The Bullet Journal Cheat Sheet for Quick Note-Taking
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What makes the Bullet Journal method of note-taking so popular? It’s the magic combination of speed, structure, and flexibility!

Once you understand how to set up your bullet journal and personalize it, you can capture any aspect of your day, work, and life in a streamlined manner. If you’re new to this method and find it daunting or if you just need a refresher on its essentials once in a while, our cheat sheet below can help.

Refer to the cheat sheet for quick descriptions of key Bullet Journal terms and symbols, and for a walkthrough of the logging process. You’ll also find ideas for Bullet Journal Collections and signifiers in the list.

FREE DOWNLOAD: This cheat sheet is available as a downloadable PDF from our distribution partner, TradePub. You will have to complete a short form to access it for the first time only. Download The Bullet Journal Cheat Sheet for Quick Note-Taking.

The Bullet Journal Cheat Sheet for Quick Note-Taking

ItemDescription/Note
Terms to Know About
Rapid LoggingAdding journal entries as bulleted lists
CollectionBasic journal module to organize related information
¹IndexContent locator (Sample entry:
Collection_Name: 1-2, 6-8, 15)
¹The Future LogFor dated entries outside current month
¹The Monthly Log
a. The Calendar PageTo record/schedule events and tasks
b. The Task PageMonthly inventory of time, upcoming tasks, priorities, migrated tasks, etc.
¹The Daily LogFor capturing tasks, events, and notes daily with Rapid Logging
TopicDescriptive title for journal page
BulletShort sentence paired with symbol for Rapid Logging
SignifierSpecial symbol to add extra context to journal entries
StackSet of active Collections
TagsHashtags for sharing Stacks in social media posts
SubcollectionsSubsets of Collection created for easier management of large projects
Dedicated IndexIndex dedicated to one subject only
ThreadingStitching Collection together by connecting its page numbers
MigrationMoving entries between Logs to update journal
Bullet Symbols
● Task_NameTo-do list item / task incomplete
✖︎ Task_NameTask complete
> Task_NameTask migrated to collection
Task scheduled in Future Log
● Task_NameTask irrelevant
- Note_NameItem to be remembered
○ Event_NameNoteworthy moment
○ Event_Name

- Note 1
- Note 2

- Note 3
Nested bullets
Signifier Ideas
²*Priority
²!Inspiration
²👁Explore further
iSpecial information: coupon code, flight number, receipt number, etc.
♥︎Favorite/liked
Important
Recurring
?Research/verify/reconsider
$Money related
>Tech related
@Name, email address, or social media handle
#Phone number
Address, location
Website
Deadline
Appointment
:)Vacation
Holiday/weekend
!?Idea
Quote
Medical information
[ ]Book/movie/video
Song/album
:)Mood
Wishlist item (Check box after purchase)
Starter Tags
#BulletJournal
#BulletJournalKey
#BulletJournalIndex
#BulletJournalCollection
#BulletJournalFutureLog
#BulletJournalMonthlyLog
#BulletJournalWeeklyLog
#BulletJournalDailyLog
#BulletJournalFoodLog
#BulletJournalMoodLog
#BulletJournalGratitudeLog
#BulletJournalTracker
Steps to Log Information
1. Set up Index.
2. Set up Future Log after Index.
3. Update Monthly Log.a. Set up Monthly Log at start of month.
b. Add list of dates to Calendar page.
c. Migrate tasks from previous month or Future Log.
d.Schedule/record events and tasks on Calendar page.
e. Record notes and extra information on Task Page.
4. Create Daily Log for next day.a. Add Topic at top of page and page number at bottom.
b. Use Daily Log for rapid logging day’s tasks, events, and notes.
c. Add Topic and corresponding page number(s) to Index.
Custom Collection Ideas
Work/ProductivityProject manager
Workflow tracker
Homework tracker
Meeting log
Time tracker
Exam prep tracker
Deadline tracker
Learning log
Career goals tracker
Job search tracker
HouseholdShopping list
Meal planner
Recipe book
Birthday calendar
Event planner
Errand tracker
Medical information tracker
Home improvement tracker
Trip planner
Recurring tasks tracker
HealthDiet planner
Food diary
Workout tracker
Running log
Sleep tracker
Period tracker
Self care ideas list
Checkup tracker
Healthy foods list
Mood tracker
FinancesBudget tracker
Bill payment tracker
Expense tracker
Debt tracker
Money goals tracker
Income tracker
Savings tracker
Investment tracker
Subscription tracker
Money to-do list
LifePersonal diary
Gratitude journal
Life goals tracker
Quotes and affirmations list
Bucket list
Gift ideas tracker
Hobby tracker
Habit tracker
Reading list
Movie list
¹Core Collection: Foundational Collection part of every Bullet Journal.

²Suggested in the official Bullet Journal system.

Stay Analog or Go Digital

Your bullet journal can be a planner, calendar, memoir, or all of these and more rolled into one. And you’ll find plenty of stunning journal spreads online to use as inspiration for your own. What’s more, you can go digital with your bullet journal in creative ways. For example, you can repurpose Evernote as a bullet journal.

If you plan to go the digital route, we recommend using one of these apps to make bullet journaling effortless The 5 Best Bullet Journal Apps to Make Bullet Journaling Effortless The 5 Best Bullet Journal Apps to Make Bullet Journaling Effortless We rounded up several smart apps that come with all the right features for keeping a Bullet Journal. Read More .

Image Credit: Estée Janssens on Unsplash

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  1. Friar Tux
    November 10, 2019 at 12:28 am

    Way, way, way too complicated. Using Cherrytree instead. Much simpler and more down-to-Earth. In fact, I use it for all my writing/word processing needs - logbook, inventory, poetry, story/article/letter writing, address book/contacts list, recipe book, to do/task lists, project management, notebook, and much, much more. It will handle *.txt or *.rtf format and saves it's data in a folder location of your choice (including any cloud storage you may be using - Dropbox for me). You can even insert links, tables or pictures. It's cross platform so I can use it on Windows or Linux without skipping a beat. I have yet to find a more useful, versatile programme.