Bullet journaling is the buzz trend of the moment, but what it is all about? Explore the applications and benefits for event professionals and how it can be adapted to improve all areas of your eventprof lifestyle.
You may have heard about the latest organisational and motivational trend; from bloggers to startups to CEOs, the bullet journal is a hit. It isn’t a new concept, but more and more people seem to be adopting it and talking about it. In the age where we use technology for everything, this analogue technique is taking the world by storm. It quickly seems to become an obsession and is a useful tool to integrate into all parts of your life due to its flexibility and ease of use and also the positive effects that users of the technique report in terms of their mindfulness and mental wellbeing. A tool that elevates organization and goal setting is always beneficial to event professionals - so jump on the band wagon and get a full run down of bullet journaling and how it can help you and improve your events!
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What is a Bullet Journal?
A Bullet Journal, or BuJo for short, is essentially a notebook, however when paired with the coded system technique from creator, Ryder Carroll it turns into an organisational system. This digital product designer based in Brooklyn, spent 20 years trying to perfect the system, and it seems he got something right.
You may be wondering how people find the time to journal and take excessive notes but the system that compliments the bullet journal technique is rapid logging. This involves five elements:
- Short Sentences
- Page Numbers
When you start a new page, number the bottom, add a short description about the page in the top corner (topic), add a title to the top and then keep sentences short and use bullet points where possible to keep coherency without wasting time. Using this structure can help create a faster system that is easier to organise and recall later.
What To Include In Your Bullet Journal
With all of the options out there it can be intimidating about where to start, so essentially your bullet journal should include:
- Index Page- A contents list of everything included in your journal that you update as you go to make it easier to go back and find.
- Future Log – Future dates of importance, goals and aspirations that you want to achieve with end dates to make them more realistic.
- Monthly Log – Your monthly calendar, simply write the dates down one side and fill in any important events.
- Monthly Task List – Usually on the opposite page to your monthly log is a long task list which is everything that you are aiming to achieve, do or aspire to do within that month (and that month only)
- Daily Log – list of daily tasks, record of what happens in your day, feelings or thoughts and ideas throughout your day.
- Symbols – Many opt to use their own symbols incorporated into the journal as an extra shorthand to save time and effort, for example, tick boxes next to tasks that need to be completed, triangles for appointments, star for urgent ideas or tasks. Whatever you decide, add a key to help you remember later.
How Can Eventprofs Use a Bullet Journal?
Obviously, people adapt this process to meet their own specific needs. Here are some extra ideas an event professional can incorporate into your BuJo.
- Project based to-do lists
- Long and short term business goals
- Project brainstorms and ideas
- Problem solving
- Motivational quotes
- Habit tracking
- Your calendar
- Diary entries of your thoughts, moods, feelings
- General creative project idea pages e.g. event themes, venues etc.
Benefits Of Bullet Journaling for Eventprofs
It’s Adaptable – It is designed to be fluid and adapted to suit the user depending on their goals, focus and organisational preferences. You can easily mould the system to suit you and your needs. In the fast-paced event industry that is rapidly changing and requires you to adapt quickly, you need a technique that can match that!
Minimal Effort – You don’t need another thing to add to your to-do list and as bullet journaling is easy, requiring as little or as much effort you want to put into it to be effective it doesn’t take a lot of maintenance. The key selling point is that anyone can do it, it is quick and simple, which means a busy eventprof can still find time in their hectic schedule and it is still an asset to them. A perfect time for it is during your commute or during your lunch break.
Centralises Your Processes – If you have to-do lists, goals, ideas and creative elements floating around, which most event professionals do, it provides a centralised space to store them all so you can easily reference and pull them altogether, sort of like a mini vision board for your brain! Don’t lose important notes spread across different notebooks or digital applications and documents.
Not Tech Reliant – Yes, it does mean you have to carry around a notebook and pen but for eventprofs who travel frequently, you always have the access and capability to go over your ideas and see what you need. Plus, using a notebook in the digital age where you spend a lot of time on a computer is a welcome break to give the eyes and brain a rest. It can be an opportunity to use colourful pens and beautiful stationery, which can still be a thrill and get the creative juices flowing.
Create Links – The logs allow (and encourage) you to write down what has been happening and how you have been feeling on each day alongside your tasks and to-do lists which means you can see what is hindering your progress, your most productive days and draw links between your best working conditions to help you in the future. Perhaps you’ll notice that spending one day per week working from home boosted your productivity, or conversely ruined the week for you and put you into weekend mode! It gives you an explanation to your productivity (or not).
Improves Focus – The act of physically writing and getting all thoughts and ideas onto actual paper can not only be therapeutic but it helps to remove mental blocks to boost creativity and help you with brainstorming and coming up with original and creative event ideas. The ability to stray on a tangent in the journal is there which means you have a place to get rid of all the busy chatter at the same time as getting your ideas out which is not something you can do the same on a computer.
Tips for Eventprofs To Get The Most Out Of Their Bullet Journal
Invest In Your Notebook – Think of it as another working tool, you need something that is going to last as it will be taken everywhere with you and probably dropped or shoved into a bag, so don’t go for something flimsy. Opt for leather bound covers or something more substantial that will be able to handle your busy schedule and plethora of ideas!
Find A Good Pinterest Board – We have touched base on the fundamentals of what to include in your journal but there are plenty of creatives out there who have Pinterest boards devoted to getting the most out of your bullet journal, handy ideas to include and free printable sheets that you can include that can make your life easier!
Don’t Copy Others – While you can look for inspiration and ideas from other bullet journals, everyone is different and you shouldn’t copy or judge yours based on anyone else's. Aside from the fact that some are creative, visual learners who will just make you feel bad about what you have or haven’t included, you need to make things work for you! If you need a page to throw ideas and thoughts on, then add one, if you don’t then don’t. That’s the beauty of the system but it doesn’t work if you are trying to imitate someone else’s, instead of focusing on your own needs.
Have Funky Stationary – Sure, a ballpoint pen or pencil will get the job done, but if you invest in some nice colourful pens, pencils and a ruler it will bring your journal to life, make it more interesting to look at and makes you more likely to continue the habit and stick to it to get the most out of it.
Don’t Be Afraid To Cheat – Your journal is designed to help you, make your life easier and keep you organised, but you won’t always get what you need from the standard lines (or blank pages) that are provided. It’s okay to use calendar templates or diagrams, drawings or checklists to stick into the pages because even though you could draw or write them yourself that’s more time consuming and is going to negate the BuJo’s purpose to begin with! It’s okay to “cheat” with printables and add what you need.
Include Number Threading – The downside to notebooks is that you can’t “cut and paste” information easily from one place to another and you may find that you have ideas relating to pages from a few weeks ago, particularly if you are juggling several events at once. Page number threading involves going back to the original page number e.g. 5 and using a dash to signify where the next relevant page is. For example, if you put event venue ideas on page 5 and then picked it up and went onto themes for your event on page 9 you would go to the original page and put 5 - 9 and then on the next page 9 - 5. You could also like several pages together such as 5, 9, 22-26, 50, threading the numbers is a key way to keep things together without copying a ton of information over.
Hopefully the idea of Bullet Journaling no longer intimidates you but can be used as a handy organisational tool to organise your thoughts and ideas to make you a better event professional. You now have a great starting place with an understanding of the technique which you can take and adapt yourself to suit your lifestyle, so go out and get your notebook!