Bullet Journaling. A concept that has spread worldwide and had life-changing effects on so many people. I discovered bullet journaling about a year ago and I have been addicted since. I have tried everything from habit trackers, yearly, monthly, and weekly spreads. There are Instagram accounts dedicated to showing off the latest spreads and YouTube channels dedicated to showing you how to plan out your spreads like a pro.
What a lot of the Instagram accounts and YouTube videos don’t always mention is that you have to find the method that works best for you, and not all journals are created equal. I used to spend hours planning all of my spreads for months in advance and adding embellishments all for the spreads to remain empty until I remembered that I had a bullet journal. It was something that I kept trying to utilise but what I didn’t realise at the time was that the design didn’t fit with what I needed the bullet journal for.
On my last trip back home to South Africa to visit family, I ended up buying a bullet journal that I planned to keep in order to use it as a planning tool for my blog, and while I ended up using a few pages for personal development notes, I happened to come across the original Bullet Journal YouTube channel by the founder, Ryder Carroll. He doesn’t have too many videos, but I found his basic explanation and use of a bullet journal much simpler and less time consuming than the spreads you see on social media. His YouTube channel led me to his website (www.bulletjournal.com) which had all the information I needed to make the necessary changes to my journal. I had nothing to lose, so I decided to try it. In the beginning, I was not used to tying in the monthly spread with the daily spread, but with all habits that take to form, I eventually got the hang of it and refer to it on a regular basis throughout the day. The open format of the daily spread is what caught my attention and led me to give it a try.
Using the method described in the videos and on the website, I started my journal with a spread displaying a monthly spread using only one page with the dates and days of the week and any events that will not change (My journal came standard with an index page). I add to this as plans are made and refer to this while doing my daily plan. My daily spread is where the magic happens. There is no block to fill when you have a weekly plan like those displayed on Instagram or Pinterest. This allows me to add as many or as few tasks I need to accomplish without feeling like I had too much or too little to do on any particular day. With this method, there is no pressure to add colour, and no pressure for my handwriting to look neat. It is simply a working document.
The perk about using this method is that I can customize the spreads according to my needs. As a housewife who is currently pursuing a qualification as well as a blogger, I can have a snapshot of which days I need to focus on examinations with just a glance at my monthly spread and decide which days I have available to work on content for my blog and social media pages, and which days I am able to spend doing things I enjoy. It is always important to add in a day where you do something you enjoy doing for the sake of your mental health. I have experimented with numerous apps and calendars to help focus on the things that absolutely need to get done on a particular day and the Bullet Journal is the one method I would definitely recommend if you struggle to focus on certain tasks. Like any new method of doing things, there will be ‘teething issues’ while you figure out which way works for you and which spreads to implement, but once that is sorted through the method is a well-oiled machine. What made my transition to this method easier was knowing that I needed simplicity, a varied amount of space, and something that didn’t require too much time to set up. I also found recommendations on what type of journal I could afford that had the optimal number of pages, was the perfect size to grab and go, and had paper that wouldn’t let the ink bleed through. My current favourite is definitely the Lemome bullet journal pack that I purchased through Amazon. It is really good quality and has the same quality paper to the journal I purchased in CNA in South Africa. The bullet journal fits easily into a handbag, and a laptop bag and can be used for any possible scenario you can think of.
Another one of my favourite features of the Bullet Journal method is something called migration. This is where you go through the previous months daily logs and assess what hasn’t yet been done and examine whether this is still something that is important to spend your time and energy on. If it’s not, you scratch it out, if it is then it gets migrated to the to do list of the current month or in the month you need to complete the task in your future log. It eliminates unnecessary tasks and makes you think about what you are actually spending your time on. For me, as a procrastinator, tracking all the tasks I plan to do in a day and marking off what I have actually accomplished has led me to question how I spend my time between the tasks completed. As someone who is on a journey of self-awareness in order to better understand myself, the bullet journal has opened my eyes to my current level of productivity and the possibilities of increasing it on tasks that I can actually make progress on.
Do you use the Bullet Journal method? Let me know in the comments below!
-The Uninspired Blogger