Are you the type of person who loves making lists? Enjoy that satisfying feeling you get when you cross a task off that to-do list you've wanted to get done for ages? Or perhaps you're someone who doesn't care about lists at all, but want to get more organized. In all of these cases, a bullet journal can help.
What is a bullet journal?
We’re glad you asked! Part diary, part fitness journal, part planner and part to-do list, your bullet journal can be anything you want it to be. You can make your goals – whether they’re health-related or career-focused – the center point of your bullet journal, referring to them as you keep track of your habits, milestones, and setbacks.
Instead of being limited to the planners that you might buy in a shop, by making your own bullet journal with a pen and pad of paper, you can create a system that works for you and your needs. Because of their fully customizable nature, your bullet journal could be filled with your hopes, accomplishments shopping lists and current plans, all annotated by bullets specific to each category.
You may be asking yourself what makes a bullet journal different from any other diary or notebook with lists. Just think about when you type a bulleted list on your computer – you usually use them when you want to make quick, short notes in an organized manner, right? The same goes for the way you would write down your feelings and thoughts in your journal.
Each bullet can have a different meaning in your journal. Perhaps you could use dashes for quick notes, dots for things to do or a star for important events. Still not so sure what we mean? Keep reading for a visual example!
Bullet journal ideas
To make your own bullet journal, all you need is a blank notebook and a pen or pencil. At the beginning of your notebook, create a key that looks something like this:
The idea is that instead of needing a separate notebook for each one of your journals, you can save space and consolidate your lists into one convenient location, making it easier to collect your thoughts. You can make it as minimalist or as over-the-top as you want – feel free to add different symbols and signs to your key so that you can add more types of notes.
At the front of your book, it’s a good idea to make an index, much like a table of contents in a non-fiction text. This way, you can keep track of your different lists including your fitness goals, books you want to read or a section to reflect on what you’re grateful for. If your journal’s pages don’t have numbers, feel free to add them – don’t worry, you can do a batch of page numbers at a time (like 10 or 20 at first.)
Your index may start small, but you can add more entries as you go along. For example, maybe you’d like to spontaneously start a workout log on the page following your daily bulleted list. You could then add that new list to the index next to its corresponding page number so that you can always flip back without having to search through random pages.
Benefits of keeping a bullet journal:
Writing by hand can aid with memory retention
It’s therapeutic for some people and may free up stress and “space” in the mind
Helps you keep your goals front and center
Can add a little bit of structure to your life
Combine it with your fitness journal
As we said earlier, developing a bullet journal empowers you to make it whatever you want it to be, and creating a section for a fitness journal could help you stay accountable and have an overview of your workout lists as well as fitness and food logs.
Even alongside using 8fit Pro for logging your meals and exercises, you could also use the fitness journal as an extension of the app. Or, you could create a page for a monthly habit tracker where you log each day that you successfully used 8fit for a workout or a meal, or you could use a special symbol in your daily log each time you complete a round of HIIT.
The possibilities are endless, so whether you decide to use your bullet journal to log your swimming sessions or brisk walks are up to you. If it all sounds too overwhelming, don’t worry – the internet is teeming with bullet journal ideas and templates to help you get started.
Other habits you may want to log in your health and fitness journal include symptoms and triggers (especially if you’re dealing with allergies or intolerances), your menstrual cycle or times that you meditated. And, if you’re trying to quit smoking or drinking, you could note down the days that were alcohol- or cigarette-free. It’s all about the little victories!
Interested in other ways to destress? We've written about 6 non-digital hobbies that you may want to try.
Bullet-journal your way to success
No, a bullet-journal isn’t going to solve all of your problems. It’s all about how you use it, how much time you commit to updating it and how often you spend reflecting on the content. There’s no quick fix for becoming healthier and happier, but every little effort equals a greater outcome.
Using a bullet journal or fitness journal as a tool to becoming more organized and driven is an excellent first step and a way to hold yourself accountable on your path to wellness.