My Daily Bullet Journal Routine

One of the hardest things about having a productivity routine is remembering to follow it. If you’re not looking at your bullet journal regularly, adding to it and checking things off when they’re completed, you won’t get a lot of value out of it. So by request, here’s my daily bullet journal routine. It’s pretty simple, and lets me focus on what needs to be done rather than maintaining the journal itself.

Start with a Daily Log

One of the first things I do in the morning is start a daily log entry. Like a diary, it begins right after the previous day’s entry ends. I write the day and date, and go from there. As I sip my coffee I make a bullet-pointed list of what I know I need to do. I review the weekly spread to make sure I don’t miss anything. That’s my functional to-do list for the day. Over the course of the day, if I need to remember what I’m supposed to be doing, I glance at it and update it.

Review Project Pages

My standard weekly spread has a mini-index with active projects.¬†When I sit down to work on a project, I open the pertinent project spread to check notes and document progress. There’s a master task list on each spread, as well as a daily log. I like having a dedicated, chronological list of what’s been done.

End with the Daily Log

At the end of the day, I return to the daily log. I check off what’s been done. If something needs to get bumped forward, I note that. Problems, solutions, and epiphanies get documented in detail. This is needs-driven. Sometimes a broken sentence will do. Other times, I’ll go on for pages. No entry is acceptable, too. I operate on the “no news is good news” principle, as long everything I needed to do was accomplished.

Do a Weekly Review

On Sunday I set up the next week’s spread. I go back to the monthly spread and carry anything relevant forward. A new mini-index is created for the projects I need to touch. I also have a task list of things that don’t need to be done on a specific day, but need to be dealt with this week. Those get pulled into the daily log. If a new month starts in the coming week, I set up that month’s spread, and pull items forward from the future log.

After the week and/or month are set up, I go back through the past week’s daily logs. I look for open loops, tasks that were incomplete or need follow-up and schedule those. Then I look over the weekly log to make sure nothing was missed. I check the current monthly spread, and the future log. When everything is accounted for, I’m done.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Yesterday I tackled one of my obstacles. The dreaded Desk Blob. It had spread across the desk and onto a tray table, and now the desk is clear and the tray table is put the hell away so I can use it as… well, a tray table for cripesake! Any how, I think having a desirable work space is part of my block, too. So, I prioritized that, and in the process found a bill I had forgotten about, and today it is paid!

    I think I need to re-think the lay out of the desk so I can set the laptop aside and use the space for the journal. Right now I’ve got books on the desk that take up a lot of otherwise useful real estate, and they don’t need to be there.

    I’m not arbitrarily waiting until a Monday or first or whatever to try again, but I’m not even starting until I’m satisfied with the journaling space.

  2. My major gripe now is similar to yours. I’m well past the point where I can just work on my laptop at the kitchen table and keep my files and supplies in a backpack. I need a proper office, or at least a corner with a proper desk. I’ve completely taken over the table, so we have no place to sit and eat like civilized humans, or to game. Plus, this table does not work as a desk because it’s got drawers in the middle, so I have to sit on one side or the other. Making it, effectively, two small desks. I have to either move, or reach uncomfortably to reach things on the other side. And the drawers aren’t usable as desk drawers. They’re not wide and shallow, they’re narrow and deep, so they’re impractical for office supplies. Which is why everything is on top of the desk. I want my kitchen table back, and I want to proper workspace.

  3. I keep hearing ads for WeWork via podcasts. But, it doesn’t look like they have anything in Finland. But, that sounds like something that could work for a lot of small businesses.

  4. My plan is to get a new table and a rolling cart with drawers. That will extend the lifespan of this current situation. The table will be cleared off, I can put the laptop away after office hours, and we can have a place to eat and game again.

    At some point either Katie will have an office on campus, or we’ll move into a larger space. Until then, I need to work with what we’ve got.

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