Bullet Journaling

Ever since I was in running start, taking college and high school classes concurrently, I have had a lot of things to balance. First it included two class schedules, homework and project deadlines, even marching band practices and music performances. Eventually it’s evolved to classes, work hours, volunteering, and meetings. In efforts to hone my time management skills, I began using a planner to organize all my appointments and daily to-do lists. It was immensely helpful and I have faithfully kept some sort of organizer or planner for the past 8 years.

About a year and half ago, while browsing Pinterest for wedding ideas I came across posts of beautifully decorated and relaxingly organized journal pages. The lovely straight lines and colorful illustrators caught my eye and I wondered – What is this and how do I do it?

Turns out, they were pictures of bullet journals. The idea of bullet journalling has been around for a few years. In 2013, Ryder Carroll developed the idea as a way to capture not only the “whats” of your day-to-day to do list but also help focus on the “whys” of your goals. It is a simple and flexible way stay organized while also providing a framework in order to stay mindful and motivated.

From the basic idea of rapid logging, monthly calendars, and collections, a whole world of opportunities evolved. A bullet journal can act as a planner, a journal, an exercise log, a place to write thoughts, a place to record memories, or a place to simply be creative for the sake of being creative.

So, roughly a year and half ago I started my first bullet journal. It started out in some random notebook I had just laying around with the pens I had available to me.

Soon, I realized this was fun, but it was really hard to draw out all of the shapes I wanted. So I looked into a new dotted journal, and fun special pens… My spreads progressively got neater and easier to read as I practiced and found what kinds of layouts worked for me – (It changes from week to week).

I used it to keep track of my to do list for my qualifying exams and also did some key wedding planning in it.

I recorded fun trips to Disneyland and Maui. I also used it as a travel journal while I was in Germany.

I’ve kept track of books to read, page ideas, projects I’m working on…

Over the past year and a half I’ve seen my handwriting skills evolve, found creative ways to keep track of things, and in general enjoyed the experience of staying on top of things. I’ve been able to see what projects inspire me and which things I end up putting off. I can now also look back over the past year and have a cute log of all that was on my mind, all that I experienced, and all my goals.

Keeping a bullet journal has been a productive outlet for my creativity and a habit I have no intention of breaking. What ways do you find helpful in staying organized or being creative?

3 thoughts on “Bullet Journaling

  1. I’ve marveled at all the ways you use your journal and how creative you are in your page design. It looks like fun to do, and yet the amount of time it looks like it might take intimidates me. Ever since you had to start juggling you schedule and tasks, you’ve always been organized; I’m delighted you’ve found such a creative and enjoyable way you stay do it.

    Some of my favored pages are you reading list and your trip journaling. But every page I see impressed me. 🙂

  2. You amaze me. I love the idea of a bullet journal and have started one three different times… but just haven’t been able to get into a flow with them. Perhaps too indecisive about what to put where and how to lay things out. Perhaps your pages will inspire me to try again….

  3. Your bullet journal is just darling !!!
    It looks like it would be very time consuming, but also as you said a creative outlet. It was fun for me just to look at it. You’ve done a great job juggling your time, I hope you will keep it up forever. Usually, when people keep a journal after a few years they go by the wayside. This will be fun to see a few pages of your bullet journal as you have a family, a job, and just things in general. I bet it will be Beautiful to see.

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