Bullet Journal Projects, Monthly,  and More

Bullet Journal Projects, Monthly, and More

[Music] Hi, guys. This is Episode No. 1 of Ask the Bullet Journalist, where I will do my best to answer any questions that you may have. So let’s get started. Okay. So one very popular question
I get isn’t about the notebook. It’s about the Android version
of the Bullet Journal Companion. Okay. So not a fan of iOS. I get it. The short answer is we just
haven’t found the right candidate yet. I want to create the best
possible tools that I can for you. And in order to do that, I need the most talented people that I can find. So the simple answer is it’s going to happen on Android as soon as I find the right person to do it. Okay. So on to the questions. Anita asks:
“How do you plan and manage multiple projects?” “I have something like eight
that I need to complete by summer’s end.” “I’m in academia
and this is my most troublesome issue.” Okay, Anita. So there are a couple of different ways, as most things with Bullet Journal, to tackle multiple projects. Personally, when I have multiple projects I separate my projects into different Collections. So this could be Project 1, this could be Project 2. You can use as many pages as you want. But I use Collections in order to group all information related to the same project. And then, I can use my Index To quickly access those projects later. One thing you can do is create a Dedicated Index. So a Dedicated Index is where one page of your Index is just dedicated to a project. If I have a gigantic project that lasts four to six months then it’s easy for me just to see all the collections within a project on a page. In school, for example, you could use one Index page per class. That is one thing you can try out. One thing you can also do if you need more space is you can actually fold an Index page in half thereby creating two columns so you can actually have the Index run down both sides of that column. Okay. Let’s get to the next question. So, Robbie asks a very common question: “What do I do with a Task that needs
to be completed on a certain day” “and that day hasn’t arrived yet?” So, okay. There are a couple of
different ways you can go about that. If something needs to be done on a specific day, then one thing you can do is you can add it to your Monthly Log. So here, you can very quickly add an item
that needs to be done on a certain day. So that’s Option 1. Option 2 is that you log it like anything else. Part of Bullet Journaling is the Reflection process, and the Reflection process
is five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening where you simply review all the tasks that you have that are open. Reflection works for multiple different things but one of those things is that it keeps you aware of the things that you’re working on. So rather than having to write the same thing down every single day you start by scanning all your open Tasks. By doing that, you can also see if something has a certain date. If something has a date then it makes sense to Migrate that item to that date on that date. So let me repeat that again. If something needs to be done
May 15th and it’s May 13th, you write it down on May 13th add the date and then at night when you’re doing your review you’ll see that that’s open. And then, on May 14th, you do a review. You still see that it’s open. And then, on May 15th,
you could Migrate the Task onto that day and make sure that you give it the priority indicator, which is the star (*). So Option 3. If an item is a couple of months out or even a couple of weeks falls outside of the month in which you capture it, you can add it to your Future Log. So what I like to do is I capture the item, add the date. And then, when I go through my Reflection what I’ll do is I will schedule the item in my Future Log, or Migrate it into my Future Log. So a quick recap. Option 1: You can add it to your Monthly Log on the date it needs to be completed. Option 2: You add it with
the date on whenever you heard it so you add it in your Daily Log on the day that you heard about this item with the date. And then, you Migrate it on to the day once that day comes around and you’ll be aware of it because you’re doing your daily Reflection. And the daily Reflection is simply scanning through your notes from the previous day to make sure that you’re aware of what you have to do. Option 3 is that if something has a specific date you can schedule it in your Future Log. Now, this is particularly good for items that fall outside the month in which you currently are. So things that are one month to a year, or two, three years out you can add it into your Future Log. So I hope that helps. Next question. Question comes from Jen, who wants to know “How do you keep only one item
for each day under the Monthly Log?” “Is this intentional? If so, what is
your reasoning strategy behind it?” Okay, Jen. This is actually a really good question. So a lot of times when I shoot these videos I try to write things down
that can be read and for clarity’s sake. But in my actual Bullet Journal, what I will do is actually have multiple items that I Rapid Log on each day. So I can have three to four items on every single day of the calendar. So in this case, you know, Updated bulletjournal.com. Went to gym. Very, very short pieces. For me, the Monthly Log a lot of the time is about having a bird’s eye view of what happened that day. So I’ll actually enter items after they occurred because a lot of times plans just fall through and so I don’t like to put things in preemptively. I always add items to my Monthly Log after the fact unless they’re birthdays or something like that, which are very unlikely to change. So, yes. In fact, I have multiple items inside each day of my Monthly Log. It’s really helpful because I can very quickly get a bird’s-eye view of what happened during that month. So it actually becomes an Index for this month, which is super helpful because sometimes I need to find out what I did on what day, so I can quickly just scan down and I can see multiple items. One thing you’ll also notice here something that I do a lot is use my Monthly Log as my own tracker for habits that I’m trying to form. Okay. So that’s it for the first episode
of Ask the Bullet Journalist. I hope that this was helpful for you, guys. Please let me know what you thought of the format. This is a whole new thing and I really would appreciate your help in figuring out what would be most helpful to you. So please leave questions and comments below and I will do my best to answer them as soon as I can. Thank you very much for watching. [Music]


100 thoughts on “Bullet Journal Projects, Monthly, and More”

  • outstanding presentation and format. wouldn't change a thing. thank you for this opportunity to fine tune our BuJo skills

  • I'm having a difficult time making a bullet journal that functions well with school life. I'm entering college, and I want to finally find a bullet journal style that will allow me to track homework, events, quizzes, and due dates with fluidity and ease. I tried so many things my senior year in high school, and nothing seemed to really click. Other people's solutions don't quite do what I need it to.

    When I get a homework assignment, I want to see it both when it was assigned (so I can sit down at the end of the day and see in a list what was assigned that day) and when it is due. You addressed this in this video, but it doesn't quite work for homework and such. With so many tasks given in school (seven different classes each giving 1+ different assignments), I can't just put it in the monthly section or the future section as it would be a crammed unorganized mess. There are too many things. Doing the reflection and looking back is a more viable option, but I want to be able to see the due date in an organized manner and in one place. I need to be able to look at what is due in the future in a quick way that doesn't require page flipping and rummaging during reflection when there are a lot of things due.

    Basically: see what has ever been assigned, when it was assigned, when it will be due/when it takes place, how many things are due in a single day in the future, and what assignment is due "today" so I know to bring it in.

    TLDR: Do you have any tips on how to make a bullet journal function well for someone with many many small and large tasks with set due dates to do over a few days/weeks/months, particularly for students?

    Thank you!!!!

  • Carol Sheahan says:

    I'm a new bullet journal user – just getting my feet wet and found this very useful. More episodes, please! Also an Android user – there's gotta be a developer out there who can build the app for Android. Hope you find the right person soon!

  • Very nice to hear how you would approach these things since you designed the system. Nice video, short, to the point, clear and easy to follow. Thank you.

  • Francisco Expósito says:

    Excellent Ryder, it is useful to know different approaches of how to handle task and events into the three layout

  • Very helpful, as well as well-made and easy to follow. Here's my question: if you use your monthly log to fill in things as they happen, how can you have a view of your month all at once? Maybe you don't need that, but I find that I do. It's my bullet journal version of the old calendar hanging on the kitchen wall (or fridge). But I also like the idea of filling in things as they happen. I'm trying to think of a good way to include both, so any ideas? Two-page spread for monthly log maybe?

  • Found this very helpful and sharpened up a few points I hadn't considered (e.g., the retrospective monthly log) and that I've fallen away from too often (systematic reflection). You've done a fine job.

  • Fernando Castellano says:

    Thanks for the explanations. At the end what I like of bullet journaling is the fact that you have a framework and can do whatever you think suits you. I already filled up 200 pages only between may and June. This method helps me not only to have everything in one place but to have a better knowledge of everything I do because I really need to write things down in order to remember it. I will be waiting for more videos like this one.

  • Happy so many people have shared and I'm learning more and more every day!!! One thing I'm struggling with is consolidating. I've gotten rid of 5 separate journals so far maybe a few more Mole Skins and various differs sizes, mainly all work, goals and calendar related. Still left – I have a vmail log journal, an exercise planning journal – logging all workouts as well as upcoming ones – calories burned length of time etc… and food journal – recipes and plan for the week. What I'm struggling with is do I add all of that info to the work / goals oriented bullet journal?Or should I keep it in a separate one? And measure my tracking and progress in 2 place for health and wellness?! Ahhhh I really want to simplify!!! And don't want to over think it. But do need help with a solution 😉 thank you to any and all who have advance!!!

  • Questions:
    When is the best time to write to bullet journal? Should I carry it with me at all times or just write to it every morning?
    I want to have my drawings and writings in my bullet journal as well as the normal tracking with bullets and seeing weeks at a glance. What's the best way to add your "in-the-moment creativity" to the bullet journal?

  • Questions:
    What about a Weekly Log?
    Why do you check your bullets only when a month changes and not when a week or even a day?
    By the way, your videos are really cool! Especially the dramatic ones! 😀

  • Eric Beaty Creations says:

    I think this video series is a SPLENDID idea! Thanks, Ryder, for sharing your thoughts in this way. Eric here, and my question is this:

    What about those of us who already use a daily/weekly/monthly planner for tracking our schedules? What are some strategies to motivate these types of people to use their BuJos? I often find myself going days, even weeks, without writing in my BuJo, which I find disheartening because I was looking forward to using the official Bullet Journal notebook when I first bought it.

    Thanks again and looking forward to seeing your ideas.

  • Thank you so much for doing these videos. I've just watched both Ask the Bullet Journalist videos and have picked up helpful tips and answers to questions I've been struggling with as a BuJo newbie!

  • Marybell Cuevas says:

    I write much bigger than you…not sure I can keep within the suggested use for some sections…index very possible…the rest not so much…suggestions please. Thanks.

  • Cherie Trelease says:

    These "ask the bullet journalist" episodes are fantastic! I've just started using your method, and I'm learning tons of great ideas to incorporate into my own journaling.

  • The Anglo House says:

    I'm interested in the idea of a bujo. I need to get organized! I started to set a bujo up but it seems to me like there's a lot of duplication. Writing the same things in several sections and there's a lot of going back and forth. I feel like I'm doing something wrong.

  • What do you do if you need to add more information to a section but there's no room. For example say you have books to read on page 1-2, tasks page 3-4 and then shopping list page 5-6. And you want to add more on your list of tasks.
    Thanks in advance

  • Olivia Vespera says:

    Starting my own bullet journal at the moment. I think this is great.

    I'm still not familiar with the difference between < and >.

  • I re-listen periodically to refresh basics. Weekly calendars not necessary, because daily five minute reflection morning and evening allows to migrate tasks for a specific date on that day. If task date is several weeks or months out it can be written in the future log. Monthly log can be used for recapping highlights.

  • oh, I love that habit tracker thing! A lot of people have a dedicated spread to it, and I just find it unweidly and hard to manage. Also never thought to log events that happened on what day in the monthly log AFTER it happens. I like this.

  • Karen Koutsoumbaris says:

    Ryder I love what you've created and I'm retired but still like time for reflection and to write and create what I'm up to, so Thankyou . My new one is in the mail and I'm looking forward to a new year with my journal.

  • Howdy Ryder – nice video and tips. I've been 'officially' Bullet journaling since Autumn of 2016. I do a hybrid version. I'm still experimenting with my projects/events but this is working so far: For my events/projects/tasks with specific deadlines, I use 2 dates: the date it is due, and work backwards to the day (or week(s) OR MONTHS) before it is due. That is the PREP day(s). Both dates go on my Monthly, Weekly, Daily.  My projects and events (that I coordinate) each get their own uniquely titled collection in my BuJo. The collections all have the same format on the 1st page (right side of spread), including date and my initials. Second page (back or left side depending on project/event complexity) for the projects and events  could be drawn/written in any format. I create a lot of inventions so some collections have a lot of drawings on the second page. I use washi tape and 2 stamped cartouches on the 1st page of each project/event collection. The project tile is at the top center of the page with a strip of washi tape underneath. The 1st cartouche is for the date and my initials. The bottom cartouche is labeled REWARD. From another collection called REWARDS, I select a reward for each project's/event's completion. I'm a recovering procrastinator so the rewards really help motivate me.

  • The system needs too much processing and it is too much complicated. You can do a much simpler system using Google Calendar and work on a weekly or monthly basis.

  • Desserai Zinnerman says:

    Thank you! I have been journaling for a long time and the whole migration from journal is the piece missing. Plus your system is more concise than the one I I just got with all the pages pre-set. I will be following you on YouTube and on the blog.

  • Werner Wintels says:

    1.0 0.00 Intro Music/Android App?
    2.0 0:55 Multiple projects/classes and collections
    -2.1 1:42 Dedicated indexes for projects and classes
    -2.2 2:05 Multile index columns
    3.0 2:19 Scheduling deadlines and events
    -3.1 2:29 Enter in monthly log
    -3.2 2:48 Enter in daily log and migrate
    –3.2a 2:51 Review daily log*
    –3.2b 3:23 Migrate to monthly log*
    –3.2c 3:33 Example
    -3.3 3:58 Add to future log
    -3.4 4:24 'Recap of three options
    4. 5:21 Monthly logs
    -4.1 5:32 Three or four short items per date
    -4.2 6:00 Logging events after the fact
    -4.3 6:47 Tracking habits

  • Really enjoyed this. You have such clarity while explaining. You answered the exact question I was wondering about monthly log. Perfect!

  • scratches head what is the point of only using the monthly log for events that have already happened that day, as in the way you like to personally do it? I am new to this and thought the whole ideas was to put down against a date an event? Very strange.

  • 5:21 single vs multiple entries next to days under the Monthly log? – So it's not a to-do list. It's a completion list. This is a completely different workflow than the training video. I'm glad to have learned it but that's not a tip, that's the core of the process. So where do you keep the to-do list and how do you manage it? That's the part I'm dying to learn and do better in my life. Thanks!

    6:48 the habit tracker? What do the / X stand for? They're not in the Key in my bujo. Thanks again! Great video.

  • Evernote recognizes scanned Moleskine notebook pages, using the grid or the lines made of dots to aid in handwriting recognition to automatically index handwritten notes. Until a more specific app exists, I'll be using Evernote, scanning my pages with my phone. Evernote runs on Android, iPhone, Windows, Apple, and they have a WebApp I use in Linux.

  • Have you considered starting the Index on the last page and working backwards to ensure you never run out of room? I think that's how I'll start mine. I've been using Moleskine notebooks with no organization other than writing the date at the top of each page, and folding colored labels around important pages I need to reference often. Meanwhile, I scan my pages with my phone into Evernote, where its handwriting recognition automatically indexes everything I have written. (Evernote uses the pre-printed grid and lines made of dots to assist in recognizing handwriting.) However, Evernote doesn't make the notebook itself more useful. Your system looks compatible with what I've been doing, and it looks useful.

  • Hey, thanks for this helpful video and answers to many questions! I‘m trying the bullet journal, for the idea behind sounds very inspiring. I do not realy have to structure my personal day, because I’m at work and have not much time that needs to be „structured“ in any way. BUT: I have many regular appointments as well as meetings at a specific day AND time. So I need some help with my question: do you use a calender in addition to the BulletJournal? Or how do you make sure, there is no conflict of different appointments two or three weeks/months from now? Am I doing it „wrong“?
    I‘d love to stick to my bujo and am very thankful for help and ideas!

  • These episodes are very helpful. The first episode answered a question I had about the monthly log so thanks for that. Please keep making these as I find them quite useful.

  • IMO, a smartphone app defeats the whole purpose of bullet journaling – the repetition of noting items, the tactile feel of the using a notebook, etc. There are already a skazillion organizing methods for smartphones.

  • Robert Adams says:

    Really appreciate it! Thanks for sharing. I have to say I'm not a fan of the new Youtube "hands only" camera angle. The gesticulating just seems odd, as though the hands are somehow supposed to entertain? You did ask what we think of the format, so maybe less gesticulating and more close ups of the paper…or go old school, and show everyone what you look like?

  • Evgenii Frolov says:

    How does BJ work with priorities? I mean 4 quadrants for urgent-nonurgent and important-unimportant technique. Do you use it? How would you recommend to implement it within BJ workflow?

  • Oh. So the monthly log tracks notable events in the past. I thought of it as a compressed version of the daily log but at a month's glance. Thanks for the clarification, Ryder!

  • Carolyn Willette says:

    Keep your videos coming! There are too many copycat books,articles,and videos,etc.,which for me (ADHD since birth, have Masters Degree in Education, and have been an educator for over forty years) is very confusing. I have purchased three so called “Bullet Journals” and have yet to successfully start a “Bullet Journal” of my own. Fear of failure is probably my # one issue and I will never waste my time making cutesy doodles and pics like I have unfortunately witnessed on the internet too many times. I finally wised up and logged onto your website, as this “baby” is your creation! And yes, I am a perfectionist in some ares of my life (actually most of my life) and I find your down to earth writing style and video vocalization(reminiscent of my favorite author, Ernest Hemingway ) easy for me to internalize (that means for me to pay attention and not let my mind zip all over the place). I preordered your book and I am looking forward to reading it. Once a bookworm,always a bookworm!CW

  • Lauraanne Bevan says:

    Very helpful,have adapted to use in my job,to keep confidentiality.I work as a carer.Useful to monitor tasks done.To reflect on care done.Changes in shift. Patterns

  • Lauraanne Bevan says:

    New to Bullet journalling.Anybody else use it who has a very hands on job.I'm not academic,don't work in an office or I.T.
    How do other people adapt theirs for hands on jobs?

  • how do you index ideas that pop up during the day and you log them into the journal? I'm a writer and I sometimes do brain dumps on my journal, but I often loose those ideas because they are in between my tasks

  • Your idea is really amazing …
    I always do same things but they were not arrange.

    First time I see a photo of planning on Instagram and I found that this is like the same which I think the same time and I found today that you are they creator of bullet journal…
    This idea is really very helpful to complete task …..

    Thanks for you valuable efforts…

    I made the same from many years but all those things were scattered on single pages..
    Now I will use your technique to schedule/ organise tasks….
    Happy New year 2019

    I am asking myself why I don't get this things ( I don't search on internet for such a wonderful idea)1&1/2 year before when you posted…
    But I am happy as I get it today…

  • Gabrielle Baalke says:

    Part (a large part!) of the BuJo effectiveness is simply the beauty: the music at the opening and closing; the wood of the table, the line of the journal itself, and Ryder's calm, encouraging voice. These are the human elements of life that are retained in the BuJo. It's what makes us (many of us!) want to strive to be our best, and to celebrate others doing their best, too. So, thank you BuJo community!

  • Gret idea, keep it up. Yes, useful, including to bring to the fore questins that we hadn't thought of but that need or deserve thinking about, en fait! Bravo!
    Think I'll try this out on a monthly journal to find my perfect fit, and then take on the 6 month one… Thank you to all the other people who shared below also. VEry helpful, appreciated!

  • A friend told me about this today and it sounded like what I needed. I've had other calendars, trackers whatever and it just doesn't work for who knows what reason. This system makes total sense for my business – and simple too. 2 thumbs up!

  • Ryder (or team), what do you use the open square bracket " [ " bullets for? They are featured on some of the pages in this video. For instance at 4:15. Thanks, -PM

  • I'm someone who gets stuck on details too much, so end up trying to perfect my monthly and future logs, slightly annoyed that I can't magically sync them up when I change stuff around. This video is great because it's helping me understand that you're actually using the monthly log as 1. a bird's eye view, and 2. to note down tasks and habits AFTER they're completed (not before, and feel overwhelmed by it. this makes so much more sense now!)

    I can't stand other bujo vids by people who fluff it up and make it so pretty, it puts unnecessary stress and anxiety that mine isn't the same. But this video's great because it's straight to the point and is FUNCTIONAL. thank you for doing that!

  • You should probably turn on closed captioning on your videos for those who need audio closed captioning (can't hear)

  • Anna O'Connell says:

    I’m adapting your BuJo to Trello (I hate writing the same thing over and over…) Trello I just drag to the next day’s Column.

  • FYI, for tasks assigned to you by someone else, it is always a great idea to capture the date you were told about the assignment along with the date the assignment is due. I can't tell you how many times I've been approached with, "You aren't done yet?!" and then I come back with, "Well you only assigned it to me on ___."

  • Bethany Jayne Pirie says:

    Okay sort of a question out there for everyone, but I’m writing a novel, and it’s getting a bit out of control in its scope and I need a more concise way of organising thoughts and events for a bunch of fictional characters, has anyone tried this/found a way to make it work with a bullet journal method?

  • Great value. Answering really helpful questions. Life is not easy to capture in any method so there will always be questions. Thank you so much!!

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