If, like me, you hadn't heard of this before, go watch the short video here and check out the website bulletjournal.com. There's nothing for sale, it just shows you how you can turn any notebook into a planner/ journal/ listkeeper all in one. I'm a big fan of all-in-ones! Anyway, go check them out then come back so we can discuss.
The Bullet Journal system is elegantly simple yet allows you to capture, and access, an enormous amount of information.
Things I love about it:
- How it grows organically. You use it as you need it, you can start it any time and there are no wasted pages. Whenever you need to write a list, you plop your list right down on the page. And there's unlimited space for lists!
- When you need to sketch out your week, you make whatever weekly format works best for you (horizontal, week + notes, vertical columns, family grid etc.). In fact, you can use a different format each week if you want to, whatever works best for you that week.
- As I mentioned before, I love that everything is in one book. Monthly planners, weekly breakdowns, daily records, journaling, lists, forward plans. There's only one book to grab when you need to look something up or write something down.
- Because the pages are numbered and indexed, you can find information easily. Because you index events into the monthly calendar, those are easily referenced too. And because it's in a bound book, archiving is a breeze.
- You can use an A5/ 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch notebook, which is slimmer than a day per page or ring binder version, write as much as you want every day, and still avoid that huge planner craziness I talked about yesterday.
Tweaks I would make, your mileage may vary:
- This works well as a catch-all capture device, but not so well for planning beyond the current month. To do that you'd have to have a master calendar either electronically or on paper to transfer things into your notebook each month for monthly planning. Something you could do though is just write your whole year's worth of monthly pages (or more, if you like further planning) into the front of your notebook and use that as your master calendar rather than just going month by month.
- Transferring undone tasks month by month wouldn't work for me, I have to do that week by week. Small tweak though.
- Personally I would start the Index page in the very back of the notebook, that way if the Index takes up more than one page you don't have to worry about it. When the content meets the Index back pages, the notebook is full and it's time to start a new one!