We’re all busy, both at work and at home. If you’re like me you are regularly trying new ways to keep track of appointments and tasks to be done as well as various notes and lists. I’ve tried many different systems and most of the task management and note taking apps on the market. Then one day on Twitter I saw Kelly Jensen and Sophie Brookover talking about bullet journals and liked the flexibility.
What is Bullet Journaling?
Here is the official bullet journal information. All you need to get started is a notebook and a pen. Many people use Moleskine notebooks, but I buy the Yoobi journals at Target for about $6.00. The have nice paper, sturdy covers, and I don’t feel too bad if I want to jump into a new one.
If you’re new to bullet journaling I suggest you read Kelly’s excellent post on how she uses her bullet journal. Librarians Maureen Eichner and Jennifer Rothschild have also written posts on how they as use bullet journal. There is a Facebook group for bullet journal users that many library people participate in called Bullet Journal Coaching. A Pinterest search will give you lots of examples as well. All these examples will give you an idea of how you can bullet journal in a way that works for you.
How I Use Bullet Journal
I start each week in my bullet journal with a two page spread. On the left I list activities and outings for the week. Programs, meetings, desk shifts, and outreach events would fall into this category for many of you. I still use Google Calendar for long-term planning, so I check it every Sunday as I’m starting my bullet journal planning for the week. On the right of the two page spread I do my meal planning at the top and list my goals for the week at the bottom. I like to do a new page at the start of every month with goals for the month and refer back to it as I make these lists as well.
After the spread for each week I start a new daily section each morning with all the appointments, activities, and tasks that have to happen that day. I use a dot for appointments, a dash for notes, and three different check boxes for tasks. Tasks I need to be at my desk for get a square, tasks with my daughter are a circle, and other things get a triangle. Now when I’m at my desk I can zero in on the things I need to do there. I’m sure you can see how easily you can adapt bullet journaling for your own life.
I leave a section at the back of my journal for lists. My lists of books to read and books I’ve read go there, as well as a list of blog post ideas, things to buy, and things I would like to knit. The other very useful list I have in this section is my “Someday” list. This list is useful things that are not urgent like cleaning out my Pocket queue or organizing the pantry. I can refer to this list when I find myself with some extra time or add them to monthly or weekly goals if they become urgent.
The speed at which I can jot something down in my journal and the ways that I can keep tweaking it to work just like I need it to are why I’ve stuck with bullet journal longer than any other method so far. Give it a try and if you are already using one share your tips and tricks in the comments.