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Alkek Maker Day: January 23: Bullet Journaling

A guide to document our library Maker Days and provide related resources.

January 23: Bullet Journaling

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What is a Bullet Journal?

A bullet journal (bujo for short) is an all-in-one planner system that you get to design yourself! It can be as simple and minimalist or as elaborate and decorative as you want it to be, and it's flexible enough for you to change your mind on a weekly basis. 

The Bullet Journal Method was designed by Ryder Carroll. Read more about him and the system on his website:

There are so many customizable options for bullet journaling, you get to choose your style and what to include! See more examples:


All you need to get started is a notebook! Many bullet journalers prefer an A5 dot grid journal (popular brands include Leuchtturm1917 and Moleskine) because it allows them more freedom to lay out their spreads, but any notebook you like will work.

As door prizes for the workshop, we bought these journals: They have extra-thick pages, so there's less bleed-through!

If you prefer a more decorative journal, you may want to build your collection of pens, washi tape, and stickers. 

We used these fineliners at the workshop:


Although you can adapt the Bullet Journal method however you like, there should be some common sections in your notebook:

  • Index - this table of contents page will help you find Collections and other spreads you will need to refer back to. Number your pages!
  • Daily Log - this list of tasks, events, and ideas is the heart of the Bullet Journal. 
  • Future Log - tasks that you are not currently working on are listed here until you're ready to schedule them. These lists may be weekly or monthly spreads or may be undated.
  • Collections - although the content will vary for each person, these pages will collect information that you want to add to or use regularly.

Your Daily Log is where you will keep track of the tasks, events, important thoughts, and other things that make up your daily life. The Bullet Journal Rapid Logging method allows you to jot all of these pieces of information down in a single list.

At the start of your day, review your Future Log, weekly/monthly spreads, and previous day's notes to see which tasks should be added to the day's to-do list and which events will take place. Keep the list to a realistic, manageable length--you can always add more later if you have an efficient day. 

Throughout the day, add new tasks that arise, make a note of any ideas or thoughts that you want to explore later, and mark out what you have completed. Think of your daily log as both a way to capture all your great ideas before you forget anything and a journal describing how you spent your time. 

At the end of the day, take a look at the tasks and ideas that are still outstanding and decide what to do next. Some actions you might take include:

  1. Move an urgent, incomplete task to the next day.
  2. Move a non-urgent, incomplete task to your Future Log (or weekly/monthly spreads).
  3. Create a Collection to expand upon an idea.

Read more about Rapid Logging and the key of Bullet Journal symbols at Ryder Carroll's website:

Hashtags to follow:

Your Future Log is a list of tasks that are important to remember but are not urgent. These tasks may be things that you would like to do sometime in the future, but some may have a date attached. A weekly or monthly spread would be helpful to organize those tasks with a firm deadline.

Hashtags to follow:

A Collection is any grouping of information that exists outside of your regular Daily and Future Logs. Collections are a great way to expand upon ideas or tasks that come up as you go about your day or to keep a record of information that would be useful to have readily available. 

You can create Collections at the beginning of the year, or you might add them as the need arises. They are intended to mix in with your Daily Logs (which emphasizes the need for page numbering and an index), but you can choose to devote a section of your notebook to Collections instead.

Possible Collections include:

  • A list of friends' and family members' birthdays.
  • A list of movies you want to watch or books you want to read.
  • A packing list for a trip.
  • Planning for a project or paper.
  • Study notes.
  • Cleaning schedule.

Hashtags to follow:

Trackers are a popular type of Collection that allow you to keep track of various details and data about your life. You may want to track:

  • Mood
  • Water intake
  • Habits
  • Spending
  • Sleep

Hashtags to follow:

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