While this type of planning system may not be ideal for everyone, I can honestly say that it is possible! And with a little bit of experimentation, trial and error, I am confident that you can find a way to organize your whole life in a notebook.
Whenever I am introducing someone to the Bullet Journal, I often get asked the same thing, “is it actually possible to organize your whole life in a notebook?”
Today, I am going to share some tips with you on how you can get organized in any ordinary notebook.
How does the Bullet Journal work?
The Bullet Journal is an analog planning system created by Ryder Carroll meant to help you be intentional with your time.
Simple layouts keep it easy to maintain, and each different layout will help you organize the different parts of your life. The basics of the system include;
- Indexing: helps you keep the different lists and collections within your notebook organized.
- Bullets: symbols you use to note the different things within your Bullet Journal. For example, the symbol for a task would be a dot, while the symbol for an appointment would be a circle. You can use whatever symbols work best for you!
- Collections: Categorize the information you put onto each page. For example, your monthly layout would be one collection, while your grocery list would be a different collection.
The secret to keeping the different parts of your notebook organized.
When you get into your notebook, I don’t want you to worry about lumping like layouts together or leaving pages in between. Just use each page as you need them.
The key to keeping your notebook organized as you organize different aspects of your life is to use an Index. Some notebooks come with them on the first couple of pages, while in other notebooks you may have to make one. Either way, be sure to index your pages as you create them so that you can always refer back to an important page effortlessly.
Keep it simple.
When you first get into the world of Bullet Journal, it is so easy to play the comparison game. I urge you to ignore all the other stuff you are seeing on Social Media and keep it simple. Don’t overthink it and don’t over complicate it because you will end up burning yourself out.
If you go over to bulletjournal.com, you will see that the original system is very simple. There are no fancy designs or fun colors. While I encourage you to add these things later as you see fit, it is important that you keep it simple in the beginning until you find a bullet journal routine that works for you. This will allow you to get organized without having to worry about how it looks.
List it out.
With so many different things in your life to get organized, you might be overwhelmed as to where you should start.
I encourage you to start simple with lists. You can list out what you want to include, and then create lists for each item. Or, you can just start by following the outline below.
In my Focus Goal Planner framework, one of the areas we focus on is getting your non-negotiables organized. This list goes as follows;
- Important dates
- Meal Plans
- Grocery Lists
- Chore List
- Things To Buy
- People To Contact
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to do these things in this order, but this is where I recommend you start.
At the top of each page, create a title for your list, and then just list it all out. Set yourself a five-minute timer and just go for it until you’re done.
Do you have to plan every aspect of life in your Bullet Journal?
You should only focus on planning the things you want to plan. If that is everything, great, and if it’s only a few things, that is great too! This tool is meant to help you get organized, but there are no hard and fast rules. The great thing about the Bullet Journal is that you can customize it and make it your own. Don’t like something? Change it. Need to add something? Go for it. There are endless possibilities!
What other advice do you have for organizing your entire life in a notebook?
- Find the tools that you enjoy using. You are more likely to find use out of this system if you enjoy the notebook and pens that you are using.
- If you really want to add a bit of decoration sooner rather than later, consider using colored pens instead of just blue or black. This is a simple way to make your pages look a little bit prettier, and can even add an extra element of organization to your pages.
- If you don’t want to plan everything in one place, feel free to start another notebook! Personally, I would never plan work stuff in the same notebook as my home stuff.
- Carry your notebook with you everywhere! This will allow you to create lists on the go, or note anything of importance at the moment. Keeping my notebook on my also helps to remind me of the time I have available to do certain things.
Go grab your notebook!
Now that you have the confidence and know-how to organize your whole life, it is time for you to grab your own supplies!
This system does not have to be scary or overwhelming. Just take a deep breath, open up to the first page, and start making your first list. I promise you that getting all of this out of your head and onto paper is going to bring you so much clarity!
And remember, index your pages as you go!
Have any questions for me? Want to know how I plan something specific in my own notebook? Drop a comment below and I will be sure to reply to you ASAP!
Until next time!