Y’all, I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly organized person. I love to make lists and mark off tasks as I complete them. But I had a habit of losing notes written on scraps of paper, index cards, etc. I’d use a spiral notebook, then forget to put in in my briefcase, so I’d buy another notebook at a Walgreens near the office. Before I knew it, I was working out of three or four notebooks. No wonder I couldn’t keep up with my notes.
Back in the summer I stumbled upon the Bullet Journal method, or BuJo if you’re hip. I’m not taking you on a deep dive explanation of this journaling method because there are too many online resources. Here’s a link to the Bullet Journal website. Brew yourself a cup of tea before you go onto the site. If BuJo (I’m hip) interests you at all, you’ll be there a while.
I joined a Facebook group where people share their artistic BuJo spreads. Some people share that they are afraid to begin because they are afraid of making an error. That’s just not how I roll. I use the “minimalist” method, just like Ryder Carroll, the father of Bullet Journaling. If I make an error, I draw a line through it and keep on going.
I’m about to set up my 2018 future log and my January goals page. I’ve used about half of the pages in my journal and rather than buy another ridiculously expensive (when compared to Walgreens’ prices) journal in order to begin 2018 on page one, I’m going to continue working out of the ridiculously expensive journal I’m already using. Here’s the one I have, in emerald if you’re curious.
Here are things that are not in my Bullet Journal:
- My daily calendar: I use the Google online calendar because I share my schedule with several people in my office.
- Fancy, artistic spreads, Washi Tape, and the like. There’s nothing wrong with those things, they’re just not my cuppa.
Here are the things I record in my Bullet Journal:
- A year-at-a-glance future log, per the Bullet Journal website instructions
- A monthly spread. This is an overview of goals categorized by my nonprofit job, my coaching business, and my personal life (home and garden, etc)
- A weekly spread with more detail about people with whom I must connect, projects that need to be moved forward, etc.
- Daily pages, using a half page for each day. This is where I jot down quick tasks, my gratitude list for that day, etc.
- My half marathon training schedule, and I check off each day as I complete it.
- Prep notes for meetings
- Notes I take during meetings
In 2018 I’m going to experiment with a monthly habit tracker. I’ll simply write down some things I want to focus on for the month, draw enough boxes for each day of that month, and fill in the boxes when I accomplished the action each day. Example: My muscles are stiff as a board and I want to get back into a daily stretching routine. I also want to be more faithful about drinking enough water each day. Those items will go into my habit tracker until they become automatic. I’m also going to include housework schedule (borrowed from a spread someone shared on Facebook) with daily, weekly, monthly tasks.
A fellow nonprofit executive recently asked to meet with me to discuss some struggles she was having managing her workload. As she explained how she approached her day, it was pretty clear she was having time-management issues. I invited her to give Bullet Journaling a try. A few weeks later I received a thank you note and in it she said that this journaling method has completely overhauled her work life.
This is the time of year when a lot of folks are making resolutions. If getting organized is on your list, I invite you to give the Bullet Journal a try.