You may week know that I love my bullet journal here. I have written a few posts about how I use mine, from a beginner’s guide through to using it for different purposes, and today I wanted to talk about it as a productivity tool, its primary purpose.
When you see images of bullet journals, they’re often pretty, with great doodles, beautiful writing, carefully laid out grids and so on. Well, they are not like mine! I do use washi tape and brightly coloured pens to pretty it up, but as you’ll see in my video ‘Bullet Journal Set Up – One for the Unartistic’ that’s about where the prettiness ends. I use my bullet journal to help me to be more productive.
Create a monthly task list
As I set up my spreads afresh each month, the first double page has a 1-31 type daily calendar on the one side and a task list on the other. This task list is so useful as it helps me to think about the month ahead as a whole and any jobs that need completing. It also offers perspective as if the list is too long I need to take stock and decide whether it can all realistically be done, and if so, prepares me to make a plan. If the list is too short, I know that I can get more achieved across the month so I have a think about other tasks that would be useful to complete.
Collections are pages within the bullet journal assigned to anything that you like. For example, this month I have pages in mine with gift ideas for the kids, what I’ve bought other people for Christmas, my Christmas card list and some Open University plans and timetabling. The journal offers me a place to write it all down, and more importantly, it is all in one place. In years gone by these things would have probably been on separate bits of paper or in different notebooks, but now I know that anything that I need to have will all be contained in one easy to grab notebook. I wrote 52 Bullet Journal Collection Ideas…Just Because if you’d like more inspiration around this one.
This is the core of my journal. Every day, or sometimes the evening before, I note down any events happening that day and any tasks that I need to complete. I cross them off as I do them (such a satisfying feeling!) or migrate any to another day if I need to. This helps me to remember everything that I need to do that day, and I consult it regularly throughout the day to make sure I’m getting everything that I wanted to done. It makes me less forgetful and everything goes on there. A little like the monthly tasks it also gives me an instant impression of how much I need to get done and allows me to plan and time manage to do this. Personally, I like to have this finished each day by 3pm so I can go and collect the kids from school knowing I can then give all of my attention to them. Similarly, I rarely use these at the weekend.
For me, as a planner and a ‘list person’ by writing things down they help to get them out of my head and it ensures they get done as I hate having things left over that I haven’t got round to.
I do also use mine for other things such as journaling as I like to capture my month in review, an opportunity for me to reflect back on my month and also keep a record of what’s been happening. I also use habit trackers from time to time, a gratitude journal, menu planning and so on. These all have productivity elements running through them, but it’s those three ways that are at the core of my bullet journal and really do help me to keep on top of things and ensure I feel productive from day to day.
What do you think? Could a bullet journal make you more productive?