One of my favorite New Year’s traditions is picking out a new planner. I’ve been searching for the perfect planning system for years. I’ve tried electronic systems but I always go back to a paper planner. It just works better for me. There is something about the act of writing down a thought that cements the thought into action. But in the last few years I’ve been running into a problem: no pre-existing paper planning system fits my life.
Plenty of them fit part of my life. They’ll work perfectly for tracking my work schedule, or tracking passwords, or for future planning. But the Notes section is never long enough for my needs and none of them have ever been able to house all of my thoughts in one notebook.
And I’ve noticed that I don’t like how pre-existing planner forms make me feel. I know, I know. That’s super squishy, Meghan. It’s a planner. Why do you need to feel anything about it? But, the thing is, I do have to feel good about the system. If I don’t, the second my life exceeds the capacity of the planner I’ll start feeling boxed in and anxious. This results in the abandonment of the planner for something different.
So I’m trying something new: I decided to make my own planner. Specifically, I’m making my own Bullet Journal.
I discovered the concept of Bullet Journaling on Pinterest. At first I dismissed the system because it seemed too free form and not organized enough. But once you search Pinterest for something, the site is exceptionally persistent at putting the search results into your news feed over and over and over.
(PSA: Never look up anything related to horror movies or sex on Pinterest. Especially if you frequently hand your phone to small children for entertainment. Your newsfeed will fuck your kids up.)
The more I looked into Bullet Journaling, the more I realized that the system could be tailored to how I think. I needed one notebook that allowed me to be track my thoughts and habits and . . . well . . . whatever else I wanted to track, while also leaving room for forward planning and being creative.
(Translation of the word ‘creative’: Doodling in meetings while still looking professional.)
No other paper planning system I’ve found can do that. So I’m going to give Bullet Journaling a try for a month to see how it goes.
I have high hopes for this one, y’all.
If you’re curious about Bullet Journaling, here are several links I found useful before starting my own journal:
What new thing are you trying in 2016? I love comments! Don’t want to leave a comment? Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong (at) gmail (dot) com.