Productivity Tip: Bullet Journal

For those of us that run our own business, especially a business that operates out of our home, productivity is something that we often struggle with.

​There are many ways to stay productive. A regular routine is at the top of the list. We also rely on things such as motivation, focus, music, looming deadlines, accountability partners, and our spouses or significant others.

​Today we're going to discuss an additional way to get and stay productive: Organizing our Task List.

Organization within the business is extremely important. It also happens to be, like productivity, something that many of us struggle with. We all have different systems that may or may not work for us. I am sure many people are like me. I get extremely organized and follow a great system, but a few months later, it goes from an organized system to something more closely resembling chaos. Then: Rinse and Repeat.​

​Some aspects of my business I am able to keep extremely organized. In fact, a few years ago I designed a spreadsheet system that took care of things such as login pages, passwords, affiliate tracking, download pages, client information, etc. I released my system as an info product called Chaos Eradicator. As an extra bonus, I will give anyone who comments on this Post a free copy of it. See details at the end of the Post.

​Other things are not as easy to keep organized. The area of organization that is toughest for many of us is creating, prioritizing, and utilizing our task list. Unfortunately, this is the one area of organizing our business that can most directly affect our productivity.

​There are numerous digital tools that can help with this. One that I use to a certain degree is Evernote. If you haven't used Evernote, I highly recommend checking it out. It has a free version and can be used for everything from note taking, to list compiling, to task delegation. Keeping a to do list or a task list within Evernote can be effective. I use it for many things, but as far as a task list goes, the problem I experience the most is that I don't always open it to check it. This is one of the downsides to the digital solutions, especially if you're like me. I know this drives my business partner nuts!

​Recently, I was introduced to a solution to this problem.

It's a more "analog" system. It involves pen and paper. We've all created task lists on paper from time to time. Looseleaf notebook paper, planners, Post-It Notes, and the like have all been used with varying degrees of success. The system I recently saw is streamlined and simple and keeps everything in one place.

It is called the Bullet Journal.​ The system was created by Ryder Carroll, an Art Director and Interactive Designer from Brooklyn, NY. It uses a system of patterns and is streamlined to keep everything prioritized and organized. The beauty of it is in its straightforward simplicity.

Here is a short video that covers the main highlights of the system:​

​Isn't that fantastic?! The system is more complete than what the video covers. If this looks like something you would like to implement, I suggest you go to the Bullet Journal website and go through all of the instructions.

​This system could, of course, be done digitally. However, I think the "analog" approach makes it that much more effective. If you decide to use it, I would love to hear how it's working for you.

Keeping organized can have a great impact on our productivity. Whether you decide to use the Bullet Journal system, please take a little bit of time today to look around your business. Find areas in which you could become better organized. The sooner you address those areas, the sooner you will find your productivity increasing.

As promised earlier, anyone who comments​ on this Post will be given a free copy of my product Chaos Eradicator. If you are not sure if this product is something you would use, you can read more about it here. If you like what you see, come back here and make a comment. To ensure proper delivery of your complimentary download link, I ask that you also submit a ticket to my Support Desk, letting me know that you commented.

Here's to your success and productivity!​

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14 Comments

  1. I came across the Bullet Journal a while ago, it’s great, isn’t it! I have adapted it a bit for my own use. Have you come across Spiraldex? I’ve come across some people combining the two.

    Reply
    • Yes, it’s great! I have not yet seen Spiraldex. I’ll check it out. Thanks for the tip!

      Reply
  2. Many thanks for this – a great round-up of some really useful tips.

    Reply
    • My pleasure! Very glad you found this useful.

      Reply
  3. The bullet journal looks promising–will have to go to the website to glean more details. I like to write things out because it’s an organic process. Thanks, Ed.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome Kate! Yes, there are many more details on the Bullet Journal website. the video and my comments are just the essence of it. Enjoy! I would love to hear how you do with it, should you decide to try it out.

      Reply
  4. There is a lot to be said about the joy of writing on paper :) This post reminds me of a really sweet post from the RocketInk blog – it’s a description of the author grudgingly admitting that the analog solutions may actually be nice!

    I enjoy doing a hybrid paper/digital combination myself. Of late, it’s interesting to see companies like Evernote, and a Swedish company called Whitelines, making some serious attempts at bridging the analog/digital divide, not to mention the smartpen product line :)

    Reply
    • Great post from RocketInk! Thanks for sharing it.

      Yes, hybrid works well for me, also. I stumbled with EverNote for a while, and I still have issues remembering to open it. For me now, it’s a great place to keep notes and progress reports for projects, but it seems pen and paper is best for to-do lists. I am looking forward to seeing where the smarten line goes. That opens a new world up for us.

      Reply
  5. Ed,

    I can relate to “Rinse and Repeat.” I have a box of 5×7 index cards with my checklists on them, as they are easy to change.

    Gary Thaller

    Reply
    • I used to use index cards, but they got lost too easily. I even had a special box for them. Didn’t help! I think you actually have to put them in the box so you can find them when you need them. Who knew?

      Reply
  6. I am a big fan of to do lists which is what I guess this is but possibly more compact.

    I like to write it down – it makes it stick.

    Short and sweet makes you think.

    Love it!

    Reply
    • Agreed on a all points! Yes, great, easy to follow system for those of us who like to actually write!

      Reply
  7. Another great article, Ed! I never heard about Bullet Journal and now… can’t wait to check it. I am a huge fan of “to do” lists. I love so much the feeling I have when I “check” it, that I think soon I will even write on my daily list “washing my teeth”.
    It seems to me that it became a habit saying… Thank you, Ed :)

    Reply
    • LOL! I know the feeling! Thanks for the kind words!

      Reply

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