Bullet Journal · This and That

To Do Lists and the Bullet Journal

I have struggled with organization and time management, or lack thereof, most of my adult life. I am easily distracted. I’ve joked about what my day can look like…

I go into the kitchen with every intention of doing the dishes, but there’s no dish soap. No problem, I run down to the storage pantry in the basement. Oh, the dryer is finished! Better fold the clothes and start another load. I fold the clothes and take them upstairs to put away. While passing through the living room I notice a book I need to put away. So I pick it up and head for the shelf where it belongs  but on the way I pass by the computer. Oh, that’s right, there was a recipe I needed to look up.  I’ll just do a quick search. An hour goes by and I meander back into the kitchen. Dishes! I need to do the dishes. But there’s no dish soap!

Sound familiar at all?

In my quest to get a handle on all of this I began perusing the web. And the name bullet journal kept popping up. Bullet Journal. What is a bullet journal? Rather than try to explain it all here I will refer you to the originator of the concept, Ryder Carrol and his blog.

In addition to the official Bullet Journal blog you can find many videos on You Tube and numerous blog posts by many successful bullet journalers.

I began with a notebook I had on hand.  I didn’t want to invest too much into this until I knew the system would work for me, but after 2 months I took the plunge and purchased the Leuchtturm Medium Hard Cover Dot journal in pink (they come in just about every color of the rainbow!) from Amazon.

I am now into my fourth month of bullet journaling and I must admit I am impressed with the results. My time management has hugely improved. I have not arrived, but I see progress. More is getting done than I could have imagined!

Bling on the bookmark just for fun!

A cute little pink and white binder clip to the back cover to use as a pen holder.

With a bullet journal everything is written chronologically, one day following the next. The pages are numbered and there’s an index or table of contents in the beginning that is filled in as you go. If one week takes up 3 pages and the next week takes up 4 or 7 pages, no big deal! If you want to journal about your day, go for it! If you decide to do a list of projects, books to read, a brain dump, or cleaning recipes on separate pages, in the middle of a week, that’s just fine. Just notate it in the contents and continue with your week.

I’ve found that my journal is evolving as I use it. I can change up the format even in the middle of the week and it works.

There are so many beautiful bullet journals online, with lovely drawings and doodles on the pages. I’m not much of an artist but I can add stickers and washi tape to take it up a notch, creatively speaking. And what fun it is to see all the color!

Filled in boxes (did I mention how rewarding it is to color in those boxes?) indicate the task was accomplished while empty boxes say just the opposite. A box with an arrow through it means the task was migrated to another day. A crossed out task simply means it wasn’t done and became unnecessary.

I have been setting up the month with several planning pages. One page with a mini calendar, and the facing page with the days of the week all in a row. Appointments and days of interest can be listed one following the next.

At the end of the month you end up with a bird’s eye view of the events of the month.

At the beginning of each week I have a page to list appointments and events and particular goals I hope to accomplish. I also list the dinner meals for the week.

I’ve found that everybody who bullet journals makes the system work uniquely for them and the same is true for me. I watched the videos on the Bullet Journal site, read through all the explanations, looked at how others have followed the system on both You Tube and through numerous blogs and found what works for me. And without a doubt bullet journaling is working better than any other system I’ve ever tried.

If you’ve not heard of the concept you need to take a look. For someone like me, who has been chronically disorganized with a history of mismanaged time the bullet journal is a life saver!

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2 thoughts on “To Do Lists and the Bullet Journal

  1. The bullet journal has quite literally changed how my days flow! No more little pieces of paper to get lost and overlooked. I love having all my notes/to do lists/and appointments in one book without being constrained by a format that might not work for me! I'll be interested to hear how it goes if you do decide to use a bullet journal.

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