“Unpack your mind and your heart so that you can become more present”
That’s how Bullet Journal Founder Ryder Carroll describes the process of journaling. Whether you’re brain dumping, needing to track health issues, or are looking for ways to be more efficient as a business owner, using *Notion as an online bullet journal can help you reach your goals.
In this video, I talk to Marketing Consultant Brittany Berger and YouTuber Matt Ragland about how they use a digital bullet journal to track everything from health conditions and family activities to business strategy and content ideas.
What is a Bullet Journal?
The idea of a bullet journal, or bujo as they are often called, is to get the thoughts that distract us from being efficient, down on paper. Users capture and categorize thoughts in a brain dump or list format. The beauty of a bullet journal is that you can make it whatever works for you!
Using Notion as an Digital Bullet Journal
Rather than using the analog version, a notebook, as Carroll designed, Brittany Berger and Matt Ragland are using Notion as a digital bullet journal in the following ways:
- Tracking health concerns and/or conditions
- Vacation planning
- Business strategy
- Content ideas
- Income and expense tracking
- Habit tracker
- Exercise journal
- Emotions journal
- Books to read
- Videos to watch
- Amazon wishlist
The number of ways you can use a bullet journal is neverending!
Is a Notion bullet journal the same as a journal?
The simple answer is yes, you can use the digital version like you would use a paper bullet journal. There are journalers who love putting pen to paper while others like the convenience of having a digital version at their fingertips.
For me, I use it as more of a traditional journal. I love tracking progress on how I am feeling, books and articles I’ve read, goals I’ve crushed, and as a gratitude journal.
While Brittany uses her *Notion bullet journal to track her feelings with a 5-minute journal, among many other uses, Matt prefers to keep his bullet journal for family activities and lists as well as business idea tracking.
The biggest lesson I learned from our guests is that using a Notion bullet journal is as flexible as a paper journal. You choose how you want to use it to make you more efficient.
How Brittany Berger Uses her Digital Bullet Journal
Marketing Consultant Brittany Berger was excited to share with us how she uses her digital bullet journal to track nearly every area of her life. From a traditional style of journaling to connecting other apps and databases to have in one place, to health tracking and symptom journaling, she loves her bujo!
Her best advice is to bullet journal the same way your brain works. That means no two bujos will look the same and that’s okay!
She was inspired to create a digital version of how she was keeping paper notes:
- Monthly Spreads
- Weekly Spreads
- Health Tracker
- Habit Tracker
Each is a database connected to another so that she can easily see birthdays and anniversaries as well as personal and business events and deadlines.
To make sure all of her thoughts, feelings, plans, and accomplishments are captured, Brittany does a brain dump, in her digital bullet journal, at the end of every day. Some days it is all personal while others are all business. Either way, she has a system to track each item so that, if needed, she can circle back later.
As a marketing consultant, she says that she can get caught in the details of her work, whether planning for her business or completing client work.
To combat the fatigue, she includes celebrations and wins in her online bullet journal. This includes tracking a total daily word count; whether it’s emails or articles, she knows exactly how many words she writes in a day. She said it makes her feel more accomplished, which helps combat her anxiety.
She also takes her notes to her therapist and health tracker to her doctors. By tracking what she eats and how she feels, her providers are better able to treat her and she is better able to combat the brain fog that is part of her chronic illness.
As someone who loves routines, Brittany loves the health tracker she added to her bullet journal. Like tracking her food, she tracks her morning and evening routines and makes notes about how she feels each day. The tools help her process her feelings to know what is fact and what is feelings and what she can do something about versus what she cannot control.
Other ways she uses Notion as an online bullet journal are to create collections:
- Journaling Prompts
- Objective proof against imposter syndrome
- Articles and Books
- Important feeling moments
- Amazon book list – linked out to Amazon
- Ongoing Shopping List
- Ongoing Health Notes
Notion makes it easy to make your life and/or business visual.
How Matt Ragland Uses Notion as an Online Bullet Journal
Matt echoes Brittany when he recommends using a bullet journal in whatever way works for you:
- Keep it simple.
- Values speed so simplicity and minimal is key.
- Use a paper journal if that’s working for you.
At the beginning of each year, he sets themes. This year they are relationships, learning, and health. That’s all he is tracking in his digital bullet journal, at least for now.
- Monthly for each theme and then broken into weeks as a subcategory
- Tasks for each, including rapid logging from paper journal
- Adds dates and links tasks to a content area
- Uses Collections – Daily Tracker, Writing, Books, Workouts
Matt then adds notes in a capture area so that he can easily drag and drop into a new week or month.
In his Daily Tracker, Matt scores each day as red , yellow, green, and adds notes related to three core habits that he knows make him happier. He also journals here. After a weekly review, he moves everything to an archive and creates a new week.
Just like Brittany, he utilizes databases to track writing and video projects.
He loves the Future Log. If small or specific, just on to do list. Bigger events that are outside the normal cadence of a week, uses the Future Log.
Matt’s most important bullet journaling tip is to make it a quick, motivating, and consistent tool that works the way you work.
How do you use a digital bullet journal when you’re busy?
Living in a digital world is great but there isn’t always time to stop and take notes. Our experts share the best way to track tasks and ideas.
While Brittany and Matt both lean to using paper because it’s convenient, they also use apps.
Brittany uses Drafts on her phone for on-the-go notetaking and then moves them to *Notion.
Matt gets distracted quickly, especially if he is adding to the Notion app on his phone. Calendars, emails, and texts make it challenging for him to stay focused (and who can’t relate to that!), so he uses the Bare Notes app and then moves notes to Notion when he is in a quiet space.
Do you also use Google Calendar?
Brittany, Matt, and myself all agree that using a calendar like Google is helpful for client and personal deadlines, linking to project progress, and tracking family life. While my partner loves Notion, Brittany and Matt say their partners love that they are so organized, but prefer not to use a bullet journal.
Are there Bullet Journal templates?
Yes, Brittany offers one when you sign up for her newsletter on her website.
Is setting up a bullet journal on Notion overwhelming?
Matt says that it can be overwhelming, so he recommends having one simple goal to start. You will have questions about how the system works and build on it from there. Brittany agrees and calls it baby steps for big progress.
We all recommend grabbing a copy of The Bullet Journal Method to get you started.
Matt notes that if your goal is to get ideas down quickly, then paper works. If you need databases, relationships, and editing capability, it is helpful to use tools like Notion.
Brittany loves digital, especially when her chronic illness is flaring. It’s easier for her to use a laptop or phone rather than paper.
We love all the ideas shared in this video. Special thanks to Brittany and Matt for sharing with us how you’re using Notion as an online bullet journal!
What we learned is that you can create whatever works best for you. Customize your bullet journal to meet your needs and expectations. Whether you keep it simple or make it complex, we wish you happy journaling!
[*For full disclosure, I’m a Notion Partner, so when you sign up with my link, you also help support me and my content!]