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Perspective for life
The Perspectives Journal is highly inspired by the ever-popular Bullet Journal®. The Perspectives Journal takes the methodology into the digital world, unlocking new ways to organize, while embracing the thoughtfulness and intentionality of a traditional journal.
Notion is the best digital tool for organization. But users can easily get overwhelmed with dashboards, databases, and sub-pages just trying to find a simple note.
The Perspectives Journal brings your life together into one digital notebook to provide clarity without the stress of having to build and manage a complex digital workspace. It works seamlessly together with the rest of your system and has the flexibility to make it truly your own for years to come. Gain perspective, live with intention.
like nothing else
You’ve seen a million videos on the internet showing how to use Notion as a digital BuJo. But the Perspectives Journal truly stands above them because of its unique approach to building in Notion called the Perspectives Method. Pioneered by one of the world’s leading Notion experts – a Notion Certified Consultant – the Perspectives method is a proven superior framework for building in Notion. It works perfectly for this Perspectives Journal which is why this is the best way to journal in Notion, in the world.
life one day at a time
The daily page is the bread and butter of the Perspectives Journal. No need to jump around dashboards, find a quick capture button, or fill out database properties to make sure things show up in the right spot. One page. It’s that simple. Take life one day at a time and trust the system. You’ll not only be better organized, you’ll feel better organized. That confidence is often all it takes to tackle your work because you already feel like its getting tackled.
Tactical to Strategic
As you give each day its due, the Perspectives Journal supports rolling up to higher vantage points. Every week, take a step back with Weekly Spreads, and view your life, projects, goals, experiences, knowledge, relationships and anything else you journal. Make small changes on a weekly basis that you can’t necessarily see when you’re in the weeds of the day-to-day. Take another step back at the monthly level with Monthly Spreads and keep your eyes on the horizon of life and stay aligned with where you want to be heading. Once more, plan for what’s over the horizon with the Future Log and aspire toward your goals for the next six months. As the saying goes, it’s easy to overestimate what you can accomplish in a day and just as easy to underestimate what you can accomplish in a year.
While life is lived in terms of days, weeks, months and beyond, it’s also a road of tackling projects, collections of similar dates, tasks, notes, and more, that span across multiple timeframes. Projects are built right in to the Perspectives Journal to take them on with confidence and clarity.
track the important things
Track all your habits, metrics, activities, and more in the Perspectives Journal. See your trends and stay motivated to accomplish your goals on a daily basis. From reminders to drink water to daily disciple to train for a marathon, become your better self by tracking what matters so that you can accomplish what matters.
collect your best
It’s fun to collect – even information! Collect your favorite quotes, the movies you’ve watched, books you’ve read, Pokemon cards, or even your best ideas and biggest questions. With the Perspectives Journal, you can build your digital collections and see everything in one place.
Built to flex
The Perspectives Journal is not a hard-coded system and just like the original pen and paper version, it’s meant to be adapted. That means you can and should feel the freedom to make it your own. Everyone sees life a little differently. The Perspectives Journal comes equipped with everything you need to make sense of life, but leaves you with the ability to make sense of YOUR life. Expand the symbol options, create and modify the spreads, and tailor the journal. It’s your life. It’s your journal.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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An elegant solution using notion to organize your life and live with intention.
About The Bullet Journal® Method
The Bullet Journal® Method, created by Ryder Carrol, is a simple yet revolutionary approach to journaling and organizing the chaos of life with a pen and paper. Most people want to be organized and their first move is to reach for pen and paper. It’s almost in our nature to start there! But the problem is, they don’t have a framework and don’t know exactly how to make sense of all of the things in their head. It’s helpful to unload and write, but they end up with a notebook they poured a lot of information into, but don’t know how to go back and find it.
Enter the Bullet Journal® method, and it’s called a method for a reason. Affectionately compressed to “BuJo” by the internet, it provides a framework for inputting all these thoughts so that they better support your life and productivity. With just a little bit of structure to your thoughts, you’re able to get clarity at the moment of input AND when you’re looking back to reference what you previously wrote. This is possible by setting up a few key structural components to utilize in the journal.
The Key Components of a Bullet journal®
The log is the basic building block of the approach. You can throw out basically all of the other pieces but as long as you have some version of the log, you’re Bullet Journaling. The log is a single line of text prefixed with its bullet type which is also prefixed by a signifier if necessary. So three columns is all it takes! It’s as simple as this:
Every time something comes to mind, you start a new line in the log and give it the bullet that describes what it actually is. More on bullets below and signifiers below.
The original Bullet Journal® has three types of bullets.
Bullets are used to quickly determine what TYPE of thought it is that you wrote down in the log. Tasks are notated by a single dot, notes by a dash, and events by an open circle. Already, you have the basic system to replace your calendar, notebook, and task manager! These symbols help to classify your thoughts and then quickly come back to them and know what to do with them. If your life requires more nuance to make sense of, you can easily create new symbols to accommodate. Popular examples are differentiating between events and appointments, marking appointments with something like a triangle. Or some people like to notate specific kinds of information like addresses, phone numbers, expenses and so on. You don’t have to use any of those but just know that you can expand as much as you need. All that matters is you now have the framework! You’ll keep track of any notations you decide to use in your Key page, more on that below.
Spreads / Pages
The original Bullet Journal® has 6-7 different page types which are called “spreads” because they usually involve two pages that are open side by side. Many times, the spread makes use of both pages and it also makes it easier to find what you’re looking for when consulting your index. The spreads included in the original version are:
- Daily Rapid Logs
- Weekly and/or Monthly
- Future Log
The index traditionally goes in the front of your paper journal and you reserve 4-6 pages (2-3 spreads) ahead of time. As you turn pages and start new spreads, you number the pages and then append the spread to your index so that you can always know where to find what you’re looking for. Just turn to your index and find the page! This ritual becomes unnecessary in the Perspectives Journal because the pages already live in a chronological list so you end up with an Index automatically!
The key is traditionally where you keep track of all of the symbols/bullets you are using in your system. While it can be as simple as the three basic symbols and a few signifiers, you may want to expand your system to include others. This is where to keep a legend of those symbols, just in case you need a reminder!
Daily logs, also known as rapid logging, is the bread and butter of the method. In it’s most basic form, you write today’s date, and then you put any bullets that come to mind below that date throughout the day. When tomorrow comes around, you continue right below the previous daily log, no need to take or reserve a whole page at a time. In fact, it’s recommended NOT to reserve pages ahead of time. It only builds structure where it’s not needed yet and you should take each day as it comes. Embrace the simplicity!
There’s a reason these are included together. For years, the original method did not include the idea of a weekly spread. There was only a monthly spread. But recently, the creator of the Bullet Journal® officially introduced it as an official option, especially after people had been using it on their own for a long time. They both technically serve the same function, it’s the page where you schedule things ahead of time. There is room to use both but in this explanation, I’ll assume you’re choosing one over the other and you should be able to know why and when to use either one (or both!)
Using the monthly spread, at the beginning of each month, you turn to the next available empty spread and you title it with the month. For example, on January 1, I create my January monthly spread. You’re welcome to create it the day before if you need to but be mindful not to “reserve” pages ahead of time. You don’t want to create your May spread and still need to create the last daily logs of April. Keep it in chronological order and as needed.
Traditionally, the left is reserved for a calendar of the month where you write down important dates for the month, while the right is a pool of tasks to be completed that month. So each day in your DAILY log, you really only want to write tasks in it that you plan to complete that day. For any tasks that you want/need to get done in the near future, but not today, you write those in your monthly spread. Now you should start to see how the system works together. It’s ok to write a task in your daily log as it comes up though, don’t sweat it. You’ll take care of that once a day when you migrate, which you’ll learn about below.
Weekly functions the same way as monthly, but rather than dealing with a whole month, you do it on a weekly basis. This can be useful when you have a lot of things to keep track of and may not fit in a monthly spread. Or maybe you just feel better about doing this cycle weekly rather than monthly. The tradeoff to consider is that if you choose weekly, you aren’t seeing as far into the future – your horizon shrinks. There is one more layer to see at a “higher elevation” at the Future log level but this is often TOO broad as it encompasses six months and, at least on paper, has limited space. It’s also too large of a gap between the tactical efforts of the daily log. This is why if you think you need a weekly cycle, it’s a good idea to consider using both weekly and monthly. It only adds one more layer but we also want to keep things as simple as possible and only add complexity as necessary.
The Future Log is for long term and large ideas, traditionally up to 6 months in advance. This is for those things that are even bigger or further out than a month. It’s actually the first spread you make in a paper journal after the Index and Key and it’s expected that you will get through the entire paper journal before you need to make another Future Log. So when you start your next paper journal and migrate only the most important things, you start a new Future Log with the next six months, thus never running short on Future Log runway. It’s very simple, just a spread with 3 sections on each page that are titled with the next six months. Anything beyond a month and important, this is where it goes!
Collections are where you get to have some fun. Collection spreads are for similar items to be put into one place for whatever you need them for. The rest of the journal system is very chronological and productivity driven, it’s about keeping on top of things and getting them done. While collections can supplement that process, like a collection for a specific project, they can also serve as a reference like a movie tracker. You can make a collection for doodles and sketches. You can create a collection for goals to align the rest of your Bullet Journal activity to the most important and grand things of life. Collections are whatever you need them to be.
Collections are created by turning to the next available spread and titling it. The world is your oyster here and the format is up to you. Stick to a log format or spice it up. Collections are also the one exception where you can reserve 1 or 2 extra blank spreads if you think you’ll use them within a short time. But don’t worry if you run out of pages, either with your collection or any other spread, because the concept of threading will save the day.
- Threading (not necessary in a digital solution
This is the second most important concept and only because it relies on the first most important concept. While doing all of your logs is central to the method, the million dollar question is, what happens to all of the things on your spreads when you create the next one? Migration is the process of…processing each log and doing something with each item. In the original method, there are three things you can do to each item, usually just the tasks. You can:
- complete the item
- delete the item
- defer/migrate the item
Each of these has its own signifier to show how you processed it. To complete the item, you draw an X directly over the dot bullet, the one that represents that the item is a task. To delete the item, deciding that you’re no longer going to do it, you cross the whole line out. To migrate it, you draw a “>” or “<” on top of the bullet. Migration is how you move the item from one spread to another. Once you are done with the day and tomorrow comes around, you can’t stay on yesterday (life be like that). So if you still need to do the task, you migrate it to the next daily page. OR if you know you still need to get it done in the near future but not today, you migrate it to your weekly/monthly spread.
When you draw your migration arrow, you simply draw it in the direction that the task is going in the actual notebook. If it’s going to the next daily log, it will be a “>” arrow. Your weekly/monthly spread will always be physically behind the current page and so if you are migrating the item there, you’ll draw a “<“. So every “>” you see means you’re continuing to actively keep it on your radar and planning to tackle it. Every “<” means that was the point where you decided to set it to the side for a little bit but still plan to do it soon.
In a paper notebook, you’re bound by very real physical constraints (the pages) and the permanency of what you write. While most spreads are self-contained and don’t require expansion, collections can definitely expand beyond the boundaries that they were originally created in. But since you’ve almost certainly created more spreads after the collection, the only way to expand is to continue the collection at the next available spread, leaving pages between the two. And this is actually totally fine! You just need a quick way to know how to turn the page between the two. That’s where threading comes into play. To thread, you simply draw an arrow in the bottom corner of the page and the page number where the collection continues, effectively creating an invisible “thread” between the parts.
For example, you start a movie tracking collection on pages 10 and 11. Time goes on and you fill it up and want to continue the collection. The next available spread is pages 34 and 35. So on the bottom right of page 11, you draw an arrow facing right and the number 34. On page the bottom left of page 34, you draw an arrow facing left with the number 11. Now you know how to find the next page without consulting the Index! Speaking of the index, traditionally, when you thread a collection, you don’t add a new line to the Index but you append the additional page numbers to the existing entry. So your movie collection in the index would look like “10-11; 34-35 – Movies.” So it’s important to leave a little space between the numbers and the entry title.
This becomes obsolete in the Perspectives Journal and threading isn’t even necessary since collections aren’t bound by physical constraints. However, the concept of threading can still be used if you like as a quick navigation from page to page without using the main page navigation.
It should already be understood that there’s a regular rhythm to the Bullet Journal® but it’s important to call it out and emphasize its role and importance. Every type of spread (besides collections) has a corresponding “cycle” to it. Daily logging has a daily cycle, weekly spreads have a weekly cycle, monthly has monthly, and the future log as a 6 month cycle. The paper bullet journal as a whole is even its own cycle. The point is that there’s a process cycle for each of these and it’s usually as simple as creating the next spread and migration. So long as you do each cycle, you can be fully confident that nothing has slipped through the cracks. Every day, all you need to do is create your new daily log and process the previous day. That’s what I would call a cycle. If you’re using weekly spreads as part of your system, then at the beginning of every week you go through a cycle of creating a new weekly page and processing the previous week. You get the idea!
Signifiers are additional symbols added to the left of the bullet to draw special attention to it. Common signifiers are stars (asterisks) for priority tasks and exclamation marks for an idea. This digital version includes “!”, “?”, and “!?” for Important, Question, and Important Question. Feel free to expand this as needed but be sure to add it to your key!
Flexibility built in
While the methodology starts you out with a the basics, the beauty of the framework is that you can customize it as much as you need. The only important thing to keep in tact is the framework. That means you can add more bullet types and signifiers. You can change the way you setup your spreads. You can choose weekly/monthly cycles or even do a Quarter cycle. Shoot, you can do a 17 day cycle if you want. The reason why this approach is so compelling is because it leaves room to mold to your life, unlike many other journals that are preloaded with structure and prompts. It takes a blank journal and give you a little bit of generalized structure to give you everything you need to organize your life.
Think of Notion in the same way. So many people get overwhelmed by the blank page. There are so many options and ways to build your workspace, it’s hard to know how to truly make the best use of it. As a Notion Certified Consultant, the most common thing we hear from people looking for help is that they know it has the ability to be much more powerful, they’re just not sure how. That’s where the Perspectives Method comes in and works perfectly for the Perspectives Journal. It’s a little bit of framework with all the opportunity for flexibility that you need. Notion is the perfect digital tool, Perspectives is the perfect framework for Notion, and the Perspectives Journal is the perfect digital version of a Bullet Journal to get organized.
Why a digital version is better
The Bullet Journal® is an innovative and versatile way to make the most of pen and paper for the purpose of organization. As long as pen and paper have a place in the human experience, the Bullet Journal® will have a place in our world. We’re discovering how the digital frontier is changing our human experience. It’s important not to conflate the ideas with the medium. The Bullet Journal® has historically used pen and paper as the medium. But the method transcends the medium. We do well to remember and use ideas like that and see them evolve to new levels with a different and even better medium. Used correctly, a digital version of the journal carries over virtually all of the benefits, both explicit and implicit, and minimizes or eliminates all of the negatives. There are some key fundamentals to the journal that make it well suited to thrive in a digital environment.
The Bullet Journal® has a lot of the same characteristics as a database. You have your entry information, it’s type, signifier tags, and every entry is categorized by these same properties. This means it translates to a digital version exceptionally well. And because we’re using a software that excels at intuitive database interaction like Notion, we’re unlocking a lot of things by going digital. First of all and most obvious is that we can move our entries around, even filtering, grouping, and sorting them. With paper and pen, once you write it down, there’s no moving things around. So you end up with a log that goes from task to note, to event, back to task, then to more notes, then another event and so on. You get the point. It’s really helpful to be able to write them down as soon as you think of them without having to file them first. But with a digital version, we’re not bound by those constraints.
The power of Constraint
Infinite flexibility is appealing. Whether it’s a paper journal or Notion, the page is your canvas and you can do anything with it. And that’s nice for one-off needs because sometimes you do just need a blank page. But when you start to try and consistently organize life and be productive, things get lost fast. Without a structure in mind, it’s the same as throwing all of your belongings in the garage. A few things? Fine. Everything? You need some shelves, a peg board, tool boxes, storage containers and an organization system. Constraint sounds anti-freedom, but it’s actually in this constraint that we’re able to free ourselves of the stress of infinite flexibility and live life better.