Bullet Journal In Evernote

  

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Save time and effort with easy-to-install note templates to fit every need. They're fully customizable and endlessly reusable. Better notes are just a click away. Evernote is available on the Web, iOS, and Android. If you prefer Microsoft apps, OneNote is a great alternative to Evernote with many of the same features. Love the process of actually writing and drawing? GoodNotes is one of the most popular bullet journal apps that takes a more traditional approach. Use a stylus to actually write. Mar 11, 2017 - Explore Barbara Branch's board 'Bullet Journal & Evernote' on Pinterest. See more ideas about journal, bullet journal, bullet journal inspiration.

I am far from the world’s most organized person. Maybe you can relate. I think I tend to over-complicate my organizational methods, and then I give up when things begin to descend into chaos again. For my everyday tasks, however, I have found a really simple and flexible way to get organized with a OneNote Bullet Journal.

My Take on the Bullet Journal Craze

Evernote has a free plan, which is more than enough for using the program as a Bullet Journal. If you upload a lot of things to Evernote, or want to email info to Evernote, you probably will want to upgrade to a paid membership. If you use Chrome or Firefox, be sure.

A couple years ago a friend posted about the bullet journal on Facebook, and I fell in love with the idea. Fortunately for me, the link she shared was for a super-simplified version of the “bujo.” Because here’s the thing. I like to think I’m creative and have my own sense of artistry… but when it comes to my everyday life, I highly prefer function over form.

Related: What Happened When I Deleted the Facebook App

Give me something that helps me get organized and get my work done, but being pretty is just a bonus and not a necessity. So those creative bullet journal spreads you see on Pinterest–you’re not going to find them here.

If you do make gorgeous bullet journal pages–that’s awesome. And I may be just a little bit jealous of your artistic ability. But I’m learning to own my own strengths.

That is the beauty of the bullet journal. It’s allowed to be whatever you want it to be. I love how The Lazy Genius Collective describes it as a “potato.” The same way a boring potato can become a French fry, a bullet journal can be exactly what you need, in a way that no other pre-made planner can. (If you need a quick crash course in bullet journaling, that post from The Lazy Genius Collective is fantastic and is what helped me get started.)

My bullet journal is pretty straightforward. Mostly I track todos and upcoming events. I also use it to jot down my business ideas or take random notes. Actually, it’s kind of a mess sometimes, but it works for me.

It’s one of the primary ways I keep myself on track with my intentional living goals.

Why OneNote?

Now here’s the deal. The bullet journal as it was originally intended is supposed to be written, not digital. There’s a lot of merit to that approach, and I’ve kept it that way until just recently.

But as I started developing my blog and the topics I wanted to cover, I discovered that it was so easy to get organized in OneNote and get my ideas out FAST.

OneNote is like the combination of the best features of analog notebooks and digital solutions. You can easily divide things up into sections and write on a OneNote page as if it were a physical notebook page, but the difference is that anything goes. Text, audio, video, handwriting, images, spreadsheets. If you can think of it, you can probably put it in OneNote.

As a side note, the handwriting feature makes it easy to get the feel of an analog notebook with the benefits of a digital solution. OneNote will recognize your handwriting so you get searching, editability, and easier organization.

Flexible formatting

You can also write wherever you want to on the page. It’s not like a word processor where everything is pretty precisely formatted and it can be a pain to move things around. With OneNote, you just start writing wherever you want the content, just like a real notebook.

Easy editing

Unlike an analog notebook, it’s easy to edit what you’ve written down. You can move the content around on the page, delete it, edit the formatting. Whatever you need. Then, once it’s in OneNote, you can put it into online storage (Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, whatever) and sync it to any of your other devices.

By the way, using a cloud-based solution is one easy way to free up space on your phone if its storage is full.

Cross platform

No matter what platform you’re on, there’s a OneNote app for it. I love that I can access my notes and ideas from my iPhone (and from my Android phone before that), my Windows laptop, my iPad, or a web browser. If you want to get organized in a truly portable way, OneNote is an excellent solution.

How To Set Up A Bullet Journal

Related: What You Need to Know to Switch from Android to iPhone

Password protection

Another cool feature: the ability to password protect sections that you want to be absolutely sure other people don’t get their hands on. Working on the Christmas gifts list and want to keep nosy family members out? Set a password! (While you’re at it, make sure it’s a secure password and save it someplace you won’t lose it.)

Page history

Easily view and revert to old versions of your page. Made a big mistake deleting some info and need to get it back? No problem!

Audio and video recording and search

You can record audio and video, take notes during the recording, and use the search function to jump to a specific place in a recording. How cool is that? Make a quick voice note to yourself and then search for it again later if you don’t remember where you saved it!

Embedded files

I’ve used this one a lot. I’ve gotten a lovely collection of meal plans from The Six O’Clock Scramble. To get my recipes organized, I imported the PDFs into a Recipes notebook in OneNote. Now I can quickly search them for recipes I want to make again. And I can easily add recipe notes for modifications I make!

Another way I’ve used OneNote with recipes is to search for a specific ingredient. If you participate in a CSA or a weekly produce box like Hungry Harvest (a neat service that rescues “ugly” or excess produce–use my affiliate link for $5 off your first box), sometimes you might not be sure how to use a particular vegetable. OneNote’s ability to search PDF files is amazing for finding an ingredient in a recipe!

100% free

Evernote Bullet Journal Template

Maybe the best part about OneNote is that it’s 100% free for all of its features and comes pre-installed with Windows 10. (But remember that you don’t have to have Windows to use it. Microsoft has created apps for Android, iOS, Mac, and the web.)

Getting Started with OneNote

If you subscribe to Office 365, OneNote is included. I highly recommend Office 365–you get all the Office products plus 1TB of online storage with OneDrive.

Otherwise, the OneNote download page is your one-stop-shop for getting OneNote. This page includes download links for all the available platforms. My examples below will be with the Windows Store app.

If you don’t use Office 365 with OneDrive storage, I definitely suggest storing your OneNote notebooks in some other form of online storage (like Dropbox, for example). If you store the notebooks locally on your computer, you won’t be able to access them from your phone or other devices.

OneNote’s Not-So-Secret Organization Weapon: Notebooks

I don’t know about you, but I have loads of paper notebooks lying around the house (as well as random scraps of paper and sticky notes) with all my ideas, to-do lists, grocery lists, miscellaneous writing projects, and things I want to keep track of. It’s a bit overwhelming, and it’s just messy.

Moving to my OneNote system has helped me get so much more organized. I do still take random one-off notes on paper, so I’m still working on the paper-clutter dragon. But I’m learning to jot it down in OneNote instead. I always have a device nearby, whether it’s my phone, laptop, or iPad, so there’s really not excuse not to. And being able to search later for what I’ve written is a whole lot easier when it’s in a digital form!

I have OneNote notebooks for my “Bullet Journal” (calendar and to-dos), for my blog, my natural wellness business, favorite recipes, a novel my husband and I are working on together, our “yearly” family meetings (which haven’t happened regularly since we had kids. Oops!), Bible study notes, and a catch-all place for random notes.

Now that I’m writing this all down, I’m thinking it would also be useful to have a notebook for taking notes when I’m reading business books or watching courses online, and one for a gratitude journal. That flexibility is the beauty of OneNote. You can add as many notebooks as you need to–or delete them if you find they aren’t useful after all. It’s a wonderful way to get organized.

Within notebooks, you can break the organization down further with sections, pages, and subpages. For example, in my blog notebook, I have sections for blog topics, product ideas, and so on. Within the topics section, I have pages for each category of topics I want to cover–general tech topics, security, productivity… If I wanted to further subdivide those topic categories, I could create subpages with more specific categories of, say, general tech topics.

How I Use OneNote as a Bullet Journal

I’m using the term “bullet journal” really loosely here, because I’ve basically taken the concepts and then adapted them in a way that works for me. And that’s what I’d love to see you do, too. Modify it so it works for you to get organized, test and make changes as needed, and run with it.

Index

One difference you’ll notice right off the bat between my OneNote bullet journal and the analog version is that I have no index page. Why? Because your list of sections and pages functions as your index page. There’s no need for an extra page that does what OneNote already does for you.

By the way, The Idea Pump disagrees and thinks you should still have an index page so you can create links between pages. You do whatever works for you!

Future Log

Like in an analog bullet journal, the first section in my OneNote journal is the future log. This is where you record upcoming events that you don’t have a space for yet in your journal.

I like to separate upcoming events by month so that I can quickly see what’s happening in a given month. But you don’t have to. You could just list upcoming events as you schedule them and mark them off as you migrate them to your calendar. I’ve done it both ways.

Compare The Lazy Genius Collective’s future log to mine to see the different approaches in action:

After the future log, I personally have a section for birthday and anniversaries. It’s sort of a subset of the future log. So now that I’m thinking of it, I could instead have a birthdays and anniversaries page in the future log section. I keep it as a separate page from my regular future log so that I don’t have to migrate them when we start a new year. They’re just always in the same place.

How to create a bullet journal in evernote

Monthly Log

Then we get to the meat of the bullet journal: the logs. In my rendition of the journal, I’ve separated them up by year and then by month But, of course, you can do whatever you want to with it. It’s your journal!

I have a section for each year’s logs. Within that section, I have a page for each month’s logs. On the month’s page, I have a basic calendar–just a table with 3 columns: day of week, day of month, and the details of what’s happening that day. I also have a checklist with that month’s tasks.

Daily Log

For my daily logs I’m using a subpage under the monthly log. (To create a subpage, you create a page first and then right-click and select “Make Subpage” from the menu that pops up.) Some people use a new page for each day’s logs. For me that’s excessive, but maybe it’s what works for you.

I have a subpage under the month for my daily log, and then, because I needed a quickly accessible place to put it, I have a subpage for my grocery shopping list. I may change that in the future, but for now it’s what helps me get organized with our food needs.

In terms of the full potential of the daily log, I’m not using it as well as I could. So I’m going to show you a little bit of what mine is and a little bit of what it could be.

I use mine primarily as a to-do list, but you can think of the daily log as your journal. You can write down things you want to remember (like funny things your kid said or how you felt on a certain day) amidst the tasks you need to get done.

Here’s how mine looks. In January I added in a table with the weekly menu alongside the daily log to have a quick and easily accessible location for it.

Tags and signifiers

OneNote has a neat feature called tags that you can use to mark pieces of information. I’m using them as the signifiers (a key element of getting organized with the bullet journal) in my OneNote bullet journal.

The checkbox tag is for tasks–I check them off as I complete them. And then I created a custom tag for migrating my tasks. That’s the arrow you see next to a couple of the tasks. When I don’t complete a task on a particular day, I can just migrate it to the next day.

I really like the tracking system from this post on Lifewire. The various signifiers/tags make it really clear what kind of information you’re tracking.

In their example you’d have checkboxes for tasks, bullet for notes, stars for priority items, and so on. My advice: keep your signifiers simple and don’t overwhelm yourself. Getting organized is easiest when it’s not complicated!

Other Fancy Features

There are other things you can do with your bullet journal, like maintain collections (a list of books you want to read is a great start) or jot down your brainstorming ideas or whatever you need your journal to be to help you get organized.

A quick Google search will bring up more ideas, but my suggestion is to keep the journal as simple as possible so you’ll actually use it. This is by far the best method I’ve found to get organized and keep track of my life.

Want to see how other people have implemented the bullet journal with OneNote? (Everyone’s method is a little bit different.) Check out OneNoteworthyLife, Lifewire, Mary Plethora, and The Idea Pump.

Still looking for other ways to get organized? Check out this review of Trello, a popular organization tool.

Want to be more intentional about your relationship with technology?

The day my son asked me not to look at my phone while I was playing with him, I realized I needed a more intentional relationship with technology.

Using OneNote to keep track of everything in my life is one way I make sure I’m on track without getting sucked in. It helps me keep both my digital life and my physical life organized.

If you love OneNote and want to create a more organized, intentional digital life, you’ll want to check out my program, Untethered 101: Your Digital Decluttering System.

I’ll pull back on the curtain on exactly how I set up OneNote to declutter my digital life–and walk you through setting up a system that works for you too.

Related posts:

The moment I discovered Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal, I fell in love.

Elegant and inspiring, the Bujo simply integrates appointments, activities, ideas, and goals. It eases the crush of to-dos that never get done. The index organizes daily, monthly and long-term lists, sketches, collections of ideas – whatever information you want to memorialize – in one handy location.

I loved the system. But paper has never really worked for me. I struggled to find the right notebook and pens that wouldn’t smear or bleed. Bujo Pinterest boards distracted me, I clicked through literally hundreds of images each more elaborate than the last. I wasted reams of grid paper trying to find the perfect layout.

In the end, my Bujo typically sat unopened on my desk while I tapped away at my computer, using Evernote to organize novel and freelance ideas, clip articles from websites, record business-related information, organize images, presentations, recipes, and more.

I didn’t make the connection until someone in a minimalist Bullet Journal Facebook group posted an article from a website that is now under construction. I wish I could share the link and credit my inspiration; this is the best I can do.

In any case, here’s how I’ve spun those ideas into a system that I not only enjoy but use every day, a system that has made me more productive and offers endless inspiration.

Bullet Journal Evernote Moleskine

The Concept

I’m going to explain this backwards. I started with a single note – a combined Daily/Weekly Log. But my Evernote Bullet Journal lives in a “stack”, or a collection of notebooks that has evolved over time. (Learn more about notebooks and stacks here.) I keep my Daily, Monthly, and Future Logs and Habit Tracker in a notebook called *Bujo Daily (the asterisk moves the notebook to the top of the stack).

Bujo Archive, Bujo Collections, Bujo Ideas, and Bujo Templates complete my Bullet Journal stack. I use the “Top List” view so that I can see and easily access all the notes in my notebook while I’m working.

Here’s how the notes and notebooks break down:

Daily/Weekly Log

I used the Evernote table tool and onyxandindigo.com design to create this hybrid log. The two column table has 15 rows (I combine Saturday/Sunday). On my Mac, Evernote limits table creation to six rows, but it’s simple to add rows – just Control+click inside a cell.

My Daily note has a little more structure than a standard Bujo. That’s not because I’m a structured person, it’s because I’m lazy. Rapid logging in a traditional Bullet Journal requires using symbols, which takes some extra effort on a keyboard. My gratitude list numbers automatically, as do the check boxes in my schedule section. And it seemed easier to create a bulleted list of “Reflections” than to figure out how to create an eye (exploration), or type an exclamation point (inspiration) or asterisk (priority).

Like I said, lazy.

Index & Collections

The standard Bullet Journal Index page helps you find information in your notebook. You simply write down a topic – or Collection – and record the page numbers related to that topic. Even though Evernote doesn’t have numbered pages, it does have one spectacular feature you can use to create your Index and Collections: Copy Note Link.

The note link includes the note title (how awesome is that?), so it’s just a matter of copying and pasting.

Because Evernote has an endless number of pages, I felt an Index could become unwieldy, so instead, I set up a numbered Table of Contents. It’s included in my primary notes, it connects virtually every note in my Bujo, and it looks like this:

Using Evernote For Bullet Journaling

Monthly/Future Logs

Have I mentioned how much I love the Evernote table tool? My monthly log is an 8 column, 8 row numbered table. I use it to list birthdays, holidays, special events, important deadlines or appointments:

It took me a while to create a Future Log, and I’m still tinkering. I think of it as my “big picture” space to record major project deadlines and prepare for travel and other milestone events. Copy Note Link keeps this space connected to my project Collections:

Bullet Journal In Evernote

Evernote needs one more feature, in my humble opinion, to make it the perfect Bujo space: a way to link notebooks and stacks. You can create a note with the same title as its notebook and copy that link to your Index – the note opens inside the notebook or experiment with adding saved search links.

Templates

Ryder Carroll Bullet Journal Template

Evernote bullet journal template

Bullet Journal Evernote Template

When I started with Evernote, I copied and pasted entire the previous notes to start a new week or month. This involved a great deal of deleting and a little swearing. Then I stumbled across Uncovering Templates, the Hidden Gem of Evernote. Now I move the completed note to my archive notebook and copy a blank note to my Bujo Daily notebook:

So that’s how I Bujo, Evernote style. This is still a work in progress. I welcome questions and comments – leave a note here or find me on Facebook. I’d also love to know how you’re using Evernote as a Bullet Journal.