One simple way to increase productivity is to start using icons in your bullet journal or planner. And, you don’t need any drawing skills.
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How long is your to-do list everyday?
For me it varies. But, today for instance, my list has about 16 tasks on it. A few are small, like, send a check to school for my daughter’s lunch account. While others, like writing this post and cleaning the bathroom are larger.
But, in the mix, I have prioritized what is most important in case I can’t get it all done. One easy way to do this is with doodle icons.
It’s no secret that visuals help us remember things better. There have been tons of studies confirming that the use of images and videos improve memory.
In fact, according to a study by 3M, the company behind Post-it Notes, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text.
However, there are a lot of people that think this isn’t possible for them because it’s assumed that you have to be artistic. But, unlike detailed drawings or even doodles, icons are very simple.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to increase your productivity just because you think you can’t draw. In this post I’ll show you just how quick and easy it is to use icons in your bullet journal.
What is an Icon?
An icon is a small pictorial symbol that represents something else. For instance, a small outline of an envelope could represent mail or bills due.
Icons were originally for computers. The small trash bin you see on your desktop is an icon. The music note in a circle is an icon for iTunes.
In simple terms, an icon is a small undetailed picture or graphic that can be easily recognized and can replace text.
Related: 44 Icons for Your Bullet Journal
How to Use Icons in Your Bullet Journal
Because icons can replace text and visuals can be processed faster than text, they are the ultimate simple solution to overcrowded to-do lists and prioritizing.
You can use icons in your bullet journal in a number of ways to increase productivity and memory.
In Task Lists
Probably one of the most efficient ways to use icons is to replace or reiterate a high priority task in your daily to-do list.
Again, the method you go about it is completely up to you.
One way to do it is to replace whatever your high priority task is with an icon. For example, if you have nine items on your to-do list but you know you need to do laundry, you could draw a small washing machine or a t-shirt instead of writing ‘do laundry’ on your list.
But, what if you aren’t creative? Easy! Let’s draw a washing machine icon.
First draw a simple vertical rectangle. Now draw a circle in the middle of the rectangle and put a horizontal wavy line inside the circle. Add some buttons along the top if you feel inclined. Now you have a small doodle (icon) that can easily be recognized as a washing machine.
Feel free to add some color to make it stand out more. But this is optional and will take a little extra time.
The other way to use icons in your to-do list is to reiterate the high priority task. In this case, you would still write out your task, and then somewhere on the right hand side, draw a small icon to really drive it home.
Either one of these options will work to increase your productivity. Seeing the visual representation when looking over your list will remind you that the task was important and will increase your chances of doing it.
Icon Habit Tracker
This is one of my favorite ways to use icons in my bullet journal. Because I prefer a vertical tracker, using an icon instead of text works wonderfully as it takes up less space than text.
Another reason you might do this is to maintain privacy of certain habits or events. For example, if you are tracking intimacy or your period in your habit tracker, having a simple icon to represent those items is more discreet.
Reflections & Goals
Another way to use icons in your bullet journal is to add them to reflection and goal pages.
When making your goals page, use icons to make your goals more memorable. The simple act of adding a visual to your goals may increase your drive to achieve them.
Icons are much simpler and quicker to draw than detailed doodles. So if you don’t feel creative or you prefer a more minimalist aesthetic, icons could be a great route for you.
The same applies to reflection pages. When we create reflection pages, we are working through pasts events, emotions, etc. and analyzing them to improve in the future.
The use of icons for specific events that you deem more important can help you find critical information.
Icons Stickers for Your Bullet Journal
If you prefer to use stickers in your bullet journal or planner, there are lots of options for icon stickers.
The benefits of using stickers include quick application, unique designs and colors, and foiled metallic designs.
You can snag this printable icon sticker pack from my shop. Each sheet contains 99 15mm icons and there are 4 sheets in the pack. You can choose between white stickers with black icons or black stickers with white icons.
There are a total of 44 different icons in this package. You can see the full view of each sheet in the shop listing.
With this pack, you can print them out as many times as you like for personal use. This way, you will never run out of stickers.
Do you use icons, doodles, stickers, highlighters, or some other method to signify importance in your bullet journal? Let me know what methods you use in the comments below.