As any business owner knows, on a daily basis you can be hit with a multitude of tasks and information coming in from a variety of sources like your email, customers, employees, and even your own mind.
Add to that launches, promotions, and all that content creation…and you’ve got a recipe for entrepreneurial meltdown.
Want to avoid that meltdown?
Then, you’ll want to check out the Bullet Journal system.
So, one of the most important things a business owner can establish for themselves and their business is a system of organization to capture, process and execute on their daily tasks and incoming information. There are a lot of systems out there, some for those who prefer digital methods, and others for those who prefer analog pen and paper. Few systems, however, can bridge that gap, give you the flexibility to capture a variety of information in an organized way, and help you really get those important big picture items for your business done the way the bullet journal method can.
This system, attributed and licensed by Ryder Carroll and outlined through his website, bulletjournal.com is based in what Carroll calls “Rapid Logging” which allows the user to quickly input a variety of information into their designated capture method.
In an analog system, this capture method is represented as a journal (lined, ruled, squared, whatever you prefer) where the user would simply start listing out tasks, reminders, notes and other data and then use a system of unique bullets as identifiers for the category to which each item belongs.
These bullets are essential for the visual organization of data items, but in addition, Carroll also suggests something of a blueprint for organizing your information for quick reference and storage on an ongoing basis.
Not familiar with bullet journaling but it’s starting to sound really simple and perfect for you? There’s a three minute video made by Ryder that perfectly explains how to set up a bullet journal in a common notebook.
I highly suggest checking that video out to understand the method and the basics of setting up your own bullet journal. Check out his video below:
Why the Bullet Journal System Works for Business Owners
There are a few reasons the bullet journal is perfect for business owners and entrepreneurs who are hit with a constant stream of tasks, ideas and information they need to track, act on or reference later.
As you can see from the video, the bullet journal is an ongoing system that takes next to no time at all to manage because as you enter information you are simply adding new items to your daily task lists or to collections where you can track and store information.
There is no learning curve, no tweaking to the system required (beyond that which you will naturally begin to do as you rely more and more on the system) and there is no fear that you will lose your information because you have a system to quickly recall notes and items relating to your business.
How often do you look back at your days and weeks and find yourself wondering what you spent your time on? Why were you so busy everyday but look back and feel like you didn’t accomplish much?
It’s easy to get bogged down in small tasks if you don’t have a system to organize and manage them.
If you’re spending too much time in your day fighting fires and jumping around from problem to problem, you never actually get anything accomplished. As a business owner, you need to be clear on the projects and items that deserve your attention, and which need to be batched together for quick processing or delegated to an employee or virtual assistant.
The way that the bullet journal is set up, you have multiple opportunities to plan for you business and map out big picture items as well as the minutea of daily life all in the same place.
Add tasks relating to projects and launches in your monthly master task list, start a page to collect all the information relating to social media strategies or client lists, and manage your daily tasks all in one place. As long as you rely on your bullet journal to capture all new information, you have a ready made system that can help you stay on track, see where you need to be spending your time and where you can push items off of your plate.
Finally, the bullet journal system is a great tool for business owners because it is flexible enough to be maintained digitally or through an analog method.
If you are a pen and paper person, use any ‘ole notebook like a Moleskine journal or my favorite one–a Leuchtturm1917 notebook. If you are more reliant on digital organization, you can easily adapt the bullet journal into an excel spreadsheet or word document. Even iOS notebook applications like the popular Paper by 53 have been hacked to act as digital bullet journals, but you can use a variety of iPad and even iPhone apps to track your tasks.
Linked below are a few apps you may want to check out:
Implementation & Action
Implementing a bullet journal system is very easy and really just requires you to choose which method, digital or analog, works best for you. Here is a quick start guide to implementing a new bullet journal system.
- Set up your digital or paper journal based on the framework discussed by Ryder Carroll in the video above. Don’t be afraid to tweak things to fit your input method.
- Decide on a system of bullets that fit the needs and contexts of your business and life.
- Transfer all your tasks from alternate inboxes and lists and compile them into your new bullet journal.
- Assemble all relevant information and notes that you need to refer back to frequently or work through, and create collections of data within your bullet journal system.
- As new tasks and information come to you, immediately enter them into your bullet journal, either by adding tasks to your monthly or daily spreads or by adding information to specific (or new) collections.
- Keep your bullet journal index up to date- remember, this system is not as useful unless you keep track of the contents of your bullet journal in your index.
- Regularly review the information in your tasks lists and collections to identify the areas in your business where you are wasting time, and areas that need more attention. The beauty of this system is that you can go back and see how you were spending your time as long as you make sure you keep track of the tasks you preform each day!
5 Specific Projects To Use With The Bullet Journal System
- Map out your launch plan
- Brainstorm Marketing Funnel
- Track Your Product Launch and Business Finances
- Launch Communication Collection
- Weekly Wrap Up – What I Did Collection
Important with each of these is to sync the information with a digital project management tool or system even one as simple as Google Docs or Google Sheets. Even if you don’t currently work with a team, you always want to be able to share the information and collaborate when you’re ready to do that.
Additional Bullet Journal Resources
- 33 Days Later: an Update on My Use of the Bullet Journal Method Task Tracking System
- James McDermott: One Month With the Bullet Journal
- Tiny Ray of Sunshine: Bullet Journal
- Boho Berry: Bullet Journal
- Anne’s Pinterest: Bullet Journal Inspiration
- Life By Whitney: Amazing ideas for your Bullet Journey
- Blankaplans: Bullet Journal Ideas For Students
- Lisa Jacobs: Creative Entrepreneur w/Some Amazing Bullet Journal Spreads
Now It’s Your Turn
Before you turn bullet journalling on for your entire business, think about one project you can use it to manage this week. In the comments below, I’d love to hear your first impressions of this system and if you’re going to try it out! And, if you are already using bullet journalling or something similar, let us know too!
If you are ready to dive in to your launch, use bullet journalling or any other planning method to get your launch done, you’ll love my done for you launch to do list inside Fearless Launching.
It’s the only place to get this complete Launch Walkthrough…all while learning the principles of executing a product launch for your next online course or coaching program.