What is bullet journaling?

Happy New Year!  It’s now 2018 and I’ve just returned from an amazing month in Australia and New Zealand visiting family and friends. Now that I’m back to reality and “real life” where I live in The Hague, The Netherlands, I’ve been using this great new energy of the new year to get myself organised.

I’ve noticed the term “bullet journalling” popping up a lot recently so I have spent some time researching it.  It looks interesting so am sharing some resources below to give you a quick shortcut if you’d also like to look into it.  Or maybe you are already using this system?  If so, please share in the comments!

A search for the term on Google brings up the website http://bulletjournal.com as a main resource, attributing the technique to Ryder Carroll as the founder.  It summarises Bullet journalling as being “The analogue system for the digital age” and says that all you need to start is a notebook and pen.  This four minute video gives a great overview:

In the past, I attended a presentation by David Allen of “Getting Things Done“.  I admit, I’ve not yet read his book but what stayed with me from his talk was that “your brain is for having ideas, not to keep them”.  I already use a combination of systems and apps to organise myself.  I’ve come to realise that a combination of both paper and digital is what works best for me.  They seem to activate different parts of my brain.  I keep a notepad on my desk and do a brain dump regularly, and also use the “reminders” and “evernote” apps regularly.  The trick is, I’ve found, is to integrate these.  For example, I’ll tick things off my paper list and then transfer the left over items to my digital list.  This is handy so that I can access it on the go on my iPhone and iPad.

There are countless other videos and resources out there if you’d like to try bullet journalling.  Here’s one that I found useful.

Here’s a few articles you may like to also take a look at:

So will bullet journalling work for me?  I’m going to give it a try – I think it’s both fun and challenging to experiment with new systems.  Juggling family life with a career is rarely easy and having tools and ways to keep organised and on top of things is crucial.  I’ve already kept various forms of journals and notebooks over the years, but this has given me an extra boost to try something a little different. I have a nice notebook and pretty pens ready:

I like the creative side of this and the fact that there are a lot of ideas and inspiration out there, all based on really simple basic principles.  In an age of technology and with so much screen time, I particularly like the excuse and motivation to draw in a notebook.  It seems silly to need a catchphrase such as bullet journal to do so, but the resources above have all given me ideas at a glance that I would not have come up with on my own.

Have you heard this term before you read this blog post?  Have you tried bullet journalling?  Would love to read about your experiences in a comment!


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