What the heck is a bullet journal?
I am good at lots of things; scattergories, singing in the shower, packing for a trip. There are just certain things that I have down to a science and I’m proud to admit it.
Staying organized, however? Not so much.
For the longest time I just thought that it wasn’t in my nature (and it’s NOT), but I've come to recognize that that's not a good excuse. Some people are just naturally able to organize their thoughts, deadlines, to-do list and LIFE in a way that is pretty, that makes sense and that seems effortless. I on the other hand can’t even remember my own kid's birthdays (although maybe that’s a different problem because I have too many kids. But I digress…).
My brain just doesn’t work in an organized fashion, and I think that’s a problem that so many other creatives struggle with. The other day one of my besties offered to come to my apartment and help me organize and purge all of our clothes (I’m so sick of doing laundry, so I thought the only solution was to get rid of most of our clothes. I’ll let you know how that works out). At one point we were sifting through all of my clothes and organizing everything by season. We put all of my fall/winter clothes in my drawers and put my spring/summer items in a rubbermaid container that fits under my bed (adios, summer). As we were purging, I came across my bathing suits, and said to Landri, “What about these?” and she suggested, “Why don’t you put them in your summer bin?”.
(I swear to the high heavens that this girl is a genius)
My bathing suits had always lived in my underwear drawer 365 days out of the year. I had never even thought to put them anywhere else. Literally, not once. And then this lady just tells me to put them away with the rest of my summer clothes?! Well, OBVIOUSLY that’s where they should go.
It boggled my mind that I had never thought of this before, and I started to wonder, what else in my life am I doing wrong? Have you ever had a moment like that? Where you wonder if you're making life more complicated for yourself? Personally, I’m sure there are a plethora of ways I've done this, and I’m hoping that I will uncover some of these things as I make more of an effort to live a more organized life.
I’ve realized in the past year or so that even though I’m not naturally inclined to be organized, I can no longer just say, “Oh, it’s not in my nature to be that way” and just expect for my life to somehow get easier even though I’m not putting in any effort whatsoever to actually make it happen. I have to be the one to MAKE it happen. Me, myself, I.
Enter: the bullet journal
Basically, it’s a blank journal (dotted or gridded) where you can write EVERYTHING. It’s a planner that you structure for yourself and it can contain whatever you want. You customize it to meet your needs. It’s a calendar, a weekly planner and a place to write all the lists (am I the only one who loves making a list and checking it twice? Don’t mind my Christmas reference in September). My to-do lists, my chore list, blog ideas, my reminders, my grocery shopping, my goals (daily, weekly, monthly). The beauty of it is that unlike structured planners and journals, you have as much space as you want for the things that matter to you.
For example, I had a journal last year that was great for planning out my days (which I need), but didn’t have any room for goals (which I’m BIGTIME into right now). This led me to have two huge, spiral bound notebooks. I loved both of them, but having all of my things compiled in one place that can also fit into my bag is a huge win.
There is a particular, prescribed way to do it with an index, a key and symbols for “task completed” and “task scheduled”, “priority” and “event” (maybe this works well for the hardcores) but for now I’m just happy that all of my stuff is going to be collected in a beautiful blue moleskine and that I won’t have to go through all of my different journals to find the ONE grocery list that I need, because we all know that I’m never going to remember which of my 5 journals I actually used to write down the ingredients for lasagna rollup’s.
There are many different ways that I have attempted to keep track of my life and be more organized. I'll try a method and then fall off the wagon after two or three months. Does that sound at all familiar? Is it perfectionism that gets in the way? We skip a couple of days or mess something up, and immediately throw in the towel thinking that there's no use in continuing. If I can't do it perfectly, why do it at all, right? Wrong. Powering through in these moments and not quitting (as I am often inclined to do) is going to be something that differentiates this chapter of my life from the others. I'm ready to see things through 'til the end. I'm ready to follow through.
If you're interested in learning more, email me and let me know. I'm cooking something up that I think you'd like.