Inspiration,  Tutorial

DIY Bullet Journal Key/Legend

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday! We’ve officially made it half-way through the week.

I hope you’re all doing well. Today, I decided to show you guys my key for my bullet journal and hopefully it’ll inspire you and help you to create one for your bullet journal.

Keys (or legends; same thing really) are super important when creating your bullet journal because you will use these symbols all through-out your entire journal and you will find yourself using them at least once a week. Since one of our main goals with bullet journaling is staying organized, using this symbols will be an easy way to mark important notes or events on your spreads and it will help to keep you organized. So, let me stop rambling, and let’s get started!


This post contains affiliate links, please check out my disclaimer at the end of this post for more information.

I tried to make this key as simple as possible. When looking at other blogger’s bullet journal keys, some were even simpler than mine and some were a lot more complex! You are always welcome to interpret these posts however you’d like, and if you feel you need more symbols (or less), or that you’d like to use different colors, or no colors, you are welcome to do so. You don’t even have to use the same symbols. I highly encourage you to look around Pinterest at ‘Bullet Journal Keys’ to get inspired like I did.

In my key, I included a mini-calendar, mostly just to quickly show you guys how you can use these symbols. Obviously, you don’t have to include this, or you could go ahead and create a year long spread of mini calendars and go through and pre-mark important events. I also chose to section off my general symbols from my more detailed symbols with a dashed line. The general symbols all stand for a different type of event or note, while the more detailed symbols all represent an action being taken in regards to that general symbol.

So, let’s take a look at these general symbols first.

I created 7 common symbols to use in my bullet journal that I felt would be most useful to me and the type of information that I record in my journal.

A few ideas of general symbols you could add in addition to the ones I created are gym, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Blog, a money-symbol for expenses, or even a symbol for work meetings.

So, the first symbol that I created was a square. My square represents my To-Do Tasks, and there are several ways to use this symbol, which you will see in the detailed symbol section. Then I created a tiny balloon shape. This shape represents a birthday, which I talked about in my Year Long Birthday Tracker. If you haven’t seen that, I highly recommend hopping over there and taking a look.

The next symbol I used was a circle which represents an appointment. Whether it’s a doctor, dentist, or school appointment, I am using a circular symbol to note that (and this shape also appears in my detailed symbol section later on). After my circle, I created a star which represents importance. You could use this star with a different symbol to mark an important birthday or appointment, or you can use it by itself to create a visual reminder for yourself that something important is happening that day.

Then I made an exclamation mark that represents reminders (not necessarily important ones). This could be a reminder to take the dogs to the groomer, a reminder to clean the house, or a reminder to pick little Jimmy up from soccer practice, however you may use it.

The next symbol is a little clock to show that there is a due-date for something on that day. This is an important symbol for me, since I am still in college and often have a lot of due dates each week. If you blog, you could also use this to remind yourself to post or write a blog, or you could use this to remind yourself to hand in an important presentation at work!

The last general symbol is very basic, a bullet point; essentially, a dot. This is used to make quick notes to myself or jot down good ideas in my journal. This particular symbol, I wouldn’t use in a calendar format, more of a list format, so as you can see in my example, I included it below my calendar.

Now, the detailed symbols, which really only focus on the square and circle (To-Do and Appointment). As you can see, I started with the To-Do Task symbol by putting a diagonal line through it, showing that I have started working on this task. Then, a diagonal line with the right side of the square blacked-out shows that the task is more than 50% done. And then a fully blacked-out square means the task is complete. And then a square with a horizontal line through it means that the Task has been canceled.

Next I focused on appointments, starting by filling in the circle with black to show that the appointment has been completed, that I successfully went to my appointment and now it’s over. Then a horizontal line means the appointment was canceled, while a vertical line means that I missed my appointment.

The last thing I did to finish this page off was to create my little cursive ‘key’ title at the top of the page. I created this by using my How To Fake Calligraphy tutorial, which I would highly recommend if you don’t know where to start with creating calligraphy in your journal.

This entire spread was created using my fineliner pens, which you can check out below along with the exact journal that I used.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! It’s a pretty important page for anyone who has a bullet journal. If you recreate anything from my blog, make sure to post it on Instagram using the hashtag #9to5bulletjournal so I can check it out. I’ll see you all Friday, have a great rest of your week!


Thanks for checking out my blog and supporting my dream!


Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links provided in this post are affiliate links. I do earn a small commission if you purchase an item through that link. Please understand that I only promote products that I truly use and enjoy and have only included these links so that you can use the same products that I do if you want to recreate anything.