It started as an experiment. One notebook and a pen. Seven notebooks later, the bullet journal is one of my essential work tools. My method is now so stripped-down I’m not sure it’s still legit Bullet Journaling (capital B, capital J). Numbered pages, two indexes (one for “people,” one for “subjects), and a few symbols (dots for to-do items, circles or dashes for information) – and that’s it.
My method is simple. Still, someone once said to me, “I don’t have time to do that.” I understand. It takes time to transcribe meeting notes, next actions, and ideas into a notebook, and then index the content, and then migrate content to the next notebook.
Here are some things I don’t have time for.
I don’t have time to look for scraps of notes either paper or digital. I don’t have time to wrack my brain to recall past discussions, issues raised, decisions made. I have no time for backtracking, missing connections between things, and thinking, doing, and saying the same things over and over.
Indexed journaling saves me from that. It enables me to advance the conversation instead of going over the same ground. It helps me make connections among disparate ideas or events. Pen and paper take my eyes off the all-consuming screen. And it frees me from needing a physical office for days at a time – two notebooks and a laptop and I can work anywhere.