When you are managing multiple projects, you need a tool to track and organize your tasks, ideas, and deadlines. Bullet journals are journals that help you manage such issues.
Using a bullet journal for project management requires that you get a bullet journal, document your plan, and execute the plan you created. You can customize your bullet journal to suit your needs once you settle on a style that fits you and effectively captures all your requirements.
Creating a bullet journal isn’t difficult. Keep reading to learn how to use a bullet journal to plan out and manage your projects.
Acquire a Bullet Journal and the Tools to Write With
The first step in this process requires you to acquire a bullet journal to write down your projects. A bullet journal is a journal that organizes your ideas and plans using bullet points. You can buy bullet journals at bookstores or make one using a regular journal. A bullet journal should not be so large that you require a bag to carry it. Nor should it be so small that you have a hard time writing your entries inside it.
An effective bullet journal is one that you should enjoy using every day, so if you select a journal that is too tedious to use because of its size, you’ll stop using it after long. You can create a bullet journal from a medium-sized notebook or one that is 5.25 inches to 8.25 inches in length and width. If you’d like to buy a bullet journal, you can buy The Notebook. This preformatted journal is customizable and comes in three different colors: black, emerald, and Nordic blue.
Your writing tools should not be overlooked.
You can use common pencils, pens, and markers for writing in your bullet journal. However, make sure to use tools that neither leave smudges on the paper nor bleed ink through the pages of the journal. Otherwise, you will have trouble reading what you wrote, especially if you like writing on both sides of the paper.
While ink looks cleaner on paper, you can erase pencil marks easier. This may be preferable if you tend to make lots of changes to your plans and schedules.
Sticky notes are another item that you may want to invest in. Keep small sticky notepads in locations around your home. Whenever you have an idea or need to make a quick note, write it down on a sticky note and place the note inside of your journal. This reduces the chances of you forgetting that unique idea before you get a chance to write it down.
Document Your Projects Inside the Bullet Journal
Most projects have multiple steps and various tasks. It’s inadvisable to try and memorize these. Use your bullet journal to plan your projects and help you stay organized by outlining your project in it. When necessary, you can then edit this outline if your plan changes over time. You can also document the reasons for these changes as well as when you made them.
If your bullet journal is not preformatted, decide on a format to organize your thoughts.
You can organize your projects by days or weeks or months, or you can also summarize your plan as a to-do list.
Keep your notes organized in some chronological order so you can follow your plans easily. Write out your thoughts in short bullet points, as this will make it easier to review them. If you need to expand into more detail, use a separate part of your journal (or a separate journal) for those thoughts.
Most preformatted bullet journals are organized into four sections to help you organize your thoughts. These parts are the Index, Daily Log, Monthly Log, Future Log, and Notes Section.
The Index is your table of contents.
It is located at the beginning of the bullet journal. In an unformatted bullet journal, reserve some pages at the beginning of it to serve as your index. This is where you can write the titles for your projects and their page locations. Organize the index page in whatever way works best for you.
Daily Logs is where you record your daily objectives.
In the Daily Log section, you schedule your project details down to the hour. This will include all your daily tasks and the times you intend to start and stop them. Use this section to prioritize all your important tasks for the day. Build this schedule before starting your day and refer to it throughout the day to stay on schedule. Make adjustments to it as needed as you proceed throughout your day.
The Monthly Logs section is for listing your project plans within a given month.
Use this section to plan out your schedule four weeks in advance. List the start and end dates of your projects here. You can also use this section to deconflict your schedule so that you do not have more activities planned for days where you have insufficient time or resources to accomplish them.
Future Logs are for long term plans that happen within the next year or more from the current date.
This section covers the next twelve months for your project. This is a great log to use if you have a project that takes several months or more to complete, or one that starts several months into the future. For large complex projects, you divide the project by its phases, indicating which month you wish to start and stop each phase.
Arrange start and stop dates of your planned projects, on the coinciding months, taking care to deconflict the schedule as you build it.
The last section is the Notes section.
Use your Notes Section to record daily thoughts or information that you might obtain each day. You can also use this section to provide more details about certain parts of your daily, monthly, or future logs. You can format this section as you see fit.
Following Your Plans and Making Changes
It is important that you use your journal daily for it to be of value to you. You will want to update your journal as changes to your schedule occur. The more you do this, the more useful your journal will be to you. If you have to make a change in the middle of your project, your bullet journal will help you keep a record of those changes. You can also make notes in the note section to keep track of why you made the changes that you did.
Whenever you plan out the details of a project, you can use a bullet journal to help you. All you need is a notebook, writing tools, and your plan to get started.
- Buy or make your own bullet journal. Don’t forget writing tools and sticky notes.
- Decide how you want to organize your journal. Use the basic structure of an Index, Daily Log, Monthly Log, Future Log, and Notes Section to get started.
- Once you build your plan, use the bullet journal to follow it. It will help you stay organized and be successful in finishing your project. Be sure to always capture schedule changes in your bullet journal to keep it current.
Keeping track of projects can be tedious work, and without a place to store all the information, you can lose control of the project. A bullet journal tracks your project so that you remain in control.
- Bullet Journal: How Effective is Bullet Journaling for Project Managers?
- Bullet Journal: The Index
- Buzzfeed: How to Start a Bullet Journal
- Bullet Journal: Notebook Product Shop
- Good Housekeeping: What is a Bullet Journal?
- Minimal Plan: Managing Personal Projects in a Bullet Journal #1
- Minimal Plan: Managing Personal Projects in a Bullet Journal #2
- Novel Coworking: How to Use a Bullet Journal for Work
- Tiny Ray of Sunshine: Thorough Guide to the Bullet Journal System