Beginner's Guide to Effective Bullet Journaling

I discovered the Bullet Journal system early January, and since there I have not only begun my own Bullet Journal, but I have managed to use it effectively. 

However, I know that even though it seems simple once you begin, it is also very confusing before you get used to it. 

So here is my guide, and my tips on how to use the Bullet Journal efficiently. This guide is broken into the categories of the Bullet Journal. 

If you want to see how I use my Bullet Journal, and my explanations of it, please stay tuned :) 

► Materials ◀︎

1 Notebook

1 Pen

► Optional Materials ◀︎

Decorative Products

i.e. stickers, scrapbook paper, washi tape, highlighters, other fancy pens

► Index/Key ◀︎

What is it? 

The Index is a Table of Contents. It's designed to be a place for you to keep track of all your entries and to keep you organized. 

The Key is for you to reference back to, in case you forget what a certain symbol means, or want to use a symbol for a certain entry but forget what the symbol is. 

How do I use it effectively? 

To use the Index effectively, make sure you are actively putting in the entries as you use it. That will make it useful, otherwise it would defeat the purpose of a bullet journal. 

To use the Key effectively...well, it's there for you until you have all the symbols memorized. It's there for peace of mind, too. 

► Future Log ◀︎

What is it? 

The Future Log is a place where you can see the year in advance. You include all the months.

How do I use it effectively? 

The use for the Future Log is to be a place for you to put down events or things that need to be done that has been planned months in advance.


It is currently January, and my BF is coming to the East Coast in February/March, and I want to write it in to keep it in mind. I would write this down in the Feb/Mar Future Log months because I do not have my February/March Monthly Log written down yet. 

► Monthly Log ◀︎

What is it? 

A Monthly Log is where you plan the month in ahead. The Bullet Journal is good in that it keeps you thinking an entire month in advance just as it keeps you thinking a day in advance. 

How do I use it effectively? 

If you use your Future Log right, chances are you will be referencing the events or things to do you wrote in your January Future Log to include it in your January Monthly Log. But you can of course add things you did not add in your Future Log in the Monthly Log as well. 

The Monthly log is also a place for you to write down things to do that do not have a set deadline attached. 


I flew back to school January 17th. If I made my BuJo (Bullet Journal) in advance like in December or November, I would've written in the January Future Log that I was leaving on the 17th. Then, when I made the January Monthly Log, I would include it into the Monthly Log. 

► Weekly Log ◀︎

What is it? 

Just like how you get to plan your year and month in advance, you also get a space to plan your week in advance, and this is known as the weekly log. 

How do I use it effectively? 

If you used your Monthly Log correctly, then you would have events or things you need to do. Every week you would reference back to your Monthly Log to see if there is anything you need to include in your Weekly Log. Write them in, and include other things you need to do as the week progresses. 


I look back at my January Monthly Log and I see that this week I have to bake a cake for my Grandma's birthday. However, there is no deadline but looking at my week, I have time on, let 's say, Wednesday to bake it. Then I would write it into my Weekly Log. 

► Daily Log ◀︎

What is it? 

The Daily Log is where you write your daily to-do lists. 

How do I use it effectively? 

Do it every day. Or as daily as you have things you need to do. I've only skipped a few days because I wasn't going to be doing anything those days, but most of the time I have things I need to get done. 

Referencing back to your Weekly Log, you write your Daily Logs based on if you have anything written down for that day in your Weekly. 


When I was writing my Weekly Log in the beginning of the week, I wrote on Friday I have to submit a summer internship application and cover letter. So on Thursday night, when I am writing my to-do Daily Log for Friday, I would include that as a to-do. 

► Other Spreads/Logs/Collections ◀︎

What is it? 

Just anything else that you find important. There are hundreds of different kinds of spreads/collections online, especially on Pinterest.

How do I use it effectively? 

It's up to you to keep these up. 

► Products ◀︎

NotebookLeuchtturm1917 Notebook Medium (A5) Hardcover

Washi Tape: Rose Quartz & Serenity Washi Tape 

Stickers: Hobby Lobby 

[I recommend browsing in person]

Cover Paper: Gold Rose Scrapbook Paper

Pen: Pilot 'Precise V5 RT' 0.5