Last week I mentioned that I've been using the bullet journaling system and ya'll asked for more details. Good news is this has been so fruitful for my creative process so I'm dying to share!
I am using this journal from Moleskine. I'm a Moleskine fan and don't know that I'll buy any other journal ever. Except the ones with really cute quotes on them. The things that I love about Moleskine journals are this:
- The journals lay flat. I am usually repelled by journals that are not spiral bound because the crease and writability. BUT, Moleskine journals -in the soft cover form that I prefer- lay flat, completely, unimpededly flat.
- The ribbon is a love. It reminds me of my bible and that's a fond feeling.
- I adore the band that stretches around the cover. It keeps things in tight and keeps the pages from getting all bent up and crushed. It also helps to hold in the notecards that I've been taking notes on so I won't lose them.
- There's a pocket in the back. I put things in it. And then I forget they're there are get excited when I find them again.
The LARGE size is what I have... It's easily fit into a purse or crossbody. It is the EXTRA LARGE that is regular 8.5" by 11" paper. Moleskine's also come in hard and soft cover. I have only purchased the soft, but have heard other bullet journalers swear by the hard. I know that Target and Staples sell Moleskine products if Amazon ain't your thing.
I don't think you can go wrong as long as you honor your preferences (which is the POINT of bullet journaling).
I started the month using the system that the bullet journaling website mentioned. I decided using their system for a month would allow for me to decide what works for me and what doesn't... I am sure this is a post that could be repeated in another few months with new ideas and advice.
I put together a key (which now seems sort of unimportant because it's so self explanatory) and a table of contents. You will have to get into the habit of writing page numbers at the top of each page... Something that could be tricky, but I've found that I use the table of contents more than I expected so the page numbers have value.
I leave a page for the lessons I learn in the month at the beginning so that I can write things down as I learned them... As I've come to realize: I only wrote out two of my lessons into my lessons I learned blog post. The others have entire posts that I want to write with them. So they'll now be added to my blog post ideas page (or just highlighted to later grab my attention... Jury is still out on that notation).
I am highly motivated by the check boxes. Highly motivated. And when I get to work I set my journal open on my desk and tackle what's in there (and in my email inbox). Sometimes I really don't want to do something -i.e. change a doctor's appointment-, but then the fact that I can check it off motivates me. If that's similar to your soul, this system is for you.
Stars indicate things that make me inspired, happy, reflective. They're fun to see as I flip through the pages and I've toyed with the idea of highlighting the stars just so they catch my attention. I don't do them often, but enough to want them to stick out from all the other daily conversation.
Something I learned from Emily Freeman's blog is to always write who said the quote and where you saw it. As you might notice on the right hand page I've starred a quote from Kelly Corrigan's memoir Glitter and Glue that appeared on page 142.
This has pushed me to be more focused on the tasks at hand instead of what's to come. I think that's the point of bullet journaling, to work on what's here and now instead of what's tomorrow or next month's. I look at time as all mine when, in fact, the only moment I've got is now. And so, that's a win.
I know that some people use $ to write down what they need to buy... I'd do the same, but I do all my shopping at Super Target. That means that I get groceries and everything that we need for the house or otherwise at one time, so there aren't any straggler things I have to specifically seek out at other stores. This is convenient, but makes the $ sign completely useless in my system.
I didn't mind the way the April month was written in a single page (see the second picture above). But I enjoy the way a calendar looks. So I did May like this:
This has made the month feel a little more simple to look at and interact with. I just counted down the lines already printed on the pages of my Moleskine and then used a ruler to mark where the vertical lines needed to be. Yep, made it official and used a ruler.
Overall, I totally recommend the bullet journal method. I love that it's not a specific journal you have to buy, but a system that can be tailored to whatever you'd like. I know some people use smaller journals or others larger and so no one looks like the choosy Goldilocks type.
More than the flexbility of the journal: I'm getting things done. Not in the hustle, hustle, hustle way, but in a way that feels really productive even when there are only two points to a given day. Using a list daily takes away the wonder of writing down 320,392 things for me to and knock out. Instead, I'm prioritizing and using time wisely.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments
or shoot me a tweet or email!