Regardless of what stage of business you’re in, it’s likely that you sense yourself continually needing a way to organize tasks, ideas, schedules, appointment, goals, and many other things that come up for entrepreneurs. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when there are calls coming thru, emails piling up, people needing payment, customers needing proposals, rising and falling sales volumes, and so many more things to keep track of.
There’s always so many moving parts in business, and you probably feel the pressure of balancing them all. I want to give you 12 bullet journal ideas that will organize your business, and make managing all of the moving pieces of your business less stressful.
The bullet journal is the perfect solution for entrepreneurs who have many things they need to organize and manage. While technology and apps are AMAZING, and I can’t underestimate how much I love them–the fact is entrepreneurs need something portable, easy to carry, and very customizable. The bullet journal can be the perfect thing to fill in the gap between technology and the mental clutter you may be experiencing.
If you’re interested in seeing these 12 bullet journal ideas in video, check it out here:
- 1 What is a Bullet Journal?
- 2 My Bullet Journal Story
- 3 1. Weekly Log
- 4 2. To Do List
- 5 3. Notable events
- 6 4. Habit Tracker
- 7 5. A Budget and Saving Goal Tracker
- 8 6. Upcoming Investments
- 9 8. Acquiring Skills and Professional Development List
- 10 9. Key Performance Indicators (growth in social media channels, growth in sales pipeline or potential customers, and so on)
- 11 10. Time Worked Towards Specific Projects
- 12 11. Healthy Habits for Work/Life Balance
- 13 12. A Reward System for Employees and Yourself
- 14 Basic Tools You Need for Bullet Journaling
- 15 Conclusion About Bullet Journal Ideas for Entrepreneurs
- 16 Now, it’s your turn…
What is a Bullet Journal?
You may have heard of the trend towards bullet journaling, and maybe you’re wondering what it is, and how to use it to give your business an advantage. Let me tell you…
The concept of bullet journaling was started by New York Times bestselling author Ryder Carroll, and has turned into a movement. A bullet journal is a cross between a diary, a planner, a to-do list, an organizer, and so much more. It’s a blank canvas of a journal that can be customized and organized in so many ways. I like bullet journals because you can use your own creative expression in them, and create layouts inside that make it easy for you to stay on top of things.
Learn more about the bullet journal method by reading Ryder Carroll’s book. Click here to check out “The Bullet Journal Method” on Amazon.
My Bullet Journal Story
They say there are people who don’t have many ideas, and people who have too many ideas. I tend to be one of the people with too many ideas. I can think up products, services, people I should meet, recipes, or so many things on the go.
I enjoy tracking my goals and progress towards them in a visual way because it’s motivating and propels me to continue pursuing the completion of the goal. Sometimes, I just like to doodle my ideas: whether a potential wardrobe or some other source of inspiration.
Bullet journals help me keep track of all of my ideas without the requirement to format my expression in a certain way. I have pages where I have bullet journal spreads and formalize my notetaking, and I have others where I can just capture my thoughts.
While your bullet journal, or “bujo” (as many Pinterest Pinners call them), may not be a work of art like these enclosed, I want to throw a few ideas your way for how you can use a bullet journal to organize your business.
1. Weekly Log
The bullet journal can help you log weekly events you may have scheduled. You can list appointments, phone calls, project deadlines, or other pertinent things you think may be important for the upcoming week. Some people log into a calendar, but with a bullet journal, you can draw in the space sizes you need. Maybe you have lots of tasks for Tuesday? No problem, draw in a bigger box. Maybe you have a few tasks for Sunday? Draw in a smaller box. Do you get it? Check out the High-Performance Planner (on Amazon) and get a headstart on creating your weekly log.
2. To Do List
In his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective people, Stephen Covey spoke heavily on prioritization. He talked about how the most successful people focus on the tasks that are not urgent but are important. If more entrepreneurs took time to prevent wildfires by focusing on the tasks that are not urgent, but are important, more businesses would succeed.
You can make a bullet journal spread for your to-do list. It can be as creative or formal as you’d like. You simply want to use the space on the blank pages of the bullet journal to jot down the priorities for your day. Then, you can go back and cross off what you were able to do.
With time and practice, a to-do list can help you evaluate your productivity, what tasks give you the highest return on your investment, and what tasks take you so much time you would be more efficient if you outsourced it. This bullet journal spread could be vital to your business productivity! The Best Year Ever journal by Darren Hardy has spreads that can help you track your to-do lists.
3. Notable events
The third on my list of bullet journal ideas for entrepreneurs is…notable events! Every customer, employee, co-worker, vendor, distributor, or even family member wants to be remembered. What better way to remember an important ally than to do something special on an important day of theirs.
You can also keep track of sales cycles: when you typically have a drop in sales or when you typically have a boost in sales. Trends in your business are also notable events you may want to track using a bullet journal spread. Get a bullet journal two pack from Amazon and start tracking your notable events!
4. Habit Tracker
We each have good habits and bad habits. I’ll be the first to admit, I have some unpolished areas that a habit tracker could surely help me to button up.
You can track habits like inputting receipts or bookkeeping related tasks. You can track habits like following up and holding others accountable in your company. We could go on and on with the list of habits you could track to increase your results in your business.
5. A Budget and Saving Goal Tracker
In my post on Bootstrapping your Business, I told you I recommend bootstrapping as the main method for start-up business funding. It builds so much character, creativity, and confidence. The people who can say they know how to grow money from $100 to $1000 or beyond are some of the most financially confident people.
In order to make bootstrapping work, you have to master the art of budgeting and saving. You can’t spend all you make; whether in a business or in personal finances.
You can write down projected expenses and challenge those expenses. See if you can cut them or see if you can make more to increase your profits. It can be very fun to challenge yourself with a budget this way.
Also, If you know your business requires something in the future, you should jot it down, and break the costs into achievable fragments so bootstrapping is possible. Savings will help you weather many storms from clients not paying on time (because it happens) to sickness and so on. I couldn’t stress the importance of budgeting and saving more….just do it!
6. Upcoming Investments
Big ticket items require a plan. You want to know:
-If this item is purchased, how much more efficiency or revenue can be generated?
-When would be the most beneficial time to make the purchase?
-How can we raise capital for this upcoming investment without debilitating the business?
There are other questions that may be situational that you’d need to answer before making a big-ticket acquisition, but the common truth is…big ticket items require planning. Regardless of how you’re funding the acquisition, it’s important to map out the necessity for an upcoming investment.
If you keep a list of what the business needs, you can also spot trends like “new flashing light syndrome” where business collaborators may get overly excited about “the next latest thing”. It’s like keeping up with the Joneses in the business sector. Be wary of jumping into things too quickly. Create a bullet journal spread that documents upcoming investments so you can monitor trends, set saving goals, and organize the business for its good. Grab your journal on Amazon and begin tracking your upcoming investments.
8. Acquiring Skills and Professional Development List
Malcolm X said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” It’s important to maintain an aggressive learning pattern, and in order to do this, you have to reflect on what skills are most pertinent to your business growth.
The bullet journal can be used to jot down professional growth and to plan for upcoming professional development. This bullet journal idea can relieve loads of mental clutter–making it easier for you to be productive in your tasks.
Whether your key performance indicators are related to social media followers, advertising conversions, website traffic, foot traffic, or otherwise, it’s good to have a location to write the results down. It’s good to have the goals and the actuals, so you can evaluate what’s attainable for you and your progress towards or away from the forecasted goal. This bullet journal idea to write down your key performance indicators will help you to visualize your progress, your milestones, and your long term directions.
Often times, entrepreneurs keep mental clutter by juggling wants, potentials, and so many other things in their heads. It’s good to write down your key performance indicators to add clarity to your day. Check out the Best Year Ever Journal (with instruction CDs) on Amazon here.
10. Time Worked Towards Specific Projects
You don’t want to be one of the overworked an underpaid entrepreneurs, do you? I think not! If you want to be able to get paid what you deserve, one key is to track your time spent.
You need to know how much time you’re spending on each of your projects, so you can evaluate whether your pricing is accurate or not. The bullet journal can help you by making available space for you to freely write down your tasks and the time required to complete them.
11. Healthy Habits for Work/Life Balance
Both, relationships at work and relationships away from work are important. These bullet journal ideas are catered to helping you balance your life: including your social and family life. Yes, you want to be successful, but you don’t want the cost of that success to leave you loads of regret as you analyzed all of the missed interpersonal relationship opportunities.
Entrepreneurs who haven’t formulated a system for work/life balance have lost their spouses, children, parents, great friends, and cherished co-workers as they’ve compartmentalized their attention to climb to the top.
The bullet journal can help you map out your system of work/life balance. You can set goals like:
- I want to spend X amount of personal time
- I want to spend X amount of time with my wife/husband
- I want to spend X amount of time with my children
- And, the list could go on…
Create a system to balance work and life, and don’t let the scale get tipped too much in one direction or the other if you see it having an unhealthy effect on your relationships.
12. A Reward System for Employees and Yourself
Everyone wants recognition. What better way to be mindful of this human need than to track it on a useful tool like the bullet journal? There are other ways of tracking rewards like phone apps and things, but this one can let you flush out all of those ideas in an informal way.
You can take time to think about what things do you want to reward people for?
What are some interesting ways to award people?
How often do you want to award people?
I think this bullet journal idea is perfect for brainstorming or a calendar bullet journal spread where you write in reward days for certain people (kids, employees, even spouses).
Basic Tools You Need for Bullet Journaling
By now, I’m sure you see the value of these bullet journal ideas for entrepreneurs, but your question may be, “What tools do you recommend for starting a bullet journal?”. Here are the tools I’d recommend for getting started with a bullet journal:
- The Bullet journal, of course. LOL! This one is highly rated everywhere I’ve seen it, and comes as a set with two for the price of one! Cha-ching!
Alternatively, you can search for one on your own here;
- Markers – Amazon has lots of feedback on their bullet journal markers. You can check them out here:
- Stickers – Stickers can help you decorate or make things more memorable. You can add calendars, charts, and other things with stickers rather than drawing them yourself! Plus, stickers are alot of fun for kids and adults alike.
- Ruler – Many people use rulers to make straight lines and formal bullet journal spreads (calendars, the habit tracker, and so on)
There are lots of other things you can get to make bullet journaling more fun or effective for you, but these tools will get you started.
Conclusion About Bullet Journal Ideas for Entrepreneurs
Hopefully, these ideas can help you make a bullet journal to organize your business and business thoughts. I’ve seen people use ideas similar to the bullet journal ideas I’ve included to increase motivation, decrease stress, and increase productivity. I’m hoping these ideas can offer the same improved productivity for you!
Now, it’s your turn…
Have you used a bullet journal for organizing your thoughts or your business? Why or why not? If you have used a bullet journal before, how did that work for you? Please leave your comments below.