If you’re not au fait with the bullet journal method, it’s basically a minimalist system designed by Ryder Carroll for organising your life, weeks and days. It’s designed to help you understand why you want to be organised, boost productivity, and help you remain mindful and intentional.
I love it and have found many benefits to having one.
I remember starting a bullet journal about 2 years ago and admit I found the prospect quite daunting. I’d seen bullet journal layout ideas online, all inspired and beautifully curated. While I wanted to a start a bullet journal to reduce how overwhelmed I felt, it looked like setting one up would be something else I’d have to make time for.
I keep my bullet journal setup minimal and simple. The system itself is pretty simple too. All I do is map out my month, noting all events and appointments in list format, and have a weekly spread on each page. This is for my day to day tasks and reminders. It’s become invaluable for running my days and weeks efficiently. It holds my appointments, to do lists, short and long term goals, and tracks anything I want it to. The more you use your bullet journal, the quicker you’ll become at completing it. You’ll also learn what works for you, and over time, you’ll see what you’re mostly using it for.
Having a bullet journal has made my life manageable. The demands on my time feel less, well, demanding, I suppose. It also means I can write lists for everything (who doesn’t love a list?) and they’re all in one place. Ticking things off is totally satisfying too.
If you’re looking for reasons to start a bullet journal, here’s what it can do for you.
I don’t know anyone who has a quiet life anymore. There are so many demands and things to remember. One reason I bullet journal is to help me stay on top of life in general and the things I want to do. It helps me remember things and prioritise, making it more likely I’ll meet my own deadlines and goals. Let’s face it, life admin is a thing and there’s plenty of it. At the end of everyday, I mark the tasks I’ve completed. Those I haven’t, I migrate to the next day, or some other time in the month. I never feel a failure for not doing something. Instead I know where I can find a time on another day to fit it in.
The most useful part of a bullet journal, for me, is the weekly spread or planner. Every Sunday I write down what’s happening over the next seven days and spread my tasks out over the week. I include any appointments or events that are happening. Believe me, it makes so much difference. Before bullet journalling, I spent my days off feeling stressed at trying to fit everything in. Not any more. I rarely feel my free time is swallowed up with things I have to do. Balance can be so hard to achieve and it’s not always perfect. It’s definitely better thanks to starting a bullet journal.
Keeping a bullet journal is a great way of noting my goals. If there’s something I want to achieve, I write it down. I break down my goals into necessary and achievable steps. I then incorporate these into my weekly planner. This helps the goal seem achievable, and every week or month I know I’m working closer towards it. I feel like I’m achieving something and making progress. Breaking goals down makes them more realistic and attainable. It also allows me to plan ahead.
Mindfulness and Intention
The ethos behind the bullet journal method is one of mindfulness and intention. It’s about finding and understanding your why in relation to becoming organised (think goals, intentions, values and beliefs). This has become more apparent the longer I commit to my bullet journaling. In terms of intentionality, if something is written in my bullet journal, I’m more likely to make it happen. It’s certainly helped me become more mindful of the here and now and what I’m doing, rather than concerning myself with what I have to do later. It’s all manageable. Because using a bullet journal means having balance, I’m less stressed and fretful (yes, I am that person!). My bullet journal tells me what I’ve planned on a given day, and any time left is mine to use as I wish.
You Define Your Bullet Journal
Of course there’s the original, purist bullet journal method (hello, that’s me) but what’s most appealing is that it can be whatever you want it to be. You only have to search “bullet journal” on Pinterest and you’re greeted with so many ideas for page layouts, inspiration, setup ideas, weekly spreads or things to track. You can keep track anything: your mood, food, what you watch on Netflix. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s relevant to you.
I’ve tried tracking different things in my bullet journal. I used to track my running but found I didn’t keep it up. Instead I use my bullet journal for breaking down training goals and mapping when I need to reach certain targets. It helps me look ahead without feeling overwhelmed. I now use my bullet journal primarily for monthly planning, weekly spreads, financial tracking and blogpost planning. For the first time in ages, I feel organised because I am.
Having a bullet journal helps me stay on track and remain organised. I would go as far to say it’s improved my life because my life has simply become more manageable.
It offers a simple way of acknowledging achievement and purpose, I can’t recommend it enough.
Have you tried a bullet journal? If so, how did you get on? What do you use yours for?
I use the Lechttrum 1917 dotted notebook.
You can find out more about the bullet journal method here.
If you have a thing for stationary and bullet journals, Ryder Carroll’s official Instagram page is full of lovely photos, tips and advice.