The modern day lifestyle is filled with lots of different tasks pulling us in all different directions, making the task of getting organised a whole beast of its own. Since starting this blog and all my other writing jobs, being organised has never been more important then what it is now, so I have been looking at various different ways to help with this.
After several google searches and a ton of downloaded and unused apps I think I have finally found the answer to my prayers. It has actually come as quite a shock as I am considered a bit of a techno freak, always getting sucked in by a fun gadget. Owning an iPad, iPhone, iMac, Macbook and Apple watch you would think that one of these would be the perfect organisational companion. However my life saver and new PA has come in the form of the good old fashion pen and paper, because ultimately you can’t beat it.
What Is It?
The Bullet Journal! If you have never heard of the Bullet Journal before, it was a system developed by Ryder Carroll as a way to help you organise the tasks in your life, whilst also being able to act as a creative outlet. I have always been a natural list writer, as there is nothing more satisfying then being able to check off each task at the end of a long and busy day. It gives you an instant sense of achievement when you look at all you have accomplished in 24hrs. However I was finding that the list system on my iPhone (notes) didn’t give me enough scope to add the detail and little extras I needed.
How It Works
It will take a little bit of setting up and experimenting, but the beauty of the Bullet Journal is you can set it up however you want, and whichever way makes the most sense to you. This was the biggest thing for me, as every other system I had tried, didn’t work for MY brain. I’m sure it made total sense to the team that created it, but it was never the system I needed.
There are a couple of key elements that all Bullet Journals must have:
Index: This makes navigating your journal so much easier as you actually know where in your notebook you wrote something.
Key: This is more for your mind and I actually have VERY simple bullets at the moment so my key literally consists of 3 things, but I may develop this over time.
Future Log: This is like the year view in the front of a normal diary, however you use it to log things that you need to do over the course of a month. I put big tasks in like, re-design website, Car MOT, its stuff that I haven’t got specifics for but I know I have to get done in that month.
Daily Log: Here is where the Bullet Journal comes into its own, you can set this up ANY way you want. I currently have each page split into 3 days. Some people have a whole day per page, it is totally up to YOU! Whatever works best.
Extra Stuff: The Bullet Journal is all about the individual and no two will ever look the same, but what is common is to add extra pages in between these previous elements. I have a page for blog ideas, songs I want to download, books I want to read, monthly goals, blog goals, life goals. All of these are spread throughout my journal, but it’s ok because I have the index at the front to help me find each one of them.
Now i’m sure you can get away with using almost any notebook, but I felt for something as important as ALL my thoughts, I should look for something better then a £1.99 supermarket notebook. So I did a ton of research (what a geek!) to make sure I found the right book for me.
I did have a few criteria for my perfect notebook, as a left hander it can’t be ring bound because I end up wasting half the page, it also had to have an elastic to keep it closed, other then that I was pretty open. After much deliberation I went for the Leuchtturm1917, this is the book that is recommended by most bullet journalists. To be honest I don’t think I have ever been so excited about stationary as when I received this notebook, so here are it’s best bits.
- Numbered Pages
- Pocket in the back
- Ruled and graphed paper template sheet
- Index section at the front
- Perforated pages in the back for you to tear notes out
- Not one but TWO book mark ribbons!
- (Whilst it didn’t come with a pen holder you can buy one that attaches to the back page)
So there it is, my way to get organised. This has literally been a lifesaver for me over the past two months, I never leave the house without it and it sleeps by my bed every night. I finally have a place that allows me to organise all/every aspect of my life in one place, and I have instantly become more productive as a result.
Need any more tips on setting up your Bullet Journal, then follow these links and let me know how you get on.