If you are the kind of entrepreneur who comes up with lots of new ideas and likes to scribble down notes and “to-do” lists, then you may fit the ideal profile for a “bulleter,” or bullet journaler. You may also be the right candidate if you really enjoy planning or are obsessed with goal-setting and habit tracking. Unfortunately, the elegant simplicity of bullet journaling gets covered up by complicated terminology and seemingly esoteric rules. Here is a quick explanation:
What Is a Bullet Journal?
Bullet journaling is a relatively new craze, perhaps launched by a single video in 2013. The idea is very simple and even a little old-fashioned. Bullet journaling may remind you of the high-end day planners from the 1980s and 1990s, but can be highly effective if adopted into a daily routine.
Not all bullet journal systems are identical, but these are some elements common to each:
- Index Page: The first pages in each bullet journal act as an organizing system for the following content. Every time a new section, month, or topic is entered into the journal, a corresponding note is added to the index describing where to find the content.
- Future Log: “Future log” is a nondescript title, but what it really means is “something important that does not take place this month.” Every time you think of an event or project to work on somewhere down the road, jot down a note and date in the Future Log.
- Monthly Log: You track the present month in the Monthly Log. Each day of the month is written down on a single page, top-to-bottom, with the date next to the first letter of the weekday on which it falls. Tasks, appointments, and events are listed next to the day on which they fall.
- The Daily Log: This is where all of the notes, ideas, concepts, and new tasks are entered. This is where important items are sifted through and transferred to other parts of the journal.
That is about all it takes to get started on your own journal.
How Bullet Journaling Can Boost Work Productivity
There is a reason why bullet journalers use a pen and paper instead of a fancy smartphone app; the process of writing things down can actually make you more productive. Journaling engages the parts of your brain related to memory and comprehension, and even triggers physical fitness.
Journaling is not a magic practice, and simply writing things down is not an effective way to generate value. However, journaling forces your imagination, self-reflection, and actions to interact with each other in a potent manner. Since the journal is in physical form and not on an analogue screen, your brain is more active.
To get the most bang for your journaling buck, here are a few guidelines to follow:
- Ignore spelling and grammar when you write. Take quick notes instead of full sentences.
- Write with complete honesty. Nobody ever needs to read this but you.
- Don’t worry about form. Let letters flow together and get your thoughts on paper quickly. Just try to make it legible for later.