Bullet journal – the ultimate setup of collections

If you have ever heard of the bullet journal, you know that it is the ultimate combination of planning and mindfulness. Being a planning system, it is highly effective and being a system to take care of your well being it is highly sufficient. 

Today we are going to dig deep into the part of the bullet journal system that is called collections, and we will look into how you can benefit from using this system for yourself. 

I have been using the bullet journal system for years now, and I’ve validated it back and forth and seen the benefits of using it in all sorts of ways. But the thing that stuck the most with me is the feature that is called the collections. 

So, what is the bullet journal system really? 

The easy explanation is that it is a planning and calendar system that you set up yourself using any notebook.

But the real secret is in the section of the bullet journal which is called collections, and that is what we are going to talk about today. 

The bullet journal features

Here is a short recap, in case you haven’t heard of the bullet journal before. It is an analogue planning system founded by Ryder Caroll, and the only thing you need is a simple notebook and a pen to do it. (Note here that this is a somewhat modified truth, since I’m quite sure that the sales on stationery has increased dramatically since the system was launched. The bullet journal community is a growing and creative community that wants to express itself through planning, that’s for sure.)

There are a set of core features in the system:

  1. Index
  2. Future log
  3. Monthly log
  4. Daily rapid log
  5. Migration
  6. Collections

The Index is the most crucial thing. Without the index, no bullet journal. This provides you with such a valuable way of going back to what you’ve written, especially when you’ve been around for a long time and have managed to accumulate a whole library of bullet journals. Then you will be thankful to your past self that you correlated the content with the exact page where to find it. 

The future log is where you put your long time planning (6 months into the future or so). It can be events, or something you have to remember for a future date.

The Monthly log is like a monthly calendar, and just like any calendar you jot down your most important events every day of the month. 

The daily rapid log is where it gets interesting. This is a combination between a to-do list and a note book where you jot down everything that comes in your way, be it an event, a task or a note of some kind. Everything that you need to capture so you won’t forget it goes into the rapid log. 

You manage the daily rapid log with a unique key of specific bullets (like in a bullet point list), which allows you to see at a glance where you are in the work flow. It also allows for you to see what kind of information you have at a glance. For example: every task has a bullet, and every note has a hyphen in front of it. This way you can keep your log in order. 

Migration is the procedure where you move something forward or backward in your bullet journal. If you didn’t manage to complete a task during the day for example, you migrate it to the next day.

The bullet journal collections

But these are all elements within the planning part of the bullet journal system. 

To further augment the system, there is also the feature called the collections. 

This is when the mindfulness part comes in.

Since the bullet journal can be created with any notebook, you can see it as your personal journal as well. 

The collections are what makes every bullet journal so unique, since they are the heart and soul of the system according to my point of view. Here is where you get to express yourself in the most delightful ways. 

So what are collections within the bullet journal system? 

See it like this: Every time you want to do something for your wellbeing, that is when you start a new collection or add to an old one. 

A collection can be almost anything. 

Do you want to capture old quotes from movies you watch? Start a collection. Do you want to collect cupcake recipes? Have a page dedicated to track your habits during a month? Just start a habit tracker, and that is a collection for you. Do you want to track all the zombie movies you’ve watched? Jot them down in a collection. Zombie movies you do want to watch? Create a collection for that as well.

When starting out with the bullet journal system, you can get somewhat overloaded, since the possibilities are endless. You just want to try everything. It all seems so fun and exiting! And it is, believe me. Being a seasoned bullet journalist, I’ve had my share of bujo overwhelm. 

That’s why I want to share the collections that I’ve found to be the most useful and valuable during my bullet journal journey. 

Here are my favorite collections:

Master To Do
90 day planner
project planner – timeline
Morning routine template
“Level 10 life”:

Habit tracker
Books to read
Movies to watch
Hashtag collections
Contacts etc
Brain dump
Checklist templates

So how do these collections look?

Here are some examples of the bullet journal collections I use the most:

I hope that this collection of collections has given you some inspiration to set up a bullet journal for the next year.

Related articles:
The minimalist bullet journal
Scrum vs. Bullet journal planning
The Bullet journal website by Ryder Carroll

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