This world of content marketing that Amy and I talk about is almost completely digital: we create content online, deliver it online, and most of the time we organize it online. Here are Coffee Break, Trello is our preferred system for keeping our content and clients organized. And though I adore Trello, I can be a bit of an analogue gal. That is why, I organize my day-to-day personal and work life using a Bullet Journal.
There is something about working with paper and pen, making lists, and checking off boxes that can be so much more satisfying than clicking and scrolling by phone or computer. Sometimes it is just quicker too to just grab my bullet journal and see what my tasks are on any given day. Keeping a bullet journal is key to my own personal and work productivity, so I thought I’d introduce it here in case this analogue system speaks to you.
How to use a Bullet Journal
A bullet journal is a flexible system that is part journal, part planner, and part quick reference guide that you fit to your own life or work. The “bullet” in the name refers to bullet points that you use to list out daily tasks. Ryder Carroll, who invented the bullet journal, has a nice short video here that explains the system well.
You can use any kind of notebook: unlined, lined, grid, or dotted, large, small, cheap or expensive. I use a Leuchtturm 1917 (pictured above). At the front of a bullet journal is an index that you fill in as you create pages. Here is my index page:
I don’t log every single page down in my index, just the monthly spreads and collections that I will want to refer back to. You can include layouts similar to those in a filofax or other planner system. The beauty is you create your own layout that works for you.
My monthly layout (below) has a grid calendar where I put in blog posts due and other important items. I log hours for some clients on this spread, and I keep a list of blog post draft and final due dates. I also have a running list of work, home and personal tasks to complete during the month. Below is my September spread (some stuff has been blurred or removed for my own and my clients’ privacy).
The place I spend the most time in my journal is my weekly spread. Here is my latest weekly view:
Many bullet journalers also create daily pages, but I just use the weekly spread for my daily tasks. I have a box for each day of the week where I put appointments and my most important tasks. I also hone down my monthly work, home and personal tasks to those I want to focus on that week. In this spread I also track work hours and habits.
A bullet journal is also great for organizing projects or creating quick reference guides. Examples include, books to read, recommended movies, favorite meals–sky’s the limit.
Here is a spread that I have for an ebook Amy and I are working on:
I also made a quick reference guide for text formatting in Trello. It is just a lot quicker for me to flip to this page than to go online and look this stuff up.
The beauty of the bullet journal is its customizability. You can use if for any purpose and no two will be the same. If you want to learn more about bullet journaling, I recommend you check out these resources: