Quite a few years ago I started the (official) bullet journal method, which you can find in Ryder Carroll’s book, The Bullet Journal Method. When I first heard about Bullet Journaling it seemed like a fancy way of writing to do list’s but it’s more than that, more than a planner or a journal, or both. The core system intrigued me, after watching a few videos by Boho Berry on Youtube. I love notebooks, and I’ve been journaling since elementary school (long, long time), so as an avid journaler I was interested but as someone who has had issues with getting and STAYING organized, I thought maybe it could help. I used a calendar and a to do list for my planning, so why not organize that in a journal, in a way that might actually help me be organized, stay organized, and be more productive.
Let’s face it, as someone with ADHD, I often struggle, so I have to write things down as they come to me, otherwise it’s lost. After trying to bullet journal on and off for a year or so without know much about the “official” bullet journal method, I bought Carroll’s book and dove in head first into the book. I revamped my (bullet) journal practice, which was the key to things… It’s a practice. It’s more than just a to do list, fancy or not.
Bullet Journaling isn’t just this… or that, it’s not “one” thing. You can follow Carroll’s method verbatim, or find your own way–taking what works for you and leaving what doesn’t. Some Bullet Journal users have a minimal approach and/ore aesthetic, while others are more artistic, some are a combination of the two. Many people add their personal journaling, sketchbook, etc to their bullet journals, while other’s do not. Whatever works for you is the key.
At the core, bullet journaling is a way to write down information in any order, in any way, into a notebook (many people prefer grid or dot grid), and you’re supposed to be able to find the information quickly and easily by using an index. Carrol says that bullet journaling is a “mindfulness practice that is disguised as a productivity tool.” One of the other benefits to bullet journaling, and one of my favorite benefits, is that it helps you declutter your mind, and yet it also brings together the different parts of your life while allowing you to focus on what’s important.
My biggest issues in regard to bullet journaling have vey little to do with bullet journaling itself. I find myself tempted by the various different journals, different types and different sizes, that are out there. As someone who prefers to function and form, I’m often quite creative in my bullet journal. Not only do I use color, art, pictures, washi-tape, ephemera, and stickers, I also write about things I’m researching, things I have questions about, ideas that pop into my head, etc. I’ve tried a variety of notebooks, a variety of sizes, and so far my favorite size is B6, and my favorite notebooks to use are either the B6 Stalogy or a B6 dot grid or grid Tomoe River paper notebook. I’ll go more into supplies in a later post.
Carroll says, “Each Bullet Journal becomes another volume in the story of your life. Does it represent the life you want to live? If not, then leverage the lessons you’ve learned to change the narrative in the next volume.” I’m more organized now, though I do have a ways to go in certain areas (the Bullet Journal helps me figure things out, helps me “track the past, order the present and design the future,” but it doesn’t do the work for me–if I write down “organize my desk” then the bullet journal only reminds me to do that when I’m using it, when I see “organize… on the page–I have to get my butt up out of the chair or off the couch and do the work. However, there’s something very satisfying about ticking or checking or coloring in the to do’s as I get them done.