Bullet journal: the ultimate to-do list

I began my bullet journal journey about four months ago. At that time My to-do list comprised a combination of an electronic task list, notepads, loose sheets of paper and an email chain that I would forward to myself whenever I wanted to add or remove something. It worked, but it was haphazard and I knew there must be a better way.

I toyed with the idea of a to-do list app, but I prefer writing by hand to typing on my phone keypad and was reluctant to spend yet more time on my phone! I discovered the bullet journal system and thought I’d give it a try.

You can learn more about the bullet journal system on the website and by reading this post which has helpful (and pretty) illustrations.  In short, a bullet journal uses bullet points as a method of note taking and planning. It can replace your diary and to-do list.

The very basics are as follows:

  • Use a hardback journal for durability. Many people recommend dotted paper, but I find lined paper works fine.
  • Number the pages.
  • Leave a few pages for an index at the front. This is where you will write the headings and page numbers of anything you might want to refer back to.
  • Leave some pages for a ‘future log’, which is a fancy term for a year-view calendar.
  • You can include pages (known as modules) for particular topics you want to track. I have a module for books on my reading list and fun things to do with my family. The headings and page numbers get included in the index.
  • Create a month-view for the current month by writing the dates down the left hand side and a monthly or weekly to-do list on the adjoining page.
  • Get started with your daily journal! You can use as much or little space as you need.
  • The website recommends some simple bullet styles for different notes: a dot ‘.’ for a task, draw an ‘x’  through the dot once the task is completed, draw ‘>’ over tasks that have been moved and ‘<‘ over tasks that have been scheduled. You can create your own bullets too. I use my colleagues initials as a bullet for things I need to discuss with them.

You design the sections and order the journal to suit your needs. You can be as creative (or, if you’re like me, uncreative) as you like – check out Pinterest for some ideas.

I’ve kept my bullet journal simple and mainly use it as a task list for work rather than as a diary. My favourite thing about it is that my various to-do lists are all kept in one place. I also love that I can take notes about anything, give them a heading and write it in the index and I know exactly where to find them. I don’t need separate note books for separate topics, just an index page!



  1. 5 tips for taking your baby to work | Lucy's Locket | 13th Nov 16

    […] (both work and baby related) and will take your precious time.  Having a to-do list, or better, a bullet journal, will help you to stay […]

  2. Reuven | 23rd Nov 16

    This is a great post, Lucy. While I’ve heard of bullet journals before, I never realized I was using my own variant on it for years with plain, lined notebooks. Where I have yet to improve is with indexing the sections and pages so I can find things more readily. Your great tips will certainly help me get started doing that. And thanks also for linking up at the #TrafficJamWeekend linky party. Hope to see you there every week! ????

    • Lucy's Locket | 23rd Nov 16

      Thank you! I use lined notebooks too as they’re much cheaper, but the index has helped a lot.

  3. Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness | 2nd Apr 17

    I will definitely give one a go soon! xx


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