I’ve written many times about apps that can make your law practice just a bit easier. But sometimes the best tools are the old-fashioned kind: pen and paper. Bullet journaling is a system for rapid logging to keep track of tasks, events, and notes. Bullet journaling has taken off, if the sheer number of Facebook groups dedicated to talking about bullet journals is any indication.
Not surprisingly, lawyers are getting in on the bullet journal action. After all, lawyers have a lot of tasks and events to keep track of, so it seems a natural fit. The basic idea is to note events (such as hearings or depositions) with an empty circle bullet and to note tasks (such as drafting a document or filing a brief) with an empty square. When the events or tasks are completed, simply fill in the bullet or square. Move any remaining tasks and events to the next day. You can also designate a page to collect ideas about practice development.
If you want to customize your bullet journal process, here are some hacks:
- Color the edges of certain pages to denote the location of different subjects.
- Incorporate David Allen’s Getting Things Done time management system.
- Use footers to summarize the theme of the page.
A bullet journal can be as simple or as ornate as you’d like. As long as it serves the basic function of helping you keep track of what you need to do and when, there’s no wrong way to create a bullet journal.