I have been bullet journaling for about a year now. My first real introduction to a daily journaling practice was through an introduction to the Micheal Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner. Using this planner for about 6 months, I could see why planners(good planners) work. Instead of buying another Full Focus Planner, I decided to use plain books to plan my daily, monthly and yearly goals and activities- having learned Michael Hyatt’s productivity system.

When I first came across the Bullet Journal idea, I was blown away by how flexible the method was. Because you’re not limited in any way to any system, you can do whatever you want with your journal- you can use any book, any sheet of paper– whatever it is, taking to mind only 4 things that are characters of this system: the Index and Keys page, Future, Monthly and Daily Log, – depending on what you want to do, a collections section.

I know this can start to sound like another cumbersome productivity system. It is in fact, the least difficult of all the productivity systems I have come across(and I have tried tens of them). And the most freeing of them all.I could go on and on about what Bullet Journaling is but
others have made that information available. You can read Ryder Carroll’s book, the Bullet Journal Method or watch YouTube videos on how to use the system. But I can assure you it’s the least difficult system to adapt and it helps you achieve a lot of productivity. On a personal level, it has helped me with:

Getting more focus daily

As soon as any to-dos, ideas, quotes, thoughts come to mind, I add them to my daily log. In so doing, I rid my mind of the stress of trying to remember something I thought about 2 hours ago. I am sure you’re familiar with the feeling of overwhelm where you have like 10 things you want to do but haven’t physically noted and then you end up remembering just 3. You should always free up the RAM in your mind and use a ROM system- whether it’s through saving your thoughts and unresolved thoughts to physical storage or more long term storage.

Having a good overview of my month

With the BuJo(as it’s popularly called) method I can constantly put my entire month in perspective through the Monthly pages and the Future log system. As one of my daily routines, I daily check my monthly log to make sure a future commitment(within the month) has not been missed.

Retrospectives

A system that allows for powerful retrospectives is one that allows you to continuously improve on a personal level. BuJo-ing is one system that works well for me. With a Bullet Journal practice, you’re encouraged to review your day, migrate uncompleted tasks from one day to the other or throw in the Future log etc.

An Unrestrictive System

The biggest plus for me is that it allows me do whatever I want to do without confining me to someone’s system of journaling. I am not confined to a page or someone’s idea on how to be productive etc.

You literally draft out whatever you want to do with the pages in your book.

Why I went Digital

and why I suggest you try it

My physical/custom bullet journal notepad and my iPad BuJo

In the BuJo community, you would ALWAYS hear enthusiasts and practitioners talk about and recommend stationery like the Leuchtturm1917, the Moleskin, Rhodia, loads of colored pens, microns, staedlter etc. You somehow end up carrying a pot load of stationery everywhere all in the name of journaling.

Also, a passive google or Youtube search for Bullet Journal would show you a whole lot of people displaying their artistic abilities — and it’s hard not getting intimidated and getting lost in the main objective of Bullet Journaling which really is a simple way to keep track of the things that really matter to you.

When I got the new iPad and an Apple pencil, I felt convinced I could spice up my journaling without the need for a carry case for pens, pencils, inks, and paper. I could finally have my journal and tools in ONE PLACE.

Noteshelf

The Noteshelf app is what I use for Bullet Journaling. Noteshelf is an app available on the iPad for taking notes, recording lectures, annotating PDFs, formatting texts, etc. I found it to be the best notetaking app for Bullet Journal. Because of its flexibility, I found it easy creating various templates for my bullet journaling needs.

I created a BulletJournal template that’s available for free and you can download nowIllustrations used in the template were from Lotta Nieminen’s Google Calendar illustration, a few also from Smashing Magazine’s monthly calendar.

I included templates for:

  • Index/Key
  • Future Log
  • The Monthly Log(January-December) with Monthly task pages
  • Daily Log
  • Habit Tracker(for hydration, journaling, meditation, gratitude, grooming, Cardio)
  • Morning Routine(Collections)
  • Evening Routine(Collections)
Habit tracker + two slots for custom habit tracking

I also created dotted pages. I found the ones that came with Noteshelf by default were too large. The dotted pages are in 4 templates: brown, blue, grunge and paper-texture.

Grunge textured dotted pages

The ultimate reason to have your BuJo digital is that you have all your journaling tools in one place. No need to carry loads of pens or notebooks. You can also easily edit your writings, drawings or whatever- a really big tip for people who want to sketch a lot but are scared to waste pages.

Also, you won’t have to stress over drawing each calendar month in the monthly and future logs. I have already done that for you- for every month.

Dated monthly page template

I hope you enjoy it. If you have any feedback, feel free to let me know.