Are you an over-planner? Have you found yourself planning your day with such detail that you’ve wasted hours you could have spent doing the thing you’ve planned?
I’m an over-planner. Somewhere deep down I believe I will come up with the “perfect” way to plan my day. Where everything I want to do gets done. Everything I need to do is checked off my list. A day that feels accomplished and I can relax and have fun knowing it’s okay for fun time. Scheduled fun time???? Ugh!
If you’re a bullet journaler with beautiful pages and it helps you get things done…this post is not for you. If you’ve tried bullet journaling and it didn’t work for you, or you haven’t heard of the bullet journal, please read on. These ideas will help.
Best Bullet Journal Ideas
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Too Pretty…too much!
I read about bullet journaling and saw all the pretty bullet journal ideas on Pinterest. I tried to start one with all the pretty ideas. It didn’t work for me. I was lost. There were too many pages and ideas to keep up. Mornings became lost on drawing timelines and filling in little squares with different colors. And what if I mess up a page!!
My handwriting is not the best..so I would write slow. Then one day in August I was done with the fancy pages, little boxes to fill in and all those colors. I went back to the bullet journal basics.
Bullet Journal Basics
The basics consist of an index, future logs, monthly logs, and daily logs.
The idea is the rapid logging of tasks in a bullet style. If a task doesn’t get done you migrate it to another day.
Signifiers, or little symbols like · * < > – help define the task. You can see my cheat card above. It’s taped to the back of my notebook. I’ve used signifiers for many years and developed a few of my own.
Collections are pages that are themed. Collections are the main tip to overcome overplanning. I have one place to write my plans or ideas. I’m not redoing, rethinking, or replanning.
Since the key is page numbers I “thread” my notes to easily find all themed pages. This helps me keep track of those “great” ideas that leave my mind 15 minutes later.
The BIG key is page numbers on each and every page!!
First tip…start with bullet basics. After you learn the basics, then move to make it pretty.
Working with interruptions
My biggest challenge…I work from home. Working from home has distractions. The laundry buzzes, Emily rings her potty bell, an Amazon package arrives with a ring of the doorbell, our tummies growl…we have a busy and apparently a loud household.
This is what I do to tracking my work hours with distractions. I use dot pages instead of lines. The bullet journal uses dot pages too. A regular workday is 6 1/2 hours. I make four dots then a small line. Then four more dots and another line. I continue until I have 6 lines, then I add two more dots. Each dot represents 15 minutes of work time. That makes 6 hours and 30 minutes of work time.
I can quickly plan my day by assigning time to my tasks for the day. As I work I add an X over the time completed.
Notice the first task is 15 minutes on my elephant. An elephant is a large undertaking that I’m completing like I would eat an elephant, one bite at a time.
Then I completed 75 minutes on frogs. Same idea as the elephant only smaller. Eat that frog is the idea of getting the important things done first. Small goals are frogs along with anything that would make life uncomfortable if it didn’t get done that day.
This idea helps because some days I start work at 5 am and other days I may not start until 9. Then other days are broken up between interruptions. But each workday covers 6 1/2 hours.
The original bullet journal uses a dotted notebook. My personal issue with a notebook is when the book closes I forget to check it during the day. I need something “in” my face! :/ So, I use a small binder and remove the page for the day. I clip it on my farmhouse clipboard.
I snapped a photo of the dotted pages. The two on the sides I purchased on Amazon. One has smaller dots the other has larger dots. But my favorite is the middle shows pages I created and printed.
Life Noted is my Amazon list of related items to start your journal, planner or diary. Click to check out the creative ideas to get your bullet journal ideas started. I just received my new binder from Amazon this morning. Can you guess which one I picked?
Quick update to my bullet journal idea…going paperless! Yes, me the queen of paper stashed in cabinets is removing the paper. This includes giving up a paper planner. Eek! It’s been three months with a digital planner still maintaining the bullet journal technique. You can read more about my basic bullet journal layout digital.
With all the eating of elephants and frogs, I need a “perfect” diet meal!
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