View Full Version : Do you bullet journal?

6-15-16, 8:08pm
So this latest "thing" just crossed my path yesterday: bullet journaling: http://bulletjournal.com/ I was a big fan of productivity porn for many years, jumping on the latest systems and trying them out, buying the perfect notebook/journal, but I've kind of settled on a system that works for me. But the attraction of a new notebook calls to me, to use Chicken Lady's words from a different thread "its a warehouse of potential"!

What I currently use now are vertically oriented 3x5 index cards which come in a pad. I write things down I need to remember and either cross things off the list and toss the card when done, or keep it in a small collection to refer to time and again. I have a calendar/planner but don't really use it, and for work I keep everything in Outlook so no paper there. But did I mention the pretty notebooks this bullet journal uses? And cool pens? And artful headings?

Has anyone jumped on this band wagon? Do you enjoy it? Do you have any fun uses for your notebook? (You know I'm really just looking for an excuse to buy a cool new notebook ;)) .

6-15-16, 9:09pm
I think you should buy one notebook and see what it does. I just use scrap paper for lists and for my journals which get thrown out after being filled, college ruled spiral notebooks that I buy on sale when they are 3 or 4 for a dollar. Sometimes even cheaper.

6-15-16, 10:08pm
I like systems like this but know myself well enough that I won't put forth the effort to maintain it. In looking at the website I realize that I have had two previous bosses who either used this system or some variant of it because a lot of what they would do matches this. Personally I've never successfully done anything this formal but I have developed my own system that is somewhat similar but probably less efficient and really just mainly includes the day to day log of this. I use steno notebooks at work to track tasks and to do lists and such, as well as take all notes from meetings and calls, and have developed a number of symbols to let me know at a glance what needs to be done or what has already been done. For instance a slash next to someone I need to call indicates that I tried already but didn't connect. If I look back a couple of days and see a slash but the item isn't crossed out then I'm reminded that they never called back and I need to try again. I always date everything and have kept all the notebooks from my last 7 1/2 years at this job. The only thing I do beyond a daily running list of tasks and notes from phone calls and whatnot is that I try, every friday, to prepare a list of what needs to happen the following week. Generally I create this list by going through my outlook calendar and outlook tasks list (which is where all the big projects are listed out, with start dates and finish dates but nothing else). I also bring forward any to do items that didn't get done in the current week. Doing this helps me to truly be able to not think about work over the weekend, plus I come in on monday with a clear idea of what needs to get done, so I can get right to the things that matter.

If I needed to I could go back to look for notes from a phone conversation about an account that took place years ago. I've only had to do so a few times but it's proven tremendously useful.

Chicken lady
6-16-16, 7:55am
I have a notepad on the fridge that is divided into two sides. One side is the grocery list and the other side is supposed to be for daily menus. Since I'm not very good at the menu thing, I use that side for stuff I need to do. Then I throw the page away every week after I get groceries. My "job" stuff goes in my lesson plan book.

i have a page in "notes" on my computer for long term stuff.

most of my stuff to do is repetitive though. I don't really need to write down milking and chores, laundry, dishes, etc.

i do like the idea of leaving pages at the front for a table of contents.

Float On
6-16-16, 9:37am
I've watched a lot of youtube videos on bullet journaling. I've always done something similar. I like tracking goals and marking things off a list. It works well for me. So many planners have bits and pieces that I like or don't like so creating something of my own works better for me. Also the Midori method. I've sort of combined the two. Sometimes I create charts in excel, print, create a small booklet and add them all together.

Mary B.
6-16-16, 10:02am
This is what I do! I started at the beginning of the year, after consulting with people here about productivity software. I love it. All my meeting notes, all my to-do lists, all my workshop and research notes -- with rare exceptions, they are all in one hard-cover notebook. I'm on page 190 or so.

The thing for me that is really useful is writing the topic in the page header, numbering the pages, and creating a table of contents at the front that lists the topics. I refer to this often, especially for work projects where I might have a meeting a month.

The other components of the system -- overview of the year over four pages, and a line-by-line page for the month -- I am not as good at yet. I am working on this -- I'm bad for forgetting to review whatever system I use, so I (oops) miss the odd phone call and such. This is not the fault of the system, though -- in fact, for me it's the best system yet. In fact the system has real benefits for me since I work at home but 2.5 days a week it's for an employer and sometimes I'm in the office. My work calendar is visible to others so I don't want to have other stuff on it, and I don't want work stuff on my home google calendar, so using the notebook as the coordinating space is good.

I haven't really done much with pens or artfulness -- maybe once I master the calendar! -- but the system itself is really good for me.

6-16-16, 1:22pm
This looks similar to the Franklin Covey style of organizing and tracking tasks. I attended a seminar way back in the day and found the system super helpful, especially when I was in a management position. Ironically, I just donated two of the fancy leather notebooks from them I'd had for years without using them. They were really nice but way too much for my needs nowadays.

What I find useful now is a simple student planner type that opens up to a week's worth of days with areas to jot down tasks for each day. I find it really useful and small enough that it doesn't take up much space at all. And I still the FCovey method of organizing tasks when I have a lot to keep track of.

6-18-16, 10:32pm
Fad name for not getting rid of to do lists..lol

Mary B.
6-18-16, 11:44pm
Fad name for not getting rid of to do lists..lol

For sure that's part of it, simplelife4me, but only part. For me a lot of the value is the table of contents, and keeping track of things like meeting notes all in one place. I also really like the practice of reviewing my calendar every month to get a sense of where my time has been spent and whether I've remained focused on some personal goals. (I make note of steps taken as part of my calendar pages.)

I'm sure it doesn't suit everyone, any more than any other system does.

6-19-16, 10:13am
I could easily get caught up in the pretty notebooks, cool pens, and artful headings, but after all these years I know myself pretty well--I'd carefully pick out notebooks and pens and look at them with satisfaction, then tuck them away somewhere and continue to make my to-do lists on steno pads. Those notebooks and pens are really too pretty to waste on the daily grind, don't you know...So I can appreciate your impulse, herbgeek.