As a writer, it's expected that I should constantly be writing in a journal about every passing thought. However, that is simply not the case for me. Until I started bullet journaling, I don't think I had ever filled an entire notebook front to back. I always gave up or forgot that I had one.
For those of you who don't know, bullet journaling is "a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system," according to the creator, Ryder Carroll. The whole idea is that through this practice people can live more productive lives with added meaning by organizing their lives in one journal. A bullet journal should be a place to put down all important tasks in your life as well as events, reminders, and really anything you want to remember. Essentially, it combines your planner, agenda, and journal all into one convenient notebook.
My monthly log before I had filled it out from my September spread.Caroline Yu
I first discovered bullet journaling around last summer. My Instagram "explore" page was constantly filled with videos upon videos of faceless hands creating beautiful calligraphy. I found it both entertaining and relaxing to see the careful up and down strokes of brush pens marking pieces of paper. As my calligraphy viewing increased, new content appeared on my page. Specifically, accounts that shared their own bullet journal creations.
The pages were so beautifully organized and aesthetically pleasing. I've always wanted to learn calligraphy but I just never found the time. Jobless and bored, I made it my summer goal to learn calligraphy so that I could create beautiful bullet journal spreads like that. However, I knew if I didn't have someone to hold me accountable I would never actually go through with this plan. So, I recruited one of my friends to join me in my bullet journaling journey (much to his dismay).
One of my weekly spreads using the dutch door technique, which allows for the addition of another page in a spread.Caroline Yu
After finding myself an accountability partner, I started to get into it. I researched what were the best markers to start learning calligraphy and what were the exact rules of bullet journaling (by the way, if you're looking to start Crayola Super Tips are really cheap and easy to learn with). While the original bullet journal system is a bit confusing at first, I found that it's really up to the user to decide what's beneficial to their lifestyle.
For me, I was looking to mainly find a way to plan out my schedule in one place so that I could prioritize which tasks were more pressing. As much as I love consistently opening and closing all my syllabi to see what's due each week, it was not a foolproof way to remember all my assignments. I would constantly miss things that were due and I would forget that something was coming up because I didn't have the schedule right in front of me.
My January monthly spread!Caroline Yu
Bullet journaling offered me a creative outlet while also providing me a place to keep all my thoughts and all of my pressing matters. To me, it feels like an agenda and a diary. Something I feel was a needed aspect in my life. I'm able to vent but also keep my thoughts organized.
Honestly, it's been great bullet journaling for the last six months. It helps me to keep focus and stay on task in my day to day life. Through the help of my friend and my own diligence, I was able to complete my first full journal at the end of December last year. While it's only been a short amount of time, I can already feel the difference in how I live my day to day life not just in being organized but also in being more grounded.