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The bullet journal method was introduced by Ryder Carroll. He describes it as an analog system used to track the past, organise the present and plan for the future.
You can use the bullet journal method to plan and organise your yearly, monthly and daily tasks in bullet form. As much as it is a productivity system, it's also a mindfulness practice.
You're encouraged to reflect every morning and evening in ways that help you to prioritise what's important to YOU. You can produce "collections" which are essentially lists (often called "spreads") that you write after reflecting on topics and questions that mean something to you.
More information about the method can be found on bulletjournal.com.
I also recommend Ryder Carroll's book The Bullet Journal Method. It's a beautiful book for so many reasons, and it describes everything you need to know about the process:
The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
Keeping a bullet journal has helped me become mindful about how I spend my time and energy. I'm always clear on what I want to be working on because I have spent time reflecting and making lists to reconnect with myself. As a result I can accomplish so much more without feeling like I'm working on a million things at once.
You only need a notebook and a pen.
Many people also enjoy being creative in their bullet journals. It's an amazing way to unwind and tap into your creative self. I personally find it therapeutic doodling, colouring and practicing my handwriting in my bullet journal. If i'm short on time, I stick to the basics without worrying about designs. But most of the time I feel like i'm taking the time to live well, if I'm making the time to be creative in my bullet journal. Enjoying the moment and not worrying about my endless to-do's. Yes we need to be effective at managing our time and be productive... but we also deserve to have a little fun :-)
Once you have your notebook and you've gotten over the fear of writing on your first page, you get started by writing up a key to highlight the symbols that you will use for tasks, events and notes. The bullet journal website has a key that you can use. I then set up some annual collections/spreads at the beginning of my journal, including:
This is an overview of the year, where you track any events and tasks by month.
Here I write up my goals for the year. I personally like to divide them up by category.
I have an annual mood tracker that I use to track my moods. Many bullet jorunallers do this monthly, I like to have an annual overview.
I track my wellness activities (e.g. running, cycling, yoga) in an annual tracker because I like to have an overview of the year.
I set up a space to write in any highlights or moments that I want to remember every month.
Some other ideas are:
Ideal habits list
Check out my Inspiration gallery page for more ideas.
I like to have a monthly cover page to have some separation from the previous month. I then set up a monthly log. Here I write in any events for the month. Some will be in my future log and others in a a digital calendar I share with my husband. I also write up intentions for the month and a brain dump of tasks here too.
I set up a gratitiude log for the month, to write up something I'm grateful for every day.
I also have a simple things list where I write up a few simple things that I can do that month. It's usually related to the month or the season and encourages me to be present and appreciate the smaller moments.
I then have weekly logs. Here I draw up the days of the week, roughly estimating how much space I need for my daily to-do lists. I often like to capture intentions and tasks for the week here too. I don't have a fixed layout, I design it week by week based on my needs.
When getting started (and even now) I find it helpful to watch other bullet journallers set up for the month in "plan with me" videos on Youtube. I share my own monthly set-up's over on my channel: ReflectwithRaksha.
This is entirely up to you! I personally like using dot grid notebooks (for drawing straight lines easily) with pure white pages. I also enjoy thicker paper (160gsm) so I can use different types of pens.
My first bullet journal was a Leuchtturm 1917, which was great for getting started. I just found the pages a bit too thin for some of the pens I later wanted to use.
If you're a stationary lover like most of us, and you'd like a dot-grid pure white journal with thick paper, I'd highly recommend these notebooks:
Maisie Lane (use this link or code RAKSHA15 for 15% off)
Archer & Olive (use this link for 15% off)
Scribble and Dot
The Ink Pot
Baron Fig Confidant Notebook (thinner pages if you prefer this)
Again this is entirely up to you. A lot of bullet journallers (including me) like using fineliners for doodles and writing. I use the Sakura Pigma Micron Fineliners. They are great quality pens and come in a pack of diferent sizes. I use all of the sizes from 005 to 08
For colouring I use Tombow Brush Pens. They are perfect for brush lettering too and never bleed throug pages (not even in the Leuchtturm). I started with this small pastel set. Although I ended up buying so many individual Tombow pens, I wish I just went for the full set.
Archer and Olive have great paint pens, I've done a full review on my YouTube Channel.
Finally you might want a good white gel pen. These are useful for writing ontop of black paper or black markers OR for covering up mistakes.
I recommend the Uni-ball Signo or Sakura Gelly Roll in a size 10.
If you want to practice calligraphy the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens are great for smaller brush lettering. It's worth playing with the soft tip and hard tip to decide which one you prefer.
I use Final Cut Pro X on an Apple Macbook Pro.
I use a Fujifilm XT4 with the included 16-80mm F4 Kit Lens and I love it. I record my videos in 4K and it has a long recording time for 4K videos (29 mins). It has a flip-out screen so I can see what I'm doing and a great battery life. It usually lasts a whole plan with me video which can often be a few hours. It also has stabilisation features that helps me film smooth handheld b-roll footage.
I use a Manfrotto Tripod and boom arm with my camera mounted to a light weight Manfrotto Ballhead to film overhead shots of my desk. I use a 256GB SD card (becasue 4K footage is huge!).
I have a subscription with Epidemic Sound, it's worth every penny. There is a great selection of music for every type of mood. All of the music I have come across on Epidemic Sound has been beautiful and I enjoy spending time listening to different artists and tracks to pick out suitable ones for my videos.
I use Adobe Lightroom Creative Cloud.