15 Simple Bullet Journal Keys And How to Use Them!

Why are Bullet Journal Keys so important? An incredible guide to teach you about them and how to take your productivity to the next level!

When I first started my Bullet Journal and was looking at other people’s journal’s on social media I was confused by the multitude of symbols that each person used to annotate their notes! In this post I explain what a Bullet Journal Key is and why you need one in your Bullet Journal! Scroll past the explanations if you are already a Bullet Journal expert looking for some inspiration!

What is a Bullet Journal Key?

Put simply; a bullet journal key is a quick reference guide to all the simple or quirky symbols that you use to efficiently log information instead of writing out EVERY little thing!

This list is usually one of the first pages you make in your journal so that it is quick to flip to when you need to reference what a color, symbol or letter means!

The original bullet journal was created for quick note taking and having abullet  key that allowed you to take notes quickly was essential to breaking the code to your own journals!

A Key can be a small simple list of symbols or an elaborate list of color coding, symbols and icons. It is whatever YOU choose it to be for YOUR Bullet Journal!

Before we get to the examples let me explain WHY you would want to have a Key set up and how it can make you 2X as efficient.

Do I Need A Bullet Journal Key?

At this point you can tell that I am a BIG fan of making at least a basic bullet journal key in each of my own journals.


Why should you?

Our world is so fast paced these days that it can seem impossible to keep track of all your appointments, friends, family, errands and side projects. How do you know what your priorities need to be and maintain a healthy balance in your life?

By creating a simple legend that has symbols and icons you can identify what your current priority is, what comes next and do it with a moments notice! Color code different types of tasks or priorities and you can get your footing again at a glance of your bullet journal. It also only takes you a moment to add something to your journal and requires much LESS space!

The Art of Bullet Journaling has helped me buy back more time and get significantly more organized with the help of a bullet journal key!

Bullet Journal Key Symbols

Now you know what a Key is and why I think you should use one lets take a look at some symbols that you could potentially use in your own Key!

  • To Do

o Events

** Important

<3 Ideas

>> Migrated

X Completed

Bullet Journal Key Page Ideas

Now that you are ready to get started making your very own key page for bullet journal, check out these examples of very simple and very elaborate keys that others have made and use them to make your own!


13 Simple Key Page Ideas for your Bujo!

What is a Bullet Journal Color Key?

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Bullet Journal Key Printable! This is very helpful for those who are short on time! Highly recommend it!

Key Ideas for Bullet Journal!

Like I said, some keys are elaborate and some are simple like this one! Simple will always make a great key code bullet journal

Simple and sweet with beautiful artwork! Simple key ideas for bullet journal!

This is my style, simple artwork that I love and easy to remember symbols. This can go on the list as a helpful bullet journal ideas key!

black and white bullet journal key with flowers

I love the addition of the “in progress” in this example. Such a great motivator for tasks that might take an entire day. Also adding a star next to a task or appointment that is important is a great way to focus in when taking a quick look at your list for the day. Make sure to cope this key page bullet journal into your own planner!

Simple and straight to the point! I love the slight detail on the leaves, a quaint amount of art for your bullet journal legend key!

This is a perfect example of a simple bullet journal key page. This is where I started and have grown from since I started journaling!

Make the important things happen in your life and add them to your dailies consistently. If you add something to your daily list consistently then maybe it should get its own bullet symbol in your basic bullet journal key? Workout and social are great examples of this.

Don’t want to draw anything but still want the page to look interesting? Add a strip of washi tape to the bottom and call it a day! One of the most simple bullet journal key ideas!

This is a very concise and efficient legend to add to a minimalist bullet journal key!

Adding bullets for birthdays and bills is genius! This is why people love their bullet journals. You have the opportunity to have incredible organization and productivity through the use of these little symbols! A bullet key is a productive key page!

Complex Bujo Keys!

For those type A bullet journalers out there. SO MANY SYMBOLS TO CHOOSE FROM!

A great example of how you can color code to really get the most out of your key page for bullet journal!

If you love the color coding / time blocking in your schedule, try this:

Draw up a daily time management spread a week in advance. Instead adding time blocks ahead of time as a schedule, add the time blocks as the week progresses to get an accurate log of how you actually spend your time. It is eye opening to see how much time is lost each week!


This one gets the crazy organizer in my overly excited. Imagine the information you would have about your life if you tracked these things for a year? I am a huge fan of tracking stress, energy and sleep each day, you can get some incredible insight into activities and foods that fuel you (or drain you) for doing this. Tracking the weather each day just gets me excited in a way that would have you thinking that I am a child. Don’t judge, OK? Make sure to add this into your bullet journaling code!

I love the idea of using color codes for each day of the week. It has never worked for me but its definitely something worth experimenting with! Utilize them to make a great key for bujo!

A Legend-ary Resource!

This is a FANTASTIC resource that you should use in deciding what simple set of symbols you want in your bullet journal keys!

Some Hacks And Tips :

  • Add the key somewhere that is easy to flip back to. The left page will be easier to see than the right page when you are flipping back. I choose to put mine on the inside cover so it is extremely easy to find.
  • Another hack is to tape the key onto a page so that it folds out and you can see it from any page (example in the photo below)
  • Don’t over complicate it. The less symbols you have, the more likely you will actually use them.
  • Color coding can also be used along side your symbols or instead of.

The bullet journal is so customizable! Don’t forget that this is your book, choose bullet journal key symbols that make sense for YOUR life!


I wanted to share some of the best and most affordable tools available for bullet journalling.

  • This notebook which is almost identical to the cult favorite and has raving reviews for a fraction of the cost!
  • This pen that won’t bleed through the page and is great for inputting your dailies
  • This Pen for art work and faux calligraphy
  • These Markers for decorating and color coding your journal
  • Stencils for making layouts quicker, or if you’re not handy at drawing

Also not necessary but this MEGA pack of PRINTABLES is amazing!

Obviously the only things that you need to get started is a notebook and pen and you will use them the most. However, the markers are useful for colour coding your journal and the stencils will save you time in creating beautiful layouts!

Read my full Bullet Journal Supplies Recommendation post here!

Let’s Talk Bullet Journal Keys!

What do you think is the most important thing for you to include in your bullet journal legend key? Let’s share ideas with each other in the comments!

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