Can a Bullet Journal actually help?

Take a look at how using a Bullet Journal can help get your life in order or simply plan a party.


There are an absolute plethora of things you can track or store in your Bullet Journal and since starting mine in 2013, it has helped me more than I ever thought it would.

For me, the initial draw of the Bullet Journal was that it didn’t have a screen. I work on computers building websites so I can spend hours staring at pixels and used to do an embarrassing amount of research into how to organise my life and business using apps. I’ve tried them all (the big dogs anyway) and yes there are some really good apps out there to help you stay organised, some of which I still use.

I found though, that all these apps and cloud services have two huge flaws, they need power and they need internet connections (in some cases.) I have, on numerous occasions been unable to progress on some work because of sync issues, or the battery may have run out on my phone.

These gadgets we invest our hard earned cash on are great until they crash or lose power.Click To Tweet

I have now though really narrowed down the tools I use to keep me organised on all fronts and it is a mixture of tech and analog as I don’t feel you should rely solely on one or the other. But at the heart of it all is my Bullet Journal and I’m very thankful to Ryder to coming up with and sharing his system.

Let’s get right to it.

Here are 10 ways keeping a Bullet Journal can improve your life.

Time Tracking

Many of us are far too easily distracted and can often seem to make time disappear. Admit it, how many times have you clicked on a facebook notification then spent the next 20 minutes looking at videos of cats running into glass doors? This is a massive drain on time which could be better spent sorting paperwork or planning your next blog post.

By using a Bullet Journal you can track all the time you spend on certain tasks or areas of your life and get a birds-eye view of how you spend your time. You can then decide that actually, you don’t need to spend 2 hours checking emails or spend an hour and a half on facebook or youtube. This allows you to pinpoint what takes up the bulk of your time and if you can use time better elsewhere.

I invite you to try this… every 30 minutes (or time interval of your choosing) just write down what you have spent that time doing. Yes, it does seem like a bit of a chore but if you do this consistently for a few days you’ll get a really clear outline of how you spend your time.

Journaling

I love journaling and it is something I wish I started doing much earlier. It allows me to write down anything going on in my head. I can write down tasks, ideas, notes, funny anecdotes, cute things your kid says or details for future blog posts.

This is one of the best features of a Bullet Journal and should be used to the max. It is fully adaptable to how your mind works so put whatever the hell you like in there. It will also be a great keepsake in years to come that your children or other loved ones can read through and get a real insight into your life at certain points in time.

Goal tracking

This is a great one and I found it very helpful for myself. You can simply write down your short/long term goals either using a whole page or split a page into a table. From there you can bullet point actionable items, follow up tasks and check your progress to see if you are working towards those goals.

Tracking fitness or weight loss

I personally used this to set up a self-made running program to track my progress whilst training for the 2017 Great North Run. It tracked date, distance, speed, running time. All handy stats to measure and improve.

Having all my running progress in one main place made an extremely quick way to see my development so I can see where to make improvements if necessary.

Instant idea capture

I use this all the time! I would advise anyone to carry a notebook around at all times with a suitable writing tool. It makes no difference how expensive the notebook and pen/pencil are, a free ikea pencil and index cards would do. I like to carry a retractable mechanical pencil around so no sharpening is needed. Literally if anything I think I need to remember pops into my head I whip out my pocket notebook and write it down. It doesn’t matter to me if it is important or not just write it down. Then you can decide if it’s something you need to act on or remember later.

Manage to-do lists

People who love to-do lists, this one is for you. The Bullet Journal is great for writing down to-do lists. Give a list a heading if needed for example ‘Groceries’ then write down each item you need.

I know a few people actually like to write down to-dos after they’ve already done them, just to cross them or tick them off. It gives a real sense of satisfaction apparently. – (guilty)

Books to read

This is something I tried to keep digitally and it never worked for me. I forgot about it and never checked so it sat there collecting virtual dust.

As soon as I wrote down my desired ‘to read’ list on a dedicated spread it all made sense. I also really enjoy ticking off a book from the list. You can also add little marks to indicate the number of times you have read a book if you like to read them more than once that is.

Keeping recipes

This is pretty self-explanatory. In the index, you can create categories and subcategories for different food groups ie vegan recipes, pasta dishes, weight loss dishes etc. Write down the ingredients you used or your own variation on an existing recipe that better suits your tastes. It’s a nice little item for someone else to borrow too. That’s if it’s just a Bullet Journal for recipe ideas that is.

Gift ideas

Maybe some of you are like me and have good ideas of what to get someone for their birthday only to forget what it was or where you saw it later on. Grrr. I hate that. Make a quick note of what to get a loved one or friend, and where to get it from. You could also make up a list of potential gifts and choose the best ones for your favourite friends (and give those unwanted gifts you received last christmas to the rest of the riffraff).

Writing things down boosts memory

I love journaling and it is something I wish I started doing much earlier. It allows you to clear your head completely so you don’t get overwhelmed with the amount of things we all have running around our heads. Research has shown that we have a limited short term memory and can only realistically retain a handful of things at any one time so by getting it down on paper and out of your head, you don’t need to worry about remembering it all.

Bonus item – The Calendex 🙂

No list of things to add to your Bullet Journal would be complete without mentioning the Calendex. This has helped me immensely with the majority of my future planning as well as many others. It gives you an at-a-glance view of your year ahead with page numbered prompts indicating a busy day/morning/afternoon etc. Find out more.

There you have it, those are just 10 ways a Bullet Journal can improve your life and there are many many more. If you have your own please put them in the comments below with how you use them, I can’t wait to hear what kind of things you all track and how you do it!

Happy Planning

Eddy

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