Rapid logging is a cornerstone of theBullet Journal method. It is the language in which the Bullet Journal method is written. Rapid logging involves quickly jotting down information in a concise and structured manner with the use of Bullets. These Bullets add context to an entry, letting you tell at a glance whether an entry is a task, event, or note.
When we Rapid Log, we write down the essential parts of information. Instead of writing “I bought cake at the local bakery today and went home.”, we strip that information down to “Bought cake and went home.” The short entries make it easier to keep up with your practice because you don’t have to commit towriting journal/diary entries everyday. Their brevity also allows for us to record our thoughts and lives without falling into rumination.
What are Bullets in the Bullet Journal method?
Rapid Logging relies on the use of short-form notation paired with Bullets. Every bulleted item should be entered as short objective sentences. The Bullets will help organize your entries into three categories: Tasks, Events, and Notes.
Events are represented by an “O” Bullet. Events are date-related entries that can either be scheduled (e.g. “Charlie’s birthday”) or logged after they occur (e.g. “signed the lease”).
Event entries, no matter how personal or emotionally taxing, should be as objective and brief as possible when Rapid Logging. The Event “movie night” bears no more or less weight than “best friend moves away.” That being said, once you’ve rapid logged an Event, feel free to write about it at length on the next available page.
Tasks are represented by a simple dot “•” and include any kind of actionable items like “Pick up dry cleaning”. The task bullet does a lot of heavy lifting in the Bullet Journal®so it has three additional states:
X = Task Complete
< = Task Scheduled (A task that's been moved backward into the Future Log)
Notes are represented with a dash “–”. Notes include: facts, ideas, thoughts, and observations. Notes are entries that you want to remember but aren’t immediately or necessarily actionable. This Bullet works well for meeting, lecture, or classroom notes in your Bullet Journal notebook.
For most people, these three primary Bullets are enough to organize their lives with. If you find that you need more distinguishers, you can try adding Signifiers to your Bullet Journal.
Using Signifiers in Your Bullet Journal
Signifiers are symbols that give your entries additional context. Sometimes, we need to distinguish between Tasks to see which is more important or know if we want to do more research into a Note. A handful of useful examples are listed here; feel free to come up with your own as you get more comfortable using the core Bullets.
Represented by “*”; used to give a Task priority. Placed to the left of a Bullet so that you can quickly scan your pages to find most important entries.
Represented by an exclamation point; most commonly paired with a Note. Great ideas, personal mantras, and genius insights will never be misplaced again!
Represented by an eye; used when there is something that requires further research, information, or discovery.
Other Bullets and Signifiers for Your Bullet Journal
While these are the most common Bullets and Signifiers to use for your Bullet Journal, we invite you to make your own. The Bullet Journal method is yours to customize and adapt to your life. Part of that is figuring out how to use the method’s tools in ways that are productive for you. If you need more distinguishers for your Bullet Journal, we recommend experimenting with symbols that are easy for you to recognize and associate with certain actions or ranks of priority.