Matthew Gifford

Habit-building with your bullet journal

Since I started using a bullet journal five months ago, I’ve been experimenting with ways to use it to build habits. Initially, I tried recording my progress in the daily log by writing the first letter of each completed daily task (R for reading, W for writing, etc.) to the right of the date. This was fine if I wanted to see how I did on a particular day, but did very little to help me see how I was doing over time.

What I really needed was a place where I could build a scoreboard that could tell me how I was doing at a glance. That place is so obvious that I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t think of it right away: the calendar page.

Up until I did this, I was using the standard bullet journal calendar page format, which is a big waste of space. Because of this, adding a scoreboard was easy.

To the right and just above the calendar, I put the first letter of each habit I wanted to work on in a row (E for exercise, M for meditation, etc.). Then, as I complete the tasks each day, I put an X to the right of the day below the task heading.

Don’t judge.

It’s so simple that I wasn’t sure if it was even worth writing about. But the value it provides is very high compared to the amount of work it takes, so I decided it was worth sharing.

July 12, 2017

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