As we start 2017, a number of entrepreneurs out there are working off of the list of things they'd do or not do differently this year. From growing key metrics in the business, to focusing on the key things that matter each day. One of those things on my list is to get better organized, so that I can make continual improvement and innovation a priority vs getting too caught up in the day to day rush.

In getting ready to start the year, I explored a number of different methods and approaches. I landed on one in particular to test out in December so that I can fully jump in once the new year started.

The Approach

The "Bullet Journal" is an approach towards personal organization developed by Ryder Carroll as an open source approach towards tracking all the to-do's that hit someone each day. I say open source approach, as in there are a set of rules about how to implement the approach, but it is left open-ended and open to modification based on what works for the individual.

This was both freeing to me, as I didn't have to internalize a set of lifestyle methodologies or buy expensive books (Remember Franklin Covey Planners?) but instead start with four or five simple outlines I can put into my own notebook and adapt the method from there.

Why The Bullet Journal Works

It follows the KIS principle (Keep it Simple) flawlessly, and though they do sell their own pre-formatted notebooks, there's a whole community of people out there using this method on a number of different mediums. There are even articles focused on adapting this into Evernote, even though the approach is advertised as an Analog way to organize your life.

After using this for the last four weeks, I can say it's kept me honest and on track far better than other more complicated approaches and kits have. To maximize its usefulness though, you really need to commit to at least reviewing everything each day either in the morning or evening to stay on track with your goals and tasks.

Though it could easily be just another system based tool you have to carry around and remember to utilize, the simplicity of the approach means there's very little to commit to outside of keeping the to do list up to date.

Potential Pitfalls

If you're someone that has a hard time carving out 30 minutes of focus each day, this probably isn't the best tool to start with. The last thing any of us needs is one more "thing" we fail to do each day that we should. This won't fix that, though I've found it's motivated me to take that time out of my day to do it.

The key is consistency, and having the discipline to open it up and keep it up to date. Because it's analog, you do have to re-write things often, but that's part of the beauty of the system. It forces you to internalize things and spend the effort to move those tasks around manually as a way to assess their continued importance. That could be a big hindrance for you though, in which case something like Evernote could work.

Something Analog In Your Life

As an added benefit, I discovered there's something peaceful about working in a notebook and not doing everything on a screen. That alone is worth the investment!

To start, just head to the website and watch the video. From there, decide what notebook you want to use and begin the four simple steps to adopting the methodology. I'm using a Moleskine I had lying around to start, so Ididn't need to buy anything.

Try it out though, and see what you think. Leave comments below if it's something you've used in the past, or have insight on.

Good luck!