I’ve always been a journal person. Ever since high school, I’ve used a little notebook to keep track of notes, assignments, lists, and ideas. Despite the convenience we now have on our phones, I’ve always loved the feel of pen on paper. There’s just something about watching ink glisten as it makes its way across the fine texture of nice paper. And don’t get me started about actually crossing an item off of a to-do list… pure bliss.
My problem, though, was that my journaling didn’t have any rhyme or reason. I just filled page after page at random. To-do lists would mix with blogging ideas and client notes. Each page was just a blank slate, nothing more. I needed a better method to keep track of it all.
About a week before New Year’s, I happened upon a newspaper article about Bullet Journaling, and my life changed. I’ve been a #bujo addict ever since.
Rather than describe the bullet journal method, you should just watch the five minute video on this page. (Here’s the YouTube link if that page changes.) That’s all you’ll need to understand #bujo and get started yourself.
One immediate impact of bullet journaling: I used my phone less. I was tired of constantly checking my phone for to-do lists, calendar reminders, and whatever else was needed to function that day. Our screens are hypnotic enough already. Bullet journaling gave me the opportunity to be more mindful and intentional about how I plan and track my day, week, month, and year.
Three months in, and I don’t use my phone’s to-do list anymore. I use my Google calendar, though, because my wife and I share one. Having a shared digital calendar just makes things easy. But for everything else? I go straight to my journal.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not tied to my journal every minute of the day. I take a look in the morning and do a little writing. I cross off anything from previous entries that I completed, and I write any new items or notes that I’ve been thinking about. I check my journal once or twice throughout the day, and then I check once more before bed.
For me, the method helps relieve my brain of that general anxiety you get just trying to keep track of everything in the day. With a family, a home, and two jobs, there’s plenty to try to remember. Bullet journaling allows me to slow down and think about it, to get my days on paper, and to relieve my mind of the lingering stress of life.
The notations used in the #bujo method are logical and fun. Having a future log, a monthly calendar and to-do list, and a daily log help with long-term planning as well as daily minutiae.
I use my bullet journal to do the basics: the future log, the monthly spread, the daily log, and collections. But bullet journaling can be so much more. Check out this blog for great ideas like affirmation logs, habit trackers (which I’ve tried), master grocery lists, and plenty more. Not only will you read about many more ways to use your bullet journal, but you’ll see all of the fun ways people decorate and personalize their journal pages.
With a quick search of the hashtags #bujo, #bulletjournal, #bujoinspiration, #bujoinspire, or any other hashtag with the phrase “bujo,” and you’ll find journals that are works of art. From elaborate lettering and drawings to watercolor and doodles, you can scroll through the unlimited inspiration on Instagram and Twitter.
If you’re looking for a way to organize your life, to become more mindful, and to free yourself from your screen, then look no further than bullet journaling.