How to Create a Bullet Journal in Excel (with Detailed Steps)

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This article illustrates how to create a bullet journal in Excel. A bullet journal is a system of organizing to-do lists, daily tasks, monthly goals, or future planning to easily keep track of them and manage your time more efficiently. Follow the article to learn how to create a bullet journal in Excel so that you can customize it as required.


Watch Video – Create a Bullet Journal in Excel


What Is a Bullet Journal?

A journal, in the simplest sense, is a diary. It is to arrange our daily, weekly, monthly, and future to-do lists in a more easily manageable way. The idea of the bullet journal, abbreviated as BuJo, was invented by Ryder Carrol in 2013. Initially, he described it as an analog system for the digital age to track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future. Since then, it has become very popular as people are using it on Excel, OneNote, Google Sheets, and many other digital platforms.

A simple bullet journal may consist of four core modules: the index, the future log, the monthly log, and the daily log. We usually add entries to the logs. Entries are logged using short bulleted sentences. Each entry is divided into three basic categories. Tasks – indicated by dot bullet, events – indicated by circle bullet, and notes – indicated by the dash bullet. An asterisk, known as a signifier, can be added before the bullet to give importance to a particular entry.

At the end of each month, a new monthly log is added. Bullet signs of all the completed tasks from the earlier logs are crossed out. Entries no longer relevant should be struck through to mark them as deleted. The less than sign over a bullet point signifies it as a scheduled task whereas the greater than sign mark it as a migrated task. A slash sign over the bullet point may indicate that the task is in progress.

create a bullet journal in excel


Steps to Create a Bullet Journal in Excel

Follow the steps below to create a bullet journal in excel.

📌 Step 1: Create a Future Log for Bullet Journal

The first step to create a bullet journal is to create a future log. You can do that by following the steps below.

⇒ Resize Cells

  • First, name the worksheet as Future Log. Then, select the downward arrow in the upper-right corner of cell A1. This will select the entire worksheet. Next, drag any column divider line to set the column widths to 20 pixels. Then, set the row heights to 20 pixels in the same way. After that, each cell will form a square.


⇒ Enter Header

  • Then, type Future Log in cell B2. Then, increase the font size as required. You can also merge some cells to align the header properly.


⇒ Customize Dates & Bullets

  • Next, you need to create an input section to customize dates and bullets as shown in the following picture. You can add the bullets from Insert >> Symbol. Add more bullets below them if required.


⇒ Generate Monthly Calendars

  • After that, you need to create a one-month calendar. But first, enter the following formula in cell AC2. You can merge some cells and increase the font size to give it a proper look.
=IF($AM$5=1,$AM$3,$AM$3&"-"&$AM$3+1)

create a bullet journal in excel

  • Then merge the cells B4:H4. Next, enter the following formula in cell B4.
=DATE(AM3,AM5,1)

  • After that, press CTRL+1 to open the Format Cells dialog box. Next, apply the custom formatting dddd ‘yy.

  • Then, apply borders and fill color to the cell and make the font bold. Next, apply custom formatting d to cells B5:H11. Then apply borders to them. Now enter the following formula in cell B5. After that, you will get the following result.
=CHOOSE(1+MOD($AM$7+1-2,7),"S","M","T","W","T","F","S")

  • Then, you can drag the Fill Handle icon to the right and increase the +1 increment in the formulas by 1 After that, you will get the first letters of all the days of the week.

  • Then, enter the following formula in cell B6.
=IF(WEEKDAY(B4,1)=$AM$7,B4,"")

  • Next, enter the following formula in cell C6.
=IF(B6="",IF(WEEKDAY($B4,1)=MOD($AM$7,7)+1,$B4,""),B6+1)

  • Then, drag the fill handle icon to the right. But, you need to increase the number argument of the MOD function by 1 for the latter cells and. And you also modify the formula so that the $B4 reference remains unchanged.

  • After that, enter the following formula in cell B7.
=IF(H6="","",IF(MONTH(H6+1)<>MONTH(H6),"",H6+1))

  • Next, enter the following formula in cell C7. Then drag the fill handle icon to the right.
=IF(B7="","",IF(MONTH(B7+1)<>MONTH(B7),"",B7+1))

  • Now select cells B7 to H7 and drag the fill handle icon below. Then you will get the following result.


⇒ Add Dropdowns for Bullets

  • Next, format the cells J4 to AI11 as shown below by merging them. Then select the ranges J4:J11 and X4:X11.

  • After that, select Data >> Data Validation.

  • Then, go to the Setting tab in the Data Validation dialog box. Next, choose List as the Validation criteria. Now, select the range AM12:AM18 using the upward arrow in the Source field. Then, click on the OK button.

  • After that, you can use the cell dropdowns to select the bullets and record your entries.

create a bullet journal in excel


⇒ Complete the Future Log

  • Now add a thick bottom border to cells B2 to AI2. Then generate other monthly calendars to finalize the Future Log.
  • First, copy the range B4:AI11 and paste it into cell B13. Then, change the formula in cell B13 to the following one. Next, uncheck the checkbox for gridlines from the View tab. After that, you will get the following result.
=DATE(YEAR(B4+42),MONTH(B4+42),1)

create a bullet journal in excel

  • Now, copy the range B13:AI20 and paste it directly below to get all other months.

📌 Step 2: Create a Monthly Log for Bullet Journal

  • First, copy the range AL1:AN19 from the Future Log sheet and paste it on cell AL3 in the Monthly Log sheet.
  • Then merge the cells B2 to AJ2. Next, enter the following formula in cell B2. After that, apply a thick bottom border to the cell.
=UPPER(TEXT(DATE(AM5,AM7,1),"mmmm yyyy"))

  • Now insert the bullet dropdowns for your tasks in ranges B5:B10 and T5:T10.

create a bullet journal in excel

  • Then select the range B12:F12 and merge them. Next, drag the fill handle icon to the right to create a total of 7 merged spaces for the 7 days of the week.
  • After that, enter the following formula in cell B12. Then, drag the fill handle icon to the right.
=CHOOSE(1+MOD($AM$9+1-2,7),"SUN","MON","TUE","WED","THU","FRI","SAT")

create a bullet journal in excel

  • But you need to modify the copied formulas. Increase the number argument of the MOD function by 1 respectively.

  • After that, create a monthly calendar as earlier except for allocating more cells for each day. Here you need to copy the formulas manually instead of dragging the fill handle icon. Then modify the formula as earlier.

create a bullet journal in excel


📌 Step 3: Create a Weekly Log for Bullet Journal

  • First, create a new worksheet and name it Weekly Log. Then, copy the range AL3:AM21 from the Monthly Log sheet and paste it into the same location in the Weekly Log sheet.
  • Then create the date and days of the week as earlier. Keep some space above for the heading you need to add later.

  • Then, enter the following formula in cell B6.
=$B$4-(WEEKDAY(C$3,1)-($AM$7-1))-IF((WEEKDAY($B$4,1)-($AM$7-1))<=0,7,0)+1

  • Next, enter the following formula in cell C6 and drag the fill handle icon to the right.
=B6+1

  • Then, enter the following formula in cell B7.
=H6+1

  • After that, enter the following formula in cell C7 and drag the fill handle icon to the right.
=B7+1

  • Now, select the range B7:H7 and drag the fill handle icon down to complete the calendar. You can apply some conditional formatting to it.

  • Then, enter the following formula in cell AM11.
=INDEX(B6:B11,AM9,1)

create a bullet journal in excel

  • Then, merge the cells B2 to AI2 and enter the following formula there.
=UPPER(TEXT(AM11,"MMMM  D")&" - "&TEXT(AM11+6,"d"))

  • Next, format the cells as shown below for your daily tasks. Then, enter the following formula in cell K4 and format the cell as d.
=AM11

  • After that, enter the following formula in cell T4. Similarly, enter formulas to other cells to gell all the days of the week.
=K4+1

create a bullet journal in excel

  • Now, enter the following formula in cell N4 and copy it to the other corresponding blank cells.
=UPPER(TEXT(K4,"ddd"))

create a bullet journal in excel

  • Finally, create the bullet dropdowns for your tasks as earlier using Data Validation.

how to create a bullet journal in excel


Things to Remember

  • Notice the cell references in the formulas carefully. You need to use the appropriate cell reference to get the desired result.
  • It is better to download the template and check the formulas and formatting to understand the process easily.

Download Sample Workbook

You can download the free template from the download button below.


Conclusion

Now you know how to create a bullet journal in Excel. Do you have any further queries or suggestions? Please let us know using the comment section below. Stay with us and keep learning.


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6 Comments
  1. Hello, I downloaded the template and have been fiddling around with it. I’m a bit confused on this formula in the Weekly Log:

    =$B$4-(WEEKDAY(C$3,1)-($AM$7-1))-IF((WEEKDAY($B$4,1)-($AM$7-1))<=0,7,0)+1

    What does it do exactly? I wish to make a weekly log that has all 4 weeks in one sheet.

    • Reply Mahfuza Anika Era
      Mahfuza Anika Era May 14, 2023 at 5:12 PM

      Dear L,
      Thank you for your comment. This formula calculates a date value. Here is a breakdown of what each part of the formula does:

      =$B$4-(WEEKDAY(C$3,1)-($AM$7-1))-IF((WEEKDAY($B$4,1)-($AM$7-1))<=0,7,0)+1

      $B$4: This is the reference to cell B4 which contains the date value you enter in Customize Dates Table.
      WEEKDAY(C$3,1): This function calculates the weekday of the date in cell C3. The argument 1 specifies that the weekday numbering should start on Monday (1) instead of Sunday (default value of 0).
      $AM$7: This is a reference to the cell containing a number that specifies the Start Month. (e.g. 1 for Monday, 7 for Sunday).
      IF((WEEKDAY($B$4,1)-($AM$7-1))<=0,7,0): This function checks whether the weekday of the date in cell B4 is earlier in the week than the specified start day of the week. If it is, the function returns 7 (the number of days in a week) to adjust the date calculation later. If not, the function returns 0.
      B4-(WEEKDAY(C3,1)-($AM$7-1))-IF((WEEKDAY($B$4,1)-($AM$7-1))<=0,7,0)+1: This formula subtracts the weekday of the date in cell C3 from the date in cell B4, then adds the start day of the week minus 1, and finally subtracts the result of the IF function. This calculates the first day of the week that contains the date in cell B4. The final +1 adds one day to get the actual start date of the week.
      If you want 4 weeks in one sheet, just add 3 more weeks similarly in the existing sheet. Hope this will help you.
      Regards
      Mahfuza Anika Era
      ExcelDemy

  2. Hello. I think the weekly section needs an edit. In your example, in the calendar the 2nd is a Monday and then in the daily section where you input the bullets it says 2nd is a Sunday.

    • Hi DANIEL,
      Thanks for your comment. I am replying to you on behalf of ExcelDemy. You can apply the following formula to insert the first date in the ‘daily’ section to get the correct weekday name.

      =TEXT(AM11,"DD")

      Use the following formula for the second date.

      =TEXT(K4+1,"DD")

      Also, modify the rest of the dates accordingly to get the correct result. I hope this will help you to solve your problem. Please let us know if you have other queries.
      Regards,
      Mashhura Jahan
      ExcelDemy.

  3. I have a question about how to use the monthly log. Do you just enter the task in the task log above the calender or is there something you should be adding in the calendar itself and then referencing in the task log?

    • Reply Lutfor Rahman Shimanto
      Lutfor Rahman Shimanto Dec 11, 2023 at 4:52 PM

      Hello GARY PHILLIPS

      Thanks for reaching out and sharing your queries. You want to know how to use the Monthly Log presented in the article. Copy the drop-down of symbols and paste it in all the day cells. Choose the intended symbols using drop-down for all the day sections of the month. If a task is complete, mark it as Complete in the left section above the calendar.

      You can easily use the Monthly Log like the following GIF.

      Hopefully, the idea will help you. Good luck!

      Regards
      Lutfor Rahman Shimanto

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