Bullet Journal for Work 101: The Beginner’s Guide

In today’s guide, you’ll learn how to set up a work bullet journal.

So if you:

  • are fed up with the next best app to manage your workflow
  • actually, prefer tracking projects and meeting notes in a traditional, analog way
  • are constantly upset with random sticky notes and messy pages
  • want to combine the bullet journal system with work and look for bujo inspiration

Then you’ll love this new guide on how to keep a bullet journal for work

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It means that I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase a product that I have recommended. It won’t cost you any extra money.

Unquestionably, I’ve been using my bullet journal longer than any other planner.

To be completely honest, every single time I got a new planner, I literally used maybe two or three pages.

Then I put this gorgeous planner on the shelf, feeling so bad. Simply, I hate being wasteful.

Indeed, it collected dust just only to be thrown away after a while.

So when I discovered this amazing tool of a bullet journal, I was shocked by how a simple notebook could make such a huge difference in my life.

Seeing that this tool works great for me, I started to think about incorporating the bullet journal system into my work.

First and foremost, I asked myself…

Should I Have a Separate Bullet Journal For Work

As a rule, I think you should keep multiple bullet journals, one for personal life and the other for work.

Firstly, you may want to have a bullet journal for work that stays at work.

In other words, if you think you can be tempted to open a laptop and work from home (usually for free), then you better set up a separate bujo.

Secondly, using your personal bullet journal in a work environment could be a distraction. 

Not without a reason, it’s recommended to keep your home and work life separate.

Obviously, it happens pretty often that you need to write something important in your personal bullet journal while being at work, and vice versa.

However, this kind of issue can be easily solved by taking notes on your phone and migrating them into your bullet journal later.

When it comes to my personal preferences, clearly I’m a great example of a shoemaker who still walks without shoes. 

Definitely being a work-at-home blogger makes a famous work-life balance a little bit blurry.

In fact, after having this kind of lifestyle for over two years, I see I’m always at work and always at home.

Luckily, I really love my job. This is absolutely a dream come true. With this in mind, personally, I don’t feel I need another bullet journal, dedicated to blogging stuff. I’m totally ok with setting up work pages in my personal bujo.

Bullet Journal Supplies

notebook fineliners dual brush pens

When it comes to supplies, I like to keep bullet journal products minimalistic and limit myself to three must-have items:

Dingbats Earth Dotted Medium A5+ Hardcover Journal - PU Leather, FP Proof 100gsm Coated Cream Paper, Numbered Pages, Inner Pocket, Elastic Closure, Pen Holder, 2 Bookmarks (Sky Blue GBR)
3,412 Reviews
Dingbats Earth Dotted Medium A5+ Hardcover Journal - PU Leather, FP Proof 100gsm Coated Cream Paper, Numbered Pages, Inner Pocket, Elastic Closure, Pen Holder, 2 Bookmarks (Sky Blue GBR)
  • LOTS O' FEATURES: Durable hardcover bound with PU faux leather, round corners, non-perforated 100gsm cream pages, inner pocket, 2 bookmarks, 192 pages with a lay flat design and elastic closure. Also includes a pen holder - perfect.
  • FOR BULLET JOURNALING: Bonus features include numbered pages, 3 index pages, 2 key pages and 16 micro-perforated pages. The endsheets of each notebook are also finely printed with an infographic spread of the endangered region. Size: Medium A5+ (16 x 21.5 cm); Sheets: 96 (192 pages)
  • MULTIPURPOSE JOURNAL: Can be used as a bullet journal, travel notebook, journal, diary, business / executive / office notebook, gift, workout journal, travel journal, school journal, recipe journal etc.

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

or alternatively:

Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook (Lemon) - 249 Numbered Pages
647 Reviews
Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook (Lemon) - 249 Numbered Pages
  • INKPROOF PAPER: Medium (A5) notebooks have 80 gsm paper, which is equatable to 60lb stock, and has 249 numbered pages
  • OPENS FLAT: This thread-bound notebook opens flat so you can write and draw at all angles without compromising the integrity of the spine
  • ELASTIC CLOSURE BAND: Secure your content with the elastic enclosure band and inner gusseted pocket. Page marker is included for easy access to a specific page

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sakura Pigma 30062 Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set, Black, Ass't Point Sizes 6CT Set
5,554 Reviews
Sakura Pigma 30062 Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set, Black, Ass't Point Sizes 6CT Set
  • Experience smooth, skip-free writing in crisp, rich black ink to achieve consistent lettering and lines widths.
  • Professional inking pens used by comic artists, illustrators, watercolor artists, archivists, and laboratory professionals.
  • Pigma ink is archival quality on paper: waterproof, chemical resistant, fade resistant, bleed free, quick drying and pH neutral.

Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tombow Pen Dual Brush Markers (Bright)
  • Ideal for fine art, brush lettering, faux calligraphy, illustrations, water color illustrations, journaling and more!
  • Set of 9 colors and 1 blender pen, with flexible brush tip and fine tip in one marker
  • BRUSH TIP: Durable and flexible nylon fiber brush tip, creates medium or bold strokes by changing brush pressure

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In case you want to learn more, here I explained why these three bujo supplies are my go-to’s.

Obviously, if you find these items too expensive, keep in mind bullet journaling is a system that works in any notebook. You can grab your kid’s school notebook, ballpoint pen, highlighters and still be fine.

However, between you and me, it’s much more fun working with a smoother dot paper, black pigment fineliner, and pastel brush pens. And yes, you may spend a little more money but in general, you may feel motivated to keep a bullet journal daily.

How To Set Up a Bullet Journal for Work

Generally, if you’re wondering if bullet journaling for work differs from a regular one, the general system looks the same.

First, you start with basic bullet journal pages like

Key & Index

key page ideas

Every time you start your brand new bullet journal, it’s recommended to set up your key and index page. To tell the truth, as I began my adventure with bujo, I was a little bit skeptical. Why the heck I need some boring pages to be created?

Now, a few months later, I can’t imagine running my business bullet journal without key and index pages. It’s so useful and convenient being able to find the specific spread in less than 5 seconds.

I feel so lucky that my notebook has key and index pages already set up. All I had to do was to choose symbols and tag my entries.

index page ideas

Future Log

future log

To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of creating a future log. It’s so boring. But you may need this collection page in your bujo. Especially if you’re traveling a lot, attending in many events and so on. I prefer using my quarterly future log – it’s easier for me to manage my tasks in 3 months range.

Secondly, you set up… 

Monthly Layout

Along with key, index, and future log you want to create a space where you can write down your yearly (or quarterly) goals, breaking down into smaller but at the same time actionable steps.

Basically, you design a bullet journal monthly layout for tasks, assignments, deadlines, etc.

Weekly Spreads with Daily Logs

weeklies bullet journal

As well as that, bullet journal weekly spread allows you to split your big project into little chunks. Additionally, making daily spreads makes achieving your goals step by step, little by little so much easier.

Then, it’s time for your collections.

How To Make The Bullet Journal System For Work

To be completely honest, this part of bullet journaling looks different for everyone because, for instance, teachers need pages with a class curriculum, bloggers need any type of pageviews tracker, etc.

Obviously, I’m not able to include suitable bullet journal work spreads for all professions in the word, but definitely, I put some work journal ideas to get inspired below.

Overall, I include bullet journal work spreads I personally use as a full-time blogger. 

Clearly, the content would be probably irrelevant for you but the general idea remains the same.

Work Journal Ideas

As a rule, there are only four steps to becoming more efficient, productive, and successful at work.

First of all, set your goals [in a bullet journal].

Secondly, know your priorities [with a bullet journal].

Thirdly, develop an effective execution method that works for you [with a bullet journal].

Eventually, review your actions and see how and if you’re working toward your goals.

Yearly Overview

yearly overview

First and foremost, I usually start setting up my work bullet journal from the yearly overview page.

I use this bullet journal page as a content calendar, where I put new blog post ideas and seasonal content as well.

Personally, it’s hard for me to gather all of the post titles for the whole year, but there are few topics I write about always in a specific time.

For example, I always write about next year’s bullet journal in September.

Also, some projects might take a little bit longer. This spread allows me to create a general overview of the next steps I have to follow to finish it.

Goals Page

goals page bullet journal

Earl Nightingale said:

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”

Indeed, keeping my goals constantly in the back of my mind (and in my bullet journal) helps me tremendously work with laser-like focus every single day. 

Also, it’s proven that you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.

Apart from this, I’m a big fan of the 12 week year.

The 12 Week Year
12 Reviews
The 12 Week Year
  • Brian P. Moran (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 61 Pages - 01/01/2009 (Publication Date) - Strategic Breakthroughs (Publisher)

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

To be brief, it’s a system where you plan your work with 12 week periods. 

With this in mind, instead of working toward (usually too) many yearly goals, I limit myself to only three quarterly goals at once: writing 6 new blog posts, updating 6 of already published ones, and promoting my content on Pinterest.

Braindump Page with an Eisenhower Matrix

braindump pages bujo

Next, it’s time to figure out your priorities.

Nowadays, every day you face an almost endless list of new projects, exciting opportunities, and mindblowing ideas. 

Indeed, you might be spreading yourself too thin easily.

For this reason, establishing and writing clear priorities is crucial in order to achieve your goals.

Not only you’re less tempted to start exciting new projects instead of finishing the old one, but also it’s so much easier to get rid of any unnecessary tasks from your to-do list.

With this in mind, my favorite way to free up my mind from random thoughts (and as a creative kind of person I’ve too many new ideas at once) is doing a brain dump in a bullet journal.

Basically, a brain dump is a session when you brainstorm new projects, plan alternatives, and later decide on what’s important what’s not.

Lately, I like using visual notetaking elements. Besides making my bullet journal brain dump page prettier, it organizes my thoughts visually.

Time-Blocking, Task-Batching & Daily Themes Weekly Schedule

daily mom schedule bullet journal

Finally, after setting goals and priorities, all you have to do is to create your own action plan and work routine.

What I mean by that is you just break down your larger project into smaller, usually repetitive tasks and put them in the right order.

Consequently, it allows you to organize them by theme, category and plan them ahead as time blocks within your busy daily schedule.

For example, here’s how my work schedule looks like: 

On Monday I find keywords and do research.

Tuesday is my writing day when I come up with title, headlines, intro, final thoughts and write text.

On Wednesday I make photos, edit them and create social media graphics.

Thursday is a perfect day for proofreading, inserting all kinds of links, and scheduling pins.

On Friday, I’m usually the less productive, so with this in mind, I organize emails, manage website updates, archive documents and educate myself.

On the whole, I write an awesome guide on how to schedule a day by using time-blocks, daily themes, and batching tasks where you can find more detailed information.

Pomodoro Tracker

Pomodoro tracker bullet journal

In most cases, when it comes to working on a specific task from each of the time-blocks, I usually spend 25 minutes being focused solely on it. Then I take a break for 5 minutes. 

This is 1 Pomodoro (read more about the Pomodoro technique here). After 4 Pomodoros I take a break of 45 minutes.

I like to record them in a bullet journal Pomdor tracker. It allows me to evaluate how long I actually spend on it in order to complete it. As a result, I’m able to see how to improve my productivity next time.

What Can I Do in 5, 10, 15 Minutes

what can I do in 5 10 15 minutes

In addition to this, I also like to list all smaller tasks I’m able to complete within 5,10, 15 minutes.

Sometimes I spare a few minutes within a daily schedule. Instead of wasting them on social media, I already know what I can do in this extra time.

A Good Day Bad Day List

good day bad day list

Obviously, we all face better or worse days. After all, we’re only humans.

With this in mind, I created my personal list of tasks for those days.

For instance, during my good days, I focus on the most challenging tasks like writing text or designing pin graphics. On the other hand, I keep tasks like researching, making and editing photos for bad days.

Review Page

bullet journal review page

Last but not least, let’s talk about the review page. I can never stress enough how important is to evaluate your actions to see if you’re heading in the right direction.

Personally, I set up the bullet journal review page monthly (then I combine it with a braindump session)  and a quarterly basis. 

Firstly, I rewrite my goals. Then I check if I actually accomplished them. If no, I ask myself for what reason. To sum up, I put down what to do more and what to do less and other conclusions.

Bullet Journal for Projects

kanban board bullet journal

Besides all kinds of lists, checklists, trackers, a bullet journal is also a great project management tool.

Even though there’re plenty of digital tools like Asana or Trello, you can still manage multiple projects in your bullet journal notebook.

For the first sight, it seems to be overcomplicated and messy. However, after getting easy removable sticky notes, you’re able to create a simple Kanban board.

Kanban board is a great visual tool. It allows you to see the project’s progress.

All you have to do is to divide two pages into 4 parts:

  • project(s) name
  • to-do (with three priority categories: low, medium, high)
  • doing
  • done

Also, if you’re currently working on multiple projects, just paly with different sticky notes’ color palettes and use the color-coding system.

Other Bullet Journal Business Pages

quarterly log
Level 10 Life exercise
bujo weekly spread
future log printable
weekly template
bujo key ideas
blogging spreads
printable templeta weekly layout
bujo goals page bullet journal work
blog post list
brain dump layout bullet journal work

How To Set Up a Bullet Journal for Work – Final Thoughts

As you can see, bullet journaling is far beyond artistic pages and a cute Netflix tracker.

Basically, it allows you to keep all the projects, ideas, and generally your career path and vision in one place. Personally, I don’t know how I could even exist without my bullet journal. 

Now, it’s your turn to start a work bullet journal. Good luck!

What’s Next? Learn Bullet Journal Basics Here:

How To Start a Bullet Journal

Your First Bullet Journal Setup

Minimal Bullet Journal Ideas

bullet journal business pages
planning work schedule
professional bullet journal pages
bullet journal-work-collections
work organization bullet journal

How To Set Up a Bullet Journal for Work

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