Bullet Journal update

I wrote about adopting the bullet journal approach to capturing information in a previous post. I’ve now been using my bullet journal for over a month and it seems like a good time for an update.

I am finding it way more fun and productive than I expected I would. Also, my skepticism about keeping my bullet journal in a paper notebook has gone away. The notebook is working just fine. Of course, I use the notebook in conjunction with computer and iOS apps, which I’ll write more about in another post. In the meantime, I wanted to share a few ways in which my notebook may deviate from others.

The left page and right page on each spread in my bullet journal serve different purposes.
The left page and right page on each spread in my bullet journal serve different purposes.

I split the spreads in my notebook. The right page is for rapid logging (the main bullet journal technique). Here I add the date, then log items per the bullet journal method. The only small adjustment I make is to use a back slash to indicate notes that I have pushed into my computer/iPad flow. I may make a note as to which app the information is in, so that I know where to look in the future.

The left page I initially leave blank. Then I use it to annotate my bullet items when more information is called for. If I don’t need to add further information, I can use a blank left page (or even a blank space on a partially filled left page) for creating undated lists, or adding any information that suits my fancy. For instance, the first left-hand page in my notebook is where I started my project list. After that is filled up (and it almost is), I’ll skip ahead to the next blank left hand page, forwarding the uncompleted projects to the new page. I’ll mark this page for quick reference with a removable tab.

I’m keeping my index in the back of the notebook, marked with another removable tab. I’ve decided not to use my bullet journal as a calendar, as I have a wonderful iOS application for that.

I’ve rounded out my notebook with a Quiver pen holder in which I keep a black- and red-ink Pilot Precise V5 extra fine pens, though I have yet to use the red pen. So far, this system is working quite nicely.

In a future post I will be describing how I add computer and iPad apps to the work flow.

Happy New Year!

Update: I’ve written about how I am using Tinderbox as my digital bullet journal.

12 thoughts on “Bullet Journal update

  1. Thanks for this post, Steve. I was having the same experience – I already have a great calendar app and I prefer the idea of a digital syncable calendar anyway, but I do make notes on paper and wanted to find a way to organize those. Think I’ll use your edits.

  2. Hi, Stacy-Ann. Thanks for reading my blog. I’m glad that my experience may be of some benefit to you. Having that blank left page really helps me, because I’m not afraid to commit to the notes on the right, knowing I can always come back and add any details that may occur to me later.

  3. Steve, thanks for the info in your blog. I just learned about Bullet Journal today for the first time today. I’m very interested in using this but still learning how it works. Hopefully yu can address some open questions for me. Thanks in advance. Benny

    1. Thank you for reading my article, Ben. I hope it helps. The more I use my bullet journal, the more I enjoy it.

  4. Steve are you left handed? It seems very awkward to me to use this setup up with the notes on the left side and it seems more natural to have it on the right. Was there a particular rhyme or reason for the right vs left setup?

    1. I am right handed. That’s one reason I like the set up, as I don’t like writing on a left hand page as much as on the right. Thank you for reading my blog!

      1. Thanks for responding Steve. I love this hack BTW and will be using it in my implementation of Bullet Journal. After your comment, I noticed that I too tend to write on the right side of notebook pages. For some reason it didn’t feel natural when visualizing it. (go figure). I am curious though.. what iOS calendar are you using? I haven’t been happy with the few I’ve tried so far.

      2. Hi, Jessica, I have experimented with several iOS calendars. The one I use most is Pocket Informant. It is a little overkill, as it has a ton of features, including notes, contacts and task management, but I like the way it works. Which app are you using?

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