I’ve wanted to publish a blog post about bullet journaling since I started back in August of last year but decided to wait until I tested it out for a bit.
Don’t know what bullet journaling is? Let me introduce you to this wonderful world, but be warned that you may fall down a rabbit hole that sucks up every single second until you realize that it’s 4am and you’re still watching bullet journaling videos on YouTube.
Bullet journaling is a customizable organization system that was created by Ryder Carroll. A way to plan, track and brainstorm things all in one notebook. According to bulletjournal.com, “It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above.”
I must be growing up, because normally, I would’ve bought every single tool any bullet journaler ever mentioned to get started.
Instead, I pulled out my Micron pens and bought a Leuchtturm1917 in a hot pink color (so maybe the little girl who loved My Little Pony is still in there somewhere) and got started.
I searched for bullet journalers who focused primarily on bullet journaling for business and couldn’t find any (recommendations would be appreciated!).
I found bullet journalers who mainly used it for school or tracking their health and their everyday lives.
For a while, I used my bullet journal to track my habits, document what I was eating and how it made me feel and all of my ideas for my business.
I’ve continuously tweaked things to figure out a system that works best for me. And, that system isn’t the traditional bullet journal method.
Many bullet journalers include daily and weekly planning in their journals, but I knew that wouldn’t work well for me. So, I continue to use my Day Designer for daily planning.
Part of the appeal of the bullet journal is that everything is in one place, but at least I’ve cut it down to two planning tools. I used to have multiple notebooks going at once and by multiple, I mean like 14.
Now, I use a Day Designer to plan out each day and have a month at-a-glance and I use my bullet journal for everything else.
I use my bullet journal to:
1. Document my week.
I don’t plan out my week in advance in my bullet journal. Instead, I wrap up each day by documenting something from it. This gives me a chance to flex my creative muscles without spending more than 10 minutes if I’m pressed for time.
2. Jot down all of my lists.
Like many creative entrepreneurs, I’m a list maker. Creating and checking things off of a list gives my inner Paris Geller a little thrill. I used to keep lists in multiple notebooks: my blog post ideas in one, my brain dumps in another and my project-specific lists in their own special notebook.
Keeping all of that stuff together has simplified my planning process which makes running my business easier.
3. Track my income.
I have a spread in my bullet journal where I write down how much income I’ve made at the end of the day. This helps me to focus on what’s going out and what’s coming in and it helps me to concentrate on high-leverage tasks that are going to move my business forward.
Each month, I set a financial goal and reward if I reach it. It makes the finances part of my business a lot more enjoyable.
4. Keep a reading log.
With three overflowing bookshelves in my house, you can probably guess that I love to read. I like to keep track of how much I’m reading even though it’s a fun hobby for me.
5. Sketch and doodle.
I enjoy having a low pressure place to sketch and doodle. And, if I don’t like something, I can always cover it up with a journal card or sticker.
6. Plan for my Sunday Society calls.
Whenever I’m hosting a topic-specific call for Sunday Society (like this month’s call on creating systems for your business), I plan out the call in my bullet journal.
7. Take notes.
When I listen to a podcast or watch a CreativeLive segment or read a nonfiction book, I keep my bullet journal next to me and take notes.
8. Track my health.
I have autoimmune health issues, and it’s good to know what makes my symptoms flare up. I track what I eat, what medication I take and my symptoms. It’s how I realized that I need to avoid mangoes and nuts.
9. Plan for launches and projects.
I’m a planner. I enjoy creating a plan even more than doing the work. Bullet journaling makes keeping up with the plans that I make a lot easier. I constantly review my plans because they’re all in one place.
10. And, more.
The nine previous items are what I use bullet journaling for the most but I’m regularly adding to the list. Whenever I stumble upon an idea I want to try (like habit tracking), I create a new spread. That’s something I love about this system–you can continuously update and tweak things until you find the right fit.
If you’re frazzled by all of the tools you use to plan for your life and business, you should check out bullet journaling.
If you’re interested but don’t know where to start, you’ll find my favorite bullet journaling tools and some videos below. Enjoy!
My Favorite Bullet Journaling Tools:
Leuchtturn 1917 (with dotted pages)