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Bullet Journaling

Written by Eric L. Barnes / Original link on May. 3, 2019

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Todo lists are my kryptonite. I’ve used them all and I’m never satisfied. I like the scheduling components of digital and how easy it is to add, move, or arrange different tasks but I also like physically writing them all out.  It’s a vicious cycle. One week I’m using Todoist, then the next I’m back to pen and paper.

One of the advantages to pen and paper that many people forget about is it creates a type of daily log book with every day outlined. I enjoy looking back on a day from a year or two ago and seeing exactly what I was working on, what I was focused on, and what my day was like. I’ve been doing that for a few months now and it works, but some tasks are falling through the cracks when I don’t complete them on the day I write them down.

That is where The Bullet Journal comes in. I have the daily log down, but I was missing the rest of the structure. The index, the monthly log, the future log, and migrations. All of those combined with the daily log create the whole process and makes it a decent system.

The book outlines all these steps (you can find this online for free), plus goes into details about the preparation, the practice, making it your own, and much more. It also makes a great desktop resource that you can quickly reference if you forgot how something is supposed to work.

This week I’ve been doing it every day and I’m feeling more focused. I spend about 20 minutes each night planning out the next day and reflecting on what I did or didn’t do on the current day.  Here is my plan from last night:

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Since I love to draw it’s also giving me a reason to pull out the colored pencils and create a daily calendar. There are so many different ways you can bullet journal and I’m finding that I like using their system as a base and then just add on to as needed. For example, if I have something on my mind, I flip to a new page and just start writing to get it out of my head. I’ve honestly been doing that a lot when I come across articles or tweets I disagree with. After writing it out I lose interest in engaging in the futile art of social media banter. Also, when I come across a quote I like I flip the page and write it down.

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All in all, it’s a pretty engaging system and if you are unhappy with how you are keeping up with your tasks give it a try. It might suit you or it might not, and to me, life is all about trying new things to see what sticks.

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