Some of my projects are tracked completely digitally. But sometimes, I gotta go analog. That’s why I’m a big fan of using a bullet journal for projects. And if you need to see all the details all in one place, you’re going to be a fan too.
Many people keep a bullet journal personal. They use it to track daily to do lists and various parts of life. I have definitely done that before. I’ve talked about the evolution of bullet journal pages and even shared some bullet journal ideas on this blog.
Heck, remember when I was all about this bullet journal traveler’s notebook setup?
But there are some reasons you may want to consider using a bullet journal for business. A bullet journal for professionals can be a great way to keep your to do list on track, as well as a way to help you stay focused.
In the past, I’ve tried a bullet journal project management method or two.
I use a lot of digital tools to keep my projects organized, but when it comes to seeing the big picture and breaking down the project into manageable tasks, I gotta go with paper. That’s why I’m talking about how you can create a bullet journal for projects today.
Bullet Journal for Projects Spreads
Hit up Pinterest if you’re in the market for some bullet journal project management templates. There are tons on display. But if you’re interested in what a bullet journal for projects might entail, check out this list of potential spreads.
001: A Timeline
If your project has a deadline, or if you’d like it to have a deadline, you’ll need to think about how long it will take you to complete the project and what will need to be done.
Creating a spread that lays out project milestones to help you hit the ultimate deadline can be a great way to stay on track. This can take the form of calendars with dates marked for each milestone. It can also look like a Gantt chart if you’re feeling spicy.
Think about the best way to represent your timeline. Depending on the scope of the project and how long you have to complete it, you may need more than a couple of pages. But no matter how many pages it takes, make sure you use a spread that makes sense to you.
002: Task Breakdown
Once you know the project you’re going to complete, you have to break that project down into tasks. And having those tasks listed out in a spread can be a great way to see everything that needs to be done.
Now, that may be very daunting for some, so don’t do this spread if it messes with your particular brain chemicals.
But if you choose to create a task breakdown, you can use it to shape your monthly and weekly to do lists, or you can simply use it as a big to do list on it’s own. If it makes sense for you to mark those tasks off on the main task list, why not?
003: The Action Plan
Once you have a task breakdown, you may need an action plan. This is the plan for how you will complete all the tasks for the project.
I recommend creating an action plan for something with many moving parts. For example, let’s say you’re writing a book series. Not only do you have to write, edit, and format the books, but you also have to get book covers and you’ll need to create a marketing plan.
So having an action plan can help you see where some of your timelines might overlap and where you need to focus your energy at certain times.
004: Meeting/Progress Downloads
If you have multiple people working on the project, you’re definitely going to have some meetings. And keeping track of all the information you get from the meetings in the same place you keep the project itself is great for having everything all in one place.
Now, you may not necessarily have any meetings, especially if this is a solo project. But you will definitely have moments where you need to take stock of the project.
So, after you hit a milestone, take some time and do a progress download. List what went well and what didn’t, and make a plan for how you’ll approach similar obstacles in the future.
005: Weekly/Monthly To Do Lists
If your project is particularly girthy, your task list will need to be broken down into months or weeks so you know what you’re tackling as you move forward. These to do lists can be made as you approach the week or month in question, and all you really need to do is migrate some tasks from the main task list to the week/month to do list pages.
If you’re familiar with bullet journaling at all, you’ve definitely seen these spreads. These types of to do lists are generally something that most bullet journalers who share on YouTube or Instagram. Don’t get caught up in making yours like anyone else’s though. Do what works for you.
006: After Project Breakdowns
When the project is done, it’s time to see how it all went. Were there things that you would do differently next time? If so, what?
Create a place to track wins and setbacks. This will help you know what you need to change next time, and can be synthesized in your after project breakdown spread.
This is a really good spread to use if you feel like you captured lightning in a bottle and you aren’t sure why everything went really well. Having this information can help you see what you did right and what factors were working in your favor.
Do You Use Bullet Journals For Project Management?
Are you a digital-only project manager? Have you ever created a bullet journal for a project? What spreads do you need to keep your project on track?