Have you heard about a “bullet-point journal” — or even know how to make one? You may have noticed the buzz about these on Instagram, Pinterest or another site that promote self-improvement.
You might not be a perfectionist when it comes to doodles or calligraphy, but your bullet journal can be your partner in crime when it comes to how you keep on top of your schedule and #GetThingsDone. A bullet journal can eliminate the stress of planning daily life tasks and big events, and give you satisfaction in crafty, colorful and organized thoughts.
Step 1: Find a Journal
Waltz through the isle of notebooks at your local office supply store — or if you hate putting on pants, shop for one online. Pick out the most inspiring, blank journal you can find. You can even find one you like and have it personalized on Etsy.
If you’re the kind of person that needs/wants…
- Daily reminders
- An easy way to plan
- Multi-tasking abilities
- Something to keep you accountable to meet your goals
- To-do lists until you can’t possibly do anymore
…then you should make yourself a journal and you’ll be one step closer to the productivity you seek. Hey, it worked for me, so here are a few ways your bullet journal can work for you.
Step 2: Set up Your Bullet Buddies
There are three important components to organizing your bullet journal to stay on top of things. Think of these three things as your personal fan club, cheering you on to success in the world of productivity: The index, to-do lists and a habit tracker.
- The Index: Let this be your tour guide to show you the nooks and crannies of what you write down. Whether it’s a steady schedule or lists that require constant updates, the Index will get you to the page you need. This overview list keeps you organized so you never miss the important things you need to accomplish.
- To-Do Lists: Let this be your boss to tell you what needs to be done. To-do lists help you keep track of what you have finished by checking off your list and what still needs your attention. Whether it’s a laundry schedule, grocery list or daily tasks, to-do lists will get you motivated to get things done.
- Habit Tracker: Let this be your best friend that tells you how it is. The tracker keeps track of the things you want to see progress with. In case you have no idea what habits to track, here are a few ideas.
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Having someone there to continually motivate and encourage you is half the battle. We got you.
Step 3: Make Your Plans
You don’t have to stop what you’re doing and journal your little heart out. You might love to binge-watch your favorite show, but you always feel so unproductive after saying, “This is the last episode” — and then it’s 12 episodes later.
You can stay productive while being unproductive at the same time. Next time you’re watching your favorite show, grab your journal and make plans. Update your bucket list or your calendar for the following week. You’ll feel accomplished and might even feel inspired to quit the binge-watching and start doing.
Step 4: Set Your Goals
Do you ever think to yourself “I wish I could….” or “I wish I had…” but have no idea how to get there? Your bullet journal will help you. If you struggle with is saving money to the point where you hate taking receipts because you refuse to acknowledge how much money you just spent, start tracking it in your journal.
Find something you struggle with and make a goal out of it. You can track your progress through layouts in your journal and see what areas you can improve on. You’ll feel like you’ve hit the jackpot when you reach those goals.
Step 5: Personalize Your Doodling
Have you seen those adult coloring books? They can relieve stress, but coloring in them can take time away from your main goals.
Color outside the lines by doodling a calendar in your journal instead of whipping out a coloring book. By doodling, coloring and writing down your own creations and plans, you can relieve stress and save yourself time. You’ll feel like you have control of your plans when your journal looks exactly how you want, and you can say you did it yourself.
If you want to organize your life and all of your projects and goals, journaling can help. Everyone wants to be successful. Everyone wants to be happy. You can do both when you check things off your to-do list and let your bullet journal do the work.