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Bullet Journal Note-Taking System Turns You Into An Efficiency Expert + Eric Barker on Notebooks

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The first thing you notice about the Bullet Journal notebook physical notebook. Carroll’s project can be adapted to any and all blank paper formats. It uses bullets and several other graphic markers, like circles and dots, to differentiate kinds of notes. You begin with the name of the month. From there, you just add variables, such as an index and checklists, until you have a comprehensive, highly customized and organized notebook of your own.

Carroll outlines the simple how-to in the video above, and emphasizes that the ease of his system lies in its familiarity. “We intentionally used standard conventions, like bullets, checklists, page numbers, etc., so you already know a fair amount before you even begin,” he tells Co.Design. “Then the user can can add and subtract features as they need to.”

Cool. Eric Barker says the right notebook helps us know ourselves.

And that leads to positive feedback loops.

How To Do It

Drucker calls it “Feedback Analysis” but I think that’s way too formal and intimidating a term.

From now on when you undertake projects, write down what you expect to happen, then later note the result.

Yes, as I’ve mentioned time and againnotebooks are powerful. They are a shield against poor memories, rationalization and outright lying to yourself.

Just as a great first step for networking is to trace back your relationships to the handful of “superconnectors” you know, looking at successful and unsuccessful projects will tell you what makes you achieve and fail.

Review the results and think about 3 things:

  • What your strengths are.
  • Under what conditions you perform well.
  • What your values are.
Knowing Yourself Helps Everything

That vague Oracle was right. Knowing yourself benefits your whole life.

And while Drucker’s method is only focused on career, you’d be smart to extend it to romantic relationships, happiness, friendships, etc.

  • Happiness — I’ve noted the things that make me happy over time. I’ll schedule time to do them more often.
  • Relationships – My good dates/great relationship moments all had these things in common so I’ll make those things deliberate from now on.
  • Friendships — All my close friends have these things in common. I’ll use that to know who to spend time with.

So what’s the next step? Get that notebook.

Read more:

First day back from vacation and I find an excellent link on PandaWhale. :) Note taking is particularly important for me when eliciting and recording requirements. I'm also interested in how it could help with some of my math and comp sci courses. I'll definitely be going through this carefully, especially the Bullet Journal link above, which looks like a particularly well designed website. 

There are people who say the Bullet Journal system really works for them:

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