How Keeping A Bullet Journal Changed My Productivity

Maybe you have been following the craze of bullet journals for a while or maybe you partake in keeping one yourself. It took me a while to catch on to this trend and I kept seeing it pop up on my social media feeds. That looks like it takes a lot of work, I thought to myself. But secretly, I adored the fancy fonts and straight lines. I wanted to try it but I just wasn’t sure what the point would be. Would I really have the time to set aside to organize a journal like that? All those pens look like they cost a lot. So I kept putting it off…

Until I broke down and started researching what a bullet journal really is. I learned that it is really individualized to what you want to make it and all those fancy fonts? Not necessary. In my spare time, I do like to take part in artistic hobbies. I find colouring and sketching to be relaxing. I can let my wind wander while channeling my hands to keep busy. I love to get lost in designs while listening to music or a professional development course. So, naturally, I realized that while a bullet journal could be time consuming, it could act as both an organizational tool and creative outlet for me.

More importantly, a bullet journal helps me to prioritize my tasks. In the past, I would make long lists and would never get enough done. I felt like a failure. Where did my time go? How could I not have checked more items off my list? So, my lists became ineffective and the tasks would keep piling up.

With my bullet journal, I set aside a few tasks a day. If I get more done than I anticipated, high five for me. If I stuck to my tasks, then I know I accomplished what I needed for the day. Most important of all, this has helped me to reach different branches of my life without feeling overwhelmed. I have learned to achieve a better work-life balance, as well, taking less work from home. Being a teacher, it can be tempting to work endless hours because there is always something that can be done. Now, I have set boundaries so I can focus on other aspects of my life as well.

For instance, an example of my log from Monday:

-Power Yoga 3-4pm
-Bank apt after yoga
-Dishes/countertops
-Finish 5 school reports
-Call parents

While these tasks may seem simple enough, writing them down helps me to visualize when I can complete them realistically. For instance, knowing that I needed to call my parents while also feeling overwhelmed with getting end of term reports ready, I called them at lunch time. This freed up my evening to focus on other tasks.

Pros of keeping a bullet journal

  • It helps me to narrow my focus on what is most important
  • I do not feel guilty for not competing an entire list because my goals have become more realistic
  • It is customized to my preferences and I can change them on a weekly, monthly or even daily basis
  • It is a creative outlet for me
  • I can include so many things, including a savings tracker or a daily habits tracker
  • You can use whatever materials you are comfortable with. I have used a range of pens including fancy pens from work and fineliner markers from the dollar store. Both have been effective!

Cons of keeping a bullet journal

  • If you are the type of person to forget to take out your journal or to keep track of it, then this will not be an effective tool
  • It can be easy to get lost in the less important details, like all of the fancy fonts/designs that so many talented people have shared. If you want to keep it simple or you cannot draw fancy fonts, that’s 100% ok!
  • It does take a commitment. Like any tool, it is only as effective as you make it. You still have to put in the effort to make the best use of it.

I am so glad I jumped on the bullet journal train. I know it’s not for everyone, but it has certainly helped me to feel less overwhelmed with my daily tasks. Since tracking with it consistently, I have completed all of my tasks more consistently and then some!

What do you think of bullet journals?