Finding a Method for My Madness

I’ve always liked the idea of a day planner, but I’ve never been very good at keeping one. Even when I was in high school and they gave you one every year to track your assignments, I did the bare minimum with it, and always wanted to do more and didn’t manage to do it. I had friends who tracked everything in their life through agendas and journals, and I was always jealous of their organized ability. And while this particular method has been floating around me for a while now, I never really looked into it. After all, journals, diaries, agendas…all of those never worked well for me.

But the bullet journal might just prove itself useful.

The concept of the bullet journal was created by a product designer from NYC named Ryder Carroll. At its very core, it’s meant to be a quick-fire way of creating your own journal. You start with a blank notebook, and the rest of it is entirely up to you. You can see the basics of the Bullet Journal (or bujo, as I’ve seen it commonly called) here. But of course, leave anything that open-ended on the Internet, and someone’s going to make the most possibly tricked out version ever.

Several of my friends, many of them authors, all seemed to get interested in bullet journaling all at the same time. I’d heard one of my coworkers mention having one himself, so I figured why not? I’d take a look and see what all this bullet journal stuff was about.

I’m notoriously bad at using Pinterest, but this seemed to be the best place to look for ideas. Boy was I right. You type in “bullet journal” on Pinterest and your computer is positively overloaded with ideas of all shapes and sizes. Some are more utilitarian than others–much like the initial concept of the Bullet Journal–but others are exceptionally artistic and dramatic. Some of my favorites, from what little I’ve poked at, are Kara at Boho Berry, Jessica at Pretty Prints and Paper, and Kim at Tiny Ray of Sunshine. (Links are to their Instagram pages.) What they can do just on their own with no help is astounding, and I can only ever hope to come close to what they make. But instead of what I usually do, which is see all these talented people and despair that I Shall Never Measure Up and quit, I started finding simple patterns I could recreate, ordered a journal, and tried my own hand at it.

Hey! It doesn’t suck! 😀

I figured I’d give myself the end of August to really botch up my life and get this in order before actually trying to fix anything. I’m already starting to rethink my choice of notebook, which is fine–I can get a new one when I run out of pages. I’d initially thought that it’d be nice to have something that I could just buy new pages for, but…this journal is a little smaller in practice than I expected it to be in theory. No worries. I actually have a Moleskine notebook a friend sent to me ages ago that I can use. It’s about the right size, and I’m excited for it. Once those two are done, though, I’m getting a dot grid paper. Much more flexibility in terms of organization and arrangement than with the lined paper I usually love so much.

Monthly spread for Sept. Not sure if I’ll keep it or not for Oct.

It’s really fascinating how engrossed I’m getting in the project! I’ve never really been one for writing everything down in one place; just look at my corkboards and computer screen covered in Post-it notes to tell. I’m a person of a thousand notes, and too many lost ideas. The bullet journal gives me a place where I can keep all of those and not lose the notes. Collection pages are common: places where you can make master lists. Books you want to read, movies you want to see, places you want to go. Habit trackers for everything under the sun. (I’m impressed at what some people are tracking in their daily lives! I don’t think I’d manage. I just have a few.) Spending and saving trackers, to help you watch your money. Gratitude logs, so that we take a moment each day to not focus on the bad but find the good. I could keep going. And I’m absolutely in love with the whole idea.

Hey, after I finish this, I can check off a “blog” box! Productivity!

I’ve got a few more pages that I don’t have pictures of: my own gratitude log for September, a spending and saving tracker, a written weight loss tracker (since I’ve been doing SO WELL on my own with that, and a write-up of what I want my daily routine to be with the bujo. I’m planning on making some master lists, particularly of books to read/review–ESPECIALLY the ones I have in paper form–and possibly blog ideas and whatnot. I use Evernote, but again…this is all in one place. I’m also toying with the idea of writing down my Tuesday Talks and Top 5 Thursday topics in here as well, and getting some notes jotted down. (I know, right? Rion’s actually making notes and not talking off the top of their head? What?!) I’m also planning on making my calendar start on Monday in the future as opposed to Sunday, particularly since Sundays are often days off for me–though that may not be the case for too terribly much longer!

I have so many calendars all over the place, trying to keep track of so many things. If I can find even one way to make my life just a touch more organized, maybe I’ll stop forgetting so many things, and actually accomplish the things that I want to do.

Structure and discipline are important, and I lack them both. Let’s do something to change that, aye? September is back to school–this time, for me as well. I’ll keep you all updated on the bujo as I keep it up.


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