“Good order is the foundation of all things.”
I always had the best of intentions to get organized. Really I did. There was a grocery shopping list in my purse and a million to-do lists here, there, and everywhere. Other ones stored on my phone and infamous “agendas” saved on my computer. Well, enter the Bullet Journal. I’m going to explain what a Bullet Journal is and why it’s a game-changer.
I spent a whopping $60 on a gorgeous planner that basically went to die in the planner graveyard on my desk. It was beautiful (maybe too beautiful because I was afraid to use it!) but oh so impractical for me.
I tried the digital route, too, by using project management apps on my phone and my iPhone calendar. The calendar on my phone was useful to keep me on top of appointments but it didn’t give me a place to do more.
You get the point. Sigh. Does this sound familiar?
By not sticking with a system things were slipping through the cracks
For some reason, I was just never able to consistently stick with one system to organize my madness. It was either too rigid, took too much time, or I just plain didn’t like it. I usually operated by memory but as life got busier that got harder. With a never-ending list of projects for family, kids, house, job, church, activities, events, volunteering, and commitments – it became more challenging to keep up with the ever-changing details of everything that I needed to manage. Not to mention all the brain space it was taking up to boot!
Things were slipping through the cracks. Also, with having notes here, there, and everywhere – just trying to keep track of my lists was a project in and of itself! Even if I was getting things done I was always feeling scattered and not on top of things.
By implementing a Bullet Journal practice it gave me one place to put all my stuff. It not only helped me be more productive and organized but it helped me in a whole lot of other unexpected ways, too. I’ll explain more.
The Bullet Journal made me more mindful
I was living small
When I really thought about it though it wasn’t even the fact of not being organized that bothered me so much. It was the fact that by being so stuck in getting the everyday, mundane things done, I was living small. I was so focused on checking off every little item on my never-ending list of things-to-do that it was keeping me from stepping back and seeing the wider picture. I was stuck in the minutia and it was keeping me from envisioning my bigger goals and dreams in life.
All the details of packing lunches, paying bills, keeping up with the house, and honoring commitments are necessary and important but my time and energy were being monopolized with these small things. I shouldn’t say that I didn’t think about my bigger dreams or goals at all. I just felt overwhelmed in the minutia of life and bigger dreams and goals at the time didn’t seem attainable.
I wasn’t spending enough time identifying my big dreams and goals
I wasn’t spending enough time analyzing my life and asking myself what I really wanted in life and making room for creating my dreams. By using the Bullet Journal, I finally got a grip on managing the small things. That allowed me room to start to think about what I want in my life and identify some larger goals. I had to start asking myself some important questions like – What are my big goals? When I think about my life – what do I really want to accomplish? Who do I want to spend my time with?
Once I was able to identify bigger objectives then the planner helped me break the goal into small, more actionable tasks. It was a whole process and I realized that those baby steps were really the key to achieving my goals.
The Bullet Journal helped clear my mind and increase creativity and productivity
The Bullet Journal System helped me because I finally had one place where I can do a brain dump and put everything down on paper. It cleared up the clutter in my mind and made room for me to think of other more important stuff. I can write down all the tasks and the little things I had to do quickly.
In addition to being able to have a place to put everything and be more productive and organized, it gave me a place to reflect. I had a place to write down my thoughts and feelings on things. It serves as a diary or journal of sorts where I can record special memories and thoughts. All these different features weave together to create a system where I can be more mindful because it gives me a place to not only plan, but a place to think, reflect, dream, and create.
Bullet Journaling Helped Me Be More Intentional With My Time
I also wanted to be more intentional with my life and mindful of spending my time. Time, after all, is our most finite resource. We only get so much of it and I want to be as conscious as I can about using it well and prioritizing what is important. It really helped me to be more efficient by having one place to put everything so I became a lot more productive and started to use my time more efficiently and try to identify and spend time on the things and people that are meaningful and important to me.
It Helped Me Do All of This With No Pressure
One of the best aspects of using the Bullet Journal is that there is no pressure. I think that’s why I stuck with it. As a busy mom and wife, I don’t have a lot of extra time on my hands. Although I would love to get creative and make fancy Bullet Journal pages every day, the truth is on most days that’s not realistic for me and that’s fine.
Because this system can be as involved or as simple as you need it or want it to be there is no pressure. On days where I do have more time or inspiration happens to strike then I can be more creative and involved.
In fact, my suggestion is to keep it simple at first and see how it works for you. You can always get more involved or incorporate more features as time goes on.
We found a great article here if you want a step by step tutorial on how to create your own Bullet Journal.
So go ahead and give it a try! It might just change your life as it did mine. Happy Journaling!