How To Bullet Journal Using A Trello Board

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If you haven’t heard, Bullet Journals are a fun addition to the productivity space. They first came to prominence by the hyper-organized note takers (bless y’all), but truthfully they’re probably most beneficial for the more scatterbrained among us.

Part organization system and part doodle pad, the Bullet Journal has become a staple for anyone juggling a myriad of tasks and projects (ahem...everyone). The bullet journal is designed to be a sophisticated, open format planner that helps its users with dates, checklists, and good old fashioned brain dumping. It's often detailed and full of doodles.

While the movement started as an “analog system for the digital age,” sharing of said notes and doodles with others has become a common need among bullet-ers.

Hence, a digital Trello bullet journal workflow for your consideration:

The Setup

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There are a ton of ways to structure the date breakdown, but for this one it’s going to be a Trello board for each month, and a list for each week. So in the spirit of avoiding digital clutter, each board will have no more than four lists.  

Name each list “Week of [date]” and then each card can house your notes and thoughts for that day. These can be basic notes to yourself, checklist items for the day, or, since it’s digital, you can also attach links you want to read later.

create_cards_bullet board2.gifPro tip: Instead of making an individual card for each day, copy and paste them as a list and Trello will ask if you want to create 7 cards.

Each card can represent a day of the week. You could also include a “Round Up” card for each week that includes a master list of things you absolutely need to do that week, regardless of the day. Add multiple checklists to the card to separate your Work and Home to dos. Add emoji to make it fun!

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 You can also link to other Trello cards in checklists for quick references.

If you’re more of a free form bullet-er you can just make a card in your “Week Of [X]” list every time you think of something, instead of making one for each day of the week. For this workflow it might be better if you add due dates to each card. That way you can also use the Calendar view to get a different perspective on when things need to get done.

Create a Trello team specifically for your Bullet Boards for easy access and reference:

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Add Ons

If you’ve already got a go-to note taking app, never fear. For example, if you use Evernote for your digital scribblings already, then you can do even cooler stuff with your Bullet Board.

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You can set up a Zapier zap such that every time you create a new card on your Bullet Board, a crisp, fresh Evernote note is attached to that card. This way, if you prefer Evernote for quick jotting down of ideas you can still do that. But when you want to surface it again it’s easier to find in Trello because it is housed within the context of a specific month, week, and day. The Evernote note lives amongst other items you attached to the card that were filling your brain that day.

For the Bullet doodlers, whose minds work in creatively visual ways, you could enable the Realtime board Power-Up for drawing and mind mapping. Realtime Board is very free form and allows you to draw diagrams and sketches and attach “sticky notes” and pictures. All this to prove that doodling is not, in fact, a lost art in the digital age.

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One last feature you might want on your board is good old labels. Color coded categories for all your life’s to dos are both visually appealing and able to be filtered. So if you only want to see your to-do’s related to your upcoming Hawaii Vacation, just filter for that label and focus on those tasks.

The Benefits

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So why go digital with a bullet journal? A few reasons:

  • Accessibility: Often people like notebooks for their ability to be carried anywhere and accessible with a simple pen and paper. While undoubtedly true, notebooks can be bulky if you’ve only got a pocket or a small bag. This way, your bullet journal is with you all the time on your phone! Plus, technology has improved such that digital tools like Trello and Evernote are both available offline. So even if you’re unable to connect to internet, you can still access your bullets, and even add new notes.
  • Collaboration: If you wanted to bring someone else in on your web of intricate thoughts, it’s simple to add them to a board or card. They can access it at their leisure on their own device. With an analog journal all examples of your genius ideas are locked away in obscurity, only to be published in a highly coveted museum gallery exhibit after your passing after spending many years holed up as an eccentric billionaire in your mansion-cum-menagerie.
  • Faster: It’s faster and easier to type. It just is. Also if you need to transcribe written notes to put somewhere else, it’s easier to copy and paste than type them up from written pages.
  • It can still be pretty! We promise. Between board backgrounds, labels, stickers, and card covers, there are tons of ways to spice up your Bullet Board. Heck, you can still doodle the old school way then take a picture on your phone right from the Trello card. This will automatically attach the picture to the card.

So there you have it doodlers, mind mappers, list makers and note takers: A fun new way to bring notes and ideas into the digital sphere with Bullet Boards! Here is the sample board used to demonstrate the workflow.

Copy it and make it your own!

Do you use Trello for Bullet Boards? Tell us about it.

Next: Not Your Grandma's Book Club: A Trello Tale

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