Bullet Journaling For Men - Ideas and Planning
The Bullet Journal method is not designed for men or women.
It’s designed for people who want to be increase productivity and maximize their time to achieve as much as possible.
With that in mind, there are a number of different techniques and layouts you can use, to make sure your Journal setup is best suited to your needs.
Productivity? Mental health? Creativity? Hitting goals?
This article will walk you step by step through everything you could possibly need to know.
So whether you choose a daily, monthly or weekly view, the Bullet Journal system offers you a way to ensure you have everything you need in just the right place.
What is Bullet Journaling?
The bullet journal is a planner system devised by Ryder Carroll, the original creator of the bullet journal method.
The term ‘bullet’ relates to the layout, planning and productivity methods used – many of which we’ll be covering for you here! And ‘journal’ is more likely a term that you’ve come across before, being a daily record of news and events.
So put the two together and what do you have…?
A bullet journal contains a combination of different elements, including short form sentencing, indexing, monthlies, collections, future logs and dailies, among other things!).
It’s basically a planner system and a fun way to plan for the future and track the past – capturing your thoughts and plan throughout the day with minimal effort and maximum impact.
Along with the organisational and planning benefits, there are many mindfulness, therapeutic and mental health benefits to be enjoyed through journaling.
3 Reasons men start bullet journals
1. Men Journal To Avoid Distractions
Many men attempt to use digital calendars on phones or similar, but these are littered with distractions via notifications, messages and apps.
You may or may not get your thoughts down in writing before an incoming call or a banner pops up on your phone, stifling your chain of thought or enabling you to develop the ideas you wanted to capture in the first place.
There’s just something about having blank bullet journal pages staring up at you, knowing you can formulate ideas and set out your plans clearly and without disruption.
Actually writing something down allows your brain to really absorb it, with the mindfulness act of the writing itself, giving your thoughts more clarity and your ideas the chance to grow into their full potential.
Many paper-based planners are marketed towards women, so it can be hard to find one that sports a more masculine feel and achieves the functions sought after by a male.
This coupled with the fact that many traditional planners don’t have the layout you want or the space you need makes bullet journaling for men an attractive option.
- To find a Journal to suit your needs, we’ve got you covered. Check out the 21 Best Journals for Men.
2. Journal To Develop Your Creativity
Some men are put off by the term ‘creative writing’, but if you think about it, all the term suggests is writing in a way that gets your brain outside the pre-programmed lines, and on to something more imaginative.
This could be a business plan, gift ideas for a loved one, re-inventing your training programme, or maybe developing short stories or poems.
Many men find it therapeutic to doodle too, maybe to clear your mind or just as a break from a stressful day. And if your planner is always in front of you then doodling is just naturally going to happen.
Journals have been known to keep men out of trouble too… For example – rather than getting into a heated argument with your boss or loved one (which will rarely end well for you), a good strategy is to get your thoughts onto the blank pages in your Journal instead.
This will make you feel like you’ve been heard and genuinely reduces your anger, meaning you can then cross the words out, or tear the page out and throw it away, avoiding the unnecessary argument altogether!
3. The Number 1 Productivity Tool
This is maybe the strongest use of men’s journaling because when it comes down to it, a Bullet Journal is the most useful tool you will find for productivity.
Writing down your goals or to-dos in a bullet list, cements them into your brain making them easier to remember and prioritize.
Many studies suggest that seeing a goal in writing makes us much as 42% more likely to achieve it.
For anything you achieve, you can cross it off or mark it as ‘complete’ which is also proven to engage a sense of reward in our brains, meaning we will instantly want to complete more of our tasks and goals.
Anything that you didn’t get round to, or maybe it changed in priority throughout the day, you can either migrate it to the following day, or remove it altogether.
If you want to get more organized and have somewhere to store your plans and goals, then a Bullet Journal is the ultimate power move for productivity.
- Click here to read more about the 9 Best Reasons Men Keep a Journal.
Bullet Journaling For Men: The Basics
Starting your own Bullet Journal provides you a great way to get the maximum out of your own life.
Here is all the guidance and basic equipment you will need to get your Journal off of the ground.
Keep it simple
A common misconception about Bullet Journaling is that it must be this elaborate and colorful event that takes hours of your time and needs drawers full of fancy supplies. This just is not true.
The best part is that you can use any notebook you like. As a man that can be good since you can pick something that fits your vibe, and you are not limited to all the hoopla many planning companies put out there.
While you can certainly use products like washi tape to help divide sections in your Bullet Journal spreads, many men who are just getting started choose minimalist Bullet Journal layouts and as the name suggests, these take seconds to create and still deliver the huge benefits of Journaling.
I highly encourage you to keep it simple when you’re starting. Knowing why you want to start a Bullet Journal and what types of things are important for you are the key factors.
In fact, bullet journal really works when you give your spin to it and make it your own.
So, if you would like to add colorful spreads and artwork then go for it! Otherwise just stick with minimalist black and white design and clean lines to get things moving.
What You Will Need
One of the best things about getting started on your Bullet Journaling journey, is that all you really need is a notebook and a pen.
The Pen – A black pen will create nice, sharp, clean lines on your Journal pages. Usually a fountain pen or fineliner are the tools of choice for most men.
Click here for more on the Best Pens For Men’s Journaling.
The Pad – This will likely be roughly A5 in size, so you can easily transport it, maybe in a laptop bag or the glove-box of your car.
The thicker the paper within your Journal, the less likely any ink will ‘bleed’ across the page, or ‘ghost’ through to the reverse of the sheet you are writing on.
Paper thickness is noted as ‘gsm’ in any product description, so keep an eye out for that when purchasing.
Take a look at the image below for more details or check out The 21 Best Journals For Men.
The Rest – As you might imagine, there is a world of choice online for optional extras. But as the name suggests – these are optional.
Which brings us back to one of our earlier points – knowing why you are keeping your Journal will help you decide what equipment you may or may not need.
Journal Ideas for Men: How To Get Started
OK so now that you know what you need and the benefits of the Bullet Journal, let’s put it all together and show you exactly how you can get up and running in very little time.
There are a few bullet journal ideas for men that you can choose from.
We will lay out the 9 main Journal ideas for Men in this post with examples of each.
Then you can choose which ones will have the most impact for the specific projects you focus on in your own Journal:
- Bullet Journal Key
- Daily Log
- Weekly Spreads
- Monthly Log
- Future Log
- Rapid Log
- Habit Tracker
- Custom Collections
1. Indexing For Mens Journals
To start your Bullet Journal, you need an index page in your new notebook.
An index is similar to a table of contents and forms the backbone of your journal.
Some notebooks come with an index already and for others you’ll need to dedicate the first 2 pages for this purpose.
Simply number the pages and label them as ‘Index’.
Then, just like a table of contents, whenever you are making entries in your Bullet Journal or create a new page, come back to your index and allocate a corresponding page number.
Every time you add something new to your journal, just allocate a page number and add it to your index so you can find it easily in the future.
To develop your Indexing over time, you can add colors, categories and symbols.
2. Bullet Journal Key
All of the information in a Bullet Journal is written in short sentences and paired with symbols or ‘bullets’.
This is a great way to easily categorize entries visually – and your key is your quick reference guide – instead of writing down every little thing.
Your key page is usually one of the first pages in your journal, so that you can flip back to it when you need to reference what a symbol, color or letter means.
Your key will always be personal to you and suit the unique way you will be Journaling.
So whether your list of symbols will be basic shapes and colors, or a more elaborate spread of small designs and different symbols depends entirely on you!
- Click here for a full Rundown on Bullet Journal Keys – Everything You Need To Know.
3. The Daily Log
A fantastic addition to any journal is a Daily log. You can achieve so much by writing down and planning your day ahead.
A daily log (or daily spread) is a key part of any Journal and allows you to:
- Set out your to-do lists
- Achieve planned goals
- Prioritize daily tasks
- Achieve a sense of satisfaction at the end of each day
- Stay motivated
- Increase productivity
Not only does it help you focus solely on priorities, but also it holds you accountable.
Along with this, after working with bullet journal daily logs you start getting control over how you spend your time, removing the guesswork from your scheduling and making you feel like you’ve added hours to your day.
As a result, tasks will be done, goals will be achieved and you’ll go to sleep with a clear mind, feeling fulfilled and satisfied.
4. Weekly Spreads
The weekly log is a natural step between monthlies and dailies, acting as a general overview of the week, helping you plan the next seven days without getting bogged down in too much detail.
This will likely help you structure the bulk of your planning across the week.
You can cover any appointments, key events or tasks in your schedule, along with any deadlines you might have.
Here are 10 ideas of what you can include in your weekly spreads:
- Weather (Either forecast ahead, or capture to look back on)
- Quote of the week
- Habit Tracker
- Gratitude Log
- Calendar Thumbnails
- Notes for next week
- Work Start / End Times
- Sleep Log
- Meal Planner
This isn’t an exhaustive list but will hopefully give you a feel for where you can take your weekly spreads.
5. The Monthly Log
Your monthly log or monthly spread is effectively a calendar in your Journal pages, and can be used in a couple of different ways.
You can set yourself goals and reminders for key events or meetings that will be happening throughout the month.
You can also leave your monthly log with blank space, where you can keep coming back and adding to it as the month progresses, noting down ideas, experiences or events which have taken place.
You can then come back to these and reference them easily later on – if you’re feeling adventurous, why not divide your monthly log in two and do a mixture of both!
The monthly log provides a broader sense of what you have going on in the next month.
It often includes a calendar and a running task list. You can draw out a traditional calendar if you want to, or just divide your Journal pages into daily squares.
If dividing entire pages in your first Bullet Journal seems like a bit much, you can buy smaller, stick-in monthly logs, so you can track dates of the month and get going straight away.
6. The Future Log For Bullet Journals
Since a bullet journal doesn’t have the whole year drawn out in advance, you’ll want to make a future log.
This is usually 4-6 pages that will be used to record future events that you want to remember.
You can keep it super basic and just split your pages into sections, using each section as a month of the year.
Title the section and then write in any important dates that you’ll need to remember. Things like:
- Sports Fixtures
This will be a running list, so make sure there is room to add things as necessary throughout the month or year.
It’s common to add little calendars or calendar pages so you know which dates land on what days of the week, but this is completely optional.
7. How to Rapid Log
Rapid logging is one of the fundamental appeals to Journaling for Bullet Journal users.
Think along the lines of an organized brain dump and you’re not far off.
It’s where you’ll write down specific tasks and events that you need to have available for you throughout the day ahead, but instead of long descriptions, you can use short form sentences and/or symbols.
All you need to do is write the date at the top of your page and transfer anything applicable from your weekly or monthly task list. It could be any of the following:
- Reminders you need to act on
- Follow-ups to make
- Things to remember for tomorrow
- Any important tasks
Throughout the day you can go through each activity or reminder and cross out things that have been handled, got cancelled, or are no longer needed.
Then you can review your log at the end of your day and move what’s left to your task list for the following day. This is called scheduling and migrating.
- Click here for more on Rapid Logging.
8. Habit Tracking
Habit trackers are very popular in the Bullet Journal community, as they provide an easy way to track almost anything!
The habit tracker is a perfect way to put new habits in place or remove old ones.
The act of filling in your daily habits is an easy way to increase your motivation to accomplish each one.
Some habit trackers can be completed as weekly or monthly habit trackers, depending on what they are and how regularly you would like them tracked.
Here are 15 Habit Tracker Suggestions for your Bullet Journal;
- Social Media use
- Money Spent or Saved
- Morning Wellness Routines (Yoga, meditation, mantras, stretching, cold showers)
- Days without Alcohol
- Food Log
- Caffeine Intake
- TV use
- Learning something new (Instrument / Language)
- Phone Use
- Quality Family Time
Within any one of these categories, you can break them down even further, into more detail. For example ‘Workout’ could become;
- 10,000 steps
- 45 minutes Strength training
- 30 minutes Treadmill
9. Custom Collections
Custom collections are where you can get personal.
The Bullet Journal method is meant to be extremely flexible, offering you a framework to build a system that works for you.
You can add literally anything you want into your Bullet Journal so keep it simple or get creative.
The collections that are generally found to be most helpful are collections that layout your goals or plan your time.
Below is an example of what a custom creation might look like.
So What Next?
These high quality Journal Ideas For Men have no doubt given you plenty to think about.
The Bullet Journal method is a great idea that provides you with an easy way to get super organized.
Hopefully it has come across in this article that every choice you make with your Journal is down to you, because at the end of the day – you are the one who is set to benefit from setting it up and completing it.