Photo by Estée Janssens / Unsplash

As an alternative to the constraints of traditional journals, bullet journals are embraced by creatives as a more fun and relaxed way to promote productivity. A bullet journal is a versatile organizational tool that is customizable to… well, you. What makes a bullet journal unique is that it takes a more adaptive and creative approach to a traditional planner and a personal journal — both ideas are intermixed into one.

Bullet journal (or “BuJos” as enthusiasts lovingly call them) allow you to create spreads that outline your weekly tasks and appointments, track habits, vision boards, and even meal planning. These journals can also be used as a diary to write and reflect. If you’re not a literary type, have no fear — you’re welcome to draw or write as few or as many words as you want. The point is to mold them to your own artistic whims.

Use highlighters, washi tape, or other materials to modify the look of your spread. Photo by Estée Janssens / Unsplash

BuJos require a little bit of creativity when creating spreads. Essentially all you need is just a pen and a notebook, however some people utilize brush pens, watercolors, stencils, and craft/washi tape to spruce up their pages. Because you personally write out your tasks or goals, it increases your productivity. Studies show that when you put pen to paper, you remember things better and can hold yourself accountable.

The key to make your bullet journals worthwhile is to keep it focused. Think of what you want to use your journal for: recording daily or weekly tasks, keeping track of specific projects, maintaining a content calendar? If you try to tackle too many things with a bullet journal you mind wind up decreasing your productivity and complicating your record-keeping. Choose a dedicated purpose and stick to it.

Note that bullet journals work differently for everyone. Find what complements your work habits and you’ll be well on your way to successful journaling!

Want to learn more strategies for maximizing productivity? Try out this course by Emily Carr University of Art and Design:

Project Management for Designers

Project Management for Designers

Emily Carr University of Art and Design