What Are the Bullet Journal Symbols

Are you confused about interesting icons and symbols people use in their bullet journals? Do you want to know whether they are helpful or not? Stay tuned to know everything about these symbols.

Bullet journal symbols are a short and quick overview of an information log. Each symbol represents specific information or word. So, instead of writing it down every time, you can just put a symbol for understanding. These symbols are customizable according to individual preferences.

Bullet journal symbols can be difficult to use at first, but you will get used to them after some time. In this article, we will discuss the importance and usage of bullet journal symbols and much more. Moreover, we will also share how bullet journal symbols affect productivity.

What Are Bullet Journal Symbols?

Bullet journal symbols are used to represent words or information so that you do not have to write them again and again. The journal has a quick reference guide known as a bullet journal key at the start, which helps you remember the meaning of each symbol.

In the fast-moving world, shortcuts are crucial for all your tasks, including journaling. A bullet journal is a great way to keep track of your tasks and be organized. 

The symbols do not need to be the usual ones; you can customize and create your own symbols. You can be as creative as you like and come up with quirky icons. The symbols can also be color coded; different colors can have different meanings.

If you forget a symbol’s purpose, just refer to the bullet journal key and understand its meaning. Since there is no hard and fast rule for bullet journaling, you can play around with colors and icons.

Why Are Bullet Journal Symbols Important?

Bullet journaling is meant to save you time and energy, which is why it is important to use symbols throughout the journal. Since you can use the symbols instead of writing the information, they help save time.

Tracking your day-to-day progress in a bullet journal helps increase productivity by motivating you to do better. Ticking all the points in your checklist gives you a sense of accomplishment and boosts your confidence. Moreover, it helps you to be more enthusiastic about the next day.

Since everything is organized in a bullet journal, it becomes super easy to find different symbols and track the process. It can be super convenient to find specific information if you use these symbols correctly.

Here is a quick roundup of all the reasons why bullet journal symbols are important:

  • The symbols increase efficiency and productivity
  • They help save time and energy
  • You can customize the symbols or icons according to your preference
  • More chances of your life being organized and well-spent
  • You can add more information in less space
  • A bullet journal is more neat and tidy than other types of journals

If you want to successfully organize your bullet journal, using symbols and icons is a great option for you. They make the journaling experience super fun and interactive.

How to Use Bullet Journal Symbols?

When you are habitual in writing bullet journals, it becomes easy to remember and use bullet journal symbols. On the other hand, when you are a beginner, it can be quite challenging to understand and use bullet journal symbols.

It may take some time to get the hang of these symbols. Usually, a key on the first page of the journal serves as a guide for the symbols. You can use this guide to understand the meaning of each symbol and its usage.

The symbols are customizable, which means you can curate them according to your preference. If someone uses a ‘*’ symbol for marking important tasks, it doesn’t mean you have to follow them. Instead, you can give a meaning that you prefer and like.

For example, if you want to use ‘-‘ to highlight priority tasks, put it in the bullet journal key, and every time you want to write ‘priority task,’ use the symbol ’-’ to save time.

Basic Bullet Journal Symbols

If you are not too creative or do not like to use your aesthetics to come up with customized bullet journal symbols, here are a few basic symbols you can use.

oTo do
!Priority task
Task postponed
Task scheduled

You can use these basic symbols for your daily journaling and get done with your tasks. Otherwise, you can be creative and come up with your own different ideas too.

The more unique and creative symbols you create, the more interest you will develop in journaling. It will become easy to keep a daily track of your activities and cope with the fast-paced life.

Color Coding Bullet Journal Symbols

Some people don’t want to use colors in their journals, but if you find a black-and-white journal too boring, color coding is perfect for you.

Color coding bullet journal symbols can further enhance your efficiency and productivity. With the use of colors, you can make the data easily scannable, and then you are able to find any specific information instantly.

You can have a decent journal even after using colors by limiting the number of colors and their usage. To color code, you can fix the color for a specific task. For example, use blue for appointments, green for completed tasks, and red for priority tasks. Or one color for personal stuff, another for work, and then another for your kids stuff etc.

Things Needed to Create a Unique Bullet Journal Symbol

Bullet journaling is an art that needs various tools and techniques to become funky, attractive, and unique. By creating a customizable journal, you can save money and create a DIY journal project. So, if you plan on doing everything yourself, here are a few things that you might need in the process:

You don’t have to go crazy on items for bullet journaling. You can even get buy with a journal and a pen. But if you want to make a visually pleasing bullet journal, with lots of colours and pictures, you can find inexpensive versions of the above-mentioned tools.


How to Make Bullet Journal Symbols

Since bullet journal symbols demand creativity, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. So, here is a detailed guide for you that will help you to create your customized bullet journal symbols:

  • Think carefully and imagine how you want your journal to be organized. Decide the order of the activities that you want to track, like appointments, classes, gym, water, etc. Also, create a symbol for each task according to your preference and style.
  • Keep the symbols simple and easy to understand. Use colors and other tools to give a quirky look to your journal. Moreover, use the first page of the journal to make a key guide for all the symbols.
  • Stay consistent and log your daily routine to live an organized and productive life.

 Tips to Create Bullet Journal Symbols

If you are still clueless and unsure about bullet journal symbols, here are a few tips that you can use and make journaling easier (for more beginner journaling tips, find our guide here).

  • Choose a page for a key guide that is easily accessible, so that you can open the page in case of emergency. It should be easy to find, so it is better to be at the front of your journal then somewhere further in.
  • Always leave an extra page for the key guide. If you decide you want to add more symbols, you can compensate for them in the extra space. 
  • Do not make your bullet journal symbols complicated. Stick to the basics and create a neat and clean journal.
  • Color code the symbols to make it more fun and interesting.
  • Use bookmarks to highlight the reference key guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Most Used Bullet Journal Symbols?

There are many basic symbols used by people worldwide but the most used bullet journal symbols are:

  1. O is used for To-Do tasks
  2. X for completed tasks
  3. > for delayed tasks

Does Bullet Journaling Make Your Life Organized?

Yes, bullet journaling is an efficient way to become an organized person. The journal helps you track the amount of tasks that you finish in a day and motivates you to do better on the next day. One should invest their time in journaling to have a productive day.

How to Develop the Habit of Bullet Journaling?

To develop a habit of bullet journaling, you only need to have the motivation and desire to get started. If you want to change your unproductive lifestyle, it is important to develop this habit. Start by working out what you want to track and get out of your bullet journal, and create pages around that.


Bullet journal symbols are small icons that help save you time and energy. You can make use of basic symbols, or if you want to be creative, you can design your own symbols to suit your bullet journal aesthetic. Hopefully, you find this article helpful and inspire you to start curating your journals!


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This course has 10 different teachers teaching you the ins and outs of starting your Bullet Journal and using advanced techniques inside of it to increase your productivity in 40 guided videos. On top of this they include 100 Printables that you would use throughout the course for your bujo!

Check out Whitney’s Journal You course – you will NOT be unsatisfied with the results it brings you!

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