Increasing my productivity with Bullet Journals
The majority of us use Google Keep, notes, to-do list apps on our phones to help us keep productive. Why? Because it’s obviously so much easier to type things on our phones, tablets and laptops/computers. I’ve been using Google Keep and Calendars to keep track of everything in my life from shopping lists, events, to-do lists and other timetables.
I think keeping my university timetable is especially useful digitally, but I started to find that typing up what I want to do each day never worked.
For example, running up to exams, I found it difficult to cover what I wanted for my revision in the next couple of weeks. I ended up wasting time trying to sync it all together on to my laptop and trying to find the perfect emoji for that module (please tell me I’m not the only one that does this.)
In the end, I never followed it and even looking at it didn’t motivate me at all to get up and do the task.
My Bullet Journal Story
During summer’s exams, I decided to hand-write a monthly spread with goals of modules/topics I wanted to cover as well as quizzes/practise questions I wanted to complete. Each module had different colours. I had this up on my wall on my desk as I studied; I found it helpful because when I lost focus, I’d glance over it and see what else I had to do before the day ended, this was easy with the colours (and only 4 modules.) After completion, I’d cross them out. And let me tell you, that was much more satisfying than tapping it as done on Keep.
I remember showing my boyfriend a picture of it, excitedly telling him how much more work I’d done physically laying it all out and writing it. It was from this moment, I found out about Bullet Journals from him.
“You should look up Bullet Journal, it looks like something you’d really like.”
I spent my breaks from revision learning about Bullet Journals, watching Bullet Journal videos (I especially love Boho Berry’s), stalking Bullet Journal posts on Instagram and Pinterest. After my first summer exam, I bought the LEUCHTTURM1917 notebook in Azure as a little treat and a way to keep in on track for the small push left.
Starting my Bullet Journal was super exciting! But I have to admit, I might’ve gone over the top initially with lots of colours, doodles, quotes – all with the aim of making it look Instagram-ready as you can see below. After having it for over a month now, I’ve slowly been leaning towards a more simplistic design.
The point of bullet journals is to note down events/tasks for the week or day (using weekly and daily pages) just as I did with the monthly over view for exams but using keys for you to quickly scan the page for a task or an event. I attempted using this key but ended up enjoying just writing tasks done and once I completed it, crossing it out (because seriously, that feels great.)
What my Bullet Journal is to me
Although the journal can be seen as just a planner. It’s sort of a little more than that – to me at least.
- A place I can look back on what I’m grateful for: After each day, I note down one thing I’m grateful for on my “Gratefulness” page. Sometimes it’s inevitable to feel relatively deprived due to social media, but looking back at this page and reading it always erases that. ?
- A controlled shopping list: This has been organised by a “need” and “want” section – because let’s face it we don’t need everything we have on the shopping lists. This has helped me budget much more effectively, especially with my holiday coming up in under 3 weeks!
- A tracker: I use my Bullet Journal to track my overall mood for the day, sleep, water intake and the amount of exercise I do. Sure, there are useful apps for this but I find it motivating after I’ve jotted these things down to do something about it.
- A place I can write down my memories, daily events and just write: Like a traditional journal. I also write reflections on my performance at work such as sale targets.
As I’ve used my bullet journal more, I’ve altered how I initially set it out. This is probably one of my favourite things about the system: flexibility – I can change it, however, I like the next month or week or day.
I love my Bullet Journal! It’s definitely increased my productivity. A lecturer at my university always tells my class that the physical act of writing is much more productive than typing – more information goes in and stays in.
For me, my journal has proven this, I’m much more motivated writing than typing my plans out. Don’t get me wrong though, I still love using my Calendar – it’s perfect for on the go when you don’t have much time to open up a journal! ?
Do you prefer digital input of tasks or writing them down or both? Have you heard of Bullet Journals before?