Are you the type of person whose home is littered with hand-written notes to self? Reminders stuck to the fridge. Multiple notebooks bought at different times for different things. Let’s not even think about the to-do lists on our smartphones.
Would you love to bring the scattered pieces of your brain altogether in one place? If so, then bullet journaling, also affectionately known as BuJo, may be for you.
What is Bullet Journaling?
A “bullet journal” is a highly customisable type of diary that helps you “track the past, organise the present and plan for the future”. They can encompass the role of year planners, cover daily to-do lists, record long-term aspirations and track emotions or fitness goals.
Bullet journals can be beautifully intricate with some “bullet journalists” adding doodles, calligraphy, stickers, photos and favourite quotes. There are elements of scrapbooking to the practice.
They also use “rapid logging” to capture information in concise, bulleted lists. The bullets are symbols in themselves. “Notes” are represented by a dash sign, “tasks” by a small dot and “events” by a small circle. There are additional symbols that represent further functionalities.
How to bullet journal
Sound complicated? It doesn’t need to be! All you really need to get started is a notebook and a pen, which can easily be picked up from Ryman. Many bullet journalists prefer “dot-grid” notebooks, but any will do. I’d recommend watching an online tutorial or reading around the basic layout of a bullet journal. They often start with an “index page” so you can keep track of what goes where.
A ruler helps with keeping layouts nice and tidy, but you don’t really need to get too caught up with the aesthetics or make it overly complicated. The important thing is that the bullet journal is functional and works for you.
What are the benefits of bullet journaling?
Bullet journaling is described as a “mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system”. For its adherents, journaling really does seem to work on these two levels.
From an organisational perspective it keeps all your notes and lists in one place. Get into the habit of carrying it around everywhere with you and it can act as a great “brain dump”, getting niggles out of your mind and onto paper where they can be dealt with later.
Bullet journaling can also be fun and creative. Check out #bujo on platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest and you’ll be amazed at the skill and detail that goes into the page designs. The element of craft and act of handwritten journaling are both mindful activities and great de-stressors.
What about you?
Could you trade in your new year’s diary for a bullet journal? Are you sold on the fun and the functional? The notion of having all my thoughts in one place is appealing but I’m not quite sure I’m ready to commit. I have a feeling I’d spend more time trying to achieve the perfect page layout than actually getting my life into order!