How to Use a Bullet Journal for Happiness

4 min read
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

A bullet journal is a hand-written journal that combines things like a calendar, reflections, drawings, and a planner (Tholander, 2020). It can be used to organize and plan your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and appointments.

It’s called a bullet journal because it uses bullet points to represent each task or event. In a bullet journal, you create a table of contents, which you can then use to quickly navigate to different sections of the journal. Each page is divided into two columns, with the left column containing the task or event and the right column containing any notes or additional details. You can also add symbols or bullets to the left column to indicate the status of the task or event, such as a dot for a task that has been completed, an arrow for a task that has been migrated to another page, or a star for a task that is a priority.

Here are a few examples of how you might use a bullet journal:

  1. Daily planner: Use your bullet journal to schedule your appointments and tasks for the day, as well as any notes or reminders you need.
  2. Weekly planner: Set up a section in your bullet journal to plan your tasks and appointments for the week, as well as any goals or priorities you have.
  3. Monthly planner: Create a monthly calendar in your bullet journal to track your appointments and important dates for the month, as well as any long-term goals or projects you are working on.
  4. Habit tracker: Use your bullet journal to track your daily habits, such as exercise, meditation, or water intake, using check marks to indicate when you have completed the habit for the day.
  5. Gratitude log: Use your bullet journal to record things that you are grateful for each day. This can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
  6. Budget tracker: Use your bullet journal to track your expenses and create a budget, using different colors or symbols to represent different categories of expenses.
  7. Project planner: If you have a big project coming up, use your bullet journal to break it down into smaller tasks and track your progress.

Bullet Journal Ideas for Happiness

If you aim to create a bullet journal to improve your mental health and well-being, here are a few more ideas:

  1. Record your thoughts and feelings: Use your bullet journal as a journal to write down your thoughts and feelings. This can be a helpful outlet for processing your emotions and managing stress. Writing about emotional experiences for 15-30 minutes per day has been shown to result in improvements in mental and physical health (Pennebaker, 1997).
  2. Focus on the positive things: By making lists of good things in our lives or qualities that we like in ourselves, we can help undo some of our negative emotions.
  3. Seek professional help: If you are struggling with your mental health, it is important to seek professional help. Use your bullet journal to record appointments with therapists or other mental health professionals, and to keep track of any treatment plans or recommendations.

In Sum

You can also use your bullet journal to track your habits, record your ideas, and jot down notes. Many people find bullet journaling really helpful for staying organized and reducing stress because it gives them a clear overview of what they need to do and helps them focus on one thing at a time. But bullet journaling might not be for everyone; think about your own needs and preferences before you decide if it’s worth your time and effort.

A version of this post on bullet journal ideas also appears at The Berkeley Well-Being Institute.

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