Have you heard about bullet journaling? I saw it referenced on various websites but had no idea what it was so I looked into it. Basically, it is a planning system to organize your life. Instead of using a commercially developed planner, you simply use any notebook or journal you choose. The key is the Table of Contents on the first few pages of your bullet journal. The Table of Contents lets you later find what and where you wrote something down.
The video on bulletjournal.com does a great job of explaining how to set up a bullet journal. This seems pretty basic and a good way to keep track of all the random lists and tasks that float in your head. I am terrible at writing things down. I have a really good memory so I often find that if I put an appointment on my calendar, I just remember it and never look at my calendar. As I have gotten older and I have more things to juggle sometimes my memory is not as reliable. While I have not missed anything important, I do often need to call to confirm an appointment.
The other problem with not writing things down is that I then suffer from monkey mind. There is a constant loop in my head of things I need to do and appointments to be kept during the week. So I decided to try this method of planning.
Bullet journaling can be somewhat intimidating. In this day of Pinterest people make their bullet journals very artistic and fancy. People draw pretty pages, color in printables and add washi tape. I have a board on Pinterest here, but here are some examples of some beautiful pages.
And here are some examples of my pages. Not so artistic at all. More like chicken scratch.
I realized if I want to use this system, I cannot be concerned about how other people use their bullet journals. No one else is going to see it. If being artistic inspires you and helps you stick to planning, by all means do it. For me though, using a bullet journal is more like a brain dump. I’m using it to take notes for webinars or podcasts. I’m using it jot down ideas for writing. I’m using it to make a list of books I’d like to read or movies or television shows to watch. I also use it to make to do lists. The beauty of this system is you can use it the best way for you.
I have not perfected this system at all. Part of it is that I have to train myself to write things down. I also don’t find it helpful to keep appointments in it, but would rather do those on my outlook calendar. I still take notes in my phone’s note app too. When I am out of the house, such as when I catch up on all of the “news” in People or Us magazine during my hair appointment, I do not have my bullet journal with me. So if there is an interesting new novel coming out or a pretty shade of nail polish I want to try, it ends up in my notes app instead.
The one thing that the bullet journal does help me with is I do know where all of my random handwritten notes are located. I do not have to search through multiple notebooks, scraps of paper, the back of envelopes, to find something I know I wrote down.
If you are a person that struggles with post-it notes, forgotten appointments and losing your mind, you may want to try bullet journaling. I am finding it helpful for the most part. –June
[Journaling] is like whispering to oneself and listening at the same time. – Mina Murray, Dracula