When it comes to efficient note-taking, bullet journaling is my favorite way to track my ideas and goals. Since the bullet journal is so customizable, you can leverage it any way you want to keep track of the things that matter! I use mine to write down my daily tasks, check up on my annual goals, and give my brain a bit of a break from holding onto the tiny details.
All you need to start your bullet journal is a notebook with bullet pages and some goals to start chasing! The official Bullet Journal key shows you how to indicate different items in your journal so you can keep track of all the details:
My friend Matt Ragland joined me to bring you 10 super easy ways to be productive with your BuJo! Check out both videos in our collab and learn how you can master the art of bullet journal productivity 📖
10 Ways to Be Productive with Your Bullet Journal
1. Don’t think, just bullet
One of the best things about bullet journaling is that it gives you a space to brain-dump whenever you need to. If you’re like me, ideas and thoughts and to-do’s are running through your head all the time. Don’t stress over forgetting the important details — just write them down!
Designate a “brain-dump” space in your journal as a catch-all for the ideas you want to keep exploring or the tasks you need to follow up on. But don’t just leave them there! Make sure you revisit that section at the end of the day to assign tasks to your calendar or make sure you have time to brainstorm.
2. Create a reflection routine
Once you’ve worked through a week or so in your journal, make sure to reflect on what you wrote down. Go back through your journal and make a note of any ideas, tasks, or deadlines you jotted down. Do they need scheduled in the calendar?
This is a great time to return to the brain-dump section and keep track of the pop-up ideas you had during the week. Creating a reflection routine keeps you from leaving ideas in the pages — it gets them out into your calendar and into your life so you can start taking action.
3. Keep your goals front & center
Be sure to keep your goals in an easily accessible place in your journal so you can reflect on them often. I have quarterly checkpoints and annual goals that I’m constantly tracking, so I make sure they’re easy to see in my layouts as a quick reminder of what I’m working towards.
4. Use a body measurement tracker
This one is a little rogue, but to all my online shoppers out there — I’m about to change the game.
When I’m shopping for clothes online, it’s such a pain to guess my correct body measurements only to be off by a few digits and buy the wrong size. And I def don’t want to get up and go measure myself while I’m in the middle of shopping.
To beat this problem, I keep a body measurement tracker in my journal. Part of this is to help me track my goals with different diets and workouts in my life. But it’s also a quick reference point to help me choose the right clothing size online! Record your measurements and be efficient with your shopping so every purchase arrives looking lovely on you.
5. Stick with it!
If you fall off the wagon and miss a week or two in your journal, don’t quit. Pick it back up and work to build the habit again! Consistency comes with practice and a clear understanding of your ‘why.’ Why does journaling matter to you? What does it do for your mindset?
Discovering your bullet journal ‘why’ is a surefire way to turn it into a habit. Once you understand the benefits it has for your life and your time, you’ll start to make that necessary time for it.
6. Start with a daily log
Feeling a little overwhelmed by all the BuJo possibilities? Keep things simple and start your journal with a daily log. Keep it to one page if you can, and write down your tasks and goals for the day.
Keeping a daily log is a little easier to manage than an entire weekly spread, and it gives you a close-up view of what you need to prioritize in your day. Start with one page and see what happens!
7. Create master task lists for the week
Do you have tasks that need tracked and completed every week? Create a master task list at the beginning of the week that captures everything you need to make time for. These can be recurring tasks, pop-up tasks, or goals you need to reach by the end of the week. Return to the list as you move through the days and cross things off as you complete them!
8. Track a personal habit
Get productive with your bullet journal by tracking a personal habit! Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be as complicated as the super-artsy spreads you can find on Pinterest or Instagram. It can be as simple as a calendar where you mark the days you practiced a habit.
9. Try a weekly spread
If you’re new to bullet journaling or you’re trying to pick up the habit again, weekly spreads are another great place to start. Begin with your master task list, give yourself plenty of space for each day, and plot out your tasks through the week for a birds-eye view of how you’ll spend your time.
Creating an entire monthly spread can sometimes leave you with a lot of blank spaces in your journal if you skip a day or two of journaling. A weekly spread is a more manageable way to track your to-do’s and stay focused!
10. Make it YOURS.
Above all, your bullet journal is meant for YOU. Not Instagram, not inspo for others, not to be a work of art — it exists to help you.
Don’t get caught up in making your journal look picture-perfect. More importantly, it must be functional and efficient so you can actually get something out of it. Having a beautiful journal is nice, and if you can achieve that with no added stress, have a blast! But don’t stress over the aesthetics when what really matters is creating systems that help you stay on track.
QOTD: How do you use your BuJo to stay productive?