I LOVE using my bullet journal to get things done! It has been an incredible tool to increase my productivity and decrease the stress in my life.
That said, I think sometimes that we try to do the bullet journal symbols and icons the “right” way. I know, there was an original “bullet journal” system but there are many different ways to journal and that is okay too!
I tend to use a fairly simple symbol system and then use color to help differentiate the kinds of tasks I am doing while some people are strict, only black pens on white paper kinds of journallers.
The neat thing about using blank pages to journal is your style can evolve over time depending on what works for you!
Basic Bullet Journal Symbols
I was getting ready to do a post about the popularity of the bullet journal and looked up the “standard” symbols. These seem to be fairly well known across the board as the “right” way to make your tasks and show their completion.
These symbols are at the core of bullet journalling that functions by moving tasks from day to day, sorting out the important and eliminating the unimportant. Because “real” bullet journals are not consecutive, it is vitally important to know that things have been moved around and not lost in the mish-mash of pages.
Commonly Used Bullet Journal Symbols
Okay so next are some commonly used ones that seem to be in favor. This is roughly the system that I use (I love having little boxes to check off and fill out!)
So one of the neat things about bullet journalling for me is that it is task oriented and you can have a visual representation of all your todos in one place. But let’s get real, some todos are more important than others. Here are some of the ways that people designate important tasks by placing the symbol to the left of the task.
Appointments or Events
This is one of the thing that confuses a lot of people with bullet journalling. TASKS are squares and are things you have to accomplish. Triangles, circles or “A’s” are items that have a time factor associated with them. Generally they are something that are done with a another person or group.
Cancelled or Irrelevant Tasks (works for appointments too)
I think how you deal with cancelled tasks is dependent on how OCD you are about your bullet journal. I HATED the idea of having big slashes through my pages as things got cancelled or moved around so the nice little square with the cross served my ascetic much better. That said, the slash is definitely more noticeable and easy to see.
I have two different kinds of meetings, those I do from my home like client calls and then the ones that I physically have to travel to. I use different colored people to designate whether I am having a meeting at home or away. Black is for in home and blue is for away.
Migrated or Moved
As we talked about before, moving things around is a big part of the bullet journal system. It is important to make sure that things are not “lost” in your journal. These symbols show that it is acknowledged and in a better place.
Ideas and Research
One of the things that is so cool about bullet journalling is the ability to capture all of your thoughts and goals in one place. I often refer back to things that I have noted when I am working and having these kinds of symbols to make them easy to find are a great organizing tool!
Communicating with other people is such a big part of our day to day lives. I love using these little symbols to remind me to send an email or work on my blog posts!
Misc Symbols Bullet Journal
One of my all time favorite things about bullet journalling is how personal you can make your lists. Probably like me, sometimes you are focused on reading or family or travel and there are a bunch of different symbols that can help you see what you are doing at a glance. Being super visual, I am so much more able to judge how I am doing in my life if I can take a glance and see what symbols show up the most rather than just trying to read a todo list!
Last but not least is a key part of my bullet journal…color! I have a whole system of colors that I use to see how I am spending my time and what I am focusing on in my life. If you would like to learn more about this, check out my post… Three Ways To Use Color Coding In Your Planner
Now, your colors may work for different things, but this is a good place to start. Please, don’t get discourage if you can’t remember your colors right off the bat. I promise that within a couple of weeks you will have them down pat!
All In One Place!
Since I made this whole big list, I thought it might be fun to have it to print out for your journal too! Just right click and pick “save as” to get this for yourself! (no email opt in required)