At the start of 2018 I decided to take the plunge and start a bullet journal.
Throughout school and university I had tried almost every style and size of planner out there. I recognise the importance of planning and tracking in getting things done, but I always struggled with consistency. I would miss a week and feel guilty about the wasted paper. Some days I would have barely any tasks on my to-do, and on others I was so busy I felt like I needed a whole book. Clearly what I needed was a flexible system. Enter bullet journaling, the analog system turned insta-aesthetic-sensation.
Every time a photo of someone’s perfectly composed bullet journal appeared on my instagram or tumblr feed, I had two thoughts.
1. How is that so pretty and composed? They must have their life together. I wish I could do that.
2. Who has time for that?!
I did try and start a decorated bullet journal in 2016, but I was soon overwhelmed by stickers and washi tape. I would spend more time pretty planning than actually getting stuff done. And wasn’t that supposed to be the whole point?
At the start of this year, I embraced the flexibility of the system (with a little encouragement from Rebecca) by going back to basics. I got cheap A5 notebook. It was lined and had a faux brown leather cover. I used a ball point pen, the odd highlighter, and boring post-it notes for scribbles.
I experimented with layouts each day, each week, to see what would work. Some pages, I did include the odd sticker – but it was never the focus. I discovered that I cannot keep lists of books I have read, and instead Goodreads was my friend. Monthly pages are a nice overview, but in my last semester of uni my tasks were much more daily and weekly-focused, with the exception of exams and assignments.
For me, the bullet journal system works as a glorified to-do list and brain dump notebook. It’s where I can have all my important information in one place. I also love the flexibility, even if it’s not always pretty.