My first real job was working for a corporate collections agency. While my role was related to managing the office, print design/advertising needs, the company website, and intranet (remember those). I did learn much from watching the collections personal as they engaged business that owed our clients money. One such skill was their note-taking as they entered call information into our UNIX collection system.

Because of the particular and financial nature of the call, their data entry had to be quick and accurate. They used a system of word truncation whr they lft out mst vwls. It was extremely efficient, and the brain could seamlessly fill in the blanks without a hitch. Once you got the hang of it you could type that much faster and still glean the key details from the call.

This rapid logging of events was a skill I was able to pick up at the time and then forget just as quickly once I moved on to my next job. Flash forward to 2020, and I was reintroduced to a similar concept called Bullet Journaling. It’s defined as:

Bullet Journaling is a method of personal organization developed by designer Ryder Carroll. The system organizes scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming, and other organizational tasks into a single notebook.

I’ve tried more elaborate journals and found them to be overly complex and exhaustive. None quite fit my needs, way of thinking, and processing. I would surmise to myself that I should make my own as I either tried to manipulate a journal or just ignored entire sections of a $50 waist of money.

What I like most about bullet journaling is the creativity of the bullets you use to signify tasks, meetings, bills, alerts, etc. It fits my personality, and I can adjust and improve my process as I go along.

Here’s how I’ve been using mine:

Nesting is also a key feature for bullet journaling. Here a complex thought can be recorded quickly. I can see where a task is dependent on another task or meeting.

Tools: I’ve been using a dot-grid journal from Amazon and my favorite pen the Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine, and my trusty 6-inch metal ruler.

While this is a work in progress, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve learned about myself; it feels empowering to see what you have before you each day, week, and month. Bullet Journaling has helped me take better ownership of my day, work, and life. Our time in this world is short. We should do all we can to be good stewards of what we are given.

Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90: 12

Photo of Brian Biddle Brian Biddle

For the past 15 years, Brian has served as lead designer and art director for LexBlog. He works directly with the product team to provide design and UX/UI guidance for the tools that power the world’s largest legal network.