One of the keys to stress-free productivity is transferring all of those critical thoughts from your head to someplace else on a regular basis. Because the human brain can only think one thought at a time, it becomes overwhelming to keep them bouncing around all day long.
I’m always been an avid note taker. I typically fill a couple pages per day with conversations I have with colleagues, important tasks (with that ever so satisfying box I swiftly check when I complete one), and with key dates that I need to make note of.
The problem I’ve always had with my notebooks is that they are painful to revisit. It is time consuming to find something more than a day ago and I end up rewriting the same information over and over again.
Then I discovered the Bullet Journal a few months ago and it completely changed how I take notes.
The genius behind it is the structure and brevity.
The structure can be set up with the following sections.
- Future Log
- Monthly Log
- Daily Log
Next, you “rapid log,” according to creator Ryder Carroll. As shown below, you start by creating tasks with dots, notes with dashes, and events with circles. You’re then able to complete or migrate each item in short order as you go about your day. An “X” over the dot means you completed it. You can indicate you’ve moved the task forward with a “>” over the dot. Strike through the whole task if you’ve decided it’s no longer worth your time.
It works with any notebook but they do sell an official Bullet Journal for $20.
Once you get comfortable with the system, you can start to customize it to your needs. For example, I add my tasks as they come up through the week to my “weekly log” instead of a “daily log,” enabling me to pick and choose the tasks that I expected, or switch focus to new high priority tasks come up.
Watch this video on YouTube if you want to give it a shot.