Right around the start of the new year, a friend of mine introduced me to this note-taking system, which he promised would “turn me into an efficiency machine”. Consider that I’m a 20-something from the Silicon Valley – I work in high-tech, I grew up with high-tech, my entire world is basically dominated by the tech industry in one way or another. So I was admittedly a bit skeptical when I checked out Bullet Journaling for the first time. Having a bullet journal seemed like a lot of upkeep, and really, who has time to write things down anymore? Well, me, it turns out. True life, I am a bona-fide bullet journal convert. This is my story.
I’m a pretty type-a person. I live and die by my to-do lists, and having an efficient system of reminders and lists is important to me. Lately, though, my endless task list has devolved into a series of post-its, phone reminders, and emails. Not what you’d think of when you picture efficiency, no? I’ve run the gamut of to-do list apps for both my phone and iPad, but nothing seemed to stick.
Enter the bullet journal. At first glance, the concept seems a bit complex: different symbols (a circle, a square, a bullet) denote different items, and another lexicon of symbols represent importance. At the beginning of every month, you put down an ascending list of dates with corresponding days, and outline the general tasks that you’d like to accomplish during that month. Seem like too much effort? Well, I thought so too at first. But you’d be surprised.
The whole idea behind the bullet journal is that it helps you chronicle your day-to-day with the goal of helping you meet your goals. There’s something to be said for the staying power of a task when it’s actually written down, not just logged somewhere and forgotten about. I found the entire process remarkably easy to learn, and seriously guys, nothing is more satisfying than placing a little check-mark after a task.
The bullet journal isn’t just a daily calendar, either. You’re encouraged to use your journal as a sketchbook, a place to log observations, track short and long-term goals, and as a repository for ideas. I use my journal to log my dreams, and often write down little observations that I’ve made throughout the day. It’s pretty cathartic to end every day by looking at all the things I’ve accomplished, what I still have to do the next day, and what I’ve learned. As the creator of the concept explains in this super cool video, your bullet journal is, among other things, a lovely way to chronicle your life.
As with any productivity aid, this tool is essentially what you make of it. Use your bullet journal for whatever you like. I like the idea of a choose-your-own-adventure journal because it feels very personal, but that’s just me. I’ve never been more inspired to do great things, and I hope that you feel the same after using your journal.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out the ultra-informative website. You won’t be sorry!
Anyone out there using bullet journals? How do you keep yours organized?