What Is Bullet Journaling and How Can It Help Me?

I have a seemingly endless number of things I need to keep track of – meet with teachers, tae kwon do for Kate, Scouts for Will, vet for dog, travel for husband, summer camps, vacation, sales tax, meetings, groceries, ad infinitum. How do I keep it all together? I don’t. That is why when I heard about Bullet Journaling, the new craze that’s sweeping the stationery world, I had to investigate.


What is bullet journaling?

It’s a completely customized-by-you-for-your-needs planner/journal. A bullet journal is structured enough to give you direction and keep you on task, but it also allows for keeping a record of whatever you want. For example, you may want to record a food or exercise log, or create a seasonal shopping list for new fashions, or perhaps a personal goals page so you don’t forget them, or even throw in the occasional page with an affirmation that keeps you on track to reach your goals. Essentially, it’s one place where you can keep all the information you need to run your daily life for the year.

What do you need to start? A pen or pencil and a notebook. The best notebook to use is a dot grid notebook because it helps you to create straight lines for laying out your grids. At Penny Post, we have dot grid notebooks from Rhodia, Leuchtturm, and Appointed. And, of course, all kinds of pens!


How do you do it?

It’s really very easy. There are five main ingredients to bullet journaling – Index, Key, Future Log, Monthly Log, and Daily Page.



The Index page is the most important and what I think sets it apart from a standard issue planner. Page one is where you put the Index page as it serves as the de facto table of contents for what is to come. It’s where you will reference and find all the pages to come. You should allot three pages for the Index so you have plenty of room. To truly make this work for you it is imperative that you number every page and mark them in the Index so you can find what you need without flipping aimlessly through your notebook.



The Key is how you track all your task-oriented information. I like it because it differentiates an appointment from a task, yet they can live in the same list of things to do. It also allows you to easily mark something that needs to be moved to another date and then move it later. Here is what it looks like…



Just like a planner, the Future Log is the place you put all your scheduled events for the year. This is where you can put things like your mother’s birthday, vacation plans, federal holidays, concerts, and conferences. This is the place you will add to and reference all year long as you make your monthly plans.



The Monthly Log is where you distill your Future Log down to something more manageable. Simply write the number of days of the month and the first letter of the corresponding day of the week and then put your events next to the appropriate date. On the page facing the Monthly Log, divide the page into three sections, one for tracking monthly tasks, goals, and any important notes.



Finally, the Daily Page is where you write down all your events, tasks, appointments, etc. This is where you will largely use the key to track your schedule. If there is something that you cancelled or decided not to do then mark it through. If there is something that you didn’t do, but want to do later mark it as migrated and then put it on the date that you want to do it.


This is an abridged version of Bullet Journaling. On May 16th have a bullet journaling workshop with Tashira Halyard of Politics and Fashion to learn more. While this workshop is sold out, we will plan another one if there is interest. Please comment below if you’d like to take the workshop soon. Until then, explore #bulletjournaljunkies on Instagram for more details and inspiration. Happy journaling!!


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Owner Amy Rutherford started Red Barn because she wanted to deliver a service — to provide both old and new in one place. No longer will busy shoppers be limited to reproductions or forced to shop multiple flea markets for the look or gifts they want. The trick in blending old and new, vintage and modern, classic and quirky, is balance. And Amy’s knack for mixing rustic antiques with urban chic has created a look that is both fresh and familiar.

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  1. Avatar Jeanne Behr says:

    I would definitely be interested in a workshop

  2. Avatar Lisa Chimento says:

    Would be interested in a future bullet journaling workshop. Thanks

  3. Avatar Karen Barbuschak says:

    I would definitely be interested sooner rather than later for a workshop. Was planning to attend this one on the 16th but then I was leaving town for London.

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