Bullet Journals – A Follow-up

This is a follow-up post to my Bullet Journals introduction.

A month ago, I posted about a new organizational tool called the Bullet Journal, and admitted that since I hadn’t tried it out, I couldn’t give it a proper review. Well, several weeks have now passed, and I feel able to provide a few comments on how I ended up adapting it for my use.

The Master Journal

I purchased a regular single subject, college ruled, 80 sheet notepad. This has become my Master Journal, and is the primary source of all my information, and notes. Keeping this journal at my desk allows me to write things down at any time I am home, since inspiration will often hit while I am at my laptop.

The Traveling Journals

These are pocket-sized, spiral-bound notepads, with tear off pages. I have two of them at the moment, and they are effectively backup bullet journals for use during the day. Since they are much smaller, they cannot contain anywhere near the level of detail that the Master Journal does. These have effectively become my day-to-day, working journals.

Bringing the journals together

Since the entire Bullet Journal principle operates on being able to copy notes from day to day, month to month, year to year, I figured there was no reason not to extend that between multiple journals. Here is how I did it:

  • Keeping travel journals means I don’t worry about losing all the information in my master journal, while I am out and about
  • Before I leave the house, I copy any relevant notes from the master journal into my travel journal
  • I use the travel journal throughout the day, and add/remove notes as needed
  • Notes I have added are marked with an asterisk to indicate they are not in the master journal
  • Because the notes are one tear-off pages, I physically remove the page from the travel journal, and put them in an envelope when completed
  • When I get home, I check through the removed notes, and if they were in the master journal, I mark them as completed
  • Any new notes in the travel journal, unless completed, are added to the master journal

The reason behind physically removing completed notes from the travel journal is simple. Most of these notes are work-related, and not relevant outside work. They are usually notes to get certain tasks completed before the end of my shift. Because of my position at work, most of the tasks I enter in the travel journal can be delegated to others, and crossed off when completed. The remaining tasks are almost always accomplished at some point during the day. In both cases, the tasks and notes no longer hold any relevance, and can be forgotten.

If the work tasks are not completed on a given day, then they remain in the travel journal for the next day. The process of copying them to the master journal lets me remove the task from my mind, and not worry about it until the following work day.

If there is something about a given day that I feel needs a long-term note, then it ends up in my travel journal, in under a relevant topic.

Final thoughts

This is a method of organization that I have found to be very flexible. Admittedly, I have adapted it a little, but I don’t think there is anyone who adheres strictly to every methodology they use.

  • The use of the travel journal means I am not toting around a large notepad, which I could put down, and forget to pickup.
  • The traveling journals allow me to slip my notes into my pocket, where I also keep a small envelope for the completed notes.
  • The master copy remains safely at home, and remains relevant to everything that still needs doing.
  • The traveling journal allows me to make notes quickly, encourages brevity, and allows me to write notes about my writing work anywhere, and then back it up in more detail into the master journal at the end of the day.

I would give this system a huge 9/10.

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