Today, I am looking at productivity in a creative bullet journal. I love being creative in my bullet journal and it is one of the purposes of journaling for me. But, just because something looks pretty, doesn’t mean it can’t be productive. Sure, you could argue that creative journaling itself isn’t productive. BUT, if that’s how you (like me), use your journal for an outlet, it doesn’t mean it can’t change and evolve as you need it. The busier I get, and as I try to manage multiple revenue streams, it’s so important for me to keep track of schedules and deadlines. As a result, I incorporated the productivity methods mentioned below into my journal, and in my video, I share how I use it. Below, I discuss the different methods and how I have adapted them to my needs. (You can check out my 2022 Bullet Journal Setup here.)
Productivity in a Creative Bullet Journal: Productivity Methods
So, Kanban Boards are technically project management tools. It allows the users to focus on specific projects or tasks at a time, get it done, and then move on to the next one. The end result is an increase efficiency and completed projects.
This was the first productivity tool I incorporated into my journal. I love it and have created specific boards to work for me. One such board is my blog post Kanban Board – which has actually become more of a checklist. But this is what works for me and that’s what productivity and journaling is all about. This board is great for tracking projects that I am working on, specifically for my surface pattern design work.
The Eisenhower Matrix helps prioritizing tasks, deciding what needs to be done, what can be scheduled for another time, what can be delegated, and then what can be ignored. So it’s a 4 square matrix. I first learned about the Eisenhower Matrix from My Inner Creative. You can check out her blog posts here.
Tasks considered to be important and urgent make up the first square. The second square are tasks that are important but not urgent – potentially rescheduled for another day. The third square are urgent but not important tasks. These tasks can be delegated. And finally, there’s not urgent and not important which are tasks to toss.
I don’t have anyone to delegate to at this moment, and tasks that are not important don’t even make it to a sticky note! lol! So I primarily use the first two squares – into what needs to be done immediately, and what gets squeezed in.
The 1-3-5 Method is the most straight forward of the bunch. Basically, you have one big thing to get done, 3 medium things, and 5 small things.
I tried using this as a monthly task list but this year I am trying it as a weekly list. I have been getting the big task done, and then decide which of the 3 medium sized tasks moves up. But we’ll see. This is a learning curve and adjusting to what works for me.
The Alastair Method
This stems from the original Bullet Journal Method, designed by Alastair Johnston. It is a rapid logging task list, meaning that you just write down all of your tasks and then start assigning them. I do this weekly and assign tasks to days of the week. Not having to rewrite any tasks that didn’t get done is the best part of this method. Instead, I just make a mark under the next day.
I have been using this method for about 2 years now. I am growing a bit bored with it but it has become so easy and a got-to for me to create. So I continue using it. For the first part of this year, I am going to be more conscious of what I create, and why, especially in the productivity sphere. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, then it’s just busy work which is definitely not productive.
I hope you found this post interesting and informative. Just because you have, or want, a creative journal, doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. And, of course, you don’t have to be productive either. This is just something that I have been working on and incorporating and wanted to share.
Let me know if you use any of these methods, or if there are any methods you think I’d like, or should look into. This is definitely becoming more of a priority for me, as I’m starting to get much busier.