After a long while of reading about and watching videos on YouTube about them, I decided to give bullet journaling a chance. Most of all, because I love the idea, and it’s sort of something I’ve been doing already: list making, to do lists, scheduling, tracking. But I hadn’t done it all in one place before, all in one journal, which makes way more sense than having everything spread out in different notebooks, schedules, calendars, apps, and files on my computer.
However, I’m still sort of doing it that way. And I’m not really doing the bullet journal thing exactly how it’s “supposed” to be done. First, I still am using—and will likely continue to use?—my favorite to do list app, Wunderlist. Even if it doesn’t make much sense to use both a bullet journal and a to do list app, I’m still working out how they will work together—or maybe they won’t and I’ll choose one over the other. Second, I already bought a nice planner for the year in January and am unwilling to let it go unused, so until December, I’ll be using it as my “monthly log” and carry it along with my bullet journal (I bought them together (not planning to use the notebook as a bullet journal at the time) and they’re both gold, so they look nice together anyway).
Everything else, I’ll be doing fairly close to what a bullet journal is supposed to be. Like the yearly plan, goals, trackers, and the index (which is brilliant, part of why I love this concept and wanted to do it) but won’t be worried about a key (though I have it in the journal, just not really using it so far). I have been doing a weekly/daily to do list and planning on a spread each week and have enjoyed it. The weekly page has been useful for reminders about what I have to do that week, or notes to remember for work, but the daily hasn’t been working quite right just yet since I already do this with Wunderlist. Now, there are things that I do every single day, or every week, and I don’t want to write this out every week or day when I can program Wunderlist to do it for me. But sometimes, things come up during the day and I don’t want to make a new to do on Wunderlist. Possibly this is where I could converge them? Daily, weekly things could go on Wunderlist and random events written on the daily list? Possibly. I know that I’ll be working with this for a while, figuring out what works best. I know for one thing, I dislike the “migration” thing. I’ll stick to crossing things off and moving them, I don’t need a special symbol. For now, I haven’t really filled in my yearly log yet, but that will change as soon as I can start switching over from my other ways of scheduling.
My pages aren’t particularly beautiful. I have messy handwriting and I’m not worried about the kind of bullet journal you see on Pinterest. I’m more practical with it—I still get a little nicer with the yearly log, use different colors to specify things once in a while, but for the most part, it’s pretty minimal and practical—though I do occasionally doodle in it. I also hate the book I chose. The pages are far too thin and the lines make it difficult. I’d prefer the dotted pages with a thicker paper, however I didn’t want to buy another notebook (I mean, I have a notebook obsession, so I would have) but I’m trying to save my money where I can, and a special expensive notebook wasn’t worth it, especially when we’re almost to April already. If I continue on with bullet journaling into 2018, I’ll buy the good one.
Some highlights: I have a file (using the writing program Scrivener) which allows me to have separate texts and folders within the file (seriously, I love Scrivener so much, not just for novel writing) and I use it for all blog post writing (I’m using it now) and my reading list and planning for things in the future. With a bullet journal, I’ve been able to plan blog posts more easily (and even tick off when they’re written, when the featured image is created, when they’re posted) and I much prefer it this way. I also like tracking my fitness and weight, what I’ve been reading, and what films I’ve watched (all parts of my 2017 goals) and its been a lot easier to view everything more quickly and keep track of them.
Overall, though only having been using it for less that a month, I enjoy the (amended) bullet journal system and will continue to use it to figure out what’s working and what’s not.