. Biology — Human Evolution — 09.09.2020 — 9:30 A.M
c. Math — Geometry — 15.09.2020 — 9 A.M.
Once you have your full exam schedule, you’ll be able to quickly check what’s to come and prioritize your studies depending on the date of your exams.
Step 2: Make a Study Planner
Let’s say you’re having an important History midterm next month. To make the most of your time, you can create a to-do list of the units you’ll need to revise. Planning your revision well ahead will ensure you have enough time to prepare efficiently.
A pro tip is to divide your study planner into two columns. Write down your course syllabus/units in the first column and leave the second one blank for notes on your progress. When you’ve finished with a particular unit, mark it as revised and move on to the next one.
That is the easiest way to make an exam preparation section in your journal. Again, feel free to customize yours, color-code your subjects, etc. The point is for it to be unique and functional, so design it the way you like.
Now that I’ve shared some of my favorite bullet journal ideas for productivity, let’s move on to a few suggestions for the people who are on a health journey.
Health-Inspired Bullet Journal Ideas
Nowadays, more and more people are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For that reason, they are slowly incorporating new routines in their everyday life that can help them become the best version of themselves.
However, it’s not always possible to keep track of everything you do, especially if you are a busy individual. That is why I have compiled a few health-inspired bullet journal ideas that will help you stay focused on your progress:
1. Water Intake Tracker
Everyone is aware of the importance of drinking plenty of fluids daily. However, sometimes we get so busy that remembering to have a glass of water is the last thing on the agenda.
To make things easier, you can create a water intake tracker in your bullet journal. On a blank page, write ‘Water Tracker’ and set a goal for how much water you’d like to drink every day. Then, write the days of the current month vertically and mark each glass you drink with a blue dot.
Of course, if you’re more creative, you can draw a little drop of water or a tiny glass to indicate your water intake. The point is to have a clear overview of the amount of water you drink daily.
2. Workout Tracker
If you like to work out in your free time, a workout tracker in your journal will help you stay motivated and focused on your goal. Similarly to the water tracker, write the days of the current month vertically on the page. Then, mark each day when you’ve exercised.
If you have a special workout routine where, say, you train legs on Monday, stomach on Wednesday, and upper body on Friday, you can color-code those exercises and easily keep track of them too. The possibilities are endless!
3. Food Diary
Many people are on various diets either to lose weight or because of health problems. Regardless, monitoring what you eat is essential if you want to see results. Again, write the days of the month in a column and mark what food you consume on each day.
If you’re on a special diet, it’s a good idea to color-code your meals. That way, you’ll easily keep everything in check.
4. Sport Diary
If you’re a fan of multiple sports and would like to keep track of your training sessions, you can make a chart, which you’ll fill with a certain color for each sport you’ve practiced on a particular day.
Let’s say you like swimming, yoga, and dancing. In that case, you should make a little chart with three columns — one for each of the aforementioned. Then, color-code them (e.g., blue for swimming, pink for yoga, and orange for dancing). After that, write the days of the month on the left side of the chart and start filling it. It’s that simple!
And on a side note, it’s proven that having a visual representation of your progress helps you stay motivated. Thus, you’re less likely to skip a day, as it’ll leave a blank spot in your pristine chart!
Those are only a few suggestions you can draw inspiration from and alter to your liking. And now, let’s get to my favorite use of a bullet journal — to plan vacations!
Travel Bullet Journal Ideas
Who doesn’t like vacations? They are so much fun — you get some time to unwind, visit new places, and forget about the worries of your everyday life. Well, that’s only possible if you don’t stress about their organization.
Fortunately, your bullet journal is here to save the day! You can plan ahead your whole trip in it. That includes everything from monitoring your flight and hotel information to making sure you’ve taken all the fancy outfits you’d like to take pictures in for Instagram.
It may sound like a lot, but if you start a good month in advance, you’ll be done in no time and ready to enjoy your holiday to the max.
Begin by creating a section you can call ‘Important Information.’ That should be the first part of your vacation planner because there you’ll write things like your flight information, hotel address, local emergency numbers — anything that’s vital for your trip.
It’s a good idea to leave about a page for that part, as you never know what could come up. Then, divide the second page of your planner into two columns.
You can fill the first column with a list of interesting places to visit along with their locations. Thus, you’ll be prepared and won’t waste time searching where to go sightseeing.
The second column will be dedicated to ‘non-essentials.’ That would be, e.g., a list of outfits you’d like to bring along, books you may want to read while on your trip, etc.
Once again, I recommend color-coding everything. The idea is to have all the essential information along with things you may forget written in one, easy-to-access place. Thus, if you forget the address of your hotel, for example, you can pop your bullet journal out of your bag and quickly check.
My last tip is to not overdo it! I know how tempting it can be to write an extensive plan of everything you want to do on your trip. However, that can easily backfire on you. Vacations are great mainly because you can be spontaneous and adventurous. Therefore, only plan the necessary things, and don’t forget to have fun!
To Sum Up
There is an infinite number of things you can do with your bullet journal. From making sure you stay productive to planning your next great trip in it — the possibilities are endless. I hope the bullet journal ideas you found in this article were helpful and inspired you to get creative and make the most of your journal.