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Sumudu Siriwardana
Sumudu Siriwardana

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A Simple Method to Manage Your Work Effectively

How do you manage your work?

Your daily life is full of projects to move forward: learning JS, creating your website, work projects, etc. It can be overwhelming to plan and manage them.

Let's see how can we use a simple notepad and pen to manage all this work.

I've tried few digital & analog systems to plan my work. I've seen so many limitations with these methods.

Then I came across the Bullet Journal system created by Ryder Carroll. He describes this simple system as “The mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system.”

If you are a paper and pen person like me, you might really like this method.

What is a bullet journal?

A bullet journal or BuJo for short, is a way to keep all your to-do lists, reminders, upcoming tasks, record both short- and long-term goals, and anything else you need it to be, all in one place.

BuJo is made up of 4 different components at its basic level:

  • Index
  • Future Log
  • Monthly Log
  • Daily Log

With these basic components, you can add more to this list and organize your BuJo according to your preferences.

Let's see what goes into these components.

1. Index

The first page of your BuJo should be the index. The Index page acts as a table of contents, allowing you to quickly and easily find what you’re looking for.

You can start your BuJo by numbering each page, so you can easily use it as a reference for the index.


2. Future Log

This is your quick planner for the next 6 months or more.

You can add all the important things that you plan for the next few months here, deadlines, monthly goals, important events...

This helps you to have a reminder about commitments or long-term priorities.



3. Monthly Log

This is both a calendar and a task list for the month ahead.

Creating a summary at the beginning of every month will help you keep track of everything you want to accomplish.

This could include a calendar of appointments, a series of to-dos, and your monthly goals.



4. Daily Log

This section acts as your daily planner. You can add your To-do list for the day, write your daily notes in this section.

You can log each item for the day with a set of symbols to differentiate your tasks based on their nature.


Some of the symbols that you can use for your daily logs:

  • Dot bullet (•) for tasks
  • Circle bullet (o) for events
  • Dash (-) for notes

If a task is really important, you can add a star next to it. This is known as the signifier, this helps to add priority to your task.


There are few other elements combine to make this whole system work:

  • Rapid logging
  • Collections
  • Migration
  • Daily reflections

Rapid Logging

As the name implies, rapid logging is a quick and easy way to record anything. You can quickly add your meeting notes, ideas, journal entries, or To-Dos using rapid logging.

When rapid logging, you use short sentences & abbreviations to make it quick and easy.



This is a way of organizing related topics. This helps to keep your projects or topics in one place rather than scattered throughout your BuJo.

You can add a collection for your work projects, meals prep, or even a separate collection to track your learning goals.




Migrating tasks means you simply move uncompleted tasks to a more relevant place. This helps you to identify whether it's important & needed or blocked by something else.

Based on that, you can move it to a current or future log so that the tasks remain visible.

Daily reflections

This simply means that reassess & reflect each day.

Looking at your tasks early morning helps you to plan your day.

Reflecting on accomplishments & happy moments helps you to appreciate what’s going well and create a vision for your future and well-being.


Now you know all the elements of bullet journaling!

Let's see how you can set up your bullet journal and how these elements work together to create a better system to help keep you focused on the next important task while not losing sight of the bigger picture.

How to set up your bullet journal

1. Gather everything you need

You don't need anything fancy to start a BuJo. A simple notebook and pen would be enough.

2. Add an Index page

Title your first spread as Index at the top of the page. Use a spread with two blank pages next to one another.

3. Add a Future Log

Go to the next blank spread & title them as Future Log.

Add next few months you want to record & number these pages.

You can create a box layout for months and record your plans for each month. If you like, you can style these pages as well 🤗

4. Add a Monthly Log

Go to the next spread and title it as Monthly Log with the relevant month.

You can add the date with the day and record important days. Next page, you can create a monthly calendar or Monthly goals/to-do list and record what you want to accomplish.

5. Add a Daily Log

Title next few pages as Daily Log.

Add the date to start your first entry.

Add short entries for your daily tasks, events, and notes. This is the rapid logging process. You can use the below symbols to differentiate your tasks. 👇


  • Dot bullet (•) for tasks to be done
  • Circle bullet (o) for events
  • Dash or hyphen (-) for notes
  • A star (*) to signify important tasks


6. Record the page numbers in your Index

Go back to your Index to add the page numbers whenever you use a new page.

You can simply add these page numbers as “January Monthly Log 1-8."

7. New Monthly Log

Once you have completed your first month, start a new Monthly Log.

8. Mark the done items

Go back to your previous month and mark the items that you have done with an "x"

9. Migrate open tasks

Review open tasks and evaluate them and see whether they are still relevant.

  • If the task is no longer relevant, strike it through with a line.
  • If it's important to complete the task, migrate it to the current month log or relevant future log.

10. Add collections

Next, you can create collections for your projects.

Have a separate section for each project and add the page numbers to your Index, so you can find them easily.

11. Now you can start bullet journaling 🤗

That's about it!

I've been using BuJo for a while now, and it really helps me stay on top of things.

The key to making a bullet journal work for you is to make it your own. This is a very flexible system that you can customize up to your preferences. You have the freedom to focus on a clean and easy-to-maintain layout or you can be more creative with your designs.

@AlrawasAbed shared this video of how to create a bullet journal in Notion. This is is a great way to use this system if you want to have a digital system. Give it a try and see!

Happy Journaling! 🤗

Discussion (2)

sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

I always wanted to have a bunch of logs.

sumusiriwardana profile image
Sumudu Siriwardana Author