As an entrepreneur finding an organizational system that manages and tracks your business needs can be overwhelming.
To add to your busy schedule, you need to plan daily/weekly/monthly goals and objectives. Keep track of people of which you need to call, email, and make appointments. Remember information and key facts about clients as well as leads to follow up. Make a list of research and books to read, apps/tools to try, and other entrepreneurial resources.
The list goes on and on, and it doesn't help that most organizational systems don't work well together. Meaning you have to go to use several different methods to track your calendar, to-do list, goals, and so forth. For entrepreneurs working in a quick-paced environment, a physical, organizational system that easily tracks all facets of their business is essential and even invaluable.
Luckily the bullet journal can track the past, organize the present, and plan the future along with the ability to be as creative, flexible, and personalized as the entrepreneur behind it. It's a fantastic system that keeps a record of everything you could ever want to toss at it. Bullet journaling is easy to adopt, quick to use day-to-day, and helpful for quickly finding previous notes, ideas, and more.
A bullet journal can be used to create a to-do list, plan for upcoming events, track productivity, and to create content. It aids in your more urgent needs of monitoring tasks, checklist, and reminders while also helping you with your less critical thoughts, ideas, accomplishments, and milestones.
Though if you look through Pinterest or do a quick Google search, you will quickly feel that you are in over your head. All the artwork, beautiful pages, and symbols are a bit overwhelming, especially for someone that is in a time crunch and isn't particularly crafty in the first place.
Admittedly that is a significant deterrent to begin bullet journaling when you need a quick method to keep my thoughts organized. Not something that is going to take up even more of my time. Though after some trial and error, I believe I have finally figured out how to do just that, save time while efficiently recording my thoughts.
As mentioned before, organization is vital. When you are building a startup, you don't have time to shuffle through a journal to find where you wrote a client's contact information. An index at the beginning of your bullet journal will allow you to quickly and easily identify where in your diary you have put a to-do list, a lead's contact information, or startup ideas and immediately turn to that page.
It works just like the index of a textbook by listing a critical topic or category and the corresponding page number. It is essential to leave a couple of pages for your index. As your journaling progresses, so will your index. Your index can be as specific as you want, whatever
works best with your organizational skills. You don't have to put everything in your index, but it's the right place for the important stuff you will likely want to reference later easily.
Symbols and page numbers, like the index, add organization to your journal. Signifiers allow you to quickly glance at any page of your bullet journal and find precisely what you're looking for. Since you'll get in the habit of journaling a stream of consciousness onto the page, giving your entries a visual categorization is super helpful.
Symbols will allow you to categorize things you need to do, priorities, events, and so forth. My suggestion would be to keep your signifiers simple. Easily recognizable symbols such as a star or "*" to signify items of priority. A square or box used for to-do items which can check off after completing.
If you have done a Google search for "bullet journal symbols" I'm sure you have been overwhelmed by the creative shapes and artwork that people have created. Here's the problem, that can be incredibly distracting and can hinder organization rather than aid it. It would be best if you didn't have to reference a key at the back of your journal to figure out what symbol you used.
Keep your symbols simple and limit your signifiers to as few as possible.
Logs aid in tracking more immediate daily and monthly tasks, to-do list, and checklist. While also helping you organize longer-term goals, milestones, ideas, and thoughts. Logs are staples of the bullet journal system that you can categorize into three different areas.
Daily logs, which includes reminders, emails, meetings, and that day's task.
Monthly logs include things like calendars, content planning for social media marketing, leads to follow up on, and categorized goal lists for the next 30 days.
A future log helps you keep track of less tangible thoughts, ideas, milestones, and items that aren't yet on your immediate radar.
The ability to express much in as few words as possible is a real skill, especially when taking notes. When you are bullet journaling, you will need to be able to tap into this skill. As an entrepreneur, you do not have the time to write down full sentences or transcribe someone word for word.
Keep entries brief. Don't write to fill pages. The beauty of keeping a bullet journal is that you can freely jot down your thoughts and ideas as they come to you while keeping them organized and accessible for future use. Writing down full-length sentences and paragraphs at a time is not the best way to do this, nor is it time-efficient.
This skill used, along with symbols and categorizing, will allow you to efficiently track every part of your business in an organized and concise way.
As mentioned before, there are hundreds of different ways to bullet journal, and some of them look like Martha Stewart herself made it. I, on the other hand, am no Martha Stewart, as fun as that sounds, and like most entrepreneurs, I don't have that kind of time.
Time is money, and a sound organizational system is invaluable. If kept simple bullet journalling, by design, helps you prioritize and decide what matters and what doesn't.
Though you can embellish your bullet journal as much as you want and go as crafty as you would like, there are endless ways to bullet journal, and quite frankly it can be both overwhelming and crippling. However, as an entrepreneur that is short on time, I have found that just a simple black pen and an organizational system does the trick.
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