Ehab Badran

A Simple Way That Can Change Your Life: bullet Journaling

I have something simple that can completely improve your life.

In today’s hectic life, everything just seemed to pile up. Days were filled with tasks, to-dos, and endless lists, making it feel like I was constantly behind.

The stress of trying to keep up was getting to me. I searched for ways to get organized, tried different planners and apps, but nothing really clicked.

I needed something straightforward and uncomplicated. Then I discovered bullet journaling. It was a game-changer. It’s refreshingly simple. You don’t need fancy tools or software, just a pen and paper or a quick note on your phone.

It is not just for writing down tasks but for making life more organized. It’s more than just a to-do list—it’s a way of life.

Let me share how this easy method changed everything for me, and how it can help you too.

The story behind bullet journaling

The fascinating story behind the creation of the bullet journal is as captivating as the system itself.

It all started with Ryder Carroll, a talented digital product designer hailing from the bustling city of New York.

As a young individual, Carroll encountered various learning challenges that motivated him to constantly explore and discover more effective methods to structure and manage his thoughts.

Through countless years of experimentation and refinement, he ultimately developed a unique system that allowed him to comprehend and navigate his intricate world.

Initially conceived as a personal remedy, this ingenious method gradually gained traction and evolved into a widespread phenomenon, captivating the attention and participation of individuals worldwide.

So, what exactly is bullet journaling?

Imagine it as an all-in-one tool for organizing your life. Here’s a detailed guide on how to set up an effective digital bullet journal:

  1. Choose Your Digital App:There are several apps tailored for bullet journaling or note-taking, such as Evernote, OneNote, Notion, and Google Keep. Personally, I prefer and use Notion. It is a versatile app that syncs across devices, allowing for seamless access to your digital bullet journal.💡Personal tip: If you frequently switch between a tablet and smartphone, apps like Notion or OneNote, which are widely accessible across devices, would be optimal.
  2. Create an Index: Use folders, tabs, or a master note for indexing. This acts as your table of contents, helping you locate different sections quickly.💡Personal Tip: In Notion, you can create a table of contents that hyperlinks to other pages or blocks.
  3. Craft Your Future Log: Dedicate a note or section titled “Future Log.” Segment it into months, providing a glimpse of the upcoming six months. Here, you can jot down future tasks, important dates, and goals.💡Example: Blue for birthdays, green for holidays, and red for work deadlines.
  4. Design a Monthly Log: Start a fresh note or section for the current month. On one side or section, list each date followed by the day’s abbreviation. Adjacently, outline your monthly tasks, bills, goals, and deadlines.
  5. Introduce a Daily Log: Every morning or the night before, start a new note or section for the day, listing tasks, events, and any important notes or reminders.💡Personal tip: Divide your day into hourly blocks and assign tasks or events to specific hours.
  6. Regularly Update Your Index: As you add new months, days, or special sections, ensure they’re referenced in your master index for quick navigation.
  7. Customize with Signifiers: Digital signifiers can help categorize entries. Consider emojis or colored icons. For instance, a 💡 could signify ideas, a ✔️ for tasks, a 💰 for financial matters, etc.
  8. Categorize Monthly Goals:To avoid a cluttered task list, group monthly tasks under relevant headings within your monthly log. Examples include “Work Goals,” “Personal Goals,” “Fitness Goals,” etc.💡 Personal tip: In apps like Notion, you can use toggles to collapse content that you don’t currently need to see.
  9. Add Collections:Collections in the digital world can be separate notes, pages, or folders. They include lists of broader tasks or things you’re interested in, like “Books to Read,” “Recipes to Try,” or “Places to Visit.”
  10. Personalize Your Journal: Take advantage of digital features: Use various fonts and colours, and Insert hyperlinks for quick reference to external resources or other parts of your journal, Add images or doodles, especially if you’re using a stylus-enabled device
  11. Reflect and Update: At the end of each month, revisit your tasks and goals. Transfer unfinished tasks to the next month’s log. Additionally, update the future log with any new long-term goals or tasks you foresee.💡 Personal Tips:Use a digital checklist within your tasks. It provides a visual cue for progress. If you have a task like “Complete Project X,” under it, you can have sub-tasks like “Draft proposal,” “Discuss with team,” and “Submit.” As you complete each, tick them off.


Customize as you wish

Having delved into the basics of bullet journaling, you’re now equipped with a framework that can be tailored to your unique requirements.

Its essence is to craft concise, organized entries through bullet points, which are straightforward to monitor, revisit, and revise.

I’ve taken this concept a step further. At the start of each week, I utilize a weekly planning template on Notion to outline my plans for the forthcoming days.

This has allowed me to apply and adapt the bullet journaling technique in diverse ways, perfectly aligning with my ongoing projects and tasks.

If you’re interested in integrating this into your own routine, you can access and personalize my totally free template via This link. Feel free to tweak it so that it resonates with your style and needs.

I hope you find bullet journaling to be a helpful tool for making your life easier and simpler, as I have found it to be.

Ehab Badran

Your Curious Surgeon 🌟

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