I like a day-minder. I prefer the type that allows one full page for each day, but I’ve tried out others. Some fit seven days onto a two page spread. Many of them give Saturday and Sunday less space than the other days of the week. I can work with those formats, but they’re not my favorite. I like a full page for my to-do list, my work schedule and other places I have to be, miles walked and other exercise done, and anything else I want to keep track of. Spare room on a page might be used for inspirational quotes, movies that sound interesting, books I want to read or anything else that catches my attention.
I also keep a journal. I have a book filled with nothing but possible titles for future works of art. I have another with Christmas gifts I have purchased and given – and to whom – over the course of the last forty years. My daughters were having a discussion a few years ago about how I had shorted one of them at holiday time. No way! I was able to pull out my little book, go all the way back to the year 1989, and show that I was absolutely fair. It just happened that Kate had insisted on a pair of very expensive designer jeans that year. Jen got three pair of [less expensive]slacks to Kate’s one, but the expenditure was the same.
I have my big red notebook, with quotes and notes, plans and aspirations. It also has a eulogy for my sister, Sheila, written on a tearful trip down-state, the particulars of two separate meals I shared with my sisters on two different vacations, and every book I read in 2013.
The bullet journal intrigued me as a way to possibly combine many of these various ledgers into one single book that I could carry with me. I watched the on-line tutorial by the inventor, then did some exploring on my own before attempting to implement the idea. There is a lot of information out there. Quite a few people have blogs devoted to nothing but the ins and outs of bullet journaling. Pinterest has dozens of bullet journal categories, with thousands of ideas. Any search engine will produce several good examples.
Let me start by saying that none of these ideas are original, or my own. I started very simply, last August. It was more than a month before I was confident enough to give up my day-planner, and use the bullet journal exclusively. Many discussions talk about how this is superior to using a smart phone or computer to keep track of things. That means nothing to me, as I have always written things down. There are just a few – important – things that set the bullet journal apart from regular planners.
- You set it up yourself. You decide if each day of the week gets a full page, or a fraction of a page. You decide what’s important, and what gets space. Nothing is off limits. I might have ten pages of simple day-planner stuff, than a page of quotes, or a list of books I want to read, a good recipe…whatever.
- The index. This simple aspect is what makes the bullet journal workable – even borderline genius. It is simply a few pages at the front dedicated to what can be found where. So it can be found again. Unlike the information scattered throughout the pages of my day-planner!
- Simplicity. You start with a blank book. What’s important – and what gets space – can change throughout the life of the bullet journal (which does not run from January to December, by the way, but from whenever you want to start, until you fill it up and begin another one).
- Creativity. Honest to God, go to Pinterest, and check out the oh-so-cute and creative approaches. Many of the ideas put me – an artist – to shame. I adapted many ideas and formats I found there, to meet my needs and suit my aesthetic sensibility, but you could use it, easily, as a springboard for your own creativity.
That’s about all I can tell you about the bullet journal.
This idea is interesting, and much more creative than a regular planner. I’m definitely going to look into it!
It’s been working well for me, and does allow for a lot of customization. I’d been looking for the “perfect” planner for years. Now, if it’s not right, I have only myself to blame. Happy New Year!