Bullet journal flip through – My basic setup for managing tasks & goals

Bullet journal flip through – My basic setup for managing tasks & goals


– Hi everyone, welcome back to my channel. If you’re new around
here my name is Charli and I’m a designer. Today though, we’re not talking
about design specifically we’re talking about bullet
journaling and organization. Now, if you haven’t heard
of it before I’m probably not the best person to explain
bullet journaling to you but there is a really
awesome video that I watched when I first heard about
it and was curious about what this whole thing was. And, this video is made
by the guy who created bullet journaling, the system itself. So, you should definitely watch that. I’ll link it down below. That’ll be a great
introduction to what it is. But, at a basic level I
guess I would describe it as an analog way of
structuring your notebook and your tasks and you to do lists. You can also use it for much
more than that, of course, it can be like a sketch
book, or more like a diary, like a traditional journal. But, what I personally use it mostly for is task management and
keeping track of my projects and my goals and my daily to do lists. I was actually quite surprised to discover how much I have gotten
into bullet journaling and how effective it’s been
for me because before this I was definitely a heavy
user of apps for to do lists and task management. But yes, in switching
to this analog system I’ve pretty much stopped
using apps for organizing my day and my projects apart from at work, we still do, ’cause you
gotta share it with the team so it makes more sense. But, for my personal stuff
and my daily to do lists I’ve just been using the bullet journal. I think I’ll explain more
about the different parts that go into making a bullet journal when I’m flipping through mine,
but all you need for now to start with is that
it’s a way of writing in a notebook and organizing a notebook to help you get stuff done and helping you stay on track of your
tasks, at least that’s what it is for me. I guess we’ll start
with the journal itself. This is what I use. It is the Leuchtturm, I think is how you pronounce it, bullet journal. Leuchtturm collaborated
with the guy who created the bullet journal system
to make this notebook that is especially set
up for bullet journaling. You can use whatever notebook you like. You don’t have to use this one. It is kind of expensive for
a notebook, but I wanted to get it because I figured
I could use a little bit of extra help when I was
first getting started with it. So, it’s got Bullet Journal
engraved on the cover there which looks quite cool. It’s got dotted pages and
it’s nice cream paper. And, it comes with page
numbers already put in the corners as well. And, I will show you why that’s handy when we’re flipping through it. But, it also has these
little page tab ribbons as well for keeping track
of various sections. The pen I use to write in
it is this Muji gel pen. It’s a 0.7, a lot of people
go crazy for bullet journals and have like lots of
different colors, and lots of different pen types, but
I’m not very good a drawing so my bullet journal is kept very simple. It’s kept to the basics. I don’t use it as a piece
of creative expression like a lot of people
do, so I’m very sorry if you’re disappointed by the lack
of Pinterest worthy layouts. The most important thing
about my bullet journal for me is that it can help me
stay on top of tasks and organize things and
write in it quickly, as well. Like, it doesn’t take
a whole bunch of time to get set up, which is
definitely the point. I use Identify System which is laid out in the bullet journal video
that I told you to go watch, but basically I do a dot
for a task, a circle for an event or like a
meeting or something that I have to do at a certain time. Then I do the task I cross it off. And, if I don’t get it
done that day and I’m moving it to the next day I
do a little forward arrow. You’ll see throughout this
other things that I do throughout it, but that’s my
quick way of writing lists and marking those things off the list. So, with all that said,
let’s get into having a flip through this and I’ll show you how I’ve got it set up. Okay, I don’t have a fancy top down tripod so this slight angle is gonna have to do. Let’s start into the bullet journal. So, to start off with is the the index. And, this is why I was
saying that it’s important to have page numbers in your
bullet journal notebook. Of course, you can write them in yourself, but I didn’t wanna go
through and write hundreds of pages of page numbers. So, I’m glad that I ought
one that was pre-numbered. So, in here is where you
just write, whenever you create a new section what
page it’s at so you can refer to this later. So, as you can see I’ve mostly got months, but there’s a few other
things in there as well that I’ll show you. Another part of the bullet
journal is the future log. And, this is probably one
of my favorite like set-ups of the bullet journal and this is an idea that I got from someone
else having the calendar inside there and then
content and notes about the month written there. So, the future log is
meant to be an overview of your year, I suppose,
so you can zoom out and see it from a high level
everything that’s going on. So yeah, I’ve split each
page into three and then have a little calendar
for each month in there. Within my calendars I’ve
been doing things like I circle the dates that
are a public holiday that I have off work. And, if I’m going away
somewhere then I’ll do this little underline system, as you can see, April is gonna be a very
busy month of trouble for me. Something else I do that
you would have heard me talk about if you watch
my podcast is I give each month a focus to help
me try and concentrate on getting one thing done because that’s, when you’ve got a lot on
the go, it’s really hard to give attention to
all the things equally. SO, each month I like to
focus on a certain part of my projects so that I can move forward with them and give myself
permission, in a way, to forget about other stuff and go for the most important thing. And, here is where I
can write ideas for what my monthly focus might be
for each month as well. And, I’ll show you when we
get into the month pages, month layouts where that
comes into play again. A lot of people bullet
journal with various spreads, pages that, for tracking certain things. I haven’t really got too far into that. I did make this one with
my goals for the year. This is the goals that
I talked about in my design build (mumbles) 17 video. I thought it’d be helpful
to have them there so that I can refer back
to and remind myself. This is keeping track of
my YouTube subscribers and my email list
subscribers just as a way of having a record of that, I guess. I’m gonna blur out this
page because it talks about fiances, but this is
where I keep track of yeah where I’m at with my
savings each month and also this is a place that
I’ve set up for myself to mark down different sources of income and different sources
of expenses because I am a contractor now, which
means I have to worry about that sort of thing. But, I’ve honestly not
found myself using this analog source for that
I prefer to just put it straight into my spreadsheets. So, I don’t think this
one has been very useful. Then, I’ve got some blank
pages before we start getting into the months. I’m just gonna jump to March to show you the set up of my months. So, as you can see I
use the little gray tab to mark the latest month we’re in. So, this is a layout that
I’ve really been liking for setting up my monthly overview. So, this is a bit more
detailed that you saw in that future log back
there, but again it’s pretty high level. And, up here is where I
wrote the monthly focus that I’ve decided on for the month. So, March’s focus was email, which is why if you subscribed to my
email list you probably got some emails from me last month. It’s actually the 31st of March right now as I’m filming it, so I
need to set up for April. So, I’m gonna walk you
through that in a second. Aside from these monthly
pages and the future log that I showed you back at
the start I really don’t do anything too exciting
with my bullet journal. As you’ll see here it’s
mostly just days and lists. So, every day I will write
it in caps and put this square around it so that I
can easily like scan down my list and find the thing
that I’m looking for. Then, the way I write my
to do list for the day is that the left hand
side is my work tasks and the right had side
is stuff that I wanna get done for my personal
projects or my side projects. What I’ll also do in each
day is use it as a space to write notes from any meetings
I might have had that day. So, for example, this
one here I’ve got some of these lines which stands for a note for me where I’ve written some notes of stuff. Then, I’ll often draw like
a little icon and a title for that group of notes I suppose. So yeah, most of my notebook
is these sorts of days with a square around
them and then just messy looking lists, but honestly this is neater than most of my lists
have ever been before this thanks to the dotted lines
and I guess the system for crossing things off as well. It’s much neater to just
have a little cross at the side there then like
draw through the whole thing. And, if you do see me drawing
through the whole thing it’s because that thing
was canceled and decided not to do anymore. So, it’d be like deleting
something if it was in a to do list app. If I just go back, though, to my index ’cause there’s one
spread I wanna show you. Okay, so page 23, let’s go there. So, this is an example of like
a planning spread, I guess. So, it’s not done on a certain
day like these ones are. Instead, it’s across the
spread and it’s planning for a project rather than a certain day. So, this one is planning my posters, which plug, plug, are now
for sale in my online store so you should do and check them out. This is where I sort of
just drew a little icon of each of the posters
that I was gonna print, and then marked what colors
I was gonna print them in. And, then had this little key
for when I photographed them and printed them as well. This is also where I jotted
down notes when I was planning out shipping costs as well. So, it was handy to have
everything in one place rather than scattered around
throughout the different days. So, I grouped that all together. Yeah, I’ve not done many of those yet. It’s mostly just been, like
I said, these days with the block around them and my lists. Something I really like
about the bullet journal is that you set it up
yourself and you can do these random pages here and
there and you can take up as much space as you want per day. Like, this day for example
is much bigger than my recent days have
been, but I’m not trying to cram everything into one space. So, I can make each day
take up as much space as it wants. Let’s set up the month, though, shall we. So, to start off with one
quick thing you’re gonna do is write down the dates in April. Then, I just pull up the
calendar app on my phone and see what days of the
week they are so I know that April starts on a Saturday. I should have known that
because it’s tomorrow. (laughs) So then, I just write them in here. Then, I take this little
ruler that I have and I’m just gonna rule a line down beside these dates. At the top I’m just gonna do
my little doodle for the month. Some people get really
creative with this stuff and I have not been super creative at all, but that’s all right I like how it looks. And, like I said, this isn’t
like a creative journal for me. It’s just a way of organizing stuff. Okay, if I go back to
my future log and I see stuff that’s happening in April. Okay, that’s that side
unless more things and events or stuff I have to go
to comes up for April that will be written in down here. On this other side, first
of all, I’m gonna put my monthly focus. And, the next month I’m
gonna focus on writing. There’s a bunch of stuff I need to write like blog posts and planning
for courses and things. Then, I like to have a high level plan of what I’m doing each week of the month. So, in here I’ve got week one. Oops, that just totally smudged, but like I said it doesn’t matter. It’s just for organization. Normally, these pens are
pretty good and don’t do that. That’s kind of odd. Okay, so in these week rows
what I do is write down the overall things that I need
to get achieved that week. So, those are the things that
will need to be worked in to my daily tasks at some
point during the week. So, I don’t tend to fill
this out super in advance unless I know exactly when
something needs to be done by. If I know that coming
up in week one of April I need to get my Pricing Class edited. And, I’m also gonna write
Branding Workshop in there because that is for VidCon
and that is next week. So now, when I am setting
my to do list for the day I can refer back to
this and make sure that I’m working this into my week. So, that is my set up for a
new month, smudges and all. Doesn’t matter, all I
know is that it’s gonna help me stay organized
and keep on top of things. So, that is my bullet journal. Thank you for watching
this video if you did, indeed, manage to stay till the end. I know it was a long one. I just had a lot to say about this thing. I’ve really been loving
it and loving staying organized with it. So, if you’ve been interested
in starting bullet journaling yourself then I hope this
video might have been useful for you to see
some of the ways that I structure mine. Remember that you can
make yours completely personal as well. Like, you don’t have to
follow anyone else’s system. You can do whatever you
like in your bullet journal. There’s no like one
correct way to do things which is what I love about it. So, hopefully this video might have helped you get some ideas
though of things that you might want to do in yours
or that you might not want to do. If you do bullet journaling
yourself already, I would love to hear about
your set up down below in the comments and about
how you’ve been finding it, what you’ve been using it for. Like I said, mine is for task management and organizing projects
but I know other people use them for like
organizing life in general and keeping track of
mental health et cetera. So interesting to hear about
down below in the comments. Give this video a thumbs
up if you did enjoy it and all its organization nerdiness and I will see you in the next video, bye. (mellow music)

66 thoughts on “Bullet journal flip through – My basic setup for managing tasks & goals

  1. 1st ! πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for the insight. Creative people tend to mange time like an abundant resource. I used it to organize life in general. It should be boring but effective not fancy and overwhelming like a doodling book.

  2. Enjoyed the video I think it has inspired me to start a bullet journal.. also HOLY SHIT!! Almost 50k !! πŸŽ‰ then that 100k play button πŸ˜‰

  3. Really cool to see how you've laid it out. I like the way you've got week 1/2/3/4, I think I might introduce that into my monthly spread as I don't really like the calendar that I used in my march one!

  4. I use the moleskine A5 Softcover with squared paper. πŸ™‚ But I don`t draw a calender in it… I use my book for Webdesign and Marketing ideas… and future gear-list (Cameras etc…) This book is a great time-management tool! Greets from germany

  5. I mainly use google calendar to set-up all my appointments and tasks that way I get on my phone and Ipad, and when I have completed a task or the appointment I use a spreadsheet. I sent you a link to a YouTube video Charli did you get and was it useful.

  6. I just started to do my own version of journal last month, very similar to yours but I also use it as a gratitude diary and write about 3 things I'm grateful for everyday in my daily section before writing down the tasks game changer stuff for me!

  7. OMG this is going to change my life hahahaha I'm a geek when it comes to list but in a very unorganized way. I do have a journal and I have everything there: diary, to-do lists, finance tracking, etc, but nothing has it's own place. I'm definitely going to start this! πŸ™‚

  8. Your hair 😢 ?¿

    Have you tried RocketBook?
    It is a special book when completed you keet it in Microwave with a mug of water and the Book becomes blank just like a new book. Thus you can use it over and over. But at the same time you can store every page on cloud which is automatically organized into various sections like Idea, remainder etc.

    https://getrocketbook.com

  9. Actually this is much more motivating for me to start being more organised…the super decorated ones look great but it overwhelms me and I feel like I am failing at being organised.
    Thanks for another great video

  10. That was pretty interesting, I may give it a go.. at the moment I simply use an a4 notebook, ruled like the one you would use for school… it has batman on the cover but works well for me, although the bullet system looks intriguing…my problem is that I get started with a system and then I stop using it and go back to my all writing notes and lots, lots of arrows pointing to bits and pieces.. I am messy but in that mess there is some sort of order I guess!

    Looking fwd to the pricing video, its a youtube video is it or a conference thing?

  11. So no more teuxdeux?! I remember you always plugging that as your go to haha. I like your approach because it's way less intimidating. I've never started one because i put so much pressure on myself to make it pretty. I'm going to try to approach it like you as just a functional way to plan and see if I can actually get one started πŸ™‚

  12. Smudges and all. Ha. I really love analog task management. To do Apps are always missing something or I just forget to use them. Using a physical list is in front of you at all times and I really like the idea of adopting bullet journaling. Cheers

  13. Charli I love this! I've been using a version of the bullet journal primarily for work, and I've also been very zoomed in — I use two pages for a whole day! — but I love how you're using it for side hustles and how you're setting intentions for each month and week. I have to think about how I can encorporate that a bit more!
    PS Have you tried Staedtler fineliner pens?? I can use nothing else.

  14. great to see how you utilise your bullet journal. : ) i recently started mine a couple weeks ago but i feel like i don't use it that often… as a student, and an overwhelmed one at that, sitting down to organise what i have to do is more troublesome than simply… doing what i have to do? lmfao. i've never been good at keeping up with planners, but i have a stupid fantastic memory and very little time to fuck with writing down 'finish painting' over and over again lol. sometimes i'll write down my current thoughts (usually why i'm feeling stressed or annoyed or something) just to not vent them out to others, but that's basically it. maybe i'll bother with it in six weeks when i'm done with classes and need to plan for continuing my education / doing other stuff idk… great vid. : ) xo

  15. I really like how you have a focus on your projects each month! I'm going to try and do that myself. thanks for the video! πŸ™‚

  16. Hey Charlie, I tried using bullet journal for my tasks. But I end up spending more time writing my tasks than doing the actual task, job, things to do. haha! So, I am using Google Keep for my goal list and an ordinary paper with lines for my everyday tasks. ^_^

  17. I get really creative with mine. I use it to work out everything. I'm on a path of growing and learning right now so I use it to stay on top of my notes, do check ins, work out problems, keep lists and reminders.. everything. Then each time I sit down to write, I also have breaks where I get to just get silly and creative. I am not an artist, I too love design so it's mostly just filling white space with tape, stencil, stickers, photos, cut outs, etc.. I let loose the creative juices when I need motivation or a perk up while writing all the other boring stuff. Now I think I'll add your calendar system to it all, see how that fills my books even faster lol. Great video.

  18. In the " Β‘Posters! " section I was curious about you putting the exclamation mark at the beginning as well (like we do in spanish) hehe.. πŸ™‚

  19. I reciently bought a journal exactly for managing this whole year and organize my life finally, just did't know how to do it. This video kame just in time πŸ˜€ Thank you! Great content keep it up πŸ˜‰

  20. I started a bullet journal in Jan and its been SOOOOO helpful. Similar to you I sent monthly intentions. Which are less about projects but more about feeeels i guess. Like this months is 'self care'. I've been thinking I'll make a bullet journal video too πŸ˜€

  21. Seriously this system has changed my life!! Also how was I not subscribed to your channel before?! Fixed ASAP obviously. XO

  22. Haha, I'm actually finishing my edit of my Bullet Journal video rn πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚
    Loved seeing your setup as it's completely different from mine but still so functional and seems to work really well for you!
    I def. do use mine as a creative outlet and get all fancy shmancy with pens and stuff but I make sure to only do that when I have time aka I set up my lists when I need to and everything else can get done later if I'm in a hurry^^

  23. This is so interesting! When my anxiety was really bad in 2015, I'd get home from work and not know how to fill the time from 5pm-bed time. I would get quite overwhelmed and I noticed that writing a little to-do list for myself (basic things like "do laundry" or "read book") would really help me. Now that I'm at uni I feel like this all the time because I don't have the structure of full-time work so I think I might try this out! Yours looks really cool in just black πŸ™‚

  24. Hey Charli great channel, I love all the design resources on "YouTube" its great to get so many different perspectives on the trade and as a Free Lancer they help me alot. Do you have any videos on how you got started in Design or a walk-through on your creative process?

  25. Thank you for this! Hadn't heard about the bullet journal before. I'm super exited now. Maybe this will actually work πŸ™‚

  26. I am finishing up my AA in Business Entrepreneurship, and have decided I want to change directions towards web design. I am so happy to have stumbled upon your videos. Not only are they super informative, but you are so relatable and the aesthetic of your channel is so organized and pretty. Definitely planning on binge watching your videos today!

  27. I love how functional and simple you keep your bullet journal! I've had 'weekly focus' themes but I really should add a focus for each month, too, that's a great idea.
    And just wanted to say that I love your videos in general. I'm an illustrator working from home so it feels like I'm looking at a better-organized version of myself. πŸ˜‰

  28. I wish I was this organized in my graphic design work! Question, do you find the whole video/Youtube thing distracting your from you design work. Though if you are this organized you probably have the time.

  29. Thank you so much for doing this video! I've been curious about the bullet journal, and I'm also super messy/not an artist so it's SO refreshing to see one that is far more my style. Really keen to get into this! Will grab a journal this weekend. Thank you!

  30. Actually I have started using the Bullet Journal Method for different purposes. The concept of having a table of content at the start of a notebook is just plain billiant. I've been using Five Star Notebooks for University Notes, and I'm actually using an index throughout the different subjects!

    I have a global index with the different 5 subjects (divided by seperators)
    And each section has it's own index
    And I use section numbers for better references! (example: 3-11 = section 3 page 11)

    More recently, I have decided to make an actual Bujo. I'm still using my electronic tools because I feel they are efficient, but I have realized I'm always taking random notes, and making lists very quickly, and even doing sketches for different projects, so I'm testing this out and I hope I don't get too distracted by the esthetic of it… I tend to become a little too much with the drawing and design, and eventualy the mistakes that I do… my fear about the Bullet Journal would be to get too distracted by the appearance of if and let it then become a burden. Like finding myself writting the same page 3 times and removing it because I'm not satisfyied with my handwritting. That would be counter-productive…

  31. I will definitely give this a try, I use a few apps but this hands on approach seems more hands on and fun too

  32. I enjoy seeing bullet journals like this, because this is like… what it is supposed to be. It's not really supposed to be a creative journal full of washi tape and stickers, it's supposed to be quick so you can spend as much time as possible being productive, rather than working on your journal.
    That said, I actually do enjoy writing entries into my journal and sticking in pictures I like. πŸ™‚

  33. im so surprised (and pleased, lol) to hear you say you arent good at drawing! haha, im an aspiring ux researcher/designer and i have no design background/drawing ability.

  34. Great video Charli! I actually heard if from your podcast on Designlife about bullet journaling and wanted to see it myself. Looks really cool. I have always been looking for a new way to stay organized especially for a book blog. Thank!

  35. I've been using Swipes for a while which is great for little tasks, but it's almost too flexible. There's something nice about the rigidity of a ink list on a notebook sized page…like you're forced to confront each task you've written instead of swiping it later. I think Femke was talking about how making an ink list really forced her to be realistic about what she can actually get done in a day. I found this very relatable. The monthly focus is also a very nice idea, I'm really hoping it keeps my mind from wandering too much throughout the month. Thanks for showing me that I can have a non-scrapbooky, ultra functional bullet journal–I was feeling very intimidated by other very beautiful, time consuming journals.

  36. I enjoyed this video. I want tot star my own bullet journal but I am not very artsy or anything so a simple system is what I need. This video was perfect.

  37. I've always been put off by Bullet Journal videos because it looked just like scrapbook diarying, so it's really good to discover the practical application!

  38. You are the first person I've seen that has made it simple and easy to use! Just purchased my journal and starting today, August 1st! Thanks for the encouragement!

  39. So refreshing to see someone doing a simple bullet journal, most other videos I've seen about it has been much more about doodling then the practical use of it. This actually made me a bit more interested to get in to it πŸ™‚

  40. πŸ™‹!!-waves- heheee i love how supportive you guys are to each otherrrrr!
    all of these advice is so useful in all aspects of life too!! thank you! just joined the waitlist for the community!

  41. So great to see your simple, straightforward approach. I started bullet journaling last month and it is awesome! I use it for tracking work and household stuff, and keep it pretty basic like yours. Thanks for the video!

  42. Glad to see someone using the basics of Bullet journal to organize tasks. There are some really creative and fancy BJ videos out there but good to see someone else who is taking a no frills approach to this technique. If time allows, I would like to add some creativity to my BJ but for now I'm just enjoying using it as a tool to stay on top of things. Cheers!

  43. Thank you for having what I call a super functional minimalist bullet journal. I like to look at the pretty bullet journals but I always wonder if the people use or just create them for Youtube. (not that there is anything wrong with a creative bullet journal) πŸ™‚

  44. I just saw this one because I'm a new subscriber to your channel. I'm loving your videos btw!! Glad I did! So happy to see a normal bullet journaling. Such a pressure when I see decorated one. Like who has time like that for each day?! :)) Anyways, I love your channel! Seriously.

  45. Excellent video. Really well produced. Rather than making it a work of art (fine if you have the time), you show us the nuts and bolts.

  46. I love this! I am an artist myself, so I should be creative enough to make gorgeous pages. But I just want to get stuff done and have some focus. Great video πŸ’œ

  47. I was wondering how you keep track of different projects and tasks. I've been bullet journaling for over a year, but as an employee was always just working on one straightforward thing, so it wasn't too hard to just write down the tasks at the start of the month, and move them to the current day if I had the time. Now I have multiple projects (started freelancing) and I'm having issues organising them. I was considering going back to an online kanban board (trello or meistertak) (I love being able to put things "on hold" in a specific column ;)), but having things spread across two digital environments (I use google cal as well), plus the bullet journal seems overkill and even worse to keep organised.
    Ideas welcome πŸ˜‰

  48. Thank you very much for this. I love your channel. I'm not sure if you've already done so but it would be great to see an up-to-date morning and evening routine. As a creative myself (I work from home), I can struggle to get into a routine… especially as I hate routine but realise I need at least a bit of one. I love how this bullet journal is no-nonsense and not all pretty and colours. I always thought they weren't for me but I've just used yours as an inspiration to create my own. It's helped me mark out my goals for each quarter – and realise I don't have as much time as I thought. You know the way you can be a little over ambitious with lists when they have no time frame.

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