Using Your Bullet Journal For Work
This weekend marks four whole months of being employed and self employed and it’s taken me about that long to remove all the confidential information out of the photos of my bullet journal so you guys can see it.
It took me about three weeks to commit to a work bullet journal and I haven’t looked back. I went for navy because I am a young professional now and it’s probably got enough space to last me until January and then I’ll be into another one already I think.
Of course, everyone’s work is different so the techniques I use in my bullet journal might not work for you but hopefully it’ll give you some inspiration anyway.
For a little bit of background so you understand the set up of my journal, my job is as a training administrator which basically means I work for a company that provides training and I am the person who produces the course materials and ships them off to the relevant venue. It means I have to co ordinate our tutors, plan the production of the presentations and the files and arrange shipment so being organised is key to getting it all done.
I have to work around 10 days in advance when it comes to planning and preferably start that process a month in advance so a calendar is imperative. I start the month with a month calendar which I condense into week days as we obviously don’t schedule training on a weekend. Beginning with a course calendar gives me a good start to the month as it’s my first point of reference for planning my weeks, knowing what courses are coming up ahead of me.
Which leads me onto……
….weekly spreads. I have to know what’s coming up so I normally plan my weekly spread on the previous Thursday and I started this layout in the first week, having never used anything like it in my personal bullet journal, and fell in love immediately.
I use a colour coded system so red text is for things like occur weekly like recording the meter readings or providing my colleagues with their printed course schedules, or the days the recycling goes out or our cleaner comes. Blue text is for courses that are on that day to remind me who is tutoring and who we’re likely to need to phone for feedback. Anything else goes in black and I keep it to the most important tasks of the day, for example which courses I need to arrange the courier for, which courses I need to track have arrived, when we have deliveries incoming and any tasks or reminders my bosses have given me.
I then break those main tasks down into…..
…..daily to do’s. Whilst I plan my weekly spreads the week before, my daily to do lists are exactly that - daily. I tend to start my day by checking my emails and then I make my daily to do list with a cuppa which I find really focuses to me to the day’s projects. I look into my course calendar to see what’s coming up in the next few days and then I look at my weekly to do and take the bigger tasks and break them down into the tiniest tasks to tick off during the day.
I find breaking everything down to the smallest details makes sure I don’t forget a single element so for example in my weekly to do I would have ‘arrange TNT for xxx course’. Then in my daily to do list I would have;
‘Arrange shipment online’
‘Print consignment paperwork’
‘Get final check on course notes’
‘Box up course notes’
‘Print delivery paperwork’
‘Ring venue contact’
‘Fill in tracking paperwork’
I tend to just let my daily to do lists overspill onto however much space I have and a week tends to take on the form of about 4 single sides. However, if we’re nearing the end of the month or I have a course spreadsheet to include it creates a natural end to a to do list in which case, you just can’t beat a post it, of which I stick millions into my journal.
…..my course schedule. Undoubtedly the part of my bullet journal you’re not going to need in your day job. There are a lot of elements that come together when scheduling a course and the materials and presentations are 100% my job. There’s formatting, there’s paperwork, there’s binding, there’s a million and one tiny jobs and I don’t work in a team - it’s all down to me. Every. Single. Course.
For each course we schedule we have a checklist which I tick off as I go along and my colleagues check for quality control and tick off themselves as they go. But on the most part I am juggling 20+ courses at once, some waiting for details from the tutor, some waiting for signing off from my director, some awaiting the shipping details or some complete but recommended changes being made next time.
I consider these spreadsheets my ‘tracker’ as we go along. It’s more than the checklists we use when the course is mere days away and keeps me on track of knowing where each project is and what I need to be chasing. It also means if I am off work my colleagues can easily pick it up and see where I am up to and what needs to be done in my absence. Of course, this is completely specific to my job but I have no doubt you could adapt it for elements of yours.
My top tips for a work journal;
Keep it separate to your personal journal to keep a clear head and a focused mind.
Use colour coding to see at a glance.
Create a system of easily prioritising tasks.
Stick in post its, scraps of paper and any other bits of info you’re likely to lose floating about on your desk.
Have an easily accessible calendar.
Don’t be afraid to combine it with organising on your computer - traditional and technological forms of organising can work together well.
Don’t take it home with you. Keep work at work as much as you can.
But do store it somewhere safe if it has confidential info in it!