Bullet Journal 101: Saving my sanity one square at a time

Welcome back.  If you read my previous blog post, you are undoubtedly scratching your head wondering what the HECK is a bullet journal and why you need one.  I'm not saying you need one, but I am saying it is the best organizational tool I've ever had and I think it's adaptable enough to help nearly anyone.

So, what the heck is it anyway?  Imagine a bullet list with everything you can think of that needs done in the next week, month or year moving from one line to the next instead of being assigned a specific date on the calendar to be bypassed and forgotten over time.  Sounds too complicated?  Not at all.

A TRUE bullet journal was a bit overwhelming for me, but you can certainly view that here:  Bullet Journal--Getting Started

However, once I modified that technique for my needs, I found it worked very well.  That's the beauty of the system as a whole--it's so flexible to the user.  Here's a mock up of how I COULD use a bullet list.  All names are fake as is the list, but you will quickly get the idea. 

Now, notice how these items are not all similar to one another, and they're not meant to be.  Each bullet point represents a task--something to be accomplished at some point in my life, not necessarily today.  It's something I thought of and knew it needed done.  SO, into the bullet list it went.  From there, here's what happens:

X = task completed

/ = task started but not completed

--> = task moved to the next day's list

-------- = a total strike through means task cancelled or no longer required.

! = task is VITAL or it's an important meeting

* = an appointment I need to make

I also use check boxes and check marks for lists of tasks beneath the primary item that must be done in that specific order to finish the task at hand in its entirety. 

Not only are the symbols customizable, some people color code theirs--one color for work, one for home, one for kids, and one for spouse is usually how I see it divided.  I have no need to do that, so I keep it all in one color.

Once the item is listed it remains on the list until it's finished entirely.  But what if I can't finish my whole list that day? You're not expected to.  That's what --> is for.  You move it to the next day's list where it gets a new bullet point and if it's not finished by day end, it gets --> moved again or cancelled, whichever is required. 

The point is that by day end, EVERY THING ON THIS LIST must be addressed in some way or other.  There is no looking back through a calendar because everything not addressed/completed gets moved to the next day.  Once your day is finished, all tasks are addressed or in some stage of completion.  That's what I love about this.  I don't have to keep up with days and weeks of notes, nor do I have to wonder what I forgot because it's always on today's list until it's done.  

This has absolutely saved my sanity.  NO, I'm not kidding.  This method is amazing.  I get up in the morning and over breakfast, I consult the bullet journal and add things I've thought of since that need done.  Then, as I do the tasks, I open the book and mark them off.  Sometimes, I need to readjust my day, but it's easy with bullet journaling.

My bullet journal lives in my Webster's Pages Color Crush Traveler's Notebook.  Inside that are other inserts for daily calendars, project ideas, inspirational quotes and the like as well.  However, it's my bullet journal that keeps me on track, and I doubt I'll be without it again.  It truly makes me more productive.

I just had to share with my readers just how much I love the traveler's notebook system and bullet journaling.  They're a perfect pair just like peanut butter and jelly.