I am a sticky notes girl…or a phone notes girl…or a notepad girl…sometimes I’m even a write-it-on-my-hand notes girl. This year I vow to be more organized.
The problem with loving paper and pens so much is that anytime I have a thought I generally capture it — but because I capture it in all different places I seldom remember where to find the note I took.
My friend, Alana, mentioned Bullet Journaling to me some time back last year, I think. I took one look at it and swore off even trying it. I was overwhelmed when I checked it out. There’s a whole symbol/coding language you have to learn and it looked like too much “stuff” for my brain to handle on short notice when I just wanted to jot a note. But the suggestion has stuck with me for some reason and I have gone back to the website and watched the brief tutorial over and over and over.
And then I realized, in the end I’m an adult and I can pick and choose what and how I want to journal.
The key to the bullet journal is that it works like a planner and a space for notes. Everything all in one place. And that solves my main problem.
If you want an in depth look, please visit the Bullet Journal page — I’m going to give you my quick and dirty thoughts here, but there you can watch the whole thing and explore if it might be for you, too.
First it’s a calendar — you create a “future log” of all the things that you know are coming up for the next say, six months. (See the picture below) — next you create a one page calendar with the dates running down the side – so for January you would start with:
1 F (for Friday the 1st),
3 Sun, etc.
Once done with the month, you enter quick things that will happen on specific days. Then you move into the specific month — each day gets about 10 – 13 lines worth of space in your journal, depending on how large the journal is. Mine is about 5’ish by 7’ish so I can carry it around easily. This is called a “future log”.
Next comes the symbols.
° = an event
• = Task
– = Note
There’s more — oh, lot’s more — but this is where I draw the line for my starting point. For each day you create a journal of to-do’s using these symbols. It’s easier to see the picture of it, I think:
Anyway — and this is where it get’s really handy — towards the back of the journal you create “collections”. Places for you to keep the random thoughts you have or have most often. Like books. I’m constantly getting book selections from people, from articles I read, from Entertainment Weekly (which is actually a monthly publication now, but whatever)…and I write them down and then can never find them. Now I have a “collection” for 2021 —
Collections can be anything you want. And I’ve left several pages at the back for random notes.
I’m hoping this helps. I’m hoping this keeps me more organized and less frustrated.
I know it sounds like a lot of “to-dos” for a journaling system – but I needed some kind of structure and a all-in-one place to keep everything. I’m hoping this is it.
For now, now that I have the hang of it…I have to admit…I’m a bit obsessed. For all the “rules” I actually feel a bit of freedom. Freedom to think of something and know that I have a place to write it down where I won’t lose it — somehow it frees my mind to think of more, and other, things. I feel more creative, less restrained. My brain feels more rested and eager to discover things around me. Like it’s been given permission not to have to remember every detail of every note I write, less I can’t find it later.
I’ll check back throughout the six months (because that’s what I decided I would try for the first run, just to see if I would keep up with it) and report how it’s going – but so far, I like it. I like it a lot.