Bullet journaling helps you to remember stuff; it also helps you to achieve your goals. How often do you say: “I forgot…”? Perhaps you get to the end of the day and realize that although you were busy, you achieved nothing important.
A typical comment from a writing student: “I’ll never keep my deadline for (fill in the blank), because I forgot…”)
Bullet journaling: essential to achieve your goals
A bullet journal helps you to know where you are and where you’re headed. It will even help you to build the road that will get you there.
I keep an Ikea trolley beside my desk. The top tray contains eight notebooks, some coil-bound; some hardcover. Three are bullet journals.
From the article on doubling your output with batching and time blocking:
Many writers use digital calendars; I don’t. With an app, you can adjust the time and date at a click. I use paper planners, so that when I put things off, the evidence of my procrastination is right in front of me.
Try the basic bullet journal method — no need to get fancy
Sometimes when I suggest bullet journaling to a writer he responds with: it’s too complicated. Yes, there’s that. Some folks’ “bullet journals” look like art journals.
I’ve been using the bullet journaling process for years, highly customized for the way I like to work. FWIW… there’s ZERO art in my bullet journals, other than the occasional doodle to help me to think.
Apropos of art. I keep an art journal, because I’ve noticed that after I spend a few minutes painting, ideas pop up, especially for fiction. But there’s no room for art in my bullet journals.
To get started with a bullet journal, here’s Ryder Carroll’s basic bullet journaling method.
Let’s look at tips which might help you to get started.
1. Keep it simple: know why you’re bullet journaling
When you look at Instagram and Pinterest, you might get the idea that bullet journaling is all about art, and pretty pictures. It can be, if that’s what inspires you, and gets you creative and productive.
Before you create fancy layouts for each month however, think about what your bullet journal is for. What will you achieve? Why is this important to you?
Decide how many bullet journals you need. I have three, for:
- Client work;
For my first few years of using the method, I had one bullet journal, and kept everything in it. The book sprouted more Post-Its, tags, and flags than a demented porcupine — and each hardcover journal lasted ONE month.
Next month, I had to transfer everything important to the new journal. Then I began to keep my Collections in a smaller notebook, which kind of defeated the purpose… Eventually I decided on separate books for separate areas.
When you’re starting out, stick with one bullet journal.
2. Know where you’re headed: choose three goals
You can be immensely productive, achieve a great deal, and yet be miserable. Choose goals which excite you:
If your goals don’t excite you, you won’t strive to achieve them. Ask yourself: “what goal, if I achieved it, would be thrilling?”
Set Your Writing Goals For 2019: 4 Tips You Can Use Today has a useful exercise for finding a goal which excites you.
3. Begin, end, and review (BER): handwriting helps you to remember. You’ll be more creative too
I like acronyms. For bullet journaling, I have “BER” written as the first task every day — even on weekends.
- Begin: start the day by reviewing each day’s task list. Add info and ideas, and migrate tasks;
- End: end each day with a review. What needs to be migrated? Did I achieve what I wanted? Jot down tomorrow’s tasks;
- Review: review twice a day. Review the entire journal once a week.
Planning and organization frees you to be creative and productive
Planning and organization… Yes, I know these activities sound boring. You may just discover however that bullet journaling frees you. It helps you to get organized, write and sell more, and have more fun too.
Why not try it?
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