Iâ€™ve kept a journal since I was 7.
From the age of 13, I also kept a planner. Iâ€™m not sure when I started also carrying a notebook &/or sketchbook with me everywhere, but it was sometime before I turned 19.Â Without fully admitting to my current age, letâ€™s just say itâ€™s been a long time!
For the last several years Iâ€™ve used a day to a page planner, kept a journal of thoughts & sketches, & carried an A6 notebook everywhere.Â Every year.Â On top of this, I also have a google calendar thatâ€™s linked with my Husbeastâ€™s.
A couple of years back I heard about Bullet Journaling, looked into itâ€¦ then fell into a rabbit hole of sketch-note journals & those awesome, gorgeous, distressed smash-journals.Â (Mostly because I made the error of looking on Pinterest & Instagram first, instead of going to the official site where the system is explained.)Â So instead of starting a bullet journal, I bought another day-to-a-page planner & combined my sketchbook with my journal.Â That lasted a year before I went back to having a separate sketch book & journal.
A friend was asking me early last year why on earth I didnâ€™t Bullet Journal given she thought it was so very much my style.Â I was neck deep in wedding planning, which was why she was suggesting it, but I didnâ€™t want to start a new system in the middle of that & instead relegated it to my post-wedding pile.
I was wrong.Â In hindsight (which is always 20:20) I should have started the BuJo when Rachel questioned my lack of one.Â It would have absolutely streamlined my wedding planning & taken a lot of pressure off me while I tried to keep on top of the eleventy billion things it involved.Â The A3 corkboard, 2 whiteboards, & 12 seater dining table takeover would have been entirely superfluous instead of the necessities they were.
So in the close of 2017, instead of my annual pilgrimage to find a day-to-a-page planner that I liked, I went to Officeworks & bought their cheap dot grid notebook.Â Itâ€™s A5, with a spiral binding, semi-clear textured plastic cover, & 90 pages. Â It would be taking the place of my planner, journal, & sketchbook.
Husbeast & I had both thought Iâ€™d â€œwasteâ€ a lot of my time setting up the spreads & focusing on making the BuJo instead of using it.Â We both expected lots of empty space, like my annual planners normally have, & days where I had no idea where the wretched book even was.
On writing this*, I have had my bujo for a fortnight.Â Hereâ€™s what I can tell you of the journey so far:
Within a week, there was a noticeable change in the way I managed my time during the day & in myself.
I have spent a lot of time on my spreads. Â Some of them are simple with minimal detail, while others are colourful, decorative, & fancy. This said, creating these layouts has been a gradual thing, spread across spare moments.Â Making the most of pencil & jotting ideas in the centre of a page to map out the space before I commit a page to ink (I’m only using the pens I already have but given I do a wee bit of calligraphy, I have a fewÂ nice pens in my stash). However, even the bigger spread designs havenâ€™t decreased the things I get done in the day.Â In fact, this bujo has increased my productivity.
Between the notes, task lists, tracking, & speciality pages, Iâ€™ve found I get more done & I take less time to do things.Â Iâ€™m watching my habit trackerâ€™s progression & taking note of what I want to increase or decrease.Â For example, one of the things Iâ€™m hoping of increasing is updating the blog on this site.Â This makes two this year & Iâ€™m still technically on holidays!
The true beauty of the Bullet Journal system is its customisable nature.Â Two days in, I tweaked the signifier for a completed task from Ryderâ€™s X to a Ã– because I found the X made me feel like Iâ€™d failed on the task.Â I still use . for a task,Â > for something thatâ€™s migrated,Â < for a scheduled task, – for a notation, strikethrough for cancelled notes/tasks, & o to mark an event.
Getting things noted, tracked, & completed has become a really enjoyable experience, instead of a chore.Â Two weeks in Iâ€™ve got a great routine going, & my body & brain are loving it.
All in all, eleven out of ten.Â Definitely recommend.Â Thanks for sharing the system, Ryder!
* I wrote this a while before I published. To be honest, I wasnâ€™t sure if I would publish this at all to the blog. Iâ€™m now ending my third week of using this system in & have made several changes (including a replacement book), but Iâ€™ll explain those in another post.