A regular topic of conversation on the Bullet Journal groups is how people use the Bullet Journal method of planning in their work life. I’m always intrigued as to how others do it; whether they work it into their existing planners or if they have a separate planner for their work related tasks. Personally, I like to keep it all in one place. That way, in years to come when I’m looking back through my planner, I can see what stage of my career I was at and big projects I was working on. It’s also a lot easier for me to just keep it all together, than trying to remember two planners!
One VERY VERY important thing that both Josh and I incorporate into our lives is to leave work at work. Despite being able to see all my work tasks and even my uncompleted tasks, I don’t try to work on those tasks outside of work hours. I honestly believe I am more productive when I’m AT work and if I’ve not been bothered by work when I’m meant to be relaxing at home. (A lot of work there!)
Just a very brief overview, I work 5 days a week, Monday to Friday from 845am to 545pm. I drive for an hour and twenty minutes a day (there and back combined) to get to work and home again. I have a large amount of personal tasks and even more work tasks to complete and remember! I’m in Marketing so it’s a constantly busy career choice, but it’s fun and I just like to keep a track of what I’m doing! My bullet journal and the way in which I use it to help me with my work is the only thing keeping me sane and I’d like to share with you, how I do that!
Any who, here is how I incorporate the bullet journal method into my work life and my work life into my planner!
1 | Index
So firstly, this is how my work pages (monthly, daily or collections) look in my index. They go in with everything else and just get named appropriately e.g. holiday requests or 3-week work lists. My monthly work related pages get tabbed and indexed under the same name as the rest of my monthly setup as it’s just simpler to keep them all together.
2 | Monthly Overview
My monthly overview contains mainly my personal tasks/birthdays. In December, I’ve marked down when I’m off work for the Christmas holidays and also any days I’m off for annual leave. I don’t put actual events related to work in here otherwise it would get too busy and as I write in pencil, I’d find it hard to differentiate between personal and work.
I do however keep a monthly work list. This gives me the space to write down all of the meetings and tasks I need to remember to get done within the month. It’s also a good place to put what I’m awaiting feedback on or if I need to look back and see if I need to chase someone!
The ‘O’ is for meetings, calls or events, the ‘.’ is for tasks and the ‘X’ is for completed tasks. I just flick to this every day to make sure I’m trying to complete those big tasks!
3 | Daily Pages
My daily pages! In the latter half of this year, these pages really started to irritate me! I was getting too many tasks and they wouldn’t all fit onto my spread. I asked the groups and looked through Instagram, Pinterest and Google for a solution but soon realised, the only reason I didn’t like the setup any more was just because of the quantity of tasks!
Work wise; I had some big events coming up (with three in the same month!), hence why I had quite so many tasks. I figured that once I’d gotten past the busier months, it would return to some form of normality and I’d start to enjoy my daily spread again.
I still get a large amount of tasks every day and still give myself a fair few personal ones too, but it’s no where near as bad as it used to be and I’m enjoying looking at the pages a lot more that I was. It’s also worth noting that I am not afraid to migrate should I need too. I try not to feel bad that I’ve not completed a task – as long as it’s not a time specific task, then it can wait!
4 | Collections
I do have some collections which are related to work too – I find that putting information which is important but un-related to my daily tasks into a collection of it’s own allows me the space I need to get it all down but also means that when it’s in my index, I’m more likely to see it and thus remember it’s important!
I took some time off work in September to have a little bit of surgery on my elbow. I had a week of re-coup time and then worked from home for two weeks. I found myself packing that I’d forget something crucial and that I wouldn’t be able to complete all the work I needed to, so I created a collection of files and documents which I needed to make sure I had saved both to my Drop Box but also to my external hard drive. It seems like such a waste of paper for such a small list, but it was so helpful to see it all written down!
Another collection is my holiday requests and booking. I do love me some time off work, and we’ve got quite a hectic 2016 so I wanted to get it all booked and approved ASAP. I wrote down all the dates I wanted off, requested them all, and then marked them as and when the dates were approved. I have to book my annual leave fairly early whereas Josh doesn’t book it until the end of the financial year in April. This collection is not only helpful for me to see my dates and how many dates I’ve booked off, but it’s also great so that Josh can take a look at it and just request the same dates without worrying!
And that’s how pretty much all I keep in my planner for my work. Meeting notes and general quick notes just get written on some scrap paper I keep at my desk. If there are tasks that I know might need to be moved, I write them on a post it note, and then transfer them as and when they’re required!
I hope this is helpful to those who were looking at trying to combine both work and personal lists into one planner and if you have any questions, just ask away!
See you soon!