Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Organization: Bullet Journal

Random fact: I'm a notebook person - each year I fill up a few books with various collections of sketches, meeting notes, shopping lists, packing lists, and travel plans. In restaurants I'll dig a sketch book out of my purse so the kids can play fierce games of tic tac toe to pass the time.

Besides, there is nothing - and I mean nothing - more satisfying than crossing off the last item on a miles-long To Do list.

My absolute favorites are the pocket-sized Field Notes booklets that are great for travel notes, species lists, or the good old fashioned shopping list. Santa got this one for me a few years ago and it's been a constant companion on trips.

But, to be honest, all my notebooks are a jumbled mess of scribbled and barely legible notations that are completely lacking in organization. I'm only showing you the prettiest of pages and well...they're not exactly beautiful - and barely functional.

So this month I'm trying out something new: bullet journaling. My husband and sister-in-law are converts, with Chris claiming that it helps him methodically track his work tasks and keeps him up to date on daily events. Besides, he is uber organized,  a characteristic I would love to model in my slightly messy daily existence.

 I ordered myself a snazzy notebook online and watched a few tutorials. Here is the Cliff Notes version of how to bullet journal. Like Moleskin sketchers, there are some amazing examples out there.

 The process is mostly simple, and I've adopted Chris's system, which is a slight variation on the formal setup.

So, grab a dotted notebook and dive in .

Step 1: INDEX

This will evolve as you add more months or sections throughout the book; two pages will probably suffice. Some folks also choose to do a legend here to denote notebook symbols.

Section 1: FUTURE LOGS.

This is simply a list of things that will happen during the year that you want to easily reference: trips, important events, etc. I have one for each month of the year.


Mine is a combination of both work and personal tasks that need to be completed monthly. Sorry for the close-cropped pictures, I'm showing mostly family stuff, rather than business tasks.

Proper Bullet Journalers will have a Monthly Log next but Chris found he wasn't using his regularly so he simply does a Daily Log next.

Section 3: Daily Log

This is a day-by-day compilation of appointments, tasks, reminders, and whatever else you need to get through your daily existence.

There is a system of symbols that indicate if you have completed a task, abandoned the task, or need to push it off to the next day or month. Chris spends a few minutes at the end of his work day organizing his journal for the following day so there are no surprises when he sits down the next morning.

Section 4: Collections
At the very back of the book is the Collections area, which is basically a bunch of miscellaneous lists: places to travel, books to read, or meals to cook. I also have my #52Hikes Challenge which is...currently empty. :)

So, that's my grand plan for the year. I'll let you know how it goes. On one of my lists is a desire to take a sketching class - wouldn't that be fun to do while traveling?