How to get organised and become more productive with a Bullet Journal

Meg Zanker

By Meg Zanker

Even in today’s digital age full of productivity apps, easy access to calendars on your phone and email, there is still something about having a handwritten to do list that gives that true satisfaction of completing a task. We all do it, whether it is a scribbled word on a post-it, a neat list in a notebook or a reminder written on your Smart Desk. 

If you are looking to get more organised and see your days become more productive, Bullet Journaling is the crème de la crème of the handwritten task management world. The Bullet Journal (or BuJo if you prefer) has quickly become a go-to method for many.

The Benefits

There are multiple benefits to Bullet Journalling. Journaling in itself is wonderful for mental wellbeing, but with a Bullet Journal, everything is in one place so that you are able to identify and action anything that you need to, giving your brain the chance to focus on other things and saving you having to rely on memory! 

Your Bullet Journal can be as basic, or as creative, as you wish. This creative outlet can offer mental timeouts as you start a new list or tracker and personalise it to suit you. If you don’t feel very confident in your own, there are thousands of printable templates or accessories available to help you personalise your journal to be just the way you want it. 

Everything is in one place with a Bullet Journal, meaning that you can see what you have been spending your time on and what you still need to get done. Having an overview of your diary, to do lists, goals and thoughts promotes instant organisation and productivity. 

Got a goal you want to achieve? Get it written down in your Bullet Journal and the steps you need to make it a reality and track your progress all in one place! The simple act of writing your goal down means you are already more likely to succeed, but getting it mapped out in your journal as a reminder and tracking your progress gets you well on your way to feeling that satisfaction of reaching your goal. 

How to get started with the basics

To get you started here are the basic principles of Bullet Journaling:

1. Get a notebook. Traditionally Bullet Journals use Dotgrid notebooks as it makes them easier to personalise, however any notebook that you have or like would work. 

2. Get to know the Bullets. This is where the Bullet Journal gets its name.
  a) Tasks
  b) Notes
  c) Events 

    Bullet Journal

     

    3. Decide what you are going to track/log/use your Bullet Journal for. A traditional Bullet Journal has: 
      a) Index - to find what you need quickly
      b) Future Log - to know what is coming up over the next few months or important things you need to remember
      c) Calendar - to see what is happening at a glance
      d) Daily task list - to focus on what you need to do each day
      e) Collections & Trackers - for all the other notes and things you want to track.

    4. Migration. If you do not get a task done as planned simply migrate it to another list by turning • into >. This indicates that the task has been moved forwards to a new list/date.

    Once you have set up the basics you can go all out! People unleash their creative side with beautifully designed page layouts and add themes to match their collections and trackers. 

    Trackers

    Bullet Journals are a great way to help you form a new positive habit. Do you want to drink more glasses of water each day? Add a tracker page to your journal. Why not personalise it with some themed extras?

    Find some inspiration here.

    Are you wanting to be more mindful of your mood or mental health? You can easily use a tracker to make a note of your mood and feelings each day. Ideal for reflecting back on any triggers that may affect your mood.  

    The possibilities are endless and you can keep a simple tick list or design something more elaborate to encourage you to keep going and work towards your goal. The possibilities are endless! 

    Notes 

    In addition to creating trackers you can keep lists of anything you want as you go whether it is books you want to read, action points from a meeting or what gifts you have already bought for Christmas. Incorporating these kinds of notes into your Bullet Journal means you always have them to hand to add to, action or update.  

    Here is an example here

    So whether you are a natural planner or aspire to be more organised, try out a Bullet Journal and see the results for yourself. Make it your own by keeping it super simple and functional or let loose your imagination and creativity. 

    If you need some inspiration check out this great Instagram account for some serious inspiration!