Hello Brains! This is my tutorial of the basic Bullet Journal system as designed by creator Ryder Carroll. You can watch his version HERE, and I talk about why it’s awesome for ADHDers HERE. But I’m doing my own! Because pens are AWESOME. And I also wanted to share some tips for ADHDers who are just getting started. To begin, all you need is at least one pen, and a notebook. Yup, any notebook. Seriously. Most Bullet Journal or “bujo” enthusiasts prefer graph paper inside because you can get more artsy with it. But any paper will work! Now set up your key, which is just a set of symbols that represent the different types of info you tend to write down. These are the symbols Ryder uses for to-dos, events, notes. You can also use signifiers like a star for important items. This makes dumping information from brain to page as fast as possible. And keeps it organized, so you can read it later. OK! Ready?…. [Excited] Let’s get this party started! First, number your pages. I promise this is more boring than it sounds. If you prefer, you can just number them ten at a time. Or next time, do what I did, and buy a notebook that’s already numbered. The first four pages are your index. Title them “Index”. This is where the magic happens. Any time you add something to your bujo, you list it here and you’ll actually be able to find it again. The next four pages are your future log, aka, I don’t have to deal with this yet but I will eventually because “Really, Jessica? It’s our anniversary.” There are different layouts for this, but the original is pretty simple. Just take a ruler, divide the pages in thirds, and write out the months. OK, now remember the index? Yup, write “future log” there and what pages it’s on. Next is… well, whatever you want! If you decide to just stop and doodle on page 9, cool! Put page 9 in the index and come back when you’re ready. By the way, if you also want to doodle on page 23, no problem! Go back to the index and add ” , 23″. Now you know where to doodle! Next, month page! You can set this up however you want. A lot of people use a traditional calendar format, but I have calendar PTSD from all my planner failures of the past, so I like the list format the creator developed. Plus it’s super fast. Write just the day of the month with the first letter of the day of the week. It’s so brilliantly minimalistic, I feel like I’m cheating. Now, this is where you write out your day’s schedule. Not a lot of space, is there? Maybe I should buy a bigger notebook?… Stop!! It’s good if space is limited. Because you know what else is limited? YOUR TIME. But if you really do need more space, you can use a different layout here. Now, on the opposite page is your to-do list for the month. You can see how busy your schedule is on the left, and how much you have to get done on the right. Which is the first step in going, “Hahahaha, maybe I’ve over-committed.” Alright, next page, or whatever page you want, because you have an index, whaaat! [Flipping noise] This page looks good! Freedom!!!!!! Your daily log. Write the first letter of the day and the date and underline it. You can put events here, to-dos, notes, whatever you want. But keep them short and to the point. Then, on the opposite page, you can go into more detail if you want. That way your brain can look at what needs to be done without getting bogged down by details or feelings or whatever, but those details are still there if you need them. This is cool because it acts like a kind of journal. That’s it! That’s the basics. And so far, it’s just a DIY planner. But this is where the system gets really cool. Not only can you find whatever you’re looking for, because you have an index, no to-do gets forgotten about. It gets moved around. It gets deleted. Or it gets done. That’s because the system includes a process called migration. Here’s how it works. When you start a new month, you look back at last month’s to-dos and make a decision about each of them. Don’t care about it anymore? Cross it out. Does it need to be done soon? Greater than symbol points to the right, indicates that you’re copying it into next month’s to-do list. Doesn’t need to be done for a while, now that you think about it? Less than symbol points to the left, indicates that you’re copying it into your future log. This acts as a natural filtration system that simplifies your life. As I said in my original video, when you have to hand-write a to-do over and over again, it really makes you think about how important it actually is. And when you can’t find space for it, it makes you realize: you can’t dump 100 to-dos into next month’s list and expect to be able to do that on top of everything else. Basically, this planner simplifies your life, because it makes you see time as the limited resource it is. In a way that’s much nicer than your boyfriend’s horrified look when you tell him everything you need to get done by next Tuesday. So, you may not be as busy, but you’ll probably be more productive. OK, those are the basics, now here are ten ADHD-friendly tips. 1. Start with the Basics. It’s fun to create a whole elaborate system up front, but it’s better to get into the habit of using it first. 2. Design a key that works for you. I use an exclamation mark for an idea, some people use a heart for a memory they don’t want to forget, but start with just a few until you’re comfortable with them. 3. Add more tools as you go. Once you have a hang of the basic system, and figure out what else you need, go ahead and include it. If you notice that you have a lot of notes that are books you’d like to read, transfer them to a collection or list. If you keep needing to put “floss your teeth” on your to-do list, consider starting a habit tracker. 4. Keep it fast and easy to use. Remember that a system that works when we’re hyperfocusing on it, isn’t necessarily a system that works for everyday life. 5. Mess it up. Decorate your bujo all you want. Go nuts! But remember… this is essentially a toolbox. If you spend so much time laying out your tools that you’re afraid to use them, they’re not going to do you much good. Forget about perfect. And if you can’t, do yourself a favor and mess it up NOW. 6. Know where to find it. Decide on a consistent spot to keep it in, at home, at work, and whenever you’re on the go so that you can find it when you need it. You can also install “Find Your Bujo” by taping a tile to the front of it. … Ordering that. Now. But… 7. Prepare to lose it. Take pictures or scan important pages into Evernote just in case. Probably also don’t store your passwords here. Also might be a good idea to include your phone number and offer a reward for its return. Not your address. Unless you want it hand-delivered at 3 a.m. 8. Set a time for it. Decide when you’re going to check in with it: every night before bed, when you wake up in the morning, specific points throughout the day. It also helps if you have something to check. So set up a time once a month to set up the next month and migrate your tasks. If you use a more advanced layout, once a week is good to set up the next week’s daily logs. Speaking of which…. 9. Get inspired. YouTube, and especially Pinterest are great places for this, but you can even just google “Bullet Journal images”. The amount of creativity that goes into these things is incredible. But… 10. Make it yours. Remember that not every cool layout will be right for you. Some people get really creative with their journals, but the original format is fast and simple, which is great when you don’t have the time or the patience for calligraphy. … Or the skill. The skill. … For calligraphy. Remember, the whole point of this system is that you can finally have a planner that is right for your brain. Not someone else’s. That’s it for this tutorial! Let me know how your bullet journal works for you! And link to ideas in the comments below! I just started my own, so I’m still using the basic system. But when I’m ready to get creative with it, if you’re interested, I’ll make videos on layouts that work for my ADHD brain. Let me know if you want them, and subscribe so you don’t miss them. Bye Brains!