Smart Notebooks & Dotted Journals

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Switch to a streamlined organization system by replacing your planner, diary, and to-do list with a dotted journal. Named for the bulleted lists used for making entries, this term describes a style of journaling rather than a type of journal. It’s a do-all notebook that’s useful for setting and tracking personal goals and recording events and writing shopping lists. Browse the varied selection of journals at Staples® to find the right bullet organizer for your needs.

The Core Aspects of This Type of Journaling
A dotted journal is a notebook for recording the past, organizing the present, and planning for the future. While it follows certain soft rules, users can customize their journals as they see fit. The key aspects of this system are the index and collections. Index is the backbone of the journal and looks like a table of contents. It serves as a map for future review by helping users jump to specific sections of their journals. As their notebooks fill up, users need to update index pages accordingly.

Collections are the entries on the pages of these notebooks. They include daily, monthly, and future logs. Create daily logs for events, musings, notes, and sketches. Monthly logs include calendar and task pages for summarizing happenings during the month. These can help track personal goals and describe events that have happened. Future logs serve as planners and reminders for upcoming events.

Choosing the Right Smart Notebook
Any notebook will do for this type of journaling, but look for a journal of the right size. Pocket notebooks may feel cramped and are only ideal for small handwriting. Large journals are too big to take everywhere. Other qualities to look for in a journal include archival-quality sheets, durable covers, and elastic closure. Archival sheets feature acid-free paper and keep for longer than regular paper. These along with durable covers will ensure notebooks don’t fall apart for many years. Desirable but optional features to look for include pockets in journal covers, pre-numbered pages, and dedicated index page.

Are Dotted Journals Better than Ruled and Blank Ones?
Consider personal preference when choosing between blank, lined, and dotted notebooks. Any notebook with pages suited for writing bullet lists is good for this type of journaling. Dot journals are popular for this purpose because they offer the line separation of ruled notebooks without their restriction. Dotted ruling is also adaptable for different page layouts and perfect for doodling and note taking on the same page.

What Is Rapid Logging?
Rapid logging is the set of notations or keys used for differentiating journal entries. These symbols include bullets and signifiers. The three classes of bullets used are for events, tasks, and notes. For example, a dash is for a note entry while a dot mark denotes a task and a circle is for an event. There are other notations for scheduled, completed, and migrated tasks. Signifiers sit next to bullets and add context or further information. For example, a star symbol assigns higher priority to a task or event.

Are There Special Pens for Dotted Notebooks?
No. Users can write with their preferred pens. Choose a ballpoint pen if you like its smooth strokes and fast-drying ink. Rollerball pens also write smoothly and mimic the wet ink look of fountain pens. Erasable pens are for those that keep perfect notes. Get artist pens to draw, sketch, or doodle in smart notebooks and dotted journals. Use colored and glitter pens and tapes to decorate journals and use them for scrapbooking.

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