Omg. Bullet journaling.
Have you heard of it? It’s literally like, where have you been all my life?
I’ve always had a particular love and geeky adoration of stationery, journals, pretty books and pens. I can’t explain it, they just make the world a better place. They make me happy. I always loved each new academic year, zipping down to the shops to get my newest, most sparkly diary so I could start using it, scribbling, doodling and generally getting organised within its pretty, colourful pages. Using pretty stationery appeals to my organised nature, as well as my enjoyment of arts and crafts.
So you can imagine my sheer, unutterable joy and excitement when I discovered the existence of the bullet journal. If you haven’t heard of it, then let me enlighten you. Its a system of keeping a diary/journal that has a simple but organised approach that can be pared down to the basics, or can allow you to be free and expressive with your creativity. There are loads of tutorials and explanations online and various social media groups where the fans of the bullet journal share and interact – this post is about my excitement about it rather than a lesson in how it works. It’s creator calls it the ‘analogue system for the digital age’ and it really does allow you to go back to a simple, basic approach to organising and scheduling – and it has certainly helped me move away from using electronic equipment – which in my case was becoming a little overwhelming.
Recently, I have gone through some personal stuff (when I’m feeling braver I’m hoping to share it on this blog) but the anxiety and issues that I’ve suffered along the way have been soothed and supported by using my bullet journal. It is an excellent tool for allowing me to record, remember, plan, organise my chaotic brain and also create and doodle, scribble and express with a freedom that I haven’t felt since I was doing Art in 6th Year. It’s very therapeutic.
So what is in it? Which parts of it do I find the most enjoyable? Well, the basic planner part is great, because you can do your usual calendar and to-do lists, but you can enhance them and explore them by adding in personal, creative touches. When you’re doing a long, onerous Monday morning do-to list, what is nicer than being able to draw something pretty on it or add some sparkly stickers? It definitely helps me stay cheerful when I’m extra busy or have lots of responsibilities. It helps me take life LESS seriously.
In addition to my calendar, I also have personalised aspects in my bullet journal – as do most users. That’s the joy of it – even if you’re not artistic and don’t want to create and doodle in your journal, you can tailor it absolutely to your needs. No longer is a blank page intimidating and scary! Some personal pages I enjoy adding to are; a savings page – where I list my savings goals and this helps me financially plan and stay focused, and I also have a little page where I record my children’s sayings and anecdotes so I can keep track of my early memories of them. I tick off my slimming world syns on each day and also use a habit tracker to keep a handle on how much water I’m drinking, etc. Also very enjoyable is my gratitude log, where I write down one thing each day which I am grateful for. You can see why people with anxiety or depression find it a therapeutic exercise.
If you’re at all interested in using a planner, or like to doodle or create in any way shape or form – then take a look at bullet journaling and see if it is for you. You don’t have to be the next DaVinci or Cezanne, you just have to take joy in it.
Oh, and its a great excuse to buy some new fancy pens…