Looking for a bullet journal key? This quick post captures the basics and has images from other people’s journals to inspire you if you want to add the key to your own pages.
What is the Bullet Journal Key?
One of the most effective parts of the Bullet Journal Method is rapid logging. This is where you write short sentences with symbols that categorize what you write into: Tasks, Events, or Notes. This bullet journal key shows you the symbols that go in front of each of those lines to tell you what type of info is there. This helps you process the information quickly with an at-a-glance look at your day.
Here are the symbols that make up the official bullet journal key:
- Tasks – a simple dot goes beside things you have to do. You’ll expand on that dot with an x, >, or < based on what you’ve done with that task.
o Events – these are moments in time like appointments, parties, and meetings. Or it might be something that’s happening like a birthday, milestone, or just that you went for a run after work.
– Notes – a dash goes next to any information you put on your page that isn’t a task or event. You typically use it for ideas or observations.
What’s great about the bullet journal key is that it is simple and easy to process visually. When you are writing things quickly, these little marks are quick to use.
How to modify the task symbol to show what you’ve done with the task.
If a task is incomplete. It just stays a dot. Like this:
- Drop suit by dry cleaner.
Once that task is done, you just mark an x over the dot.
x Drop suit by dry cleaner.
But what if your day had some unexpected things happen and you didn’t get to drop the suit? Well, then you would move that task to the next day (complete with it’s plain dot) and on the current day you would draw an arrow over the dot pointing to the next page.
> Drop suit by dry cleaner.
Let’s say, you don’t actually need the suit until a wedding in two months. In that case, you might decide it isn’t urgent and move it to the future log page for whatever month the wedding is in. In that case, you would draw an arrow over the dot pointing to the future log.
< Drop suit by dry cleaner.
Defining symbols for your own bullet journal key
One of the best parts about the bullet journal method is how adaptable it is. The basics create a structure, then you morph it to your own life.
Some people expand the bullet journal key with their own symbols to fit their unique context. As you use the system, you may think of symbols you want to add. For example, you might use ! for project deadlines or # for a topic you want to remember to post about.
Creating a key page in your bullet journal
If you are just using the original three symbols for tasks, events, and notes, you probably don’t need a key page, but if you decide to modify the symbols, or just want a bullet journal key page as a reference, you should create it!
Here are some examples from Instagram to show what other people are doing in their bullet journals to give you ideas. Keep in mind that we are showing some of the artistic ones for inspiration. To be true to the original bullet journal method keep it simple!
Feel more confident with your bullet journal key?
It’s simple, right? The basics are just a handful of symbols that identify if a line has a task, event, or note on it.
Now you just have to decide if you are going to stick with the original symbols or modify them to create your own bullet journal key.
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