Adventures in Bullet Journaling

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in A Writer's Life | 2 comments

This year I decided I am going to hit some major goals. But in order to do that, I have to get myself organized. For the past month and a half I’ve been trying to do exactly that.

Over the years I’ve tried various and sundry planning methods, with differing levels of success. What I finally figured out is that there is no pre-made system that works for me.

So this year I decided to finally jump on the bullet journal (or bujo, as it is also known) bandwagon.

 

What exactly is a bullet journal? The best explanation can be found here. However, the bottom line is that a bullet journal is whatever you need it to be. I guess I’m not technically using a bullet journal, since I’m not following a lot of the original tenets, but what I’m doing works, and that’s more important than following a specific format.

 

A Bullet Journal’s Strengths are also its Weaknesses.

 

It’s extraordinarily flexible.

That’s actually one of the scariest things about the bullet journal–because it is so flexible, trying to decide which variation or format to try can be mind-bogglingly difficult. I sat on Pinterest for hours, pinning ideas that appealed to me, before I ever attempted a single page.

However, because it is so flexible, it means you’re not tied to the first thing you try. That one doesn’t work? Change it the next month. Or even the next week. It took me almost a full month to find a weekly format that worked for me, but now that I have, I’m really loving it.

 

 

 

 

 

It allows for tons of creativity.

Omigosh, does it ever. Want to doodle all over your pages? Go for it. Want a single picture with a tiny calendar to mark the start of your month? That’s cool. Here’s one of my favorites pages, one whose sole purpose is to remind me to relax more often.

Those porgs were a sticker I found on a bunch of bananas.
I cut them out because, well, porgs!

However, all those creative impulses can turn into huge time sucks. It took me well over two weeks, and several pages of sketches on graph paper, to get my basic pages formatted to my liking. And then I still had to copy them into my bujo, ink them, and color.

Everything is one place.

Which means you don’t have to carry around two or three different notebooks. Have an idea? Write it in your bullet journal. Need to know if you’re free for coffee next Tuesday? It’s there in the same book.

But that also means finding things in your bujo can be a royal pain. The original idea is to have numbered pages and an index at the front of your journal where you can easily locate the wanted page.

I discovered that idea didn’t work well for me, especially with pages I accessed multiple times a day. I was very close to pitching the whole concept in the trash when I found an inexpensive package of tabs. Nice, thick, sturdy, moveable tabs, like these (you can see them in the picture above). Flipping to my most-used pages is now a piece of cake.

 

So Now the Adventure Continues…

All that being said, so far I’m really liking my bujo adventure, for these main reasons:

  • I already work best with “analog” methods. Case in point: I wrote out this post with pen and paper before posting.

Yup. I’m a bit old-fashioned.

  • Though my chosen medium is the written word, I still think in pictures. The bujo is one of the first planning methods I’ve found that embraces that dichotomy.
  • It’s pretty, therefore I find myself wanting to use it more.

 

If you’ve wondering if bullet journaling could work for you, I’d highly suggest trying it. All you need is a book, some pens, and the willingness to try something totally new.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. It’s been almost a year … Are you still bujoing?

    • I am! Not as intricately, but it’s worked really well as a daily planner and place to keep a ton of random information.

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