Dodge the Bullet of Disorganization

Many people fall into the same trap when it comes to planning. They get excited, buy a planner, and plan absolutely everything for two or three weeks. Then the inevitable happens. The excitement tapers off, planning becomes a chore, and they eventually quit. That’s why the bullet journal method has taken the internet by storm. There are plenty of online tutorials, ideas, and inspiration to make your bullet journal personal, showing your individual style, while also keeping you organized and on task for your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. For those who tend to be scatterbrained or lose sight of things easily, this type of journal encourages creativity in layout and allows for doodling which keeps certain people more focused. The standard boxes of traditional journals tend to be dull and, for many, will eventually lead to a lack of interest. For those who like creative outlets, bullet journaling can be a way to let out some artistic energy with a tangible output and clear purpose. This week, we’ll lay out the basics of bullet journaling to get you started, and you can let your inspiration lead you from here.

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Standards of bullet journals

The bullet journal is a way of taking the thoughts and plans you have and mapping them into something external. Unlike traditional journals and planners, the bullet journal allows for flexibility and creativity in the process. It is completely reliant on its user to be successful. However, there are certain themes which most users utilize to help keep them on track. The first is an index or key. In it, write all of the symbols you plan to use and what they mean. For example, when it comes to planning things, many people use the following set up: tasks are indicated by a dot bullet, events are indicated by an open circle, and notes are indicated by a dash. When you’re done with one of these items, put an X over the bullet or dash, and if it is pushed to a later date, use a forward facing arrow and put the item in it’s newly designated space. You can then use these symbols on monthly, weekly, and daily lists of your creation.

Ideas for Bullet Journaling

The point of bullet journaling is that it should be fun. Use different colored pencils, markers, and pens to make your pages dynamic and interesting. Include a “memories” page at the end of every month where you write about your month and draw fun doodles. Use patterned tapes to include notes to yourself. Keep a monthly log of activities to track your progress in certain areas like working out more or eating out less. Take notes at the end of the month on how to improve your journal or help you reach a goal. The important thing it that you’re marking down what is most important to you. This will help keep you on track, but keep it from feeling like a chore.

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Downfalls

Like all things, bullet journaling takes practice. It will take time to figure out how you want your pages laid out and what you want them to look like. These types of journals are not for everyone, and tend to for best for artistic people who like coloring and drawing. Their appeal lies in their freedom, but for many people too much freedom is a problem. Keep this in mind before you start your bullet journaling project. Whether you love it or hate it, many people have fallen in love with the bullet journal and the flexibility it provides. Try it for yourself and leave your critiques in the comments! If planning with a journal just isn’t your style, that’s okay too. Check out a Freedom Personal Development class near you to figure out how to best plan for your future!