What is it and how can it help you?

¿You know the Bullet Journal? It is a system that will allow you to organize and plan your day to day in an easy, comfortable and totally personalized way. All you’ll need is a blank notebook, a pen and lots of plans or ideas.

In this article we will learn how the Bullet Journal originated, what it is, how it is structured, how it works, and how it can help us clear the mind and attend only to what is really important.

Bullet Journal: What is it and what is it for?

The Bullet Journal, also known as the BuJo methodis a system of day-to-day organization and planning. To use a Bullet Journal correctly you need some consistency and organization. But what does it consist of? This is a blank notebook that fulfils two main functions: the agenda and the diary.

The Bullet Journal would allow you to organize and plan various aspects of your lifefrom events, meetings, errands, etc., to thoughts, ideas, etc. That is to say, it is a tool that goes beyond mere planning, and that will help you define your aspirations, plan your future and fulfill your goals.

Throughout this article we will learn how this planning method works. Such a method can help us to have a clearer and calmer mind, to attend to the things that really matter to us, and to relegate to a secondary plane the interferences or distractions that only cause us discomfort.

In other words, the Bullet Journal will help us to organize ourselves on the outside to organize ourselves on the inside, while at the same time increase our serenity. This is achieved through good time management and good planning of the present.

Characteristics of this booklet

The Bullet Journal, as we said, is a blank notebook; that is to say, it is designed so that you can design it yourself and build it to your measure.

This means that it is designed so that you can organize the hours, days and weeks yourself, according to your needs, preferences, expectations, wishes, etc. This is the main feature that differentiates the Bullet Journal from an agenda.

What is the origin of the Bullet Journal?

It was designer Ryder Carroll who created the Bullet Journal. Carroll was said to have attention deficit disorder. (ADHD), and that because of it, he felt that his world was so “chaotic” that he decided to put a little order in his daily life, through this system. So Carroll first showed his idea to his closest friends, and later his method became viral on social networks. Nowadays the Bullet Journal is one of the fashion trends to plan your daily life.

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One of the objectives of the Bullet Journal, which Ryder Carroll considered, was that this system allowed the person using it to clear his mind. and focus on what’s really important to her. This attention to what is important would help the person not to be distracted by banal or unimportant things.

How to use a Bullet journal


As we have seen, the creator of the Bullet Journal method was Ryder Carroll, who opted for the following Bullet structure:

  • Table of Contents
  • Recording of events and pending tasks
  • Monthly registration
  • Daily Record
  • Lists, collections and “free” themes that you can add as you go along

Similarities with a diary

Another function of the Bullet Journal is that also serves as a diary. This means that, in addition to being able to add to it your pending tasks, meetings, events, etc., you can also write down everything that comes into your head; thoughts, ideas, dreams, etc.

On the other hand, you can use the Bullet Journal to write down things that have happened to you, things that inspire you, as well as to draw, create, etc.

How does it work?

How does the Bullet Journal work? Basically it is a fairly free system; in it you can write “whatever you want”from thoughts to activities, events, etc. Once you’ve written everything down, you’ll have to categorize each element (adding a symbol to them, which we’ll now see), which will help you locate them and organize yourself.

The legend of symbols proposed by its creator, Ryder Carroll, would be as follows:

  • Symbol of a point: for tasks.
  • Circle symbol: for activities.
  • Symbol of a hyphen: for notes.

On the other hand, once you finish each task, activity, event, etc., you must add an X next door. To emphasize certain notes or give them an urgency character, add an asterisk.

We must emphasize that these notes/recommendations are orientative and proposed by Carroll, the creator of the Bullet Journal, but that they can always be chosen, eliminated, added, etc., according to the taste of each one, since “there is nothing right or wrong” (nothing “stipulated”).

You can add whatever you want: colors, shapes, drawings, etc. The important thing is that the Bullet Journal acquires a personal and unique sense for each person. Another important aspect is that the person understands his notes and can do it with the naked eye, without having to think too much.

Useful tips on how it works

On the other hand, it is recommends numbering the pages of the Bullet JournalIn addition to creating an index at the beginning of it, this index will allow you to get an idea of the general scheme of its contents (and also, at a glance). This index, in turn, is a simple and useful form of organization.

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How do I get started?

Now that we have seen, in summary, what a Bullet Journal is and how it works, we are going to put some ideas into practice to start using it.

First of all, logically we will need a white notebook, plus a pen. As for the material, this already goes in function of tastes, but you can also use markers of colors, stickers, post its, etc.

Now we can begin to aim, write down, register, color… our notebook. It is important that we try to be ordered in our notes; we can write what we want and when we want, but if it has a certain meaning and a certain order, better for our mental organization (and practice).


Let us remember that the Bullet Journal is fully customizableThis means that its structure depends on you (although Ryder Carroll has proposed some basic ideas). Some tips regarding its structure are that you can record by days, weeks and months.

Ideally, you should start with the current month and gradually fill in the Bullet. Thus, you can opt for daily, weekly, monthly records… It is important that the information is understood at a glance, that it is visual.

What do I write down?

What topics to record in the Bullet Journal? As many as you want. The topics can be many and varied, depending on your life and your needs.You can develop lists of things to do, shopping lists, a list of expenses, as well as savings, thoughts, purposes, plans, dates of birthdays and celebrations, etc.

Lists can also be of favorite songs, movies, and/or books, for example. A good idea is to put a title to your ideasubject, phrase or list, above all. Once you have the title, you can start writing and organizing. Don’t forget to add the mentioned symbols (or some invented by you).

Once you have written down the topic in question, it is recommended that you go to the index (also created by you) and write down what you have just developed or written down, so that you don’t forget that it is “there” and so that you can consult it when you need it.

Bibliographical references:

  • Carroll, R. (2018). The Bullet Journal method. Editorial Planeta.

  • Rubio, J. (2016). Bullet journal: the organizational method for which you only need paper and pen. El País: Verne. Guides.