Why I Started a Bullet Journal?

I’ve been bullet jounalling for two (and half?) years now. It started as an experiment around mid-2019, as an experiment to find the perfect system to optimise my life and work. Over the years, I’ve used a lot of systems — some digital, some analogue. But, nothing stuck for the long term. That is, until I came to know about bullet journalling.

📓 What is a bullet journal?

To quote Ryder Carroll, the inventor of the bullet journal (or, BuJo, in short), it is an “analog method for the digital age that will help you track the past, order the present, and design your future.”

Simply put, it is an analogous way to plan and organise your day. It might not sound any different from a planner, and, in a way, it isn’t. However, the difference is in how much freedom you have in a simple notebook. With a bullet journal, you get free reign in a blank canvas. This can be both liberating and intimidating. This is why I didn’t start bullet journalling sooner.

✍️ When did I start bullet journalling?

For years, I came across pictures of BuJos having multi-coloured layouts and washy tapes. While having a blank canvas sounds promising, all the decorative BuJos on Instagram and YouTube put me off. I was intimidated by them, until I saw Ryder Carroll’s video on YouTube.

The original BuJo layouts were nothing like the fancy spreads that we see on Instagram nowadays. It was minimalistic, simple and practical. And that was what I needed for myself.

📝 What did I take from the original bullet journal?

My BuJo is fairly simple. I have the following collections:

  1. Index
  2. Future Log
  3. Month Logs
  4. Daily Logs

Since I just use my bullet journal for planning and organising, these 4 collections are enough to keep me on track and be productive along the way. Everything else goes on either Notion or Google Calendar (I plan to publish a post on how I use these 3 systems).

➕ What collections have I incorporated into my bullet journal?

My bullet journal is a work in progress. It does not have any linear order and that is where the index comes in handy. My collections are growing day by day.

Right now, there are:

  1. Books to read
  2. Movies to watch
  3. TV shows to watch
  4. A list of requested book reviews
  5. Monthly TBRs

Please note that all these collections are temporary. They are quick notes that would later be logged into respective Notion pages for long-term storage.

⚖️ How do I find the balance between digital and analogue systems?

For me, analogue is for short-term planning while digital is for long-term one. Therefore, anything that’s going to last me more than a year, I transfer it to a digital software (either Notion for collection or Google Calendar for plans and events). For instance, my list of requested book reviews is useful to keep track of deadlines while producing blog articles online. However, my personal journal is a long-term thing. I’ll be journalling for years to come. Therefore, it is in my Notion account.

Why is it so? Simple! Unlike Ryder, who mentions the habit of building a collection of bullet journals as time goes by, I do not plan to keep mine after I am done with it. Therefore, I am conscious of what I store in my Bujo.

A bullet journal is a fantastic way to plan your life. I am planning to write a detailed account of how I use my BuJo along with the 2 aforementioned digital software. Meanwhile, you can check out Ryder Carroll’s bullet journal tutorials to get an idea of how it works!

Do you use a bullet journal? Let me know how you use it in the comments below! 🙂

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