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Bullet Journal – Getting Started

I found a great website related to bullet journals which inspired me to give it a shot.

Not sure how but I came across a bullet journal but when I did it felt like the perfect tool to organize my thoughts and plans. This blog was sort of for that reason as well but the efficiency and streamlined feel of a bullet journal looks to be a better fit. I never used journal before but let’s see if it’s for me.

Source of information: https://www.tinyrayofsunshine.com/blog/bullet-journal-guide – This website had a ton of information related to bullet journals and really breaks it down to the finer details. Check it out for more info! I plan on using this website to guide me on bullet journals.

Why journal?

The idea of a journal really doesn’t fit my life style. Everything happens at break neck speed every day. Once things final settle down, I usually do whatever I can to relax and recharge to take on the next hectic day. Mornings are spent running out the door with breakfast in my hand. But maybe that’s why a journal was always appealing to me, maybe it might slow me down a little and organize myself a bit.

At work I use a combination of Outlook tasks, notebook pages, and sticky notes to stay on task. It’s a mess. If it’s on my desk it usually means its something I have to do so after a few days, my desk becomes a nightmare to trudge through. Having a note book that’s actually organized and useful could be beneficial to me at work.

Outside of that, ideas and thoughts are always swimming in my head. I typically forget 90% of them. Again, having a spot to organize them could be very beneficial. Especially for simply things like birthdays, Christmas gifts, and that song that I heard once and will never find again.

I’m not much of a writer (hence my terrible grammar on this site) but my job is based around the idea of documentation and organization of people and processes. I also liked the idea of applying quality assurance and lean ideas to normal life situations and decisions. This journal may bridge the gap for me.

So how do I start?

I checked out a site called Tiny Ray of Sunshine that really is an impressive amount of information and details on the idea of bullet journals. I’m going to check out a few more areas here but here is my over simplified take on the idea.

  • Get a notebook
    • There’s all kinds of notebooks out there but I personally don’t think it mattes as long as you’re comfortable with it.
  • Get a pen / pencil
    • Again, preference. Pens are more accessible to me as I’m always losing them so I plan on using pen.
  • Start an Index
    • The first 2 or 3 pages should be an index. Any time new ideas are added (collections as they are called) the index should be updated with whatever page numbers were consumed. Which leads to…
  • Number a chunk of pages
    • I think it can be numbered as you go, or maybe number 50 pages right away. Some notebooks that are more geared to journal with probably have page numbers already.
  • Start a collection of “Future Plans”
    • Let your first index entry be “Future Plans”. Give it a few pages of space here and dedicate the space to ideas and plans that you want to get to one day. This is filled in over time and not really meant to be a one time entry.
  • Start a collection for whatever month you’re starting at
    • So another index entry, set a few pages aside for a month, say January 2021.
    • On page one of that collection, make a simple calendar ( or don’t, it’s up to you how you want to manage your tasks). This will remember an outlook calendar.
    • On the opposite facing page, let it be your main tasks area where you go through your tasks as you see fit.
  • From here, collections can be made as needed
    • There aren’t a lot of “rules” as far as what goes into the journal. The idea behind the journal is to have it organized in a way that makes sense and is efficient. Tasks that were not completed can be moved on to new collections or new months. Want to write a poem? Do it. Then put it in the index so you know where it’s at. Thoughts? Pictures? Your dogs flea medicine notes? It can all have a home because you’re making it as you go.

Again, I never did this before and the links I provided here have much more details info and examples of how to do this. I’d rather not recreate the wheel but just provide my take on it and how I hope to approach it.

In any case, if you’re like me and just fly through every day without taking a moment to reflect on your current situation, past decisions or future plans, a journal with a purpose may help slow you down for a few minutes and write out these things. The organization of it and simple goals make sense to me instead of just having a blank sheet of paper day after day like traditional journals.

I’ll start soon and give an update as I learn a bit more about it.

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