I’m a busy, busy woman and I’m guessing that you are too. Although bullet journaling is an amazingly useful productivity tool, it does involve some work. This can seem like a hurdle for busy people like us. Ironically, it’s when you’re overwhelmingly busy that a bullet journal can be the most helpful. You may wonder how to bullet journal when you have no time, but no worries. No matter how busy you are, you can take advantage of the most useful aspects of a bullet journal.
When you are crazy busy, you may lack the time to create all those elaborate and fancy pages you see on Instagram and YouTube. But that’s okay. You can still have a useful and fully functioning bullet journal without all those artistic masterpieces. But flair or no flair, these actionable tips will show you how to bullet journal when you have no free time. And your journal will keep you focused on the goals, tasks and appointments that will lead your to your success.
How to Bullet Journal When You Have No Time
Start Slow and Be a Minimalist
The trick to bullet journaling when you have no free time is to make it as simple as possible. Don’t worry about all the fancy bullet journals you see around. Work with your situation and your unique needs in mind. You are the one who will use the journal, so make it simple for you to create and use.
Your bullet journal will fully aid you in your planning and productivity even if you don’t add:
- Elaborate Hand-Lettering
Keep focused on the function of your bullet journal and don’t worry about the artwork or embellishments.
Copy Simple Layouts
Instead of spending hours coming up with your own bullet journal page layouts, use online templates and adapt them to your needs. Look for simple, functional layouts. The easier the template is, the better for you the busy person. Avoid complicated layouts that will just waste your time. Make it simple, clean, clear and functional for your needs and your available time.
You can find printable layouts that you simply insert into your bullet journal. You can glue them onto pages of a bound journal or use them in a binder style or disc bound journal. In just minutes you can print out an entire month’s layouts and be ready to plan and accomplish everything you need to.
You Don’t Need a Layout for Every page
A quick search on Pinterest will show you elaborate, creative layouts for every single situation you can imagine. It’s fun to window shop and admire all that creativity, but it can be absolutely tiresome coming up with a layout for every single page in your journal. Where would you even find the time to do all that anyway? Just create layouts for the pages that are important to you and flow with the rest.
For instance, you might create layouts for the weekly, monthly or daily spreads that you choose to use, and not worry about creating other spreads. You can simply and quickly write a title on a page and then add the information you need to that page. Yes, without a preplanned layout.
Just dive in and do your thing. This does not at all imply that you will be disorganized. This is your bullet journal. Make it work for you and for your schedule and available time (or lack of).
Make It Work for You
If you are not sure whether you need a daily spread, you probably do not need it. Keep things simple and and working for you and your needs. Don’t worry about duplicating spreads that other bullet journalers use. You’ll save a lot of time by only using what you need.
For example, you may not feel the need to track the books you’ve read or the places you plan to travel to. Or you may aspire to creating those spread when you have more time.
Get the Right Gear
I’m definitely not suggesting that you hit the shop to buy expensive supplies, but having the right kind of gear will make your bullet journaling productive, fun and rewarding. Many supplies are designed to make your bullet journal work better for you.
- A quality journal will hold up better through extensive use
- Pens that don’t bleed through the pages will make your journal easier to read and use
- Sticky notes are a quick way to move key information from page to page so that you don’t have to keep rewriting
- Washi tape can be a quick way to create a grid on your layout
- A highligher can quickly feature key information
To use a bullet journal, all you really need is a notebook and a pen. Any additional items are optional.
Remember that it’s when life is crazy-hectic that you really need a bullet journal. Knowing how to bullet journal when you have no time will help keep you focused and productive. And if you would like to try a preprinted planner that has the best of bullet journal features, be sure to check out my favorite bullet journal style planner.
More bullet journal tips and ideas:
- Bullet Journal – What You Need to Know
- Bullet Journal – How to Make It Work for You
- Pink Bullet Journal Supplies
- Bullet Journal – How to Make a Cheap Journal Work
- Benefits of Using a Bullet Journal
- Bullet Journal Ideas – Summer Theme Supplies
- Bullet Journal Essentials for the Beginner
- Bullet Journal – Is It for Me?
- How to Start a Bullet Journal – 3 Types
- Start Bullet Journaling for $1
- Bullet Journal – What Is It?
- Bullet Journal Ideas for the Minimalist
For more simple and powerful productivity tips, hacks and printables, see the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.