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Bullet Journal 101: Can It Help You Take Better Notes, Even Faster?

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Bullet Journal 101: Can It Help You Take Better Notes, Even Faster?
Ridiculously Efficient readers know that we're constantly experimenting with new systems, tactics and strategies that aim to facilitate productivity and effectiveness, and one we've heard a lot about in recent months is the Bullet Journal . Is it all it's cracked up to be? Read on

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The Bullet Journal (BuJo)

It lets you capture all your notes, to-do lists, calendars and sketches and organize them into a single system.

It uses a practice called “Rapid Logging,” which involves quickly jottin...

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How to Bullet Journal

  • Grab a notebook and a pen;
  • Format your journal: Index page->Future Log-> Monthly Log-> Daily Log;
  • Flip to your Daily Log, and start writing. Keep ...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Bullet journal...

...is a planner system devised by Ryder Carrol.

It is a blank journal that houses a combination of certain elements, that allow you to plan for the future, track the past, and keep your sanit...

Supplies needed to get started with BuJo

You can start a bullet journal in pretty much any empty notebook that you have lying around. That’s all you need. A journal and a pen. 

However, it is much more likely to use a bullet journal every day when getting some joy from the materials you're using. That means that a nicer journal and some bright, funky pens are also a great way to get started and enjoy the process a bit more. 

Future Log

A page where you can write down any future appointments or dates for a month you haven’t set up yet

That way you can easily reference it to see if there’s a dentist appointment coming up or a deadline sneaking up on you.

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Rapid Logging

Rapid Logging

It is the language in which the Bullet Journal is written, a way of capturing information as bulleted lists. 

It's a way to enjoy the benefits of hand writing, while avoiding the ...

Bullets

Bullets are short-form sentences paired with symbols that visually categorize your entries into: Tasks, Events, or Notes. 

Tasks

They are represented by a simple dot “•”.

You use a dot instead of a checkbox because it's fast, clean, and can easily be transformed to reflect the state of the Task. 

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Adjust Your Mindset

Your first notebook will be your learning notebook. Like any productivity method, it will take time to find a bullet journaling flow and structure that works for you. 

Any creative en...

The first steps

  1. Get a Journal and Writing Utensils
  2. Start an Index Page: The backbone of your BuJo system, like a table of contents in a book
  3. Create Logs - places where you can brain-dump tasks, projects, goals
  4. Pick Signifiers: Many people use bullets for lists of tasks, circles for events, and dashes for notes. 
  5. Document Items with Collections: Collections are running lists and anything you want to remember for later(like blog topics, books you want to read etc.)

The 3 common types of logs:

  • A future log helps you keep track of items that aren’t yet on your immediate radar.
  • Monthly logs include things like calendars and categorized goal lists for the next 30 days.
  • Daily logs may includes entries of to-dos, meetings, and reminders.

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Note Taking - Starter Tips

Preparation steps before a note-taking session:

  • Try to get familiar with the topic that is going to be discussed, beforehand. This leads to better understanding.
  • M...

Outline Method

Taking a structured approach to note-taking is the best way. Put the outline notes by choosing four or five key points of the lecture, followed by in-depth sub-points. One way to review is to use the Cornell Method, which divides the note sheet into three sections:

  • Cues: It includes key questions and main points.
  • Notes: Which you write during the class using the outline method. 
  • Summary: Which you can write after class while reviewing.

The Mind Map

The mind map is a visual diagram of abstract concepts.

It works best in subjects like chemistry, history and philosophy, subjects having a neural network like interlocked and complex topics. 

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Bullet Journals

Bullet Journals

A Bullet Journal (BuJo) is a tool that can help you organize your life and improve your mental health. It is more beneficial than a checklist or a to-do list and a calendar. It is used to track any...

Tracking Everything You Do or Feel

Using a Bullet Journal as a productivity tracker helps you see what all you have done and what is being neglected. It tells you if what you are doing is healing to you or is counterproductive.

Manually making a mental health tracker, and filling it daily to check your anxiety, depression, sleep, energy levels or even pain can tell you if there are any trends in the symptoms.

Tracking Success and Improvements

Daily tracking of progress and improvements, noting down one or more successful activities, or any small thing done right every day, can boost your mental health. The idea is not to condemn yourself but to motivate you towards positive progress.

The Productivity Systems Flaw

Many productivity books provide various systems to organize your life but fail to take into account people who are not focused or motivated in the first place.

OKR (Objectives and Key Results)

The OKR (Objectives and Key Results) method helps you decide on and stick to a practical goal and then define what it would look like to have that goal completed.

For example, if you want to read a book a week, the Key Result would be reading 52 books a year, and the Objective can be to be a better writer.

Defining OKRs

A meaningful goal-setting (Objective + Key Result) can be figured out by asking: 

What you want your life to be like (Objective) and what would you do if your life became like that (Key Result).

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Getting Things Done: the basics

  • Capture. Write down everything you need to do.
  • Clarify. Break down each task into an actionable next step. 
  • Organize. Move each of those actionable ta...

The 2-minute rule

If a task takes less than 2 minutes, then do it now.

If the effort to keep remembering a task is more than just getting it out of the way now, then do it.

Fixing small tasks

  • Fixing things is empowering. Our confidence increases or decreases based on our ability to make progress. 
  • Any progress builds momentum (and your mood): No matter how small the task is, crossing it off your to-do list gives you a boost of momentum and enhances your mood.
  • Small steps turn into habits: When a task is easy to do and quickly completed, it’s much easier to turn it into a habit.

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Take Stock and Track Your Time

You can’t really clean up your schedule if you don’t know what’s in it—and that includes all the things on your literal and official calendar and all the things that aren’t. 

Purge Recurring Meetings and Tasks

Once you know what’s on your calendar, ask yourself: “What is the purpose of each thing on here? Are we accomplishing that or does something need to change?” 

Question each task. Start with recurring meetings, which can very easily build up and take over your calendar.

Sort Things By Importance and Urgency

... and put them in one of four quadrants:

  • Quadrant I: Important, Urgent (crises, last-minute meetings for important deadlines)
  • Quadrant II: Important, Not Urgent (strategic planning, long-term goal setting)
  • Quadrant III: Not Important, Urgent (certain emails, phone calls, meetings, and events)
  • Quadrant IV: Not Important, Not Urgent (scrolling mindlessly through social media, binge-watching TV you don’t really care about).

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Learning how to prioritize...

...means getting more out of the limited time you have each day. It’s one of the cornerstones of productivity and once you know how to properly prioritize, it can help with everything fro...

Master lists

Capture everything on a Master List and then break it down by monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

  1. Start by making a master list—a document, app, or piece of paper where every current and future task will be stored. 
  2. Once you have all your tasks together, break them down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
  3. When setting your priorities, try not to get too “task oriented” - you want to make sure you’re prioritizing the more effective work.

Eisenhower Matrix

The matrix is a simple four-quadrant box that answers that helps you separate “urgent” tasks from “important” ones:

  • Urgent and Important: Do these tasks as soon as possible
  • Important, but not urgent: Decide when you’ll do these and schedule it
  • Urgent, but not important: Delegate these tasks to someone else
  • Neither urgent nor important: Drop these from your schedule as soon as possible.

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Make planning a habit

Make planning a habit

Some mornings we feel motivated to create a to-do list, but that is often the exception. We need to get things done, even when we feel disengaged.

Start by setting the alarm for you...

Align your to-do list with goals

  1. Break down your big goals into daily tasks. You can't add "Get in shape" to your daily to-do list, but you can add "spend 30 minutes on my bike."
  2. Consider your week as a whole. You likely have multiple goals. Some goals benefit from daily activity, while working towards others a few times a week can create momentum.
  3. Add your have-to-do tasks last. We often fill our to-do lists with have-to-do tasks that crowd the whole day. Adding it last forces you to fit your have-to-do tasks around your goal tasks.

Have one daily priority

Many of us start our mornings with dozens of things we need to get done, but later realize that we haven't crossed any of them off our lists. We did get stuff done, but none of the things we planned.

A balm against hectic days that pass without progress is to choose a single activity to prioritize and protect in your calendar. If you struggle to select your top priority, ask yourself, when you look back on your day, what do you want the highlight to be? That's your priority.

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