The Bullet Journal System

24 March 2020

Hi there! Today we will be diving in deep into the Bullet Journal System. It is not as complicated or even technical as it may sound, that I can assure you.

So, a "standard" Bullet Journal would consist of an index, future log, monthly log, daily log, rapid logging, series of collections and migration.

What are all these systems? Allow me to break it down for you!


An index is a spread/layout/page that helps track all of your content in one space. You can fill in this spread with the topics/collections (with content) and their corresponding page numbers to make it easier for you to find them later on.

I personally, skip this part, as somehow I am always able to find back particular collections when I need to. And I've also come to realize, that I prefer to label/tag the certain pages with washi tapes instead of using the index.

If you like to have all your things organized in a specific manner then having an Index is a great way to go!

Future Log

Often times, we have plans and events that fall outside of the current month, so having spreads that show the whole year ahead helps us plan our schedule more efficiently.

Of course, this spread also acts as your personal "assistant" and reminder of those important dates throughout the year.

For me, this is a must have spread in my Bullet Journal! I am so bad with dates that if I don't have them all noted down in one space, I'd probably forget them and the rest is pretty much history.

Monthly Log

Need a spread that showcases all the tasks that needs to be done and an overview of that month? That's exactly what the monthly log is all about.

Usually, in these Monthly Logs, besides the "timeline" of the month's progress, there'll also be sub-collections (as the Monthly Log itself is considered as a core collection) like your Habit Trackers, Workout Trackers, Sleep Trackers and etc. These spreads makes it easier to take note of your progress in achieving your goals.

Setting up the Monthly Log can be a bit daunting especially if you are planning to incorporate a lot of trackers in them, more so if you are planning to get crafty with each page.

I'd usually try out a spread (individually) and as time goes by, after understanding what sort of tracking system works for me, then I would try to simplify those spreads (combining them) to make them easier to track, saves me some extra pages in my Bullet Journal and also the time put in to setup these spreads, in general.

Now, I know some of you may say that that is a lot of work, but hear me out for a bit. There's literally no harm in spending/using 10 - 30 minutes of your time at the end of each month to setup something that will only make your life much more easier and efficient for the new month.

Trust me, it is all worth it!

Daily Log

Here comes the "every-day-10-minutes-me-time" in your Bullet Journal. The Daily Log is exactly as what it says; logging in all your thoughts and tasks throughout the day.

What has absolutely worked for me till to-date, is to spend 5-10 minutes in the morning to plan out my day and then at night I'd usually spend another 5-10 minutes concluding my day's tasks and thoughts.

This usually preps me better in terms of knowing how I'd want to tackle the next day and also re-affirming my actions may it be positive or even negatives ones. Before, I didn't really cared much about how I did things, as long as I did it, it was enough - but I soon realized that to live a more meaningful and purposeful life, how I did things should matter as well.

For example, if I was "forcing" myself to get a task done, that task may have been done half heartedly and surely the outcome was not as how I've visioned it. Nowadays, I've come to realize that the reason why I am forcing myself to get that one thing done is purely because my mind or my body is begging for some rest. This is when I would mindfully, take a moment or even a day off to make sure that I am functioning at my highest potential.

Needless to say, that after getting some proper re-charge, whatever it is that I have to tackle gets done in a way that I am absolutely satisfied with.

Rapid Logging

This rapid logging system is an efficient way that was created by Ryder Carroll to note down all the things you need in your Bullet Journal. Ryder introduced a few short-form notations paired with symbols to quickly capture, categorize, and prioritize your thoughts into Notes, Events and Tasks.

These are the initial Bullet Journal symbols that were suggested by Ryder:

As you may have noticed, I used the word "initial" above because as you transform your life, your Bullet Journal will eventually transform along with you. At that point, you'll realize that you may need additional symbols to categorize and differentiate everyday notes from special notes or even reminders.

I would say that these are more of the "spice" that you'd want to add on to your Bullet Journal.

Kindly do remember, that every Bullet Journal is unique as it tells and showcases your life story. Basically, we are all authors! (in a way)


This is where/when your Bullet Journal really represents your life! The Core Collections of any Bullet Journal would be the Index, Future Log, Monthly Log and Daily Log.

The Collections that you create along the way, is basically to keep track of anything that you'd like to keep a tag on, essentially. Some of the common Collections are the Habit Trackers, Sleep Trackers, Savings Trackers, Workout Trackers and Expenses Trackers.

If you are a project-based type of person, then you'd may want to create Collections like a Project Management Spread that helps you breakdown all the nitty-gritty details of the project.

If you are a student, then you'd may want to create Collections that will help you not only track your studies but also to showcase your progress.

If you are an instructor of any sort, then you'd may want to create Collections that would cater to your needs, schedule and workflow.

You get the idea, right? So, that's basically how Collections in your Bullet Journal work.


Finally, we have come to the concluding part of the Bullet Journal System. The reason why I say the Migration is part of concluding your Bullet Journal is because during Migration, this is when you can clearly pick and choose what Collections or methods to keep and "throw out".

Migration is basically a monthly process of filtering out meaningless content from your Bullet Journal. This is also when you will come to learn what works for you, what didn't, how you can improve certain aspects of your life and so on.

You may start with a Bullet Journal that is filled with many Collections, but as time goes by, your Bullet Journal will be filled with only the essentials of what is the best for you.

Using myself as an example again, honestly, I have cut down quite a number of Collections, if not, minimalize my Collections so that I can perform more efficiently throughout my whole day. It will be very tempting at first to add on a whole bunch of Collections into your Bullet Journal, but I'd suggest starting of with the basics.

Because having to look at a Bullet Journal with many demands of tracking can be overwhelming and intimidating; which sometimes also causes one to lose interest in it.

Remember, we want to cultivate a better environment for us to live and work in, not to create more distractions and cluster in our already messy lives.

Generally this is how the Bullet Journal System works. It is a safe space to collect all of your wants, needs, to-dos and goals, in hopes to live a more meaningful and intentional life.

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