So, aside from all the “prettified” bullet journaling Instagram accounts, and excusing the fact that I'm kind of obsessed with the artsy bit involved with bullet journaling… There's actually a method to the madness, and why you should consider bullet journaling. I'd like to lay it all out for you.
We all know that routines have been proven to increase productivity, and keeping and using a bullet journal does exactly that. Here's why I'm in love with mine:
- A morning and evening routine in my bullet journals helps relieve anxiety. I know that when I'm most stressed, getting my brain dump out on paper really helps me.
- I've always had an obsession with stationery, notebooks, pens, markers, school supplies, you name it. When I was a kid, I refused to let my mother go school shopping for me, and I could hardly wait until the first day of school to be able to break out my supplies. Charts, to-do lists, planners, schedules, all of it. I was “artsy bujo” before it was cool, man.
- I can be as minimal or as detailed and spread out as I want. Sometimes I will start a whole new dot grid notebook for something and try to keep that book strictly about that thing. Other times, I feel like I need to keep everything in one place. If I want, I can use one book to track my diary, my weekly plans, my future goals, my collections, everything. The best thing is that when you consider bullet journaling, you're the author!
(Side note: I'm learning for myself that sometimes it's just better to start in one book and use only that book til the end, despite the fact that I've tried having a finance book, a health book, even a whole notebook dedicated to one game I play. I've found that unless it's something super specialized, it's just better to keep it all together. My game book is my only current “extra” book, along with a “family recipes” book I'm planning on starting for when my daughter grows up.)
Table of Contents
What kinds of things go in a bullet journal?
Monthlies and weeklies are pretty much the crux of planning in your bujo. Some people plan out their whole year in advance. Other people choose to do a month ahead with the goal of getting it all ready to fill in. I think this comes from the fact that social media accounts tend to post videos and images of their “before the pen” spreads in order to show off their artistic skills — which is a totally normal and perfectly fine thing to do! It's just not necessary for one who is beginning or just using bullet journaling on a basic, self-serving-only kind of level.
Lists & Collections
Think of lists of things like recipes, places you'd like to travel, business ideas, post topics, notes for planning birthdays or holidays, book lists (that you've read or want to read), movies and television shows, projects you're working on, even a collection of “test pages” for your bujo supplies is a thing! But the nice thing is going back later and checking off the boxes you wanted to!
As a kid, I always kept a diary. Even if I only wrote, “nothing special today”, I wrote in it every day. As an adult, I know that getting my thoughts and feelings out really helps me process them. Sometimes I find myself so exhausted at the end of the day that I can't think of anything to write out. When that happens, I only write out three things I was grateful for that day. Which is pretty much something that goes into every day's posts.
Maybe you're looking to track your sleep, or quit smoking. Maybe you want to track your diet and exercise. Perhaps you're looking to just make sure you do a load of laundry once a day because for some reason, your kid is like mine and she changes her clothes 3 times a day. There are tons of habit tracker ideas out there, and I'm going to compile a post with some of my favorites so stay tuned. (When it's finished, I'll link it here.)
So, again, why should you consider bullet journaling?
Because it's self-care. Because it quiets your brain. Because we are all in the habit of being “busy” we rarely stop and think about the little things. Because you find yourself forgetting things — important things, or even not really so important things. Because you love making to-do lists and plans and using a pen and paper to do it instead of an app (but there's nothing wrong with apps, okay?). Because you like to doodle while you're taking notes on things, or not. Because you're a minimalist and you want something simple, black and white, and handy to keep with you to help you stay on track.
Because it's fun, relaxing, and is 101% worth giving a shot!