Dump the Bullet Journal and Explode Your Productivity

Loyd Mears

If you want to be more productive at work and enjoy a personal journal’s benefits, then dump the bullet journal and use a better way to organize and manage your activities.

Now, if you enjoy the minutiae of your bullet journal and you’re productive, I’m not going to criticize you. I get it. Keep journaling.

But for most people who prefer pen and paper, there is a far better way to do it. And to be way more productive. 

Dump The Bullet Journal Video

What’s the Problem?

First, because everything in your life is mixed together in a Bullet Journal. It becomes massive and very complicated quickly.

There are nine different kinds of necessary annotation codes.

Nine Annotations List
Bullet Journal Codes

You intermix notes, tasks, and events chronologically in the Bullet Journal as they occur.

Bullet Journal Pages
Bullet Journal Sample Pages

This journal containing a few months has 37 pages.

Bullet Journal Index
Bullet Journal Index

You literally micromanage everything in your life together, no matter how important or trivial it may be. Unfortunately, we can’t be efficient without focus. The Bullet Journal defuses focus by intermixing personal and work-related items.

As your week passes by, you have more and more annotations to sift through to choose priorities and organize your productive actions.

It gets complicated because the journal has so many unrelated entries that don’t connect with each other.

You’re continually referencing back and forth to all of the sections.

You can waste a ton of productive work time sifting through personal distractions to find the critical item you need. 

You can drain your time copying, rewriting, and migrating items back and forth. 

For me and many others, the journal becomes a significant project in itself. It increasingly drains away productive time.

So what’s my solution?

Instead of keeping everything in a bullet journal, separate your business and personal life! 

It’s less complicated and far more productive. Let me show you how.

Personal Journal

All you need is a simple and inexpensive day planner with a calendar like this one.

dump the bullet journal

Complete your personal journal after work. Record your thoughts and feelings about your day.

  • Keep a calendar for personal appointments, 
  • recipes, 
  • diet & exercise logs, 
  • and shopping lists.
  • Write down what you’re grateful for, 
  • track your habits and personal goals, 
  • and other items of personal interest.

Your personal journal can be whatever you need it to be.

Related: How to Keep a Perfect Journal

Work Journal

For your work, use a separate journal.

Focus only on your business-related projects and tasks during work hours.

There are many simple and effective ways to organize your work time for maximum productivity.

Related: The Flowtime Technique.

I’ll show you how I do it.

Related: Other Bullet Journal Alternatives

Task Pages

I have 2 task pages for the month for items related to essential work objectives. I write down the most impactful tasks for work and business objectives.

Task List

Actions Pages

Each day, I choose the most important ones and move them to the actions page. It has a place for each day of the week, with Saturday and Sunday sharing a space.

Action Page
  • Add Tasks From the Task Page.
  • Cross Out Completed Tasks.
  • Move Unfinished Tasks to the Next Day.
  • At the end of the week, evaluate your actions, and look for ways to improve.

I like to use the last 10-15 minutes of work time to decide what I will work on the next day. I choose tasks from the task list and move the unfinished ones to the next day.

Month Calendar

There is a calendar for the current month.

Monthly Calendar

I record less critical tasks and schedule essential tasks that aren’t urgent. Also, it’s the place for appointments, meetings, and holiday notes.

Year Calendar

Finally, there are 2 pages for the annual calendar with 6 months on each page.

Annual Calendar

I record all of the future plans and events on the annual calendar for reference. 

Every month I change out the task, action, and monthly calendar pages. I keep the same annual calendar page. Toward the end of the year, I add an annual calendar for the next year to my work journal. That way, I can begin planning for projects and events for next year.

Get a blank copy of my journal pages. It has all of the pages without annotations. 

It’s FREE, and you may copy it or print it as often as you like.

I hope I have helped in some way, and I wish you great success and happiness!