The date of 1 August is said to be planner day so it's a great time to learn how to use a bullet journal to be productive. The bonus is that this year 1 August was on a Saturday.

Planning junkies and bullet journals go hand in hand, they both visualise how to plan out a month, week or day. Light and Candour blogger Mutsa Munyaradzi shares her tips on how to use a bullet journal, or "BuJo" for short, to maximise your productivity.

Eight ways a bullet journal can help you achieve your goals

Blogger and bullet journal enthusiast Mutsa Munyaradzi.

What is bullet journaling?

Digital product designer Ryder Carroll created this method of journaling, which is more visual than simply written text.

Carroll had learning disabilities and so created an alternative way to be focused and stay productive.

To create a BuJo, all you need is a dot page notebook (see image above), then you can tackle one of these eight themes: 

1. Monthly Calendars

Drawing up a calendar for each month of the year helps you track your dates and deadlines for work or for campus ensuring you do not forget anything.

You can also create deadlines for when you expect to finish so you know when to push yourself.

In addition, you can use. the monthly calendar to track birthdays and other important dates. 

2. Habit tracker 

A habit tracker is basically a breakdown of how often you keep to the habits you set for yourself.

This can be drinking enough water every day, eating enough fruit or exercising.

Use your BuJo to record these in the same way your smartphone can track your steps for the day. 

3. Weekly planners

Draw up a Monday-to-Sunday weekly planner and set out what you want to accomplish for each day of the week.

Create daily routines. These can either be progress goals or simple thing, such as when you want to fit in your workout sessions or skincare routines. 

Eight ways a bullet journal can help you achieve your goals

Image: Mutsa Munyaradzi

4. Activity list for the month 

In the midst of a pandemic and a national lockdown. setting up an activity list is key to staying sane.

Allow yourself some time away from your mobile phone and digital devices. Pick a book to read, spend time on a hobby, do some spring cleaning or get some sun. 

5. Savings log and budget planners

You can draw an image of a jar with your savings goal amount on the lid. Then colour in the various levels as you save until you've reached your goal.

This is a great savings motivation.

You can also create a budget planner for the month to calculate what you have to pay for, what you want to purchase and how much to allocate for savings. 


There's something about wise words from others that seem to be so motivating.

For this, you pick your favourite quotes, visualise them in different fonts and doodles and keep them in categories for your bullet journal.

This acts as a constant reminder to achieve your goals. 

7. Mood Tracker 

Tracking your moods allows you to capture how you're feeling on paper, and articulate why you are feeling that way.

This opens up room for self-reflection.

Ultimately your mood links backs to how you think, and by using a mood tracker you may be able to pinpoint a pattern.

Munyaradzi prefers 28/30/31 blank spaces (according to the month) and then colours in how she feels in different shades according to her mood. 

8. Gratitude Tracker 

Eight ways a bullet journal can help you achieve your goals

Image: Mutsa Munyaradzi

Munyaradzi suggests you write down between one and three things you are grateful for daily, preferably in the morning to have a positive day ahead. 

Don't be discouraged if you feel like you can't draw, you can always download free templates from Munyaradzi's blog.

"Bullet journaling helped me stay accountable to myself," she says.

"I have a record of whether or not I'm actually doing the things I set out to every month.

"It has helped me develop good habits like drinking two litres of water a day and exercising regularly. However, it is important to remember this is a work in progress."