When I first got into the bullet journal, it felt stifling. Between making weekly checklists, remembering to migrate tasks, and trying to update redundant lists, I started to lose a lot of steam for this truly useful to-do list technique. My whole bullet journal experience changed when I decided to stop following the rules word for word and instead adapt the most useful methods to what I needed. I imagine that a lot of people feel this way about their bullet journal and I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to bullet journal with only the rules you need! Or to make up your own.
Decide What’s Right For You
Take a look at your bullet journal. What are your favorite parts of it? What are your least favorite parts? I really love having daily task lists, but I really hate feeling like I have to migrate tasks. So, I stopped migrating tasks. If a task didn’t get done that day, I scratched it off. I have a master to-do list in OmniFocus for all of my recurring tasks, so I know that no important tasks are going to get through the cracks. Take your number one least favorite part and figure out how you can stop doing it. Some things are as easy as just stopping them (like adding decoration to pages), but others might require some thought (like getting rid of the index).
If you aren’t sure of how a particular piece impacts you, do an experiment. I thought that habit trackers were an awesome idea, so I gave it a try. Almost immediately I got behind and was trying to remember what I had completed three days before. It didn’t work. It’s an awesome idea, but it doesn’t work for me! I also tried different sizes of notebooks and realized that the type of notebook they recommend really is the best (even if it costs an arm and a leg.) You never know what is going to help you, so try all kinds of different things and don’t sweat the things that don’t work.
Bullet journals are really awesome resources! I absolutely love mine, even if it isn’t exactly what they show on the official website. You can love yours too if you take the time to figure out what you do and do not like. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to the Bullet Journal, I’m always adding new stuff so check it out for more ideas. Remember that the bullet journal’s job is to make your life easier!
Do you have any tips or tricks for using the bullet journal? What are your favorite and least favorite parts of it?