The Key To Organization: Bullet Journaling

There’s no doubt about it, we’re living in a digital age. There is a device, an app, a program for everything. They’re all designed to make life easier. Why is it then, that more and more people are discovering we had it right all along – and returning to the notebook and pen?

Ryder Carroll is a digital product designer and creator of the Bullet Journal. He designed this system of journaling as a way to organize and inspire your life. Any notebook with any page style will work. A notebook with a dotted page style is recommended because it provides the structure you want, while still being flexible enough for your creativity.

There are many adaptations of Bullet Journaling out there, which is one of the reasons the system is so great. It can be applied directly to whatever your needs are in life; whether that is organizing your daily schedule, keeping on task at work, or documenting your hobbies.

With so much information out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed! Here is a guide to the basics of Bullet Journaling to help you get started.


Rapid Logging

This is the basic process you start with where you quickly jot down the tasks you need to accomplish using page numbers, titles and bullet icons.


Bullet Icons

The Bullet Icons become the fundamental signifiers for the setting up of tasks and indicating their status.

• = Task

A Task is whatever needs scheduling. 
For example: "Get Victoria's hummus recipe" or "Find yoga classes”

X = Completed Task

A Completed Task is a Task that has been done.
For example: "Schedule Doctors Appointment" or "Call Mom"

> = Migrated Task

A Migrated Task is a Task that was not completed and is important enough that it needs to be moved to the following week or month.
For example: "Make dinner reservations" or "Get tax documents to accountant"

< = Scheduled Task

A Scheduled Task is a Task that you have made for a solidified time and will be moved and written down on its specific day.
For example: "Make Dentist Appointment" or "Schedule Meeting with Jessica"

O = Event

An Event is a Task that has special significance.
For example: "Sean's Graduation" or "Rolling Stones Concert"

– = Note

A Note can be a quote, a thought or anything you care to write down from that day.
For example: "What if there was an NFL themed Ice Capades show?!?"



The Modules are where the notes are organized once you’ve finished Rapid Logging them and they are:  


Your index is an inventory of Tasks and the page numbers they can be found on. Your Index allows you to quickly find your Monthly Logs, collections or Tasks of particular importance.
For example: "June: 3" or "Work/Design: 7"


Future Log

The Future Log is a place to write down items which need to be scheduled months in advance throughout the entire year.


Monthly Log & Task Page

The Monthly Log is an overview of the entire month with dates and days of the week next to each other.

Opposite from the Monthly Log is your Task Page which consists of tasks that you would like to take care during that month.


Daily Log

The Daily Log is a view of the week with the Tasks that need to be completed on each day.



Migration is the process of moving tasks, only the most relevant, to the next week or month. At the end of each week or month, whichever you prefer, find the Tasks not marked with an "X". Determine if these Tasks that were not completed are:

• Task becomes irrelevant: strike it out

• Task still needs attention: Migrate = >

• Task that has been scheduled: Scheduled Migration = <


This is what your Daily Log will look like at after reviewing tasks. Events have been marked with appropriate migration indicators. 


Then add:

Migrated Tasks to Task Page of Monthly Log 

Scheduled Tasks to Calendar Page of Monthly Log 


Keep in mind if the Task isn't worth rewriting, it's probably not important.


For more about Bullet Journaling check out some of these helpful and fun resources:

Bullet Journal: By Ryder Carol

Beginner's Guide to Bullet Journaling | How to Start a Bullet Journal: By Carrie Crista

Bullet Journal - Daily Planning: By Boho Berry

Bullet Journal 101: By Mariana


Lo Petell


Lo Petell

My first Bullet Journal was in a Harborview from Jenni Bick, kind of small (5×7), but perfect to try out different layouts and styles. Now I’m in a dot grid Leuchtturm and loving it.

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