I love to take notes since … I guess forever 🙂 I love to write on paper and do crafty things. My normal note-taking strategy turned into bullet journaling in the end of 2017, when I first heard that name… (you can find the whole story of my way to the bullet journal here).
I started bullet journaling before I read ‘The Bullet Journal Method’ book. I saw a picture of an fancy notebook on pinterest and they were talking about a bullet journal. I didn’t know what a bullet journal was, so I asked Mr. Google for it. There were a lot of perfect pictures and impressions on instagram and pinterest and I wanted that too. So I started Bullet Journaling right away without really knowing whats the intention. From time to time I got into the whole thing and I understood, what’s behind all this stuff – getting organized, planning your day and be focused.
Well, I’m an organized person now. And I’m a perfectionist, my bullet journal has to look perfect and clean, just like all these bujos out there on instagram etc.
But then, a few weeks ago, I started to read the ‘The Bullet Journal Method‘ – the book from Ryder Carroll, And everything changed since then…
Just do it and keep it simple
I always struggled with where to keep my notes. I thought too much where to store my notes in the notebook and how should it look like instead of just writing them down. I think this is one of my major improvements since I read the book. Don’t think where to put the to-dos and notes, just write them down to the current daily log or collection. This expects that planning in advance isn’t recommended, because you don’t know how much space you will need in your daily log. Keep all your thoughts in the bullet journal, so your head is free and you can focus on the things that really matter and have to be done.
I bought a tons of new pens and markers (ok, I really love stationary items). But the fact is: I regularly use one pen for daily notes. Occasionally I use my Tombow Dual Brush Pens for color highlights but that’s it. You really don’t need fancy pens, a nice setup or whatever.
Focus on the main parts of bullet journaling
I’m in the bullet journaling system for almost 2 years now and I done it without knowing the real intention behind it. Now that I read ‘The Bullet Journal Method’, I really understand, what’s the motivation and intention behind the system. So I’m more focused on the main parts of bullet journaling: rapid logging, indexing, threading, migrating and reflection.
I’m less worried about not keeping my notes in on list, because of the threading method. It allows you to spread you ideas of the same topic across your bullet journal, but always keep them together by putting the page numbers of the previous notes besides the page number of the current page. (Learn more about threading here).
Another thing is the whole migration process. I always just migrated the tasks from one day to another, from one month to another without reflecting anything.
But it’s so important to reflect your work and your doing. It’s important to see, what you have archived this day, week or month and to celebrate yourself for what you’ve done. This way you tend to be more motivated and keep going.
I started to reflect my bullet journal: what had worked and what didn’t? Do I need this tracker for watching tv shows? Do I have any advantage of it? I started to overthink my whole note-taking procedure. I’m now reflecting myself, if I really need this task to-do to achieve my goal or plan. So now i’m checking my daily and monthly logs more often and remove task I don’t need anymore.
Make it yours
In my 2018 bullet journal (see my flip through here) I’ve created a habit tracker, ‘cause I saw all these trackers in other peoples bujo’s. So I thought I needed that too… I used it for 3 or 4 days, then I forgot to fill them out. So obviously I didn’t need them, so I get rid of it. In my 2019 bullet journal there isn’t a habit tracker anymore and I’m happy with that.
Sometimes I pushed myself so hard to get a journal others maybe want to see. But it’s my journal and I have to decide how it looks like. So if I’m not in the mood to do nice doodles, then I just write down my todos and notes.
So here’s my advice: Do whatever you feel comfortable with. Otherwise you will drop bullet journaling.
Since I read ‘The Bullet Journal Method’ I’m inspired to use my bullet journal more often and keep it simple.
I started to just write down my thoughts, todos and plans. I don’t care anymore, if it looks messy or unstructured. That’s how life is, it’s messy sometimes. So it’s ok when my bujo is too.
I’m feeling less pressure that i have to create something that someone is expecting.
I better had read the book before starting the whole bullet journal method. It shows you the simplicity of the system and no fancy instagram-ready pictures of picture-perfect journals. Maybe I would have gotten rid of the pressure earlier to create a perfect bullet journal 🙂