How to keep bullet journaling, even when you’re busy!

Creative bullet journaling can be a very effective way to stay organised and manage your time, but like any habit, it can be difficult to maintain when life gets busy. Regularly updating your bullet journal helps increase productivity and time management. I’m going to give you some simple tips so you can keep bullet journaling even when you’re busy.

Download a free printable journal cover from my Planner Lovers Resource Library

journaling challenges when you’re busy

There are a few reasons why it might be challenging to keep up with creative journaling when you have a lot going on:

  1. Time constraints: When you’re busy, you may feel like you don’t have the time to devote to bullet journaling. It can be tempting to put it off or skip it altogether when you’re juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities.
  2. Overwhelm: When you have a lot on your plate, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unable to prioritise tasks. This can make it difficult to figure out what to include in your bullet journal and how to structure your entries.
  3. Lack of motivation: When you’re feeling stressed or exhausted, you may not feel motivated to sit down and spend time on your bullet journal. This can make it easy to let the habit slide.

tips to help you keep bullet journaling

If you’re struggling to keep up with bullet journaling when you’re busy, there are a few things you can try:

  1. Simplify your entries: Instead of trying to include every detail of your day, focus on the most important tasks and appointments. This can help you save time and make your entries more manageable.
  2. Use pre-made templates: There are many pre-made bullet journal templates available online that you can use to streamline your entries. This can save you time and make the process less overwhelming. Start with my free Planner Lovers Resource Library or check out my printables shop!
  3. Make it a priority: While it can be difficult to find time for bullet journaling when you’re busy, it’s important to make it a priority. Schedule time in your day specifically for your bullet journal, and treat it as an important task that needs to be completed.
  4. Be kind to yourself: Remember that it’s okay to miss a day or two of bullet journaling when life gets in the way. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall behind, and don’t give up on the habit entirely. Just pick up where you left off when you have the time and energy to do so.
Simple cover pages and printable monthly page tabs can make it easier to keep your journal organised.

Keep bullet journaling every month: be specific in your monthly set up

Adding too many pages to your bullet journal can be overwhelming and time-consuming. When you are specific with the pages you want to add, you can manage your time better and ensure that you are not spending too much time on unnecessary pages. Being specific with the pages you choose to add to your bullet journal each month can help you stay organised, focused, and productive in achieving your goals.

While it can be tempting to try to replicate the creative bullet journals you see online or on social media, it’s important to remember that the purpose of a bullet journal is to serve your specific needs and help you organise your life in a way that works for you.

When life gets busy, knowing which pages work best for you will make it easier to keep up with your bullet journaling. Below are some simple ideas to help you set up your journal for next month. Remember to keep it simple and select only the pages that are useful to you if you are busy.

create a calendar

Draw a monthly calendar for next month and write in important dates and appointments. You can also add in any recurring events you have, such as birthdays or meetings. To save time, use a printable calendar that you can easily print out and stick into your notebook. Get my printable calendars and page tabs here.

January calendar in bullet journal
Using printable monthly calendars in my journal saves time!

set goals

Take some time to reflect on what you want to achieve in the next month and write these goals down in your journal. Make sure they’re specific, measurable, and attainable. Writing your goals down in your bullet journal can help you clarify what you want to achieve and why. This clarity can help you stay on track and make better decisions as you work towards your goals. Use my 90 Day Goals printable for a quick and easy set up!

make a to-do list

Write down all the tasks you need to complete in the next month. You can categorise them by priority or by the day you plan to complete them. To make your to-do lists more organised, use different bullets to denote different types of tasks. For example, you could use a circle bullet for tasks that need to be done, a square bullet for tasks that are in progress, and an X bullet for tasks that are completed. Make sure to review and update your to-do list regularly. Cross off tasks that have been completed, migrate tasks that still need to be done to the next day or week, and add new tasks as needed.

Use brain dumping to write a simpler to-do list
My bullet journal daily log including a brain dump and to-do list

add in a habit tracker

If you’re working on developing certain habits, create a section in your journal to track your progress. This could be as simple as a checkmark for each day you complete the habit. Start by deciding on the habits you want to track for the month. These could be daily habits, weekly habits, or even monthly habits. Next, decide on the layout. There are many different ways to create a habit tracker in your bullet journal. Some popular options include creating a table with the days of the month listed along the top and the habits listed along the side, or creating a grid with each habit listed in a box. These printable Mini Habit Trackers are an easy way to set up habit trackers each month!

Keep habit trackers simple and focused on what is really important to you.

include a notes section

Set aside some space in your journal for taking notes, such as jotting down ideas, thoughts, or reminders. You can include notes within a daily log, or create a dedicated page or spread for them. This can be a blank page, a page with a heading like “Notes” or “Ideas”, or a page with dividers to categorise your notes. My Printable Daily and Weekly Stickers set provides different ways to quickly add notes, to-do lists and headings to your bullet journal pages.

Printable Daily/Weekly planning set of stickers
Using this Daily and Weekly planning set can make it easier to set up your journal pages, especially when you’re busy!

get creative

Finally, make your bullet journal your own by adding in any creative touches you like. When you’re busy this can be as simple as adding a little colour to headings, a washi tape border, torn paper or a handwritten quote. Getting creative in your bullet journal can be a fun way to express yourself and make your journal a reflection of your unique style and personality.

A simple drawing and handwritten quote adds a personal touch without taking up too much time.
Roughly torn paper creates a simple collage to decorate my weekly spread.

keep bullet journaling consistently

By following these steps, you’ll have a well-organised bullet journal that you can use to stay on track and achieve your goals for the next month. Keeping it simple, and focusing on what works for you, will help you to keep bullet journaling even when life gets busy.

Remember that the most important thing is to use your bullet journal consistently and in a way that helps you achieve your goals. So create what you need, experiment with different techniques, and don’t worry too much about what others are doing. In the end, the only thing that matters is that your bullet journal is helping you live your best life.

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