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Monday, May 08, 2017

Bullet journal your way to a more productive day

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Sherilee Coffey, Director of Creative Operations

I am a big fan of figuring out how to do things quickly and efficiently—always trying new methods and approaches. (If that sounds familiar, you may have read it here.) And I'm not alone, of course—the productivity industry and my Coffey colleagues are full of ideas about how to work smarter.

A few years ago, the bullet journaling concept popped into my inbox, and I couldn't help but investigate. I was instantly intrigued by its many applications, especially the list approach to organization.

Tips and tools for beginners in bullet journaling

First, what is a bullet journal, or BuJo for short? If you're not sure, this short video offers a creative crash course.

Since my first attempts, I've pinned ideas and followed Instagrammers, and I've tried a number of variations on the theme.

Here are three things I have learned that I believe would be helpful for any healthcare marketer looking to increase productivity with a bullet journal.

1. Make it yours. Don’t feel like you have to adopt every part of the BuJo way. For example, I don't track personal items in my work bullet journal. I also don't use it as a calendar for tracking appointments, meetings, etc. I use bullet journaling primarily as an effective and systematic to-do list—to get things done!

BuJo fact: Credit for this productivity method goes to a designer, Ryder Carroll, who created it over many years to help himself focus. Hear him tell his own story.

2. Don't be intimidated by the artsy examples. You can find endless beautiful and colorful samples online. But it's not necessary to sketch or draw in your journal—or make it pretty. Here's an example from an engineer, who takes a no-frills approach to his bullet journal.

3. Don't give up. I have started notebook after notebook only to be unhappy with the look of my lists or feel they don't really encompass what I want them to be. But I always come back to the list and the key, the basic premise of the bullet journal.

BuJo fact: The official Bullet Journal has become a pretty big deal, with a Facebook page garnering 84K+ likes, an Instagram following of more than 170K and 22K+ followers on Pinterest.

A little more instruction and inspiration…

I think the most important point about bullet journaling (and many things worth doing) is this: Get started. You might not know exactly how it will look or what it will do for your productivity—but step out, crack the binding on that first notebook, and see what's possible.

Related reading

Have a Great Workday! Take the single-tasking challenge
Have a Great Workday! Tame your to-do list by touching it once
Have a Great Workday! Quick tips for tackling your to-do list


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