How to Bullet Journal Even When You are Super Busy

by - January 25, 2020

You are super busy! Your bullet journal is supposed to be helping you with your productivity, but instead, you feel like it is making you even less productive. :( You are probably feeling discouraged because this is the system that can be adaptable to anyone. Don't worry!

How to Bullet Journal Even When You are Super Busy

The tips in this post will hopefully help you to decide on what you can do to make your bullet journal work for you again. :)

Keep reading for some tips to help you with your bullet journal!

Make a Planning Routine

If you never plan at the same time every day or if you are having trouble turning using your bullet journal into a habit, then this might need to be your first thing to try.

If you forget about your bullet journal and then remember days later. Then you probably won't want to use it because you are going to have to spend so much time refilling in your layouts, but if you write down your tasks first thing for five minutes every morning or night, then this will never happen.

I have a whole post on how to make a routine for your planner or bullet journal. Check it out if you are interested!

Simplify Your Layouts

An easy way to make your bullet journal take less time is to simplify your layouts. Make it minimal. Minimal layouts don't have to be boring though. I like to think of my bullet journal as on the more minimal side.

Bringing your bullet journal back to the basics will cut down on your planning time so you have more time to conquer your to-do list.

If you really like your cute colorful spreads though and they motivate you, then there are still ways to make those layouts quicker.

  • Use Stencils (You can even make a stencil for the whole layout! This works for layouts you make over and over again.)
  • Washi Tape (I just started adding more washi tape to my layouts and it looks so cute! If you feel like a layout is too plain, but you don't have much time, just add a strip or two of washi tape to your layout in the corner or on one of the sides. I like to overlap mine a little.)
  • Stamps (I have never used stamps in my bullet journal, but this might be something you may want to look into. Stamps can be used for days of the week, habit trackers, and more.)
  • Stickers
  • Printables (If you like to decorate your layouts, but don't like drawing the basic outline, then you can use a printable and then decorate it.)
  • Sticky Notes (Add a sticky note to make your page more colorful!)
If you are really busy, then making your layouts easier to draw will help you find more time. :)

Don't Try to Make Your Layouts Absolutely Perfect

If you try to make your layouts absolutely perfect. It will take up a lot of time. I have been trying to do the lettering in my new bullet journal more freehand instead of perfecting it in pencil before I use a pen on top.

I still might do a rough sketch, just to see how the lettering will look, but I don't try to make it look perfect in pencil. If it doesn't look exactly how I wanted it to, when I write it in pen, then I can use a white gel pen on top and try again! If not, I just smile and move on. It does not have to be exactly centered.

For my weekly layouts, I don't use a pencil usually. I just draw it in and see how it looks. If I am going to be using it for longer, then I am more careful, but like I said a white gel pen is great to have on hand to fix small mistakes.

If you just cannot bear to make a mistake, then you could make a mechanical pencil your go-to writing utensil. Erasable pens are also something for you to check out!

Simplify Your Trackers

Now, this does not just apply to trackers, it applies to everything that isn't necessary for YOU. If you go to bed at the same time every night and wake up with an alarm every morning, then why are you trying to track your sleeping hours?

I made this mistake in my first bullet journal and that is why I stopped bullet journaling for a while. I tracked a lot of things I didn't need: food, sleep, mood. It got to being too much. If you want to track more things, then add in a few at a time. 

Put it on your habit tracker. Put writing in your bullet journal on your habit tracker too. If checking the box helps to motivate you, then this should help you be more productive when using your bullet journal.

Cut Out Pages You Don't Need + Overlapping Pages

This one is similar to the one above, but I wanted to include it as a separate item because it is a little different. I am talking more about weekly, monthly, daily spreads versus trackers and collections.

Find out what planning pages you like best. Maybe you like using monthly and weekly layouts. Maybe you only need daily layouts and a future log. 

Don't try to use every page, unless it helps you to picture things, because transferring information from your yearly log to your six-month view to your monthly layout to your weekly layout to your daily layout will become a hassle.

Just pick a few which work for you and then use those. I have never used a daily layout because I know that I don't write that much information down each day. If you are journaling about your day in your bullet journal, this will probably be different.

If you are really busy, do a brain dump/master task list/running to-do list to help you sort out your tasks. When I was really busy last year, I made a very simple running to-do list instead of a weekly layout and then I just concentrated on crossing things off.

How to Bullet Journal Even When You are Super Busy

How to Bullet Journal Even When You are Super Busy

To me, it all comes down to this. If your bullet journal is not working for you, then go back to basic layouts, and cut out everything which isn't necessary. Make time for your bullet journal. Start a planning routine that will help you keep everything up to date. Simplifying your layouts will help with keeping everything up to date. :)

I hope you liked this post. Give your bullet journal another try and see if it will help you to be more productive.

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How to Bullet Journal Even When You are Super Busy

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