Bullet journals: Creating your key

The key page in a bullet journal

Alright, have you picked out your bullet journal yet? Have you figured out what you want in it? Maybe you’ve even started using it and you don’t even need this post. I wouldn’t blame you–I was pretty excited to design mine when I first started, too.

For those who haven’t quite gotten started yet, though, hopefully this post can help you out a bit. Today, I’m going to talk a bit about how to create a key for that wonderful little book of yours. After all, if you’re using your bullet journal to its utmost potential, then there’s a good chance you’re going to have a lot of difference colours and symbols floating around in there.  The best way to keep everything straight is to have a point of reference, right?

That’s where a good key comes in handy. I love mine, and I think I finally have it nailed down. Of course, I’ve thought that before, but I’ll explain that in a moment.

For now, let’s start at the top. I figure best way for me to help you create your bullet journal key is to tell you about mine, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Let’s start by talking about some basic symbols.

The basics

A set of basic bullet journal symbolsA set of basic bullet journal symbolsA set of basic bullet journal symbols





What can I say about these except that they’re, well, pretty basic? Most people who use a bullet journal have similar symbols, and you’ll find them throughout their books. Most often they’ll be on their daily pages and/or weekly pages, sometimes on the monthly pages or their future log.

For me, I generally use them on my dailies, and occasionally on my monthlies. They’ve been fairly consistent since I started using a bullet journal, and I can’t see myself changing them any time soon.

Most of these work together fairly well, too. For example, say you start with a bullet, as a to-do item. Depending on what you do with that item in a day, you could end up marking it later with either the “Moved” symbol, the “Done” symbol, the “Didn’t Do” symbol, or the “Deleted” symbol. If you mark something down as a note, you may end up marking it with the “Scheduled” symbol later. And so on and so forth.

Future log and monthly spreads colours

A list of colours used in a monthly spread and a future log in a bullet journal

Past all of those symbols, you have your colours. Or I do, at least. When I draw up my future log and my monthly spread, I like to be able to tell, at a glance, what sort of events I can expect.

Those little triangles and circles at the top of the list? Those denote certain types of days off–I circle dates in my future log, and corner off the calendar squares in my monthly spreads. Then comes the list of events/reminders. Mine is pretty lengthy, though I could probably cut back. If you decide to do something similar, you may want to either shorten your list or add to it, whichever works better for you.

Daily spreads

A key listing for daily spreads in a bullet journal

Now, this is the area of my key that has seen the most change since I started using a bullet journal. I’ve cut way back in this area recently, and I’ve reached a point where I only really need to mark what the different parts of my schedule-area denote.

Like my future log and monthly spread, this section comes down to colours. Again, I like to be able to tell, at a glance, what sort of thing I’m working on when. So far, that’s been working really well for me. It’s definitely the sort of thing I would recommend doing.

So, there you have it. That’s what my bullet journal key currently looks like. I hope that seeing it will be of some help for you as you create your own.

Happy journalling!

Bullet journals: Creating your key


3 thoughts on “Bullet journals: Creating your key

Add yours

    1. Thank you! It makes me feel just that little bit better about my accomplishments or reaching a goal. 😊

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