Ready for the holidays? Between hosting the in-laws and finding the ultimate gifts, it’s bound to be a doozy. Luckily, we have you covered with a foolproof plan to make it through the festivities like a productivity queen. Step one? Grab a notebook and get ready for bullet journaling to change your life. With the help of our friends at Office Depot and their limited-edition TUL® Brilliance Collection, we’ll get you started with our favorite tips and tools for staying organized during the busiest season of the year.

Scroll on to see how you can have your best holiday season yet.

1. Start by finding the ultimate notebook. You’re on the hunt for something in a convenient size — not so tiny that it’s impractical but small enough to throw in your purse for holiday errands. Even more important: You need flexibility, girl! You’re bound to make a few mistakes, last-minute changes, and additions as you get into a groove. Removable and repositionable pages with different formats like a graph, a calendar, and lined paper will make customization easy. The trick is selecting one notebook that will give you all these unlimited options, like our go-to for bullet journaling, the TUL Brilliance Notebook Exclusively for Office Depot® OfficeMax®.

Bonus: Grab a set of expansion discs so you can fill those pages to your heart’s content without worrying about running out of room.

2. Create customized symbols, a color key, and an index for easy navigation. Calling all organization addicts! Here’s where your notebook gets personal. There are a million different ways you can customize the structure of your bullet journal, but we like to rely on the basics: a color key, symbols, and an index to keep track of all your pages.

The easiest way to categorize tasks, events, and special days is by color and symbol. Take a look at one of your past to-do lists and note the repeating themes and categories. These are what you will build your journal from!

Use your favorite black pen for the bulk of your writing, and choose a few colors to represent the important parts of your life — family, friends, work, and more. Next, create that symbol key. This will help you track the status of your to-dos at a glance. Apply both your color code and symbol key wherever applicable.

Finally, keep track of every unique page you create in your index. Leave about three pages in the front of your journal for this, or insert more paper as you go! When you create lists, add the page number for simple navigation.


3. Make a future log. Your future is bright and meant to be embraced! That’s why you’ll need a place to add the dates, appointments, and events you’re looking forward to in the upcoming months. A future log is all about planning for tomorrow and should serve as the ultimate snapshot for your year in one place.

This will be especially important as you approach the new year and look forward to the next 12 months. Put this in the front of your notebook so you can easily flip back to your intentions and plans during the holiday season.

4. Build a mood board and set goals for the busiest months of the year. Between the shopping and decorating,chores can stack up quickly during this time of year. It’s important to take a step back and evaluate your goals or things you want to prioritize.

Get inspired by making a mood board with your favorite recipes, photos, doodles, and stickers to cast a vision for what’s ahead. Perhaps this is the year you will deliver cookies to the neighbors, finish knitting the blanket you’ve been working on for ages, or volunteer at a toy drive!

5. Start packing early for your holiday vacay to minimize stress. Save yourself the panic of preparing for a trip at the last minute and begin making your packing list early. As you think of items you need to bring on your vacation, such as your BFF’s present, a festive skirt, and mittens, add them to your list! When the time comes, throwing everything in your suitcase will be a breeze.

6. Create a plan of attack for holiday shopping. The moment December hits, the impending pressure of finding the perfect gift for each family member, pal, and coworker sets in. We’ve all been there, but this year doesn’t have to be the same! Rather than waiting until the 11th hour, start brainstorming early. Record any gift ideas you have in the months earlier in the year and select the best one when the time comes.

Pro tip: Use tab dividers for important pages (like this one!) so you can flip easily to them when you have an idea.

7. Relax and list out all the festive movies you know you *have* to squeeze in. Everybody knows one of the best parts of the holiday season is the excuse to stay cozied up in bed watching cheesy flicks. You’ve worked hard this month. Now it’s time to make sure you indulge!

Map out which movies are a must-watch and check them off as you go. For any new additions, create a rating system so that you know which movies are worth revisiting next year.

See? It’s not just about surviving the holiday season. It’s about using a little organization to help you enjoy every aspect of the festivities!

PSST: Grab everything you need to ace the bullet journal game from Office Depot’s exclusive and limited-edition TUL® Brilliance collection now!


How do you stay productive during your holiday season? Share with us on Twitter by tagging @BritandCo and @OfficeDepot.

Production & Styling: Kayla Haykin, Alexa Land, & Caris Fawcett

Photography: Kurt Andre