Home » Bullet Journal » Why am I doing this?

Why am I doing this?

A very common question expressed on the forums is a version of this:  “I work at 3 jobs, I have 2 children and a husband and I manage 4 charity groups. How do I set up my Bullet Journal/GTD/Happy Journal/Evernote.. to keep me organized?!”

Well, let me dispell a common myth… No organizational system will “fix” your busy life like magic. There is no magic pill to make the stress go away. Sorry, there just isn’t.

Instead, figure out what the feeling of chaos is all about and work out how to fix THAT. Sometimes, just recording in tangible form really does help! But you still have to actually DO something about what you identify.

So first ask yourself “What is the PURPOSE of my journaling?”

  • Is there a problem you want to solve?
  • Do you want a tangible record of completed tasks?
  • Do you want a visible record to review and possibly revise?
  • Do you want a place to serve as your ‘external brain’?

ALL of these are very reasonable reasons to keep a journal/planner. But each of these will inspire a different type of entry into that journal.

Scheduling: There are some very simple or very complex ways to schedule and track every moment of your day. Do you need to establish this daily, weekly, monthly? Frankly, I’m a big fan of numbering the lines on the page. I hate boxes.








Honestly, it just doesn’t matter how you insert that schedule, just use a system that works for you.

A Record of completed Tasks: Lots of people find this helpful if they need to report on progress. I.e. Military staff, sales people, commission or piecework employees.  This is where those daily rapid logs come in. Decide to record tasks and mark or migrate to a separate list when complete. Record tasks throughout the day and do an end of day or end of week review, Keep a tracker of recordable events and make a mark each time one is completed.

An External Brain: Ok, this is one of my personal favorites. I find that getting the minutia of ideas OUT of my head and into a trusted system is one of the biggest benefits I get from keeping any sort of journal. How to do it though… that’s pretty individual.

  • write the idea on a piece of paper to address later – Pro: fast, effective, low tech, simple and reliable Con: hard to do when driving or when you are supposed to be paying attention otherwise.
  • Write the idea within the text of your journal entries – Pro: fast, effective, low tech, simple and reliable, DISCRETE (if you are in the habit of recording in your journal anyway and your boss understands that ‘I record the most important information to act on at the first opportunity’ then he will welcome you writing while in conference. 😉 Con: still hard to do when driving
  • Record in an auditory note-taking app – Pro: fast, I always have the phone nearby even in the car! Con: If you forget to incorporate your phone notes in your default system, you fail. There are tricks around this. Set a reminder to alarm later or email the note to yourself.

The one take away from this entire post should be that you need to IDENTIFY what the problem is you want to solve before you try to solve it. There is NO MAGIC METHOD. Nothing is going to solve the problem for you.

, ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *