I’ve been using my bullet journal for over a month now and, oh my gawd. . . I’m in love.
The bullet journaling system is so flexible and yet so organized that I can’t imagine going back to a regular day planner.
Here are four things I’ve learned this month about bullet journaling.
Using the bullet journal system for a month made me see why pre-formed planning systems never worked for me. Looking back at January I see that some days (usually weekends) only required half a page in my bullet journal. During the week, however, it wasn’t unusual for one day to take two or three pages to capture to-do lists, meeting notes, brain dumps and whatever else came up during the day.
January took seventy pages. February will probably be smaller because I’ve already started most of the Collections I think I’ll need. But still. . . No pre-fabricated planning system I’ve found could accommodate that amount of information in a month.
I got so excited about using the bullet journaling system that I wanted to rush ahead and create a month’s worth of pages. I resisted and I’m glad I did. January was a demonstration of how grossly I’d underestimated the number of pages each day would require.
Another urge I fought was to create twelve months of calendar pages. I’m glad I didn’t do this either because after just one month it is plain to me that each notebook is going to be full in just three or four months.
Instead of creating all those monthly calendar pages I utilized the Future Planning section to jot down dates and activities. Then I transferred that information to the calendar page when that month came up.
Bullet journaling has reminded me how truly fluid my control over the future is. The daily practice of using my bullet journal has given me an appreciation for each day as it happens.
I started out capturing everything as a collection. Books to read, blog post ideas, a 2016 wish list, meal ideas, music to buy, gift ideas. . . the list goes on. (This is probably why January took up so many pages.)
I use some of these collections frequently. Others were forgotten a day after I created them.
After a few weeks I realized the crucial items for my bullet journal are these:
Collections can be fun, but they aren’t necessary. In fact, I needed far fewer collections than I thought I would.
As far as I’m concerned, the bullet journal system is perfect. It’s so flexible it could be tailored to anyone’s needs. But my bullet journal? That is far from perfect.
I draw crooked lines. I doodle in the corners. Some days I draw borders and headers or have pictures taped to the page. Other days my creativity is on the fritz and I’ll just write the date at the top of the page.
Flipping back through these imperfect pages with all the different colored ink and scrawled quotes reminds me life is much messier than the perfection a blank planner would have me believe.
I like the messiness. It gives my bullet journal character and is far more reflective of my daily life than any day planner I’ve ever used.
Have you given bullet journaling a try? I’d love to hear about it!