If you’ve tried every planner and organiser out there, but still can’t seem to get yourself in order with your work life and your personal life, then you might want to try bullet journaling.
Bullet journaling is a simple planning system on a notebook. You basically create your own planning layout and inserts according to your needs, and you can be as creative as you want. It can completely transform the way you plan and organise your day to day life. It’s an amazing tool that will help you to corral all your to-do lists, random slips of papers, notes, ideas, and recommendations into one place, and it will offer you peace of mind.
When it comes to boosting your productivity at work, a bullet journal can provide you with the clarity you need to get the most out of your day. It can really help you to be on top of things and to be even more organised. It’s a flexible way to log what needs to be done and when, and it’s suitable for any profession. Writing down everything you need to do and planning ahead can help you feel more prepared.
So, let’s see why and how you can turn your Dingbats notebook into a very powerful tool, with the use of the bullet journaling system, in order to boost your productivity and be on top of things.
Putting pen to paper
Putting pen to paper can really increase your productivity and make you more efficient and effective with your time. Writing things down sets a strong intention and focus. Simply by viewing your notes will help you to be more organised, set priorities and focus on the most important tasks. It will also help you to plan and use your time effectively and efficiently. Writing things down allows for mental clarity and a deeper understanding of our thoughts, ideas, to-do’s and goals.
The ways you’re using your notebook can really help you to be more effective when you plan your day or your tasks.
- Make use of the core aspects of the bullet journaling system (Index, Future Log, Monthly Log and Daily Log). They are the perfect tool for project management.
- Make a list at the start of each day with all your attainable goals. That will put you in the right frame of mind.
- Keep a record in your notebook of all the ideas that come up throughout the day or the week. You’ll be amazed at how many good ideas and solutions to problems you’ll find on that page when you get back to it!
- Make a list of all the positive things that you’ve accomplished throughout the day. Set a positive attitude towards your work and feel good about your accomplishments - big or small.
Separate notebooks or not?
You can choose to have one notebook for both your personal and professional life. The versatility of bullet journaling makes it the perfect companion to every aspect of your day. Plus the fact that you can create any spread you want, gives you the freedom to juggle both personal and business tasks in one notebook. You can also use different signifiers or colour code your tasks and projects to separate them.
However, there are instances where circumstances don’t allow you to have both parts of your life in one notebook. For example, your work environment could be more strict than others and only work related items are allowed. Or there might be security reasons, since your notebook can’t be kept as private as you’d like. Also, some people prefer not to take work at home, and so they like to leave their work bullet journal there. In that case, you might consider separating the two, and have one for your personal life and one for your work.
Either way, keeping a bullet journal is very functional and can help you stay focused and organised.
Keep it simple
A lot of people associate bullet journaling with all the fancy layouts they see online, and that deters them from even starting using the system. They consider it time consuming and believe that it takes too much effort to keep one. Therefore, they think that bullet journaling is not for them.
However, you shouldn’t be intimidated by it. Once you learn the system and become aware of it’s uses and functionality you’ll be amazed by how easy it is to implement and adjust to your needs.
Just take a step back and see that bullet journaling in it's core is a very basic system. Keep things simple and minimal while creating your work pages in your notebook, and just focus on how this system can help you be organised and more productive.
Tabs are such an amazing feature that can really help you to archive and index your pages. The Dingbats* notebooks have this feature already implemented in their pages, which makes things so much easier! These tabs are on all the pages in the notebook, and so, as you write in your journal, you apply the appropriate colour to the tab on that page. So, even when your notebook is closed you can easily identify items through the colours on the visible edge.
Use Tabs to categorise. Decide on a colour coding system and use the tabs to separate personal from work pages, if you’re using one notebook for both. Otherwise, you can use the tabs to note different sections of your work, to separate the pages by month or you can even use one tab per project.
Some Page examples
In this section I’ll share with you some spreads that you can create in your Dingbats notebook and use for your work. These are pages that I create in mine all the time and use them almost daily.
A work log is where I plan my month ahead. I have a clear view of all my appointments and my deadlines and I know how to plan my days accordingly.
Of course you can change things around to suit you. You can use different sections, instead of ‘Appointments’ and ‘Deadlines’, depending on your work and what you need to use this page for. You can choose to use only one page and one section. You can add both sections on one page or you can even add 4 sections in the spread. It’s all up to you and you can totally personalise it and make it work for you.
A work log definitely helps me to keep on top of things and not to miss anything during the month.
A work flow is a chart where I create a list of each step of my work process horizontally and then I can make another list, with all the different projects where this process can be applied to, vertically. Then I just cross off each step as I’m doing it.
That way, I can take on multiple projects and keep up with everything that needs to be done. I apply this to my freelance work, all the time.
This is another spread I create very often. It’s a great way to illustrate, schedule, and evaluate your project's progress. I use a timeframe to display a list of tasks in chronological order vertically. And then I create a long horizontal bar labelled with the days of the month I’m working on.
Then I mark the time I need to accomplish each task in the order they appear. That way I can see how long it will take me to finish the project and to be accountable on the time I have for each task.
This is a great way to plan multiple projects as well. You can see straight away how busy you are each day, and then plan the rest of your projects accordingly.
Of course you can use any time scale, depending on your project. So, for example the vertical timeline can be changed to weeks, or even months depending on how long your project will take to be finished and how log each task needs to be done.
Having a visual timeframe for my projects can help me see clearly the important steps and tasks that need to be done and when, and it’s an essential tool for successful planning and project management.
Dingbats Notebook (Earth Sky Blue Great Barrier Reef Journal - Dotted A5)
Stabilo Pen 68/46
Tombow Dual Brush Pens (N95, N75, N15)
Tombow Mono Drawing Pen 0.1, 0.3, 0.5
Other Page ideas you can create
There are so many other page ideas that you can create in your Dingbats notebook and use for your work. Each one of these pages you can change and adjust according to your needs in order to boost your productivity.
Master To Do List
5-Year Plan & Goal Tracker
Future Project List
Year in Review
… and so many more! These are a just few of the pages that you can create in your notebook and which can help you with your work. The possibilities are endless and you can create and adjust any spread you want!
So, these are some of the ways you can turn your notebook into a very useful tool, that will help you focus, be organised and boost your productivity.
We’d love to see how you use your Dingbats notebook for work. Which are the spreads that help you to be more productive?