You may have heard of and seen a bullet journal by now, but just in case you haven’t…. ‘A bullet journal is a method of personal organization developed by designer Ryder Carroll. The system organizes scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming, and other organizational tasks into a single notebook.’
Bullet journals have grown in popularity over the last several years and vary in design. Some are artistic and colourful, others are minimalistic. You can use them for anything and everything, and they can help you keep track of your personal goals, such as regular exercise. Whether you’re a student organising your revision, or an office assistant trying to organise your schedule and health, or a business owner trying to keep on top of all the things that need to be done, everyone can benefit from using a bullet journal.
You can use a journal that has been specifically made for bullet journaling, or you can use any type of notebook. You can split up your schedule by months, weeks and days. Look up ‘bullet journal’ on Pinterest or Google to get some ideas. If the bright colours and full pages seem too daunting then you can look up ‘minimalist bullet journal’, like I did.
I decided last week that it would be helpful for me to do my own version of a bullet journal. I decided I would use it to schedule my days working from home and to keep track of exercise, my writing, and use it to motivate me to go on daily walks. I started this process by writing my future long term goals on one page and then broke these down by writing my monthly goals on a second page, and finally writing my weekly goals on a third page.
Tip: If you’re working on a big project then try to break it down into smaller steps and put them in order of priority.
I took two pages side by side and on one side made four rectangle boxes where I wrote down the four days I spend working from home. In these boxes I included the day, date, an hourly time bar from 8am through to 5pm and wrote underneath these times what I wanted to do/achieve on that particular day. Some people like to use a full page for one day, especially if they have lots of things they need to keep track of. On the other page I wrote my goals and drew a ‘Writing bar’ to colour in, so I can track how many words I write for that particular week. I used another style of chart with seven circles to track my daily exercise. I drew two little envelopes to track the number of blogs I want to write and I drew four boots to track the days I go for a 30 minute walk. All of these things I have to colour in once I have completed the task. I use highlighters for this purpose.
Before you go, Oh no! I can’t draw a boot or an envelope, you can just simply use boxes or draw ticks or crosses to signify that you have completed one of your daily/weekly goals. It doesn’t really matter how you do it. With the extra space I had left over I drew two boxes, one where I write down things that I am grateful for and the second to mark any extra accomplishments I achieve in that week. Being a negatively minded person, I have realised it is important for me to identify the things I do right and to be grateful for the little things. Changing your mindset helps a lot when you want to achieve your goals and ambitions.
Tip: You don’t need to do anything too complicated or fancy when tracking your daily goals, a simple tick will suffice.
I am aiming to write 10,000 words a week, and having a bar split up in one thousandths that I can colour in, helps me to see my progress and motivate me to write more. It is oddly satisfying being able to colour in my charts and know that I have done something that I have been wanting to do for awhile. It gives me a sense of achievement and lets me know that I am on the right track for my goals.
My working life is flexible though, so I know that some days I won’t be able to do everything I want to do and some days I just won’t feel up for it, but that’s OK. The idea is to motivate you to get you moving in the right direction. It’s not the end of the world if you miss a day of exercise or you don’t quite reach your intended word count. You may find that you end up doing more the following week anyways. Of course not everyone has a flexible working life, but then that is why you should put your goals and to-do list in order of priority.
I hope this post has given you some ideas and shown you some insight into how bullet journaling may benefit you too. Just remember, you don’t need to keep track of everything, especially if you already do things in your daily and weekly routines. It is more important to focus on your time management, your priorities, and the things you are likely to forget about.