Anatomy of the Bullet Journal: KEY

Here we are with the first post in the Anatomy of the Bullet Journal series!  Lets talk about the key.


The key is what helps you know what’s going on inside your bullet journal.  You can use bullets, signifiers, color coding or all three! Lets take a look at all three of these.

Bullets:  The bullets are what help you determine between tasks, events, notes, what you’ve done, what you haven’t done, and even what you’re neglecting.  Remember, you can adapt this to what works for you, and change it as often as you need to. I’m about to start in my 4th journal, and my key has changed more than 4 times.

  • Tasks are most often noted with a dot or a box.
  • Events are most often noted with an “O”.
  • Notes are most often noted with a -.
  • Some go farther and differentiate between events and appointments.  Appointments are most often noted by a triangle.

Signifiers: These help you know either what to do with a task or event, or help to organize your tasks and events into categories.  Some people have only a couple signifiers, while others have lots.

  • When you complete a task or event use a check mark or an x.
  • When you migrate (move to a different day) a task or event use an >.
  • When you schedule a task or event use an <.
  • When a task or event is irrelevant, simply strike a line through it.
  • Mark self-care related things with an *.
  • Use a ? when something needs to be researched.
  • Use a ! when its urgent or top priority.

Color Coding: Somewhat like signifiers, color-coding tasks and events can help you know where you’re spending your time, differentiate between life areas and so much more. I initially started off color-coding, then stopped, and now am back to color coding again. My current system is listed below.  I have been using the 12 pack of Papermate Flair Fashion markers for color coding.

  • Yellow is for personal.
  • Blue is for work.
  • Pink is for my photography/event planning business.
  • Lavender is for this blog.
  • Dark Green is for finances.
  • Red is for health/self-care.
  • Turquoise is for birthdays
  • Light Green is for vacations.
  • Orange is for holidays.
  • Black is for all my writing.
  • I have Purple & Maroon colors left over to use if something else comes up.

What about you? Chime in below to share what your BuJo key looks like!


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