I love bullet journaling. I’ve always had the habit of planning things out ahead, even before I discovered bujo – I loved filling up my diary planners with to-do lists, ideas for future projects and random thoughts that I found worthy of noting down. Ever since I started learning languages, however, I’ve been trying to do it in my target languages – it’s a great way to learn new words as well as reinforce the ones I already know. And personally, I find starting the day with writing down my daily tasks really helps set the tone for the rest of the day – it gets me to think about my day and plan it out in Korean, so even if I couldn’t find the time to study on a certain day, I would still feel like I did something in Korean – that I got my daily ‘dose’ of Korean, so to speak. I believe to develop a deep relationship with your target languages, you have to make them a part of your daily life, and for me, as a person who journals a lot, bujo is perfect for that.

This article is a compilation of all the things you need to know in order to start bullet journaling in Korean, like what is the ‘key’ page called (hint: not 열쇠), or how to write your dailies. Titling your pages/spreads in particular can be tricky if you’ve never seen bujos done in Korean.

Let’s start with the ‘Key’ first.

Key

The key is generally called ‘기호’ in korean, meaning ‘symbol(s)’! Here’s how I label mine:

SymbolLabelWhat it Means
할일tasks, things to do
완료completed
이동migrated, carried forward
취소취소cancelled
일정appointments, events
중요important
메모notes

I like keeping everything the same length (two-syllable) because it looks neater that way. Hanja-words in general are great for that.

The Essentials

These are the essential spreads that pretty much everyone has in their bullet journals. Everyone titles theirs differently, though – if you watch Korean bujo videos on youtube, you’ll see that many even prefer to just write their titles in English, or transliterate them into hangul, like 퓨처로그 (future log), 데일리 (dailies), etc.

Seeing as I’m doing this for the vocab, I try to keep everything in pure (well, as pure as I can) Korean:

  • 찾아보기 – index
  • 미래 기록 – future log
  • 월별 계획 – monthly
  • 주간 계획 – weekly/dailies (I group my dailies by the week)

I don’t actually title my monthly and dailies pages, so the titles above are only used when I want to refer to them in the index.

Months & Days of the Week

I’m sure you already know the days of the week in Korean – 월요일, 화요일, 수요일, and so on. Here’s a tip – drop the 요일 and just write the first letter of the days, like 월, 화, 수. It saves time, and also opens up more room for designing, if you’re into that. It’s also what most koreans do. Here’s an example:

Crafting your monthly calendar in Korean.

The name of the months in Korean are pretty straight-forward, too. It goes like this: 1월, 2월, 3월… all the way up to 12!

Writing Down Your Tasks & Goals

In general, verbs are conjugated into the -기 form when written in a list, like this:

  • 케이크 만들기
  • 불렛 저널 영상 찍기
  • 일기 쓰기

But with verbs of hanja origin, you can just drop the 하다 and use them like this, in most cases:

  • 옷장 정리
  • 요리 재료 준비
  • 불렛 저널 영상 촬영

This is because verbs of hanja origin are generally made up of a noun + 하다. Once you drop the 하다, you’re left with, essentially, a noun, which is why there’s no need for any kind of conjugation (generally, only verbs and adjectives are conjugated).

In this case, removing 하다 from 정리하다, 준비하다 and 촬영하다 would turn them into their noun-form (for the lack of a better word), that is ‘to organise > organisation’, ‘to prepare > preparation’ and ‘to film > filming’ respectively. The list above literally translates to:

  • organisation of closet/the organising of closet
  • preparation of cooking ingredients/ the preparing of cooking ingredients
  • the filming of the bullet journal video

Not Essential, But Nice to Have

While these pages aren’t exactly essential, they’re very common in bujo set-ups.

What It’s CalledWhat It MeansWhat It Does
독서 기록Reading LogJust a simple list for me to keep track of the books I’ve read
학습 로그Study LogI have one for translation, one for Korean and one for French – just a simple spread for me to keep track of what I did in each area in each month, so I can measure my progress more easily
아이디어 정리Brain DumpWhere I jot down my ideas for articles, products, lessons and gifts (for friends and family!)
소원 리스트 (읽고 싶은 책, 보고 싶은 영화랑 드라마, 하고 싶은 일, 가지고 싶은 것)
WishlistBasically a wishlist with 4 sections – books I wanna read, movies and shows I wanna watch, things I wanna do and things I wanna buy

I’m not currently using these spreads in my journal, but I see them around a lot – perhaps you’d like to incorporate them into yours:

  • 감사하는 일/ 감사 일기 – Things I’m Grateful For/ Gratitude Diary
  • 행복 일기 – Happiness Diary
  • 오래 오래 간직하고 싶은 순간들 – Moments I’d Like to Remember For a Long Time
  • 버킷리스트 – Bucket List
  • 새해 목표/다짐 (개인, 직업) – New Year Goals/Resolutions (Personal, Professional)
  • 2020 한눈에 보기 – 2020 in a Glance
  • 건강 관리 일기 – Health Management Diary (basically a collection of health/self-care related trackers, which are called 트래커 by the way)
  • 재정 기록 (월별 가계부) – Finance Log (Monthly Budget Sheet)

Misc: My Korean Study Log

I have a page dedicated to recording my progress in Korean. It’s meant to be a fun little thing to do in my free time, which will hopefully give me something to look back on in the future.

My Korean Study Log.

On the left, I have a section titled ‘내가 걸어온 길’, which means ‘the path I took to come here’ (‘here’ as in this present moment). It’s divided into 12 sections, which are supposed to correspond to the 12 months of the year. I’ll be writing down what I did in Korean every month, like “had 2 language exchange sessions”, “translated a song”, etc. I’m not setting monthly goals because I don’t feel like that’s what I need at the moment – what I want to do right now is just to use the language a little bit every day, and have fun with it.

On the right I have a little box labeled ‘목표’, meaning ‘goals’. These are my korean learning goals for the year 2021, and as you can see I’ve only written 2 so far. I’ll add more when I think of them. At the bottom of the page I have two more sections – ‘읽은 책’ and ‘쓴 글’, which are meant for keeping track of the books I’ve read and the things (mostly articles) I’ve written in Korean.

I left the rest of the page blank. I plan to fill it up with little quotes or moments I find worth noting down throughout the year!


That’s about it! I hope this article helped make it a little easier for you to start bullet journaling in Korean.

As always, have fun, and happy learning (and journalling)!

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