How to Make a SIMPLE Bullet Journal (Really)

How to Make a SIMPLE Bullet Journal (Really)


(claps) (clears throat) – Who remembers these? Nobody? Thought not. Hello friends, how ya doing? How’s your 2019 been? I hope your January was fun and productive and not at all a shit fire. Mine was okay. Not as productive or
creative as I’d have liked. But that’s okay, it’s a fresh month now. Which means it is once again time for me to fill out an new month
in my bullet journal. I’ve often talked a little
bit in my stream about my bullet journal and
my methods and my style and people have often asked to see it and just start trying to maybe
get some kind of inspiration and learn a bit more as
to how it works for me and see if that’s something that they could also do themselves. Before I started filming I tweeted that I was going to be doing this so I got a bunch of
questions from you guys about how to make the most
out of my bullet journal and hopefully I can teach
you some of that as well. But before I get ahead of myself I’m gonna explain a little bit so those completely out of the loop as
to what a bullet journal is. Essentially it’s a notebook, but instead of lines or
a grid or even a diary, it’s just like a dot matrix. It’s all, can you see that? It’s a dots instead of, instead of anything else on the page. What that basically creates is a blank canvas with guide lines. So you can turn that into a table, or you can turn it into lines or you can just turn it into a doodle. Whatever you want to do. But as well as just the style of the page, there’s also like a
symbology in the way that you sort of handle your to-do lists and your meetings and your dates. It’s essentially a self building homebrew diary that looks pretty. But on that note, the reason that I’m doing this video today is there are a lot of
bullet journal guides and templates and stuff
on YouTube as it is. But a lot of them do focus a little bit more on the aesthetic side of things. A lot of people like to
use a lot of Washi tape and calligraphy and colored bush tip pens and things like that. And I as a person who
struggles a little bit with my attention span,
finds that those methods don’t really work very well for me and there are people who feel
sort of the same way as well. Those are great methods,
don’t get me wrong, if you are a person who likes to do the visual part of your bullet journal and you find that that
helps you, chase your bliss, you do your thing. This is a video that sort of acts as an alternative to that. So, this is it here,
this is my second book. I have been steadily and
solidly bullet journaling for about two and half years. I got my first book, this is it here. It’s one of the original sort
of bullet journal styles, the little embossed logo there by, I always get the company name wrong, its Leuchtturm. It’s Leuchtturm 1917. It’s a very German name and
I’m probably butchering it, so I apologize in advance, it’s not advance I’ve done
it now, the damage is done. I was given this book by my old
boss and my job at the time. I was kind of having a
bit of a funk at work, where I wasn’t really motivated
with the stuff I was doing and I wasn’t being able
to focus really well. So my boss sat me down
and instead of firing me, like a normal person, he instead said, “Here’s my method for
getting stuff done in a day,” and he showed me his bullet journal and then surprised me with my own. Which was really nice and to this day I have continuously filled one in. I sometimes worry I’m depending
on it a little to much because I am obviously using
it to fill in my day to day and if I miss then I feel a little bit, kind of, spacey in the head. But that’s fine, I just make sure that I’m keeping up with
it as best as I can. And I’m going to show you
how to do that as well. SO I’m going to show you a visual guide as I fill in my bullet journal
for this month in a second. But essentially the way
that I break everything down is by year, then month,
then week, then day. I’ve seen some people who like to track the hours that they
spend being productive, that shit stresses me out. Absolutely not. But as you’ll see as I go
through my design in the book, I tend to just sort of go
for function over form. It’s not very pretty, its not
very well doodled or anything. It’s just lines on a page,
it’s just written in black pen. But I find that that
works for me the best. And if that something
that will sort of help you focus a little bit, then stay tuned. The most common question I
got vis-a-vis bullet journals, was how to stick at it and
how to not lose interest after just a couple weeks. And the best answer that I
can give is keep it simple. If you get too bogged down in
the aesthetics and the system, then you might just find that
that’s not worth the hassle. You want something that you can keep using as a reference guide like once a day, have a quick look, fill it in, and that’s you done, you’re happy. It just becomes a part
of your daily routine to keep looking at this little book. Like, ultimately the only person who’s going to be looking
at your bullet journal all the time, really, is you. Unless you’re sharing it online, which again, chase your bliss. But if you want something
that is just gonna act as a reference guide for
your day then keep it simple and that will help you stick with it. So, one of the most
important things to create when you are starting your bullet journal is a key, which is just sort
of like a guide of symbols that mean something to you
and they don’t have to be what I’ve written here,
you can do something that’s sort of relevant to you. The key ones I would recommend, are maybe like the first
five under Bullets there, task, completed, in
progress, and migrated. Those are like the default
bullet journal guides. The task I something that can be completed or rescheduled if you find that you’re not fitting it in your day. And it means that your personal system of productivity is quite forgiving. The signifiers I don’t really use that often, except for the one that’s there to denote that something is important, that’s one I tend to use quite a lot because of stuff I put off quite a lot until I need to actually get it done. Then I’ve got like an
overview of the year. I started this particular
bullet journal in September, so I started from there and then, just filled in the
months up till December. And that’s just a really
quick overview of things that are coming up in
the year like birthdays and particular events
that I need to remember, stuff like that essentially. Then you get into the
breakdown of the month and this is the monthly future log. This is probably the most elaborate part of my whole process. Where I just block out
the month through days and then goals I want to
accomplish within that month and then tasks that I need to do in order to complete that month. With this second book I’ve also started using a habit tracker, I’ll get into that in a little
bit more detail later on. And then just to fill in the empty space, I’ve started to make a note of good things that are happening in the month. So I still need to fill out
my monthly log for February and I’m gonna do that as
I talk over it right now. If you’re gonna buy a
bullet journal that you’ll use as a companion for all your stuff then its probably worth getting
one that’s got a wee pocket in the back so that you keep
sort of stickers or a ruler, like the one I’ve got here
or just any little bits of spare paper that you need
to carry around with you. I use the ruler to create
underlines, and tables, and things, just when I want
it to look a little bit neater. But I try to make this a
very self forgiving exercise because I’m always gonna make
smudges and mistakes and stuff and that is part of the
functionality over the form, that I like to do when it comes
to making my bullet journal and I hope that that is a system that would work for you as well. So I started just by making a quick note of all the days of the month I go down sort of one half
down one side of the page and the other half down the other side, just to try and conserve
space a little bit. On the second half of the page I will leave space for goals and tasks. I’ll fill that out later on, those really aren’t super key
at the moment for this video. Then, next to the days
I’ll make a note of things that I know are happening in the month, whether it’s birthdays or events. Usually I’ll be referring
to a digital calender that I already have in place
for this sort of stuff. But I find it helps to write it down and it’s good to just have it
there as quick go to reference when you’re not at a computer, you know? I find writing stuff down
does help me remember it a little bit better even if it is already spelled out for me on my phone. Then on the second page of my monthly log I start building my habit tracker. This is just a good way for
me to hold myself accountable for doing basic adult shit on a day to day basis every month. Like getting up at a decent hour and going to bed at a decent hour. So I’ll build myself a little table here, I’ll leave enough space
for each of the habits that I know I’m going to
be doing in the month. So I’ll draw up the
lines and a 28 day grid for the 28 days of
February as I’m doing that. And as you can see here,
while I’m building the table I’ve done a whole bunch of smudges. You’ve just got to let it go, leave it in the past, it’s fine. Functionality over form. Now one thing I’ve done in previous months is sort of spread sheet style, use a pencil to shade
in every second line, just to break them up a little bit better. And if that’s something
that you want to do, then feel free, go ahead, I’m
not gonna do it right here. So, everyday I’ll check whether or not I’ve done the thing that the habit denotes and then I can cross off and check back at the end of the month
to see how well I did. Usually I haven’t done very well. But again, it’s quite a forgiving system, it’s just a case of holding
yourself accountable. Now this specific bullet journal came with a little thing of stickers, so what I’ve been doing just for those is cutting them up using
them to denote the months and not using them for
really anything else. So they’re just there as
a good reference point. Now, it’s time for a quick
overview of this coming week. I like to start the week on a Monday, just cause that’s how weeks work. And what I’ll do is create
an overarching to-do list of everything I need to do within the week and I’ll try and fit those
individual tasks into a day. So the things I have to
do this week include, updating my Patreon page, I’ve
got a whole bunch of stuff I need to do this week if you
guys want to check it out. I have an upcoming charity stream I want to do in the next couple of weeks, I need to start planning for that and I also need to-do a
food shop at some point. Another thing I like to
have a quick overview of, is things I’m doing on weeknights, so I’ll break down every
single day of the week and then just mention things
I’m doing in the week, just so when it comes to
planning my social life I know whether or not I’m busy. Normally I stream on a
Monday and a Thursday, this week is a little different, I’ll be streaming on Tuesday
and Thursday instead. So, I’ll make a note of that, just so that I know that Tuesday
and Thursday I’m not free. Now it’s time for the daily log. Which is where I just write
down everything I’m doing today and then I won’t write
anything for tomorrow, that’ll be tomorrow’s job. So I write down a simple daily
task that I need to-do today including filming this
video, doing laundry, tiding my room, and doing my emails. I’ll also make a note of any
social events or meetings I’ve got going on later today. But, hold up, plot twist,
I’ve already done my laundry, so I can cross that off as done. That’s a completed task. I’m filming right now so I’m
gonna mark that as in progress. I probably won’t have
time to tidy my room today, so I’m marking that as rescheduled and then emails I’ll leave ’til later, to figure out whether or
not I need to do that still. And that’s my daily
log, it’s super simple. So this is essentially, a version of the system
that I’ve been running with for the past two and a half years. I’ve developed it a little bit since then, but I am still, at it’s core, trying to keep it as simple as possible. And honestly that’s been the
most practical method for me and that’s why I’ve managed to keep at it for as long as I have. Other things that I’ve
done in my bullet journal but haven’t included in
this video are sort of, resolutions for the year,
writing down personal goals, things I’ve learned
form the previous years, as well as my little note of good things, that’s something I like to do every month. Like, write a little list of good things that happen over the course of the month, so that when it’s over I can look back and just be reminded of some
nice stuff that happened, if I feel like the month wasn’t as good as I thought it could be. So even if I don’t feel productive at least I know that I had fun. So again this is a system
I found works for me, but everyone is completely different and everyone is going to find
something that works for them. Whether or not it’s creating a more stylistic aesthetic style or something as simple
as what I’ve been doing. But I would really like to
compare notes as it were and see what you guys have
been working on as well. So if you are an active bullet journaler, come join us in my Discord server, there’s a link in the description, you can come, I’ll create a channel for bullet journaling exclusively and you can share your pages and all of the different
methods that you use and hopefully we’ll inspire a bunch of other people to join in. If you are inspired by this video and you want to get
into bullet journaling, my first recommendation for the first step is finding a book that speaks to you. I really like the simple
sort of brown leather style, with a pen loop, it’s very important because I always lose my pens. But dotted journals do
come in so many more styles and colors now. We are honestly spoiled for choice. And I actually curated a list of journals that I’ve found that I really really like and there’s a link to that on
my Amazon store front page, that’s a thing now. You can find that in the link below. But that’s all. Honestly it’s a lot simpler then people make it out to be sometimes. You can find a system that works for you, if that’s something that
you’re interested in doing. And while it is the
second month in the year, that’s not to late to start a new thing, as long as you are willing
to forgive yourself as much as I am when it
comes to writing your stuff. So, that’s pretty much all
I’ve got on the subject. I hope that this was helpful
to you in some small way. Feel free to check out my list of recommended bullet journals below. And I also want to thank my Patrons, Alex Wilson, Tori Anderson,
and Michelle F for making this video possible. Thank you again folks. Hopefully I will be
seeing you a lot sooner than the last time. Come hang out in Discord and share your bullet journal stories and I will see you whenever. Goodbye. (soft guitar Music)

100 thoughts on “How to Make a SIMPLE Bullet Journal (Really)

  1. Great video, love ur simplicity and matter of factiveness, if that's a word. Which it's not. Refreshing to see a simple, black & white bujo design

  2. Tens of “how to” videos and scads of frustration later, I finally found your video! A HUGE thank you from me and my husband for explaining this system clearly and simply with great visual examples. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  3. Use a Fine or EF nib and dryer ink (Lamy's waterproof stuff dries pretty quickly) to help with the smudges. It looks like you're using a Lamy pen already, anyway.

  4. I have found using a hybrid system of digital along with bullet journal helps me a lot. essentially I only use the digital tools for storing potential future tasks or projects so it doesn't flood my journal and I do a weekly review where I look back at what I accomplished and plan my next week pulling from these digital tools and transferring them to my journal.

  5. It's in my nature to document my activities, but I never seem look back on it much though. Am I in a minority?

  6. Everytime I see a bullet journal tutorial i see them start drawing and I am like I can't do that, that takes more time, I don't have time, I have to watch YouTube.

  7. Nice to see this but I don't get it when people practicing journaling draw so much stuff in the note, calendar, blocks, it seems like an excel at some point, I only keep mine as a note book, its boring but keep things simpler and easy to keep up with in the long run..

  8. I just am in awe of men that bullet journal, i had no idea you guys had patience like this !! My husband could neverrrrrr lol. He thinks I’m insane and i spend more time planning than actually completing tasks (not true). It is so impressive to me, even completely minimalist. It’s just nice to be organized amiright??? If you fail to plan you plan to fail 😉.

  9. Awesome video! I love how you emphasise its usability, rather than having it be so pretty that the upkeep is impossible.
    Nice!
    And I love love love that nailpolish! Looks fantastic.

  10. I have a friend who also has the same dark brown hair with a red beard and it is natural
    Sorry, just wanted to make a connection 😝 thought it was interesting because it is not very common
    Love the video!

  11. I like your keep it simple method. That seems like something one could keep up on without it becoming overwhelming.

  12. THANK.YOU.
    I've wanted to start a bullet journal for some time now but all the fancy (amazing) bujos I see are just intimidating to me, finally finding someone that puts the emphasis on functionality and not aesthetics really motivated me!
    Oh yeah, and your boss is awesome and you look like a young Kevin Smith.

  13. U didnt butcher the name too bad, it actually was pretty good 🙂 u have to pronounce the 2nd "u" like in "who". Except that, ur pronounciation was good. Leuchtturm means lighthouse btw.

  14. This video is great!! It's good to see someone who is showing their journal that is more for functionality. I do enjoy other similar videos where it is a lot more decorative, but it's not always what I am after. I think by decorating and making their journal more visual doesn't always help those who are starting the bullet journal system. Not everyone is as artistic or have time to decorate their bullet journal. I'd be interested to see how many of the other bullet journalers who go for the more visual side of things would be willing to try creating their journal like this?

  15. I do a weird hybrid of the artistic, aesthetic system, as well as the more minimalist method. For actual tasks, I keep it simple, and minimalistic. However, I add traditional longform journaling in there, and simply index them. That's where I get artistic and crazy. It's easier to keep it in one book instead of two.

  16. "i like to start my week on a monday coz thats how weeks work" THANK YOU!! what happened in the past couple of years where its trendy to start the week on sundays and think that's normal and was always like that?! lol

  17. uGH FINALLY. An actual helpful video about bullet journal that actually helps me to start it without all the complicated colorful artsy stuff that’s gonna take a lot of time and effort to make it look good 😤

  18. Ive been trying to use digital planners but I find I dont keep up with them, and they get cluttered really fast which makes me not want to look at it. But I love this! Writing it down makes it a lot easier to remember, so I think Im going to start doing this, thanks!

  19. I want to try doing bullet journaling again but in my sketchbook. I want the actual bullet journaling part to be simple and easy because I want my creative energy to go to the actual sketching. I’m thinking ofdoing the daily logs on the left side of the page and sketching on the right side. I’m hoping it’ll keep me motivated and consistent with sketching everyday and planning/journaling.

  20. You got me at 1:16. I'm researching about how to start bullet journaling but everything I saw so far was drawing cute little colorful flowers and stuff. Thanks.

  21. Hi. You're really cute 🙂 And thanks for the tips! I've been doing bujos for 1.5 years so far and it's gotten to become more of a diary than a productivity tool so I want to improve on that

  22. Thanks for this I have always wanted to try and do a bullet journal but find the tutorials with all the flourishes and decorations to be to overwhelming. This really helps for being able to get started

  23. Loved this. All the 'pretty planning' you see on social media has put me off bullet journaling but when I read the book and started using the actual system I fell in love with it. Your system looks cool and functional, just how I like it.

  24. I like making my bullet journal all pretty but for me it’s a motivator because I look forward to the decorating and also I feel more inclined to use it since it would be a waste to put all the effort in then not use it lol. However a bullet journal is meant to be functional and I have crazy respect for the people who can keep motivated with the minimalist approach

  25. Great Video.. im switching from a phone journal to a bullet journal. This is the most informative "keep it simple" video i've seen. Cheers for posting.

  26. That's what I want. Minimalist and basic and easy thanx for the video. I am from Turkey, my English level isn't bad but you speak verrrrrry fast because of that I can't understand some sentences. BUT I love the video I just wanna say this.

  27. This was really helpful! I bought one last month & I keep intending to get it started like tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow & don’t. I feel like it’s because I’m feeling overwhelmed because they all look so intricate & I’m just trying to simplify & get organized

  28. The video is super helpful! I'm quite a lazy and non-artisic person. I tried bullet journalling last year and quickly gave up. I think I might start agin, though!

  29. If you like artwork…you can always tape in fave postcards …esp. the type of small event flyers you pick up in coffee bars, but if you like the graphics…it can spice up the journal.

  30. Love the bullet journal tips! Most people who show bullet journal tips on here are women and they get too elaborate and cutesy for my artistic ability and budget. They don't stop to think that every woman doesn't want to do all that time consuming stuff, artsy stuff. Sometimes they just want a functional thing that's neat and helpful and that's it.

    So this helps a lot just getting down to the functional and helpful aspects of doing a bullet journal.

    Thanks!

  31. After years of hating pre-sectioned planners, I'm finally just going to make my own. I really appreciated this down-to-earth overview, because, as you say, a lot of the things I've found before now are pretty purely aesthetic. Thanks! 🙂

  32. WOW. Thanks Liam. You did a really good job explaining what a Bullet Journal is and it’s basic functions. I’m using Apple Notes and want to transcribe the idea in the app since it’s already on all of my devices and with me as I start writing/filmmaking again. U rock sir..Thank U!

  33. Thank you! A sensible, plain bullet journal how-to. I grew out the stationery obsession when I hit 14 and don't care about it being artistic, just useful. Cheers 😊

  34. Great video, no messing about, just good 'tool box' bullet journal-ing without all the artsy stuff. I started last week with my first bullet journal and, while I can't entirely credit the bullet journal, have now painted my attic after more than a year of procrastination:) I also started a meal planning, diet and exercise bujo, but that was because I got obsessed with all the pretty bullet journals out there, ordered one, and didn't think it was nice enough, so 'repurposed' it and bought another one for my 'proper' bujo!

  35. As someone who would really like to do a stylistic journal this is really helpful to me! I wanted to start a bullet journal to balance both my ADHD and my need for an artistic creative output, but it was so difficult to figure out how to start. The artsy videos gave me ideas for the artsy aspect of my journal, but I really needed a clear outline on how to begin. I kept getting lost in other tutorials, but this gives me a real starting point to build upon, thank you so much!

  36. What a fantastic boss. Also "chase your bliss" – love. I'm going to write that on a page in my #bujo in fancy calligraphy. Kidding I can't do that (yet) block capitals it is.

  37. This is so helpful. I really want to do something to get my life together. But my sister's very aesthetic and delicate templates terrify me. This is so much more my speed.

  38. Oops!!! I was seeking a new way…but. you are doing the same thing as everyone else. Any sugggestions for a vlogger doing new stuff? Thanks….

  39. I really wanna bullet journal but then I have a sort of bullet journal in my head. A routine or rules to follow in my head. Idk man. Maybe if it was a bullet journal like a solid version of it?

  40. Most handy video for bullet journalling. The stuff at the other videos are so overwhelming i can't even keep up with watching them. This way of writing won't take more than few minutes and useful.

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