How A Bullet Journal Can Keep You Super Organized
Bullet journals can be great for your creative outlet, but at their core, they are insanely useful for getting and keeping you organized!
If you’re constantly trying to keep up with the many demands of life – you certainly aren’t alone.
I’ve lost count of the post-it notes I’ve misplaced. The lists I have to keep restarting and the forgotten appointments and upcoming events.
Despite an ongoing effort to simplify life, there is still a lot of balls to juggle and life can get chaotic quickly.
Whether you work inside or outside the home, are studying, or you’re a stay-at-home parent that struggles with home, personal, and family responsibilities, you could probably do with a little more order and organization in your life.
If you’re looking for an easier, simpler way to get more organized, a bullet journal is a great place to start.
WHAT IS A BULLET JOURNAL?
A bullet journal is essentially a customizable journal that you set up to track any and all aspects of your life.
In a world of endless different phone apps and online documenting, the bullet journal is a more old-school analog system - but don't doubt it's power to get you organized!
You pick and choose what you want to include, like goal planning, household chores and routines, to-do lists, weekly or monthly planners, and any other lists or pages that work for your life.
Check out this short video by the creator of the bullet journal:
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SO HOW EXACTLY CAN A BULLET JOURNAL KEEP YOU ORGANIZED?
1. EVERYTHING IS KEPT IN THE ONE PLACE
One central place to keep all of the ‘bits and pieces’.
You've probably used a planner or diary before. But a bullet journal goes beyond the planning of a simple diary.
It combines a planner, the multiple ‘to-do’ lists, the scattered post-it notes, the budget, gift ideas, a home project planner, your big goals, a wish list, a memory keeper, a habit tracker, a shopping list, a menu planner, study planner, party planner, kid’s activities…
All the balls you’re juggling….all in the one place.
No more lost notes, multiple notebooks and forgetting where you jotted that phone number down.
Keeping all the necessary details in the one simple journal has been a life-saver, reducing the chaos and overwhelm of a busy life with many different moving pieces.
I’m not saying that it’s always smooth sailing (is it ever?) but maintaining a central ‘life control’ in my bullet journal certainly helps me stay as organized as possible, even with three small children.
Bullet Journal Tip:
Some people like to keep their bullet journals on them, so they can jot down things as they go about their day. Others prefer to keep their bullet journals at home and add to them morning or night. Before setting up a bullet journal, consider how you will use it and therefore the size that will work best for you.
2. IT'S COMPLETELY ADAPTABLE TO YOUR LIFE
Now, just because you can put all your lists and ideas and planners in the one place….doesn’t mean you have to.
Setting up your own bullet journal allows you to customize it to your individual organizing needs.
There are some amazing bullet journal ideas and inspiration around on the web, some will suit your lifestyle and others won’t.
Related Post: 8 Simple (But Really Useful) Bullet Journal Pages
But it won’t help you to get organized if you spend hours setting up layouts and pages that don’t apply to your stage of life.
What will work best for you? Do you need to create some solid routines to get organized?
What areas of life do you currently need more organization in? Consider the required bullet journal layouts and pages to suit your needs.
Bullet Journal Tip:
A simple approach is the most effective for bullet journaling.
You can add more pages gradually as you go. Don’t get intimidated by all of the complex bullet journals you may see on social media. Start by building your bullet journal based on layouts and pages and lists that will work for your lifestyle. Think about what you need to get (and keep) you organized and go from there.
3. YOU CAN INCLUDE YOUR FUTURE PLANNING
An essential component to staying organized, is knowing and remembering what is coming up in your life.
This is where the bullet journal future log comes in.
Future scheduling of appointments, birthdays, tasks and events can all be tracked in your bullet journal and will ensure that they stay on your radar, well in advance.
A yearly page layout is a great idea to foresee what’s coming up this year:
A monthly page layout is then useful to see your upcoming month at a glance:
A bullet journal weekly spread can then break down your plans, tasks and to-dos to a weekly overview:
Bullet Journal Tip:
Some days you may need a whole page for notes and tasks and other days you may not write anything. That’s the beauty of a bullet journal, just make it fit to your life.
4. IT'S GREAT FOR RECORD KEEPING
Sometimes you have to look back.
Just as important as future planning is, it also helps you to stay organized when you keep a record of the past.
By keeping all your notes in the one journal, you can easily refer back to things and know exactly where to find them.
Maybe you need to quickly see when your last doctor’s appointment was, when you were last on school roster, or when you last called your grandmother?
At my stage of motherhood, this bullet journal memory page has been simple and wonderful. I love quickly jotting down little things that have happened and having them to refer back:
Another great way is to record highlights, things you’re grateful for and details worth noting on your monthly page layouts, therefore easy to find when you want to review your year.
This monthly tracker also helps me to quickly refer back to when home maintenance tasks were carried out:
5. THERE'S PLENTY OF ROOM FOR A 'BRAIN DUMP'
It’s really hard to get or stay organized when you’re completely overwhelmed. And running on stress and chaos.
And the best way of getting rid of the overwhelm is to do a brain dump of every little thing that’s going on.
Setting up a monthly 'brain dump page' in your bullet journal leaves you the space to jot down information throughout the month.
It allows you to brainstorm problems or gain a bird’s eye view of everything that needs doing. By keeping it in the one journal, you have it down on paper and out of your head, removing the mental load of carrying it around.
Bullet Journal Tip:
Another option is a 'shiny ideas' bullet journal page. If you often find yourself coming up with new ideas, new distractions, new projects and flashing bolts of inspiration...quickly write it down on your 'shiny ideas' list so you've 'downloaded' the information and have it to refer back to when you have time.
6. GET CLEAR ON YOUR PRIORITIES
Do you have a really long list of ‘to-do’s and it doesn’t seem to ever reduce?
Well one of the great aspects of bullet journaling is the bullet journal key and the ability to reassess and ‘migrate’ tasks from your to-do lists.
There is never going to be a perfect day or perfect week or perfect month.
You can always be optimistic with the things you hope to achieve during any given week or month, but you might not finish those task lists 100 percent of the time.
This is where the migrating process comes in.
Migrating your tasks is all about taking anything from your previous schedule or to-do list and moving them to the next month.
- Perhaps in February, you were hoping to finish a house project, but didn’t quite get it done?
- You review your list at the end of February and contemplate all the tasks that are incomplete.
- Are they no longer relevant? Cross them out.
- Are they still relevant? If this is the case, you want to finish it in March.
- Go to February, make a note that you are migrating that task to March, then add it to your monthly log for March, thereby creating a new to do list, without losing track of the old.
It’s amazing the sense of completion that you feel from crossing things off your list and the sense of organization you feel from reassessing those outstanding tasks.
USING A BULLET JOURNAL TO GET ORGANIZED
The great thing about organizing your life with the help of a bullet journal is that there are no rules.
And the options are endless. Try it out and see how it works for you, knowing that you can easily adjust as you go.
You can take inspiration from other people and use some of their ideas, but at the end of the day, it is the most effective for keeping you organized when you customize it to your needs.
The trick then is to make sure you keep your bullet journal on hand and actually use it!