Using NotePlan as a digital bullet journal (2023)


  • The Basics of Bullet Journaling
  • The benefits of bullet journaling
  • The Cons of Using a Traditional Bullet Journal
  • Why NotePlan is the perfect digital journal
  • resume

Bullet Journal: freedom and flexibility

Bullet Journal (or BuJo) is a great way to organize your notes, tasks, and events in one system. Bullet journaling is an analog process: you write everything in a physical notebook, just pen and paper. Both the flexibility of the system and the freedom of pen and paper are one of the main reasons why so many people love the method.

Switching from a physical journal to a digital journal has a number of benefits that will help you work more efficiently and speed up your workflow. In fact, NotePlan will feel right at home if you've used a bullet journal before. You accepteverything you love about BuJo and makes it even better. From tasks to notes and calendar integration. And all this without deviating from the philosophy of the bullet journal.

Curious? Sign up and check out the NotePlan atMac-App-StoreIt's inapp store!

The Basics of Bullet Journaling


The Bullet Journal method wasDeveloped by Ryder Carroll"to build a system that's flexible enough to handle whatever you throw at it and fast enough not to get in the way." The goal was to use a single physical system to organize the past, present, and future. A bullet journal uses pen and paper - everything lives in a notebook. To get started, manually structure your notebook into different sections:

  • OnIndex: an index
  • Afuture protocol: a range showing the next 6 to 12 months
  • Amonthly record– A breakdown of each day in a month on the left, and space for tasks you need to get done in that month on the right
  • ADaily report: a continuous list of days with specific entries: tasks, events and notes
  • collections: a list of notes and ideas on a specific topic (p.Books to read, shopping lists, class notes, etc.)


Every day just list your tasks, notes and events. You complete things as you go. At the end of each month, create a new monthly record and review the daily entries for the previous month. The goal is to mark completed tasks and decide what to do with open tasks. Tasks that have not yet been completed can be transferred to the monthly log for the next month (an operation called "Migration“).

abbreviated form

What makes the Bullet Journal fast and efficient is “quick registration', a specific abbreviation, or a series of symbols to visually highlight tasks, events, and notes on the page. The default set of symbols is:

  • A "·" label for a to-do or to-do item
  • A hyphen "-" for a note, thought, or idea
  • A circle "⚬" for an event, such as a meeting or a phone call

Open tasks have a bookmark, completed tasks have a "X' on the marker to indicate that they have finished. Tasks that are moved to a collection have a ">' and tasks moved to a 'future record' will have a '<in front of them. The abandoned tasks arejust scratched.

You cannested entriesplacing a new line below an item, indenting it, and placing a task, note, event, or combination of items below it.

(Video) Bullet Journal App | NotePlan 3 Review

BuJo's quick registration method is also usedImportant:Symbols that you add to the shortcut described above to give entries a special status. an asterisk"*" indicates a priority item, while an exclamation point "!' highlights an important idea.

The benefits of bullet journaling

That's what using a bullet journal method is all about.speed and flexibility. It's quick and easy to open a page, grab a pen, and jot down a few items. Shorthand also makes it easy to distinguish between types: meetings, tasks, thoughts are all different. By marking them as such, you can quickly see what to do.

A great advantage of bullet journaling is that there are no limits to your creativity, from ink colors to pens, special page layouts, and much more. Do you have theLibertyto draw, design and arrange a sheet of paper as you like.

Many BuJo fans also note that the allure of taking notes in a hardcover notebook is just plain fun. The feel of paper, using a traditional ink pen and writing by hand. It cannot be denied that aphysical notes experienceit can be a breath of fresh air in a digital world.

finally when it arrivesprivacy, a laptop can hardly be beat. Aside from the prying eyes of friends, family, or roommates, no one else has access to your notes except you. There is no encryption, passwords, hacks or spyware. A physical notebook keeps your notes safe for your eyes only.

The Cons of Using a Traditional Bullet Journal

However, the analog nature of the bullet journal can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. The physical act of writing can be fun, but paper has its drawbacks. start isless durable than a digital system. If your notebook is lost, stolen, or disaster strikes, all your notes and ideas are gone. For everything always.

Furthermore, it is also possible to set up and maintain a bullet journal.a long and manual process. While you can buy an official BuJo notebook with a placeholder for the table of contents, you still have to create a lot of structure yourself. For example, Future Registration and Monthly Registrations. Some people will also find it tedious to write a list for each day of the month over and over again. Finally, migrating tasks is simply moving things around. A time-consuming process when you have a lot of tasks to put off.

Taking physical notes is too muchless versatile. Imagine scheduling a meeting and then rescheduling it. Then move again. Soon it's clogging up your notebook. (Unless you have a pencil and eraser!) It's also more work to copy notes. While some people like to move notes around to make sure they're really grounded, others will find it boring to type the same thing over and over again. That task you've been wanting to do for several weeks/days/months and kept putting it off? You may have done a lot of manual copying before you're really done.

Another disadvantage of taking physical notes is that you don'teasy to lose track of a note. While it's true that a bullet journal offers some structural training wheels, it's still easy to miss a task or note. Where did that November assignment go because of the meeting you cancelled? Or where did you hide that quick note about a book you were supposed to read but haven't added to a collection yet? Also, a bullet journal is only good for one year. As you go from year to year, you may need to keep your past journals handy. This makes it harder to search for things and get a better perspective.

(Video) Walkthrough of NotePlan 3 — Notetaker, calendar, digital bullet journal all in one app

Why NotePlan is the perfect digital journal

NotePlan takes the ideas behind the bullet journal and seamlessly translates them from the physical page to your digital devices. Offers the same BuJofreedom and flexibility, but makes your workflow much more efficient and convenient. If you've used the physical system, you'll feel right at home with NotePlan.


Like BuJo, NotePlan doesn't lock you in: there's no fixed structure or rigid way of working. Instead, you also start with a blank slate. The only thing available by default isdaily notes. Clicking or tapping on any day on the mini-calendar creates a note for that day. The blank note corresponds to a blank page.

From the NotePlan sidebar, you can create a table of contents, future record, and any collection in the notes panel. You can organize everything with folders, notes or tags and create as many layers as you want.

Unlike a laptop, a digital system cangrows with your needs. Also, NotePlan stores everything in plain text files and folders on its own file system. There are no limits when it comes to construction. Go down as many levels as you want. Or just keep it flat - it's up to you.


Bullet journal quick-tracking abbreviation is also available in NotePlan and will look very familiar to you if you've used a physical journal.NotePlan usedtee, a simple syntax that automatically converts symbols to specific "inputs":

  • Type an asterisk "*" to create a task
  • Type a hyphen "-" to create a standard bullet as a note in BuJo
  • Events from your calendar automatically appear in NotePlan. If you want, you can use a plugin to list them in your daily note.

You can even customize the syntax if you want. In addition, Markdown supports many other elements, such as headers, code blocks, quotes, images, and much more.

(Video) I didn't think a Bullet Journal could work in this app

task management

In addition to the familiar standard quick check-in options, NotePlan offers a variety of task management benefits.

for starters,Tasks can be moved quickly: from today, about tomorrow or any other date. All with a few clicks or taps. You can even set up recurring tasks in NotePlan, saving you the time and hassle of retyping tasks in a physical journal over and over again. You can also add a #tag or @mention to a task so you can easily see all tasks with the selected tag or mention. In a paper system, tasks can be distributed on different pages.

Plus, NotePlan makes it easy to organize your tasks in a note with just a few clicks. All completed, canceled and deferred tasks are automatically grouped under one heading. It's a great way to clear out the clutter of to-dos and focus on what you still need to get done.

Notes, Collections and Shortcuts

The future, monthly and daily record bullet journal idea is a great tool for structuring information. But flipping the pages back and forth might solve the problem.hard things to connect. How do you combine a note about a book you've read with an action you might want to take in a few weeks? Or how do you follow up on a meeting with a direct report to the next meeting? Paper makes it harder to keep track of things, while a digital system can instantly link tasks, notes, and ideas.

NotePlan doesConnects very easily, in any direction. No matter where you are, in a daily note or a regular note, just start typing [[ and select a note name to link to it. Also, NotePlan uses bidirectional shortcuts. So the note you just linked to has a section at the top with a link to the original note (calledbidirectional backlinks). The same goes for dates. Just take any item, note, paragraph, or task and add a date. Both the item and the day in your calendar are now automatically linked.

Links and backlinks are incredibly powerful in NotePlan. If you want, you can create an entire wiki for yourself, aPKM(Personal Knowledge Management)-System, unnote box structure, of unosecond brain.

(Video) NotePlan 3 - Bullet Journal App Meets Calendar Time Blocking - Setapp Review Series

search and filter

A great advantage of a digital system, especially one based on plain text like NotePlan, is that it isEasily search and filter notes. NotePlan has an extremely fast search that searches everything on your system: notes, tasks, etc. Just start typing and you'll get results instantly.

In fact, with Review, you cancreate and save custom searches. Suppose you want to see all tasks marked as #urgent. Or anything you've completed in the past week. You can even save a keyword search to just your notes. Maybe you have a key concept like "postmodernism" and want an overview of where it's used in your notes. You can easily create a sort filter in NotePlan.

Reviews, backups and synchronization

NotePlan was designed to give you thePeace of mind that all your bills are safe. So it has robust reviews and a backup system. Any change to any note is available and you can go back to any previous version with just a few clicks or taps. NotePlan saves changes intelligently so your revisions are quick and don't take up too much space.

NotePlan also makes it easy to maintain any device you have.synchronize. You can choose between CloudKit and iCloud Drive and keep all your notes up to date wherever you are. That means you can work on your iPad and pick up where you left off on your iPhone anywhere, with all changes synced instantly.


A journal is usually private (after all, these are your personal notes), but there may be times when you want it to beshare something quicklywith your colleague, friend, partner or even the world. A small code snippet, a shopping list, or some notes from a meeting. With NotePlan, you can post a note online with a single click or tap. just choosepost noticeand copy the public link and send it to anyone. The note updates as you make changes.


A bullet journal offers freedom and flexibility in an analog system. if you want to take itTake the best of bullet journaling and make it even better with a digital system, then NotePlan fits the bill. Why? Because NotePlan gives you the same freedom to structure your tasks, events, and ideas with a Markdown note-taking approach that feels instantly familiar. Combined with even faster and more comprehensive task management, easy links between notes, and powerful search and filter features, you'll have a supercharged bullet journal wherever you go.

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Links and resources

Support and Community


Can you bullet journal digitally? ›

Digital bullet journals are a planning type founded by Ryder Carroll, a digital designer. The pages can be anything—a task list, sketchbook, calendar, brain dump, and more. These journals are great for anyone because they are easy to create and use.

Is GoodNotes good for bullet journaling? ›

When it comes to bullet journaling, digital planning, and digital note-taking apps, the GoodNotes app is the best in class. If you want some help to get off the ground, you can also check our our list of the best digital planners to use with GoodNotes.

What is the best app for digital journaling? ›

The 13 Best Digital Journal Apps for 2023
  • Daybook.
  • Daylio.
  • 750 Words.
  • GoodNotes.
  • Momento.
  • Grid Diary.
  • Diaro.

Can you do bullet points in iPhone Notes? ›

In Notes on, select a note. Click a blank line, then do one of the following: Add a bulleted list: Type an asterisk followed by a space. Add a dashed list: Type a hyphen followed by a space.

Is there an app like a bullet journal? ›

Journal It!

Journal It is a powerful bullet and planner app on the Google Play Store. This app allows users to set up personal and work-related daily tasks and track their progress. Other uses for this app include time management, time-blocking, habit-building, and more.

Can Apple notes transcribe handwriting? ›

You can write a note with your Apple Pencil in Notes and other apps. With iOS 14 and later, you can write with your Apple Pencil in any text field. * You can convert your handwriting to text. And you can use a handwritten phone number, date, or address as if you had typed it.

Why do people quit bullet journaling? ›

You're overloading yourself with too many tasks

It can be demoralizing if you assign yourself 20 tasks but only completed 3 of them. Assigning yourself too many tasks makes you less motivated to even touch your bullet journal. If it were me, I wouldn't want to open a journal to countless tasks that need to be done.

What are the best apps for bullet journal on iPad? ›

The most popular iPad apps for digital bullet journal are GoodNotes, ZoomNotes, and Notability. Popular Android and Windows apps for digital bullet journal: EzPDF, Xodo, and Metamoji.

Is GoodNotes or Notability better for digital planner? ›

GoodNotes takes the win here, both on aesthetics and ease of access to important documents. While navigation is simple and easy in both apps, GoodNotes has put a bit more effort into “dressing up” the document management process, and both the navigation display and user interface benefit from those design choices.

Does GoodNotes 5 have a digital planner? ›

New! GoodNotes now has an in-app store with a selection of digital stationery, including digital planners, stickers, templates, and covers too.

Is digital journaling worth it? ›

Digital journaling provides us with the option of adding encryption to keep our most honest thoughts to ourselves, ready to be shared only once we choose to. So unless you want someone to take a peek into your brain, they're not going to have access to your journal unless it's with your say so.

Is journaling on phone as effective? ›

Regularly jotting down your thoughts improves your personal well being, and gives you time for self-reflection. The main benefit of using a mobile app for journaling is that it helps you keep up with a regular writing habit. Mobile apps can send you notifications reminding you to write every day.

Is digital journaling good for mental health? ›

Using your creativity to reflect on your emotions through digital journaling also improves your mental health (Perronne'-Britt). Experimenting with media or various art forms, helps to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression by releasing a chemical known as dopamine, which increases happy moods and thoughts (Paauw).

Is it better to write digitally or on paper? ›

Summary: Writing by hand increases brain activity in recall tasks over taking notes on a tablet or smartphone. Additionally, those who write by hand on paper are 25% quicker at note-taking tasks than those who use digital technology.

Should you journal by hand or on computer? ›

For almost everyone, typing journals is quicker than writing them by hand. As technology continues to improve and children are introduced to typing even earlier, the difference in speed for most people is only likely to increase.

Is it better to journal by hand or on the computer? ›

In an “any other comments” field, all participants reported some surprise, either in that journaling on the computer worked better than they thought it would or that writing by hand was so satisfying, after journaling on the computer for a long period of time.

Is there a bullet journal app? ›

Journal It!

Journal It is a powerful bullet and planner app on the Google Play Store. This app allows users to set up personal and work-related daily tasks and track their progress. Other uses for this app include time management, time-blocking, habit-building, and more.

Should I journal digitally or physically? ›

Physical journals tend to pile up over time, and before you know it, you've got a ton of used journals taking up precious storage space, or worse, just lying around. A digital option, on the other hand, has all of your entries as files that can be sorted and tagged as you please.

Is it better to journal by pen or with a computer? ›

Many studies suggest that there are brain-friendly benefits of writing out letters, notes, essays, or journal entries by hand that you can't get from typing. Writing by hand connects you with the words and allows your brain to focus on them, understand them and learn from them.

What are the 2 most important items in bullet journaling? ›

To get started with a bullet journal, you really need only two things: a dot grid notebook and a no-bleed pen. Look for a journal with a lay-flat spine, high-quality paper, a dot grid that's light and easy on the eyes, and numbered pages.

Can you use Notability as a journal? ›

Starting a digital bullet journal is easy

In Notability, which is now a free iPad app, all you have to do is start a new note and get to it. Following the traditional bullet journal method created by Ryder Carroll, you write a list of tasks, events, and notes down the page. Simple as that.

What is the best free digital bullet journal for iPad? ›

The two most popular digital bullet journal apps on iPad are Goodnotes and Notability. They both have features that include handwriting support, text, stickers, and can open PDFs for annotation.

Can you use OneNote as a journal? ›

Did you know OneNote is an ideal tool for journaling? Unlike a physical journal, your OneNote journal can expand as large as you need.

Does Google have a free journal app? ›

Get Ready to Use Your Google Calendar Journal

Plus, you can even keep track of movies you watch, books you read, friends you meet, or money you spend.

Is it better to take notes digitally or on paper? ›

The findings of the American study revealed that the students who wrote on a computer recorded faster, more accurate notes, recording what the lecturer had said much more literally than those who took handwritten notes.

Do therapists recommend journaling? ›

Journaling is one self-care method counselors can recommend to their clients. Clients can use this tool on their own and incorporate these entries into a therapy session. Counselors refer to journaling in therapy as writing therapy, journal therapy or expressive art therapy.

What should you not write in a journal? ›

Don't make these nine mistakes when you write a journal paper
  • Writing an abstract that stylistically is not an abstract. ...
  • Not introducing the topic. ...
  • Confusing annotated bibliography with literature review. ...
  • Following the structure of a thesis or research report. ...
  • Not framing your work in the existing body of knowledge.
Jul 3, 2019

Is it OK to journal by typing? ›

You can absolutely journal on a computer or other electronic devices. In fact, some people swear by these methods as a way to keep their journals organized and effective. Due to how much newer electronic journals are than pen to paper ones, it can feel almost wrong to go this way.


1. How To Create a Digital Planner In OneNote | DIGITAL PLANNING 101
2. NotePlan 3 - Better Obsidian and Roam Research?
(Antone Heyward)
3. Digital Bullet Journal with an iPad Pro! A GoodNotes & Procreate Digital Bullet Journal Tutorial
(Allie Inspired)
4. HOW TO: Digital Planning in OneNote + FREE Digital Planner!
5. 4 ways you can use the new Weekly Notes
6. How I structure my Daily Notes - My simple template that I'm tweaking since years


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