The humble dot-grid journal is actually proven to boost your productivity. But we know that the blank page can be intimidating, when you don’t know where to start you might not know exactly how to take your simple dotted pages and turn them into a monster for planning your entire life.
But you can! I use The Master Plan every single day now, and since I’ve started using this simple system for a hugely productive day, I’ve never looked back. I can stay on top of all my tasks and remember exactly what’s coming up and what I have to do – it’s pretty much perfect and super easy to follow!
The first thing you’ll need is your daily timeline. On the left-hand side of the page, draw a line and mark the hours in the day. Write down deadlines, tasks, and all the things you need to focus your time and attention on. This is super important, it’ll keep you on schedule and encourage you to use something like the Pomodoro method to stay on top of everything you need to do. You can’t waste time when you have a busy day, keeping your daily timeline with you all the time is the key to staying on top of it. I use The Master Plan to track every day, but before you do that, you can create a monthly page and keep a note of all your goals.
The key to this system is simplicity. The simpler the better. So, create a list, write down your daily plans and stick to that timeline.
MAKE A KEY FOR YOUR SYSTEM
Any successful bullet journal relies on a key. Bullet journaling essentially works by allowing you to note down your tasks and to-dos in a bulleted format, but each bullet is different. So, for example in my spread, a circle bullet point denotes a to-do. When that bullet point is filled in, it simply means it’s done. It gets more complex when you add other symbols, but to keep it simple I use a triangle for events, a star for reminders, a little arrow inside the circle to mean ‘moved forward’ and a line through the entire bullet point to show that something has been canceled.
Start simple and only use the symbols that you can remember. The more complex you make the system, the tougher it gets and the less likely you are to stay productive.
USE THE BU-JO SYSTEM TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
With this in mind, on the right-hand side of the page, you can start using the bullet journal method to plan your daily to-dos, keep yourself on track with your timeline and make yourself more productive. I like to use the right-hand side of the page for monthly goals reminders (work out every day), and have been known to create a rough square to write my meal prep and more down. It’s completely up to you how you use this space. The thing to remember is that there are no rules, and the only thing you need to use your bullet journal for is to stay productive and on top of everything.
The process is more important than your results: Sure, lots of bullet journalers use the system as a way to achieve specific goals, but at heart, it’s a process. For example, I write down three things that I’m grateful for each morning for no other reason than to cultivate a sense of contentment for what I already have. I track my diet not because I want to lose a certain amount of weight, but because I want to eat more mindfully and healthfully. There is no finish line, just continuous improvement.