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There’s a good chance you’ve already come across the concept of a “Bullet Journal,” probably via the many artfully decorated photos people have put online of their own journals (usually complete with a Bullet Journal-related hashtag.)
Although it’s certainly possible to take this colourful and decorative approach to Bullet Journalling, though, it’s worth knowing that the original Bullet Journal Method created by Ryder Carroll is extremely minimalistic in nature, and relies on just a few key symbols in order to turn the experience of journaling and ordering your life into a seamless process.
Most of us could use a bit more structure, motivation, and insight in our lives, especially when it comes to managing big plans, and doing what we can to get our homes and lives in order.
Here are a few ways that starting a Bullet Journal can help you to get your home and life in order.
- By giving you a place to plan, track, and systematically work on big projects
First and foremost, a Bullet Journal presents you with a platform for planning, tracking, and systematically working on big projects that would otherwise be very difficult to stay on top of, and that could easily spiral out of control.
There are all sorts of big projects that you might be hoping to undertake in your home, such as a Bathroom Remodeling job, for example. And any such project is bound to involve plenty of sub-tasks that need to be handled, and relevant notes that need to be stored.
The Bullet Journal Method involves an ingenious system for cataloguing different projects and categories throughout your notebook, with easy reference courtesy of an “index” at the start of the journal. Perhaps best of all, you can add pages to a category, sporadically, throughout your notebook, while still keeping it linked up and accessible thanks to the “threading” and “index” systems.
Of course, projects don’t just exist in regards to your home. The Bullet Journal could just as well be used for helping you to get in the best shape of your life, plan your wedding, work out the details of your next family vacation, or to help you to earn your degree.
- By helping you to systematically track and organise ideas that pop into your head, instead of losing them
We all have many ideas that pop into our heads throughout the day, some of which could be very important, very poignant, or very useful, if only we could properly capture them and funnel them down the right avenues.
More often than not, though, the majority of these thoughts and insights tend to get lost in the general-purpose chaos of the day, and the broad range of duties and obligations we all have to attend to.
It’s totally possible that you’ve forgotten more than one “million-dollar idea.”
One of the fundamental features of a Bullet Journal is the “daily spread,” where you jot down and capture any idea that pops into your head that you want to preserve, whether it’s a thought about a book you’ve read, a note about an appointment you’ve made, or set of reminders about certain products that you want to buy.
Once these ideas are “captured” in this way, the Bullet Journal system helps you to filter through them, assign them to meaningful categories, get rid of the ones that you don’t feel are ultimately worth holding onto, and take action on the rest.
Not only can it be an enormous boost to your peace of mind to actually have a system in place for capturing your ideas, but it can also make you much more efficient and organised in all areas of your life, too.
- By making the process of reflection on your goals and to-dos automatic
One issue with many digital task and project management systems, is that they make it extremely easy to capture an unlimited number of to-do items, only to then permanently forget about them and leave them ignored in an ever-growing database of “stuff that needs to get done.”
Another great feature of the Bullet Journal Method, is that it makes the process of reflecting on your goals and to dos automatic, instead of allowing you to easily just forget about everything.
Every month, the Bullet Journal Method requires you to go through a process of “migration,” where you decide what to do with all the outstanding to-do items from the last month. This involves copying out everything that you want to carry forward, filtering things into different categories as required, and abandoning the rest.
In other words, it’s much more difficult to just leave things sitting around indefinitely, as you’ll frequently be driven to confront your outstanding items.
- By making the process of staying organised fun and satisfying, instead of disheartening and frustrating
Many systems for organising your life and categorising your to-dos are, unfortunately, pretty tiring and frustrating, and often have a way of making you feel stressed and pressured, rather than “on top of things.”
The Bullet Journal Method, by contrast, emphasises flexibility. You don’t have to beat yourself up if you haven’t logged an entry for a particular day, and you can easily move things around between categories, remove them altogether, or re-add them, as you see fit.
The fundamental premise of the method is to make you more mindful of the things you’re doing, and of the things you want to do. It’s about making life more satisfying as a whole, rather than about bullying yourself into line for the sake of peak productivity.
Of course, a Bullet Journal can certainly make you more productive, and it can also allow you to make real headway on projects and tasks that you had previously been putting off. But, first and foremost, the benefit of the system is that it makes the process of staying organised fun and satisfying instead of disheartening and frustrating.
Even the fact that the system is done on paper rather than digitally makes it more satisfying for many users. There’s something about marking off a completed item on paper that’s just more viscerally satisfying than clicking the “complete” box on a software program.