There seems to be a lot of people recently really getting into this thing called bullet journaling, maybe you found yourself reading this from a google search.
But what is it, how do you use it and is it right for you? In this post I am going to cover all of that and talk about how bullet journaling is helping me on a day to day basis to be more productive.
What is the bullet journal method?
From the bullet journal website:
The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.
It’s a concept that New York digital product designer Ryder Carroll came up with and it’s a non digital way of managing plans, information and anything else that is in your head.
It may seem complicated or strange if you are hearing about it for the first time but if you give it a go you’ll probably find you will quite like it, the beauty of the “system” is that it is really quite simple and you can do whatever you want, it is your journal of course.
The basic idea of bullet journaling
To get the basic idea check out this video from bulletjournal.com outlining the basic concept.
Or click here to check out the getting started page on the website:
What equipment do you need to bullet journal?
Well to me, this is the joy of the whole concept/system you can write and do this in any notebook you want, ideal for people just wanting to give this a go.
You don’t need anything fancy, you don’t need fancy pens. At the core of it you need a pen or pencil and some paper. Especially if you are just wanting to give this a go and see if this works for you.
More fancy stuff
If you do a google search or look on pinterest you will see people with amazing looking bullet journals or “bujo” for short.
It is an artform where a lot of people are shining with their amazing layouts, colours used, drawings and more. For me it is all about the simplicity and also the fact I have no artistic bone in my body.
The gear I use:
One of the journals that a lot of people use and recommend is the Leuchtturm1917 journal, this is a great journal with a lot of features and comes in a whole bunch of colours. But with the explosion of bullet journaling happening all around the world they can sometimes be hard to get in the colour you want.
I have a dotted orange Leuchtturm1917, the journals themselves can come in dotted, squared, lined or blank, with most bullet journal people using dotted journals, it allows you to write straight, draw boxes and lines when needed and is the most versatile.
There is one local NZ distributor of these journals http://www.1917.co.nz/ their website is a bit old looking, but the service is great. The prices might seem a lot for essentially a notebook, but you are paying for quality and the overseas prices are pretty much the same once you work in postage.
For pens, I am a fan of the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner and is the only pen I use in my BuJo, and I basically only use 4 colours for most of it. Black, Blue, Orange, Red. With 90% of it just black pen.
How I use my bullet journal:
I don’t do anything super amazing with my bullet journal, but I do have a lot of information going into it.
- Here are the types of pages I have set up in mine:
- Future logs, monthly and daily planners (haven’t really needed weekly plans)
- Monthly trackers for fitness, bad food, hydration etc
- Topics pages for all the website I have, ideas and projects
- Shopping list of items I want to buy that arent groceries
- Movies to watch
- Books to read
- Savings tracking
- Debt tracking
How I find the bullet journal system:
I’d come across this whole bullet journal thing a couple of years ago, thought it seemed like a good idea and finally got around to doing it in March this year.
I really like it, there is something to be said about the process of writing something down onto paper, getting it out of your head and decluttering it is a great thing, something digital devices and systems just don’t have the same sort of feeling.
I feel I am keeping track of way more stuff and ideas and things to do than I was previously, and everything is all in one place, this is something I think it very valuable.
Every day I look forward to planning out what I want to achieve, these things I need to get done I get from the future log and monthly plan, all things I plan on getting done. Just like writing this post was an item for the month of June.
Productivity for me is up, whatever I have written down I have a higher chance of getting it done, there is something very satisfying about marking off a done item, and it seems for me at least this works really well and is a strange motivation to get it done.
Bullet journaling is in my opinion, an awesome idea and concept. Is it for everybody? Probably not, but there is more chance this is for you than some app, or some other system that has a lot more moving parts.
There are a lot of crafty people out there, and I am going to go out on a limb here and guess they are the same sort of people that are or were heavily into scrapbooking when that was in its prime. So while there is so much awesome amazing looking stuff out there, it appears this seems to be putting people off from the whole thing.
Just remember the system itself is simple, you don’t need fancy stuff, and it’s just for you. So make it what you want, give it a go. And if a hairy giant pumpkin grower like myself is using it, keeping it basic with his messy handwriting then you too could have your own bullet journal.
Let me know how you find bullet journaling?
Are you into this whole BuJo thing? Let me know in the comments below.