Does a bullet journal make you more productive? The basic premise of the bullet journal according to Ryder Caroll the originator of Bullet Journaling
He states in this Bullet Journal “getting started area” that:
Note-taking and traditional journaling take time; the more complex the entry, the more effort is expended. The more effort expended, the more of a chore it becomes, the more likely you’ll underutilize or abandon your journal. Rapid Logging is the solution. Rapid Logging is the language in which the Bullet Journal is written. It consists of four components: topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets.
Ok perfect, but what does that mean for productivity? Essentially we seem to find that people are obsessed with “Work Hacks” and how to quickly become more productive in their day. Essentially this shouldn’t be an issue if you strip back all the hacks and focus on productivity. However, we seem to be inundated with productivity tips. It seems as though we are basing achievement on doing ALL the things versus doing the right things at the right time and in the right level of priority. Not to achieve all the items on your to-do list. It isn’t an “achievement game” its a productivity game.
Where is the balance? How do we stay motivated AND productive?
What does the research say about being productive in your bullet journal?
Lets first talk about what research says. Research tells us that writing things down seems to help us remember more. Research also tells us that keeping track of your activities (such as journaling etc) can help boost health benefits! So if we combine these, we end up with the Bullet Journal – A to do list, that also functions as a creative outlet, reflection journal or anything else you may need it to be. BUT Does it make you more productive, or does the time it takes to set it up actually hamper your ability to be productive?
Well! I think this comes down to how you use it. You can use it to measure your productivity and you can use it to measure the time you have spent doing a task, a body of work or other things that may need reflection. If you are keeping the program and how you use it simple, you shouldnt essentially be spending to much time on keeping track of the items but actually doing the items.
Keeping track of your time is also essentially a gift to others, when you are on time and available when requested, then you are giving yourself peace of mind, and others the gift and respect of your time.
Research by Kenneth McGraw was able to show that the biggest wall to success was often just getting started. Additional research in this area suggests that we’re prone to procrastinating on large projects because we visualize the worst parts; the perfect way to delay getting started.
According to researcher John Bargh, your brain will attempt to simulate real productive work by avoiding big projects and focusing on small, mindless tasks to fill your time.
Time to start that big project!? I think its time to re-alphabetize my desktop folders, and color coordinate my pens
Think of it this way: If you were trying to get better at a sport, you’d be much better off practicing specific tasks in the sport for two hours rather than kicking a ball all day long and hoping you’ll be good at the entire sport.
I find that by placing my top 3 Priorities for the wee, upfront and visible, I am able to attack those first, leaving the rest of my week to the less productive items that may take up a lot of my time!
So does having a bullet journal make you more productive? This depends on how you use it, it can absolutely make you more productive and more intentional about the way you prepare and debrief on your day.
So needing some motivation? Here are some amazing accounts that really embody creativity!
Here are some amazing productivity inspiring bullet journals!
I love how on this spread, time is tracked for each day of the week. If you want to read more about time management, check out this post!
This whole spread screams productivity! I love how everything has a place and everything is tracked and measured!
Some really great notebooks from amazon to get you started too: