How I stay productive with a bullet journal

Is it me, or are we all super busy all the time? It feels like there is never enough hours in the day to get everything done.

I spent hours scouring the Internet trying to find that magic solution that will transform me into a perfect and productive being. I’ve tried almost every productivity tool the internet had to offer – Trello, Asana, Jira, etc. — with little success. I would use a productivity/organizational tool for a couple days, and then it would just fizzle out.

I even bought several extremely fancy (expensive) planners in the hope of magically changing my life. They all had pre-organized pages and motivational quotes sprinkled in. Didn’t matter how cute the planner was, it would always end up in the corner of my bookshelf covered with a light layer of dust.

I was preparing to resign myself to a life of chaos and lackluster productivity when I learned about the Bullet Journal system. And I’ve never looked back.

What is a Bullet Journal?

Digital product designer, Ryder Carroll, developed the Bullet Journal system — BuJo for short. After years of trial and error, he developed the Bullet Journal as a way to change how people stay organized. There are no wrong answers when it comes to how you use the Bullet Journal system. It’s up to you to decide how to make it work for you. It could be a simple planner or a complex project management system. The idea is that it’s an ever-evolving experience.

How does it work?

how I stay productive with a bullet journal

The way you use the Bullet Journal system is up to your personal preferences. Once you understand the general system of logging and migrating, you can make adjustments as needed. The key is to develop the ritual of logging and migrating your tasks, events, and notes. Then it will feel like second nature.

I strongly advise you try to incorporate your journal process into a daily morning ritual. It will keep you focused and give you some structure as you start your day.

The Benefits of having a Bullet Journal

Now I would love to sit here and say that my life has magically changed since I started using a Bullet Journal, but this is a blog post not a thinly veiled Instagram ad for workout leggings. What I can say is that I have seen a shift in my ability to get things done every day. I feel less stressed because I don’t have to constantly juggle all of my work projects in my head. And I have a greater sense of accomplishment when I cross things off of my to-do list. The benefits fo having a Bullet Journal include:

  • It’s easy. Don’t get me wrong. I am still very much pro-tech. But, there is something special about the simplicity of a notebook and pen. It is too easy for me to ignore the online tools because I am not interested in logging into yet another online tool after a long day at work.
  • It’s customizable. Online tools force you to adjust your personal preferences and organizational style to fit a rigid online tool. The Bullet Journal can be exactly what you need. The beauty of it is that the system lends itself to trial and error. It’s okay to make mistakes in your journey to learn what works best for your work style.
  • It keeps you focused. The whole system is designed to help you stay focused on accomplishing your goals. No more wasting time on small projects that don’t matter. You will know exactly what you need to do each day to get yourself one step closer to your goals.
  • It’s rewarding. There is something satisfying about marking a task as done with pen and paper. I enjoy checking my journal at the end of the day and marking all the various tasks and events as complete. It helps me feel productive and organized.

Have you tried using the Bullet Journal system? Do you have any tips for staying organized? Are you one of those people who can actually use a planner and stick to it? We’d love to hear about it! Share your story with us on Twitter.