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Bullet Journal for Work 101: The Beginner’s Guide

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

bullet journaling for work anja home
work bullet journal page ideas

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.

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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 only to be thrown away after a while.

work bullet journal anja home
bullet journaling for work Anja Home

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.

bullet journal for work layouts anja home
work bullet journal examples

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 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.

bullet journal for work anja home
bullet journal for business layouts

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.

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

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 okay 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...
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  • A MULTI-FACETED JOURNAL: Use this stylish notebook as a space to organise your days...
LEUCHTTURM1917 - Notebook...
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LEUCHTTURM1917 - Notebook...
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SAKURA Pigma Micron...
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SAKURA Pigma Micron...
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Tombow 56185 Dual Brush...
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Tombow 56185 Dual Brush...
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Last update on 2024-02-24 / 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, and highlighters and still be fine.

However, between you and me, it’s much more fun working with 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
bullet journal key

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 do 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 to be 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
bullet journal index

Future Log

future log
bullet journal 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 many events, and so on.

I prefer using my quarterly future log – it’s easier for me to manage my tasks in the 3-month 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 them 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
bujo weekly spread

As well as that, the 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 world, but definitely, I definitely 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 to 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
bujo 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 a few topics I write about at 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
goal-setting bullet journal page

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
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The 12 Week Year
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  • 61 Pages - 01/01/2009 (Publication Date) - Strategic Breakthroughs (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

To be brief, it’s a system where you plan your work within 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 already published ones, and promoting my content on Pinterest.

Braindump Page with a priority matrix

braindump pages bujo
braindump page

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 ones, 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 and 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
weekly layouts

Finally, after setting goals and priorities, all you have to do is 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, and category and plan them ahead as time blocks within your busy daily schedule.

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

On Monday I find keywords and do research.

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

On Wednesday I take 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 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
bullet journal daily log

In most cases, when it comes to working on a specific task from each of the time blocks, I usually spend 25 minutes 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, or 15 Minutes

what can I do in 5 10 15 minutes
bullet journal page inspiration

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

Sometimes I spare a few minutes within my 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
bujo page idea

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
monthly review spread

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 on a quarterly basis. 

Firstly, I rewrite my goals.

Then I check if I actually accomplished them.

If not, 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
project management bujo page

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

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

At 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.

The 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, and high)
  • doing
  • done

Also, if you’re currently working on multiple projects, just play 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

Minimalist Bullet Journal Ideas

How To Set Up a Bullet Journal for Work – FAQ

Can I use a bullet journal for work?

Undoubtedly, keeping a bullet journal is a great way to manage your daily tasks, important dates, monthly goals, and so much more.

Also, creating all of the monthly spreads, daily pages, and other bullet journal layouts is totally customized to your personal preference.

Because let’s face it – how many times do you invest in a fancy new time management tool only to find out that it doesn’t suit your own needs?

Indeed, filling up blank pages with your great idea of monthly layouts, beautiful weekly spreads, and daily bullet journal spreads is definitely one of the many joys of bullet journaling.

And the best part is that your new journal doesn’t have to be expensive.

So don’t hesitate to grab an empty notebook and start a bullet journal for your new job.

Is bullet journaling productive?

Surely, planning your busy days with your favorite bujo pages is productive.

However, it all depends on how much time you spend on making beautiful spreads.

Don’t get me wrong – decorating bujo spreads with washi tape, a Dutch door or a cute doodle is a fun way to unleash your creativity.

But it’s a good reason to focus on being cute instead of taking care of major tasks that serve your own business.

On the other way, if your main goal is to stay productive the entire week, I’d highly suggest the more minimalist approach.

For example, minimal use of colors and a simple spread is an easy way to plan your specific tasks for the next day, next month, or a whole week.

Alternatively, you can use a bullet journal as a great addition to your planner’s weekly pages.

How to use your bullet journal for work?

In my opinion, here is the best way to use your bullet journal for work.

Side note: for each section, I create a title page.

Set your work goals

The first thing I create is a goal setting layout.

Because it’s the first page, I constantly remind myself of what I need to do each day of the week to work towards them.

Although you can work with goals in many different ways, I always prefer to focus on quarterly goals.

For this reason, at the top of the page, I added Q1, Q2, Q3, or Q4.

Plan your month

After you set your business goals, break them into smaller steps.

Then you create a calendar spread (for instance, I like to put it on the left-hand side).

Last but not least, all you have to do is fill your monthly overview with business tasks for the entire month.

Additionally, you can create another bullet journal monthly spread.

For instance, on the right side, I make a monthly log as a project management planner.

As a result, I’m able to track the progress of ongoing projects.

Create a weekly schedule

Along with a monthly overview, I always work with a weekly log.

Indeed, a weekly layout is the best thing to stay on top of your weekly task list for all days of the week.

Stay organized with your important dates

Additionally, create a bullet journal future log.

It’s a two-page layout where you write down all business deadlines, meetings, calls, events, etc.

Undoubtedly, it’s a great thing to get organized and stay organized.

Track your progress

Furthermore, I highly recommend keeping a habit tracker.

For instance, as a content creator, it helps me stay disciplined and publish new blog posts regularly.

Usually, I keep my habit tracker at the bottom of the spread.

Organize business finances

Definitely, create bullet journal budget layouts where you’ll track your income and expenses.

As a result, it’ll help you plan for both the short-term and long-term financial needs of your business.

Take care of your mental health

Last, but not least, I always keep a single page empty to create:

  • meal planning and shopping list so I don’t forget to take breaks to eat something
  • gratitude log to put obstacles into perspective

Bullet Journal Ideas (The big-ass list with over 1,000 resources for everyone from beginner to Instagram-famous expert.) | Your Visual Journal

Saturday 28th of September 2019

[…] How to Start a Bullet Journal for Work – Anna at AnjaHome walks through the very basics step by step and even throws in some artistry.   […]