My Digital Bullet Journal – OneNote

I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately when it come to planning and keeping up with it. I haven’t been reaching for my bullet journal and it had kind of found a permanent home at the bottom of my bag. I didn’t bring it with me and I didn’t look at it, which essentially made it worthless. So I started thinking, how can I keep myself organised if this isn’t working for me at the moment (because I will no doubt go back to it)? The answer I came to was my phone.

I’ve already been heavily relying on my iCal to remind me of events, holidays, anniversaries, and deadlines, so I knew I wanted to keep that. I also knew that I needed something more versatile than the Reminder app. Basically I wanted a bullet journal, but on my phone. And then I remembered that I’d read about a bullet journal in OneNote, and decided to give it a go.

The setup and things included is directly transferred from my physical bullet journal, with only a few tweaks to make it fit in this new packaging.

In OneNote I now have one notebook called Bullet Journal, and one called BuJo Archive. I’ll get on to the latter one at the end of this post. In the Bullet Journal notebook I have a Uni section, a Misc section, and one section for each month from March to December.

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Uni is the first section, and as you can see from the right sidebar, I have quite a few pages in there. This page you see above is my “Catch up to do list” or things I need to do before my exams. I’ve colour coded it according to the corresponding modules, and grouped ‘similar’ tasks together as sub-tasks. When I’m out and about and using my phone, I’ll usually just jot it down, completely unorganised, before going back when I’m home with my laptop and organising it.

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If any of you have seen pictures of my physical bullet journal, you’ve probably seen this page. This is my weekly schedule of what I want to get done each day in regards to schoolwork, and if I’ve done it for any given week. In my physical journal I’d strike through the week I’d done it, but here I’ve just bolded the ones that are done, because that’s easier. I also have a couple of little notices marked by exclamation points. If there was one page that I really wanted to include, it was this one.

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Next up are my months, and I’ll just show you an example from March. There’s not much in there yet, but this is how it looks. Social stuff is in purple (and weekends are shaded purple), meetings are in blue, and holidays or other school related things are green. The Easter Weekend is highlighted green instead of in green text since it’s a longer period and I wanted to block it all off.

By the side I also have a note of the Academic Week numbers and which one corresponds to which date, so that I can easily figure that out.

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One of the things that I was the worst at keeping up with in my bullet journal was my tracker. I also could never remember what I’d actually done or not, since I sat down with it at the end of the day. With this, I can easily mark something off right as I do it. I knew I wanted to make it a bit fun, so for my mark I chose this tiny little cloud with a face and I think it looks adorable. The shaded boxes indicate that that particular habit is something I only do on the marked days, so I don’t have to worry if it looks like I’m not doing it as often.

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Now this will be the meat of the bullet journal, as you could see from the sidebar on my March section. I have one page for each day for easy navigation, and this is the one for the day I set this up. I often start out with task boxes if I don’t have anything planned for the day, and just cross them off as I finish tasks.

Underneath I’ll add any little notes, stuff I thought about, what I was watching that day, if I ended up doing anything fun etc.

If I have something planned and written down in my calendar, I’ll often put it at the top of the page, just for a bright notice that I have something going on.

From the very top of the page, you can see that it says “ALL DONE!!!” and this is just a signifier that I finished all the tasks for that day. When I don’t have any pages open on my phone, it just shows the title of the page and the first few lines, so when a day is completed I like to put at the top wether I finished all my tasks or if I migrated any, just so that I can quickly see that. And if I do migrate any tasks and don’t migrate them to the next day, I’ll stick them on my person to do list, which lives in my Misc section.

As you can see from the top of this picture, the February section isn’t in my Bullet Journal notebook. That’s because as of today, February is in the past. When a month has finished I stick that section in a notebook called BuJo Archive, and label it with the month number and the year. That way I can still keep track of what was going on, but I don’t clog up my main bullet journal notebook. When other pages from my bullet journal become irrelevant or out of date, I’ll stick those also in the archive.

And that’s it really. I hadn’t planned on making this post, but I found myself wanting to tell something about this new advancement I’m making in my personal productivity. Also, when I went looking for posts on digital bullet journals there weren’t that many out there that I could find, so I figured I would help people out if they wanted to start one themselves.

If you have any questions or want pictures of anything else in particular, just leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

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16 thoughts on “My Digital Bullet Journal – OneNote

  1. Alexa says:

    Hi. I’m trying to set up my digital bullet journal as well and I’m wondering how you highlighted the weekends and such?

    Like

  2. keepsmeoutofmischief says:

    I’m really interested to see how people use electronic bullet journals. For me, the physical act of writing helps me to remember my tasks and organise my mind but this might be worth a try between myself and my teaching job share.

    Like

    • maryplethora says:

      I’m the same. I love the act of writing it down and everything, but it just got too much to keep up with and carry around. I needed to down size and make stuff more practical, but once I’m a bit more back on track it’s very likely I’ll return to my beloved pen and paper

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tanya E. Fowler says:

    Mary,
    This blog post found my at the best possible time, and I want to say a big THANK YOU! I have been doing the analog bullet journal for a few months. As much as I liked the way it was helping me stay organized, I felt it didn’t match me as a person. I am instructional technology leader in the education field, and it didn’t feel right to be using this analog system with a notebook. I had been looking at digital solutions for more than a week. I was about to start using Evernote (I have been using Evernote for years for other stuff) for bullet journaling, but I knew it wasn’t the right tool. And then, BAM, I see a link to your blog post on the Facebook Bullet Journal Junkies Group. I didn’t even know I had OneNote on my computer, and now it’s my best friend! Thanks for being a sharer! Maybe we should have a OneNote BuJo group on Facebook? lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christine says:

    This post is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I never thought about laying it out like you have! What about your other collections? I have ADHD and typically have notes EVERYWHERE. The Bullet Journal has really helped me with this. You only mention your Misc. section once. What else is in there?

    Liked by 1 person

    • maryplethora says:

      The main reason I didn’t mention it more is that there isn’t a whole lot in there. I have a life admin to do list, stuff I want to watch, a wishlish, a record of any money I spend, and a couple of recipes.

      All my other collections are in my University section. In there I have my uni to do list, my uni weekly plan, my weekly schedule of lectures/seminars, my revision plan, an assignment ‘spread’, a list of my second year modules, feedback from assignments, and semester dates for my university for the next few years.

      I’m so glad you found my post helpful, and hopefully this could help even more!

      Like

  5. Steve Simpson says:

    Nice Job on the One Note Bullet Journal…possible you could share a template of what you did or update me on how your created the calendars…weekly schedule and trackers

    Like

  6. Jennie says:

    I keep failing miserably at bullet journaling. I am such a perfectionist that if I make one little mistake, I have to start everything over again because I cannot stand looking at mistakes…especially things that are crossed out. I got really frustrated while trying to start my first week of June spread that I decided to see what people had done for digital bullet journals. I found your post and I found it very inspiring and a great jumping off point for me. Thank you so much for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Frannie says:

    I really enjoyed this. I read an article on BoJo on Sunday. Told myself I couldn’t use it on Monday. Ended up making one Thursday night. I think for me I will use it for my personal life mostly. I need and want to have a way to really process what is going on. My work life is hectic so I can’t use BoJo for that but now I think I might be able to. I love OneNote and have been using it for a few months (I switched from Evernote) because I wanted all my tasks, calendar, and notes in one ecosystem: Microsoft. This is a really great tutorial and I look forward to using it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sav2880 says:

    Question on your Weekly To-Do’s for stuff like Uni. Once the week is done, do you archive that page off and just make a new weekly page? Those pages definitely seem built around having more formidable plans for specific larger things, but I just want to know how those figure into the archiving.

    Like

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