It’s the zombie apocalypse: you’re probably wondering how to start a bullet journal. Unless you’re Bear Grylls, or a Navy Seal, nothing in life has prepared you for this level of life-or-death decision making. A bullet journal makes it easy for anyone to stay organized in the new apocalyptic reality.
What is a bullet journal?
A bullet journal is a productivity system designed to keep track of every aspect of your life. It is a journal, to do list, notebook, and planner, all in one place. The concept was created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer from Brooklyn, NY. In his words, the goal of the bullet journal is to “track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”
Most of the bullet journals you’ve probably seen online look very pretty and complex. A bullet journal does not have to look like it was made by someone on Etsy with watercolors and $40 felt markers. In fact, Carroll’s bullet journal tutorial video only requires a notebook and a pen.
Is a bullet journal right for you?
Everyone works differently. For some, using a regular planner works for them and keeps them at max productivity levels all year long. If you’ve never had success in keeping a planner to stay organized, a bullet journal is worth checking out.
Benefits of using a bullet journal in the apocalypse
- Stay on top of repairs needed for your apocalypse stronghold
- Organize your notes on local resources and zombie sightings
- Track food and water rations to maintain adequate supply levels
- Keep up with your daily gardening routines to ensure consistent crop yields
- Schedule meetings with rival gang leaders to form alliances and trade resources
- Have a written record for your successors to learn from in your eventual death during a zombie attack
The bullet journal system
One of the attractive features of bullet journaling is its simplicity. Below are the basic bullet journal symbols and components that make the system work.
The index is the table of contents for your bullet journal. It gets added to as you progress through your journal.
Bullet journal key
There are three different bullet types: tasks, events, and notes.
Bullet journal symbols
- dot = Tasks
- circle = Events
- dash = Notes
- star = prioritizes a bullet type (add in front)
- Task completed = “X” out task dots
- Task migrated to next month = right arrow
- Task with lower priority = left arrow (gets moved to the Future Log)
- Irrelevant bullets = strikethrough with a line
The future log is a six-month outlook from the current month. It is a list of tasks with lower priority that are to be completed at a later date. This helps you to get rid of distractions and focus on tasks that need your immediate attention.
The monthly log is a bird’s eye view of the month’s tasks, and the time you have to do it in.
The daily log is a day-by-day breakdown of tasks that can be more detailed. Carroll refers to this method of jotting down tasks, events, and notes as rapid logging.
Collections are task lists of all the things you need to get done, or collect. Examples include: a shopping list, or a to-do list for starting your apocalypse herb garden.
Watch the video below to see how all of these components work together.
What you need to start a bullet journal
A dotted or squared notebook
Anyone can make a bullet journal using a dotted or squared notebook. You can find these online or at a local retail store.
This depends on preference, but for me, I prefer black, gel ink pens like the Pilot G2, for writing. These give a smooth writing experience and are clickable, meaning there’s no cap that you can lose.
I know that I’ve ragged on the Etsy-style of bullet journaling, but hey, it’s your life and you can do what you want. For fancier folk, you can use colored markers to prettify your bullet journal. Some people recommend using a pencil to draft out fancy layouts first. Others have recommended keeping white out handy, to get rid of mistakes.
These items aren’t necessary to get the productivity benefits of your bullet journal. Who knows, there may certainly be times during the apocalypse where there is nothing to do for days or weeks. Making an elaborately-designed bullet journal is a good time-killer.
In closing, a bullet journal is a great way to stay on top of tasks during the zombie apocalypse. Do you have any other methods for staying productive? Let me know in the comments!