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If you are like me, you’ve searched high and low for a planner that helps you organize your many responsibilities at work and home. I’ve found planner peace with a bullet journal and here are five reasons you should start a bullet journal for work and home!
I’m newly obsessed with the bullet journal as my method of planning and reflecting on my day and all the things that are important to me. I love the tagline on the bulletjournal.com site, which is “where productivity meets mindfulness.” I decided to start a bullet journal for work. This is exactly what I need in my life. I encourage you to try the bullet journal system as well.
Between keeping track of all the tasks I have to do at work, working on two blogs, and having a life, I felt all over the place. Bullet journaling is helping me to keep my work, blog and life in order. It helps me prioritize my tasks. Not only that, but it’s also really fun!
Following are five reasons I think you should start a bullet journal:
The number one reason for starting a bullet journal is the freedom it gives you in planning your day in a way that works for you.
How many planners have you tried to use? There is a term “planner peace,” and a ton of people trying to find it. Well, the reason it’s hard to find is when someone else gives you structure for how to plan your life, it’s highly likely to fall flat because your life is different than theirs. Everyone’s experience is different including the way they learn, the way they think about things, how they best structure their day, what they need to keep track of…
Last year I loved the Passion Planner; however, I found the to do list sections to be way too small for what I needed. Not only that, but I do not use the timed daily sections very effectively. I have the same meetings every week and then a few extras thrown in. I was barely using the space. While I used a lot of it as to do list areas, I could never really predict what I would need or how I would use this space. I would have preferred the Passion Planner have no specific times written in it at all.
In fact, sometimes I put stickers over the times so that I could do my own thing.
I was still restricted though by the width of the columns for each day. One time I tried to use it as a journal but the narrowness of the columns did not lead to enjoyable writing.
When I discovered bullet journaling, it opened a world of freedom for me because I can use a whole page for one day (or even for one hour if I want), or I could use it for a week. It depends on what I need. This is pretty cool because different weeks might have different needs.
For instance, when I am on vacation I really don’t need the times, but I do need the to dos.
It Is Simple
If you look at Instagram for bullet journal ideas, you might feel somewhat overwhelmed; however, the person who created the bullet journal (Ryder Carrol) created it in a way to ensure it is simple so that people don’t give up on using it. His belief is that when you have a system that takes too much effort, you won’t be consistent. Buy his book here, I highly recommend it.
The bullet journal system incorporates “rapid logging,” which consists of listing out tasks, events, and notes in a way that helps you to organize them while still keeping things really simple. Instead of writing a bunch about a topic, you write a simple statement with a symbol. The symbols for the bullets are a dot for task, an “o” for events, and a “-” for notes. These can all be kept on one list with the symbol indicating easily what each item is.
Other symbols help you to know a little more about the item if needed. For instance, an asterisk indicates something is important, an explanation point indicates inspiration, and an eye means explore further.
You can make it as simple or as complex as you want.
I love looking at Instagram bullet journal spreads but I know mine will never look like that! (Maybe in a year I’ll look back and have to take out this sentence, wouldn’t that be cool?)
In addition to planning your month, week, or day; you can also keep pages of lists in your bullet journal. This is my favorite part. I find that having certain lists I am working on helps me to have a more mindful and intentional life.
I’ve been so busy that I forget to take some time to just think about things. I find myself being forgetful because I am always on doing the next thing. With my bullet journal, all I need to do when I want to remember something is to turn to the page where that list is and add it to the list.
Another type of list people have been doing is called a tracker. People track different things on these such as habits they want to increase (or decrease), mood, and really anything else you can think of tracking.
I’ve seen a ton of people tracking hydration, steps, fitness, food, spending, budgeting, mood, social media, the list goes on and on.
Find Stuff Later
This is huge for me. An important part of the bullet journal system is the index. The index is at the front of your journal and tells you what is on each page. It is similar to the table of contents on a book. So, for example, if I start a list of books I want to read this month, I would number and title the page and then note the title and page on the index.
This is great for when you know you wrote something down in your journal but you don’t remember where!
Keep Everything Together
Another great thing about the bullet journal that you may not find in other planners is the ability to keep a lot of things together (and be able to find all the things as mentioned above). You can have different pages with whatever your heart desires. I keep track of the books I read, I list things that I like, I write down things I learned each day, I write things I want to remember to blog about, and many more things. This is all together with my list of to dos for work, home and my blog. I can keep my lists together or seperate, it is all up to me.
Does It Sound Right For You?
So what do you think? Does this sound like something that would work for you?
I believe each of us needs to find out own way and a bullet journal gives you a lot of options for this. On the other hand, I have seen people get overwhelmed or intimidated by the blank page. To make things easier, you can find templates or printable pages online to put into your bullet journal to make it work for you.
The benefits really are endless when you think about it. You can make it your own, adding anything that works for you.
The benefits I listed are the freedom to do it in a way that works for you, the simplicity of starting, the ability to create lists, the ability to keep everything together, and an organization system that allows you to find your journal entries easily when you need them.
I hope this convinces you to start your own bullet journal. Many people start with this notebook because it is high quality, already has an index written into it, and the pages are numbered. It holds ink well with little to no ghosting, and is high quality. You want to have a nice notebook you love when you are bullet journaling since you put a lot of yourself into it. These journals can be kept for years to come.
I’ll be giving you more ideas for how to use journaling, planning, and mindfulness to be productive and live the life you want.
Tell me, have you started a bullet journal? What benefits have you found? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment!
Marlena is the blogger behind apenandapurpose.com, where she writes about using journaling for self improvement and reaching goals in life and business. Using her experience as a Licensed Psychologist with a Master’s in Business, she teaches people how to break through negative thoughts and fear to do what matters. For more about me read my about page.