The Bullet Journal is THE THING in the planning & productivity world these days.
“It’s a fad,” I said. “A bullet journal is not going to work for me.”
And then last week I went on vacation. I didn’t take my computer and I didn’t take my planner.
So I started a bullet journal in the small notebook I’d brought with me, in case I needed to write anything down.
It just seemed to make sense. And that whole index-at-the-beginning thing? A lifesaver!
I’m a confirmed fan of the paper planner, and a loyal customer of Michele Quigley, whose planners I love because they are beautiful, well-made in a family business, functional and contain all kinds of useful Catholic data like the daily readings, saint of the day, quotes from saints, papal prayer intentions and more.
I purchased the notebook addition for the back of the planner and use that as my “bullet journal” for work. I also have a section there for organizing book reviews, because I don’t want those to fall through the cracks (that’s not the way to stay on the good side of authors and publishers!)
I wasn’t using a bullet journal for anything else, but did have a brain-dump notebook that I used on and off through the winter and spring. That sort of fell off when summer came along.
Since I double-dog-dared Deanna Bartalini to try (and report on) using the bullet journal and have actually begun using one myself, I figure that the least I can do is play along and link up at her CatholicMom.com post.
Like Deanna, I’m not out to create a work of art here. I might use a ruler to make a vertical line–that’s it (my notebook is ruled, not graph paper). And look: I don’t even use the same color pen for everything. It’s random–and that’s OK.
Unlike Deanna, I’m not using this as my planner. It’s a notebook with indexed pages for whatever I need to write down at a particular time. During my vacation, I used it to track:
- micro-reviews of books I read on the trip (7 total) for input into Goodreads after my return
- some brainstorming for the regular feature I’ll be writing for Today’s Catholic Teacher
- a list of dinner ideas
- items to discuss with TheKid’s guidance counselor regarding what his classroom teachers will need to know about diabetes
- “random airport sightings” — things that popped into my head while we sat in the San Juan airport for 6 hours. (Times like that, I wish I were a fiction writer. There was lots of story fodder going on, and I don’t mean that in an uncharitable way. Airports are fascinating places for people-watching.)
Once I let go of the idea that it had to LOOK good, I found that the bullet journal really can work for me!