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The Perfect Bullet Journal Key

Add Another Level of Organization with the Perfect Bullet Journal Key

Keeping an organized to-do list and appointments in your journal or planner can be daunting. Once you start writing everything down  – personal appointments, work meetings, soccer practice – your pages can get jumbled and disorganized. That’s why creating the perfect Bullet Journal KEY is imperative.

Your Ultimate Guide to Beginning a Bullet Journal AT ANY TIME Series

For this series, I’ve chosen the key elements for bullet journaling and will explain them in detail, and of course, provide you with lots of gorgeous inspiration from my favorite bullet journal accounts. I’ve organized the posts in this series in the order in which I use them, but feel free to click through the posts in any order that you like.

  1. Bullet Journal Index
  2. Bullet Journal Key (you’re here!)
  3. Bullet Journal Future Log
  4. Bullet Journal Monthly Planning
  5. Bullet Journal Weekly Logs or Weekly Spreads
  6. Bullet Journal Dailies

Bullet Journal Key

Bullet journal keys don’t need to be complex, Ryder Carroll, the creator of the Bullet Journal keeps his key super simple. But for many of us with families and multiple schedules to keep straight, we need something a little more detail-oriented.

You Do You

Below, I’m going to share with you all sorts of ideas from talented bullet journalists. Some use colors, some use symbols, while others combine both colors and symbols. What’s important to remember is that with all things bullet journal related, you do you! Create a system that works for your unique needs. Only add what is necessary to keep you on track. It’s fine to add bells and whistles, once you figure out what works for you, but I’d say keep it simple to start.

Keep It Simple

If you don’t need to create a special mark for doctor appointments, don’t! If your paycheck comes on the same day each month, then do you need to mark that in your bullet journal? But on the other hand, if you have a hard time keeping track of the different soccer practices and games for three children, then you may want to color code your schedules.

Nothing is Finite

I’m often asked by bullet journal newbies about what is the really the best way? How exactly should they start? Color, symbols? And I tell them that there is no perfect solution. What they’ll find, and I think you’ll discover too, is that your style, your key, your pages in your bullet journal will change over time. Your bullet journal, and therefore your bullet journal key, will change over time, as it should.

I’ve organized the bullet journal keys into five categories to help you find what you need. I hope that the images below bring you planning peace and inspiration in your search for the perfect bullet journal key.

Assign a unique symbol to represent tasks, events, appointments 

Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

Looking for those colored pens in the background? Staedtler Triplus Fineliners are my personal favorite. Or maybe you’re looking for the black pen, the Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen.

@literacybigkids

 

How about these symbols? There’s a symbol for everything in this bullet journal key!

Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

Are you a washi tape fanatic like me? Check out this Marble Washi Tape.

pageflutter

Assign colors to different parts of your life

Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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Still looking for beautiful pens? Some planners use the Stabilo pens. They’re just as great as the Staedtler listed above.

Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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Assign colors to family members

This is how I keep all the kids’ schedules organized

Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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If you’re looking to recreate the shading here, try Prisma Colored pencils. They’re the bomb.

Use a combination of all of the above in your bullet journal key

Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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Highlighters also come in handy when you’re planning. My personal favorites are the Sharpie Retractable Highlighters.

Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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Now I know some of you are thinking that there is NO way you could keep all those symbols and colors straight in your mind as you’re writing your lists, but that’s the whole point!

Do what works for you! Keep your bullet journal key simple if this is too complicated. Planning, Journaling and definitely Bullet Journaling are all about what works for you, that’s the beauty. No need to over-complicate things.

Which brings me to my last official tip. This comes from the Queen of Bullet Journaling, Ms. Kara herself from Boho Berry:

Tape your bullet journal key to the edge of a page

Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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And of course, no bullet journalist is complete without a Leuchtturm 1917 dotted notebook

Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

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There you have it. Five tips to make the most amazing key for your bullet journal or planner.

Are there any key ideas I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below. Feel free to link back to instagram, a pin, or blog post.

Now that you have the bullet journal key under your belt, move along to #3 in the series, the Future Log.

Your Ultimate Guide to Beginning a Bullet Journal AT ANY TIME

  1. Bullet Journal Index
  2. Bullet Journal Key (you’re here!)
  3. Bullet Journal Future Log
  4. Bullet Journal Monthly Planning
  5. Bullet Journal Weekly Logs or Weekly Spreads
  6. Bullet Journal Dailies

If you’d like more bullet journal inspiration, check out my bullet journal board on Pinterest.

Tons of Bullet Journal Key Ideas to Organize Your Hectic Life | Zen of Planning | Planner Peace and Inspiration

PIN ME!

Happy planning!

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Comments

  1. I just started blogging and designed a very nice action list planner for myself and I showed to my friend and they told me to come and have a look on your blog and here I am ! I enjoy reading the blog and like the inspiration bullet journal key idea !! Have a look on my post ” stroll in the park ” please when you have time and give some comment on the design

    • That’s so great you found me through a friend. I ‘m so glad I could help! I’ll definitely take a look at your blog.

    • Nat, it’s totally up to you; whatever works. Personally, I’d put mine after the index, right before my first page.

  2. Thank you so much for putting this together. It was a one stop shop for me. Got my key set up and now I feel I can take the next step… Actually write something.

  3. The Key tab idea is a great idea. I will add this to mine tonight. Love the simplicity of the designs just because of my daily schedule. Keep the ideas coming!

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