Let’s have a little think, how many notebooks do you own? One for work, another for home, a crafty to-do list and perhaps even a food diary? You’ll probably have a large pile for all different aspects of your life. Well, bullet journalling could be exactly what you’ve been looking for, as everything can be organised into a single notebook. It consists of a unique key, pages for specific events, a calendar, fitness planner – the list is endless, and it’s all down to you. This is the perfect project to start 2017 with. Happy journalling!
Bullet journalling may look like a complicated process, but once you get your pens into it, it’s ever-so-simple! Here’s a quick low-down on the key things you need to know. The main idea of bullet journalling is that you split your diary into different pages, an index, monthly log, daily log and a future log. Although they don’t stop there, the best fun is you can fill it with whatever you like. The next important step is your key. Each task should be written as simply as possible, then beside it draw a dot, which can then be turned into an X to show it’s complete, a < to show it’s been scheduled, or a >, to signify it has been migrated. Check out these amazing blogs to see how you can then take your bullet journalling to the next level, plus we have an amazing interview with the inventor himself below.
Homemaker chats to Bullet Journal inventor Ryder Carroll
The Bullet Journal® as you see it today is the result of solving my own organisational challenges over the last 25 years. It is both a productivity system as well as a mindfulness practice. All it requires is a notebook and pen, then it uses simple organisational tools like pages numbers, bulleted lists, and calendars in a way that helps you think more about your time. The goal is to cultivate an awareness of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
We live in an age where we are always connected and inundated with data and choices. We’re so overwhelmed and distracted by doing things, that we forget to ask ourselves why are we doing them. Bullet journalling allows you to unplug and declutter your mind, and provides the mental space you need to track the things that matter to you.
The beauty of the system is how forgiving and flexible it is. I believe the reason why bullet journalling has become so popular is because it can be whatever you need it to be, it’s being used by primary school students as well as doctors. Studies show that writing things down can reduce the anxiety caused by negative or obsessive thought patterns, so it’s a simple way to vent and freeze racing thoughts. Additionally, it provides a framework to help you organise and plan, which is empowering and inspires confidence.
Technology is a powerful tool to look outward. We can access remote knowledge about anything instantly and can connect with people anywhere with the touch of a button. There are few barriers between us and the world, so the flood of possibility becomes endless and overwhelming. The one thing technology is not good at is looking inward. To learn about ourselves, we must disconnect and reflect, and putting pen to paper is a powerful way to do this.
Despite what you may see on Pinterest or Instagram, bullet journalling is a very simple minimal system. All you need is one pen, a notebook, and a few minutes. There are a lot of incredibly beautiful and elaborate interpretations out there, but it’s not about how it looks, it’s about how it makes you feel. For some that will require decoration, and for others it requires simplicity.
The goal of the Bullet Journal is not planning, it’s doing. The main ingredient in doing things is motivation. If decorating the pages is what motivates you, then by all means, do it! If decoration starts to feel like a chore, then simplify. Set a daily alarm in the morning and evening to sit down with your Bullet Journal and update as needed. Reviewing it may be the most important part of the process. Once you feel how that practice starts to benefit you, it will inspire you to learn more.
Read more about Ryder’s creation at bulletjournal.com
Plan your craft projects in great detail, and never miss a stitch. Alicia shows an alternative way to use your bullet journal. Here, she's made her own index and each page is used for planning a different project. She takes her creative skills even further by adding a small sketch alongside each one.
If you're starting 2017 on a diet, prepare yourself with the help of your bullet journal. Never again will you be frantically rushing around the shops trying to find dinner for that night. This particular example matches the foods by type, plus there's even a removable shopping list so you never forget a crucial ingredient again!
For all you bookworms, today is your lucky day. If you have a huge list of books that you'd love to read, why not present them in the style of a bookshelf. Divide each tier up into a different category, write the names along the spines, then colour them in as you reach the last page.
If you just like sticking to the traditional day-by-day diary then, by all means, do that. Spread the week across two pages and write motivational quotes to inspire you through the seven days. Your to-do list won't seem as intimidating when it's surrounded by pretty colours and little doodles.