I first heard about bullet journaling on Pinterest. I was looking for a way to organize my life – remember meetings, complete my to-do’s, and be productive. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen like that. The bullet journals I saw on Pinterest required a lot of set-up and I became overwhelmed quickly. I tried twice before finally giving up and got a calendar white board and weekly planner to create some semblance of organization. They weren’t as effective as I would’ve liked, but they would do.
Fast forward, and the pandemic has given me significantly more time to read. I knew there was a bullet journal book but had never considered reading it until now.
The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll explains the what and why for bullet journaling, and most importantly, without the fanfare and intricacies of templates and designs on Pinterest. The book was a quick read, only two days, and the journal is even easier to set up, it took less than two hours. (If you’re interested in bullet journaling, this is a great place to start, but I honestly recommend the book, and avoid looking for examples on Pinterest and Instagram until after you read it.)
Because I thrive on routine and enjoy human interaction, the pandemic made me more listless than usual. But even before that, organizing and remembering my to-do’s and obligations at work was chaotic. I would keep notes on post-its, send them to myself in emails, and just write them on random pieces of paper. I often forgot things and felt like I could never catch up on my work.
When it came to blogging, I would keep all my blog ideas on my phone. While they were all in one place, I didn’t look at them unless I was writing down another idea. Often times when I had the time and energy to blog, I didn’t know what I should write even though I had a list of ideas right in the palm of my hand.
And when it came to meetings and events I had to attend, my whiteboard calendar helped me remember them, but because everything else was chaotic, I would end up very overwhelmed on the days I had other obligations
The bullet journal changed this. Since reading the book back at the end of June, I’ve been much more productive, calmer, and less stressed. Along with organizing my day to day, I was able to write out my goals, organize my blog post ideas and collaborations, track my yoga classes, and have a single place for all of the inspirational quotes I find in books. I end each day actually feeling accomplished.
And with more mental space freed up, I have the time to be more mindful. I am able to find time every day to just be in the moment, devote a few minutes to noticing my breath or surroundings. While it seems small, it’s made me happier. I am focusing less on what happens in the outside world and more of what happens to me on the inside. I am controlling what I can control and letting go of everything I can’t. And for once in a long time, I am genuinely happy.