Bullet Journal – Grab what’s in your head

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I recommended in my last post that you think about what you want a journal / planner to do for you.  The second tip I’ll give you is to buy a cheap notebook and try out the Bullet Journal according to the video and tips that Ryder gives you.  Start with the basics until you get the hang of it, then customize it to your heart’s content.  You will find there are a lot of ways to do that, too.  People are ingenious when it comes to their BuJos.

(Credits:  all the screen shots you see are from the blogs of BoHoBerry or TinyRayOfSunshine.  My BuJos aren’t ready for prime time like these are.)

There are two things that you won’t see on Ryder’s intro video:  Collections and Trackers.

Collections are just that, collections of things you want to keep track of.  They are usually lists, but don’t have to be.  My primary collection is my Brain Dump.  Everything goes in there… Things to research, follow up on, write about… In other words, transient thoughts that are quite actionable yet but that I don’t want to lose track of.  This is always handy when I’m writing my Morning Pages because if I get a thought to call someone in the middle of my writing, I don’t want to get sidetracked by figuring out when and slotting it into a daily log.  I jog it down on my Brain Dump, and then use that to plan future daily tasks.  It’s a page I review constantly.

You might keep a collection of sketches for new designs you want to try, for example.  Or a series of mind maps you doodled during a preject planning session.  My collections are more prosaic:  Books I’ve Read, Books To Be Read, Blog Ideas.  I have another list for long term household projects I want to tackle that haven’t made it on to a daily task list yet.  I use that to do my weekly planning.  People also use collections for things like Gratitude Logs, food logs, etc.  You get the idea.  Each collection will be on its own page, and referenced in the Index.

Collections aren’t for things like your weekly grocery shopping list, though.  I just wanted to be clear about that.  It’s for things you want to capture long term, either as a future project or to record for history.

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Trackers keep track of recurring tasks.  My newest tracker is one I’ll use to keep track of housecleaning.  I’m using it to get me a little motivated.  I tried assigning cleaning tasks to my daily log but I ended up migrating too many of them when I didn’t get something done.  My tracker will let me see my progress graphically.  Instead of putting “cleaning” in my daily log, I just go to my tracker to see what needs the most attention.  It also lets me see what I avoid the most and figure out a way to make friends with that task.

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Another type of tracker is a habit tracker that helps you track habits you are creating or trying to reinforce.  You go out every day and note your progress.  I like the way that she put in squares for scheduled days like her yoga class.  That way she knows the missing days aren’t slips, but intentional scheduling.

So there you have it, two important components of the Bullet Journal that you should plan out before you design your layout.  Stay tuned for more!

6 thoughts on “Bullet Journal – Grab what’s in your head

  1. Oooh, I do like that tracker feature at the end. Bit of a chore chart for adults, isn’t it? It could help with motivation and allow us to see patterns of behavior. Interesting.

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  2. I love the tracker ideas and am definitely going to incorporate them into my bullet journal. I’m glad you shared your experience with the always migrating cleaning tasks. I can see myself doing the same thing. I have to be in the mood to tackle certain tasks.

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  3. I love that tracker. My own is a little more primitive but I have plans for July. Since implementing one this month I’ve just how much coffee I drink. Scary.

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