You know the saying: “What’s old is new again.” It applies to everything from clothing and music to facial hair and … yes, those old-timey things called pen and paper (In the old days: diary. Today: bullet journal).
Yes, I’m now one of those bullet-journal converts. I’d first heard about bullet journaling from the She Reads group (authors Ariel Lawhon and Marybeth Waylen) back in 2016. Then in 2017, another online friend, Nina Badzin, sang the praises of bullet journaling.
So I finally began my own bullet journal in June of 2017, researching the philosophy of this blank-but-dotted-page concept and reviewing different page style designs; I wanted to focus on the things most important to me and achieve some long-standing goals.
The results since … well, they’re nothing short of spectacular. It has been a transformative tool for me, personally. In the past, I would sit down and dutifully make my list of goals for the year. When they were written out on a multi-page (6-8) Word doc featuring my writing, creative, reading, freelance, fitness and personal goals, it became 1) overwhelming and 2) because it was on my computer or printed out and buried on my desk: out-of-sight-out-of-mind.
Bullet journaling is a bit of a throwback, in my opinion – a perfect example of “what’s old is new again.” It’s paper, pens, pencils, doodling – and, if you want – stencils, stickers, rubber stamps … Anything but online. The things I did when I was in junior high.
But it’s much more. It’s personalized. You can set your journal up how it works best for you. The bujo (bullet journal for short) method, which helps you break down goals into manageable bite-site bits with its future pages, monthly pages, weekly pages and daily pages, actually relaxes me and helps me focus. I’m no longer overwhelmed with my goals and have actually met most of them. It was a matter of perspective, I suppose, as I kept my goals/to dos just as long as my original Word doc, BUT I approached the list differently and allowed myself to be “ok” with moving a goal/task to the future (Read here about the entire methodology).
I focused on my health the past six months and achieved the goals I set in place; I focused on fiction; I read; and I got back into photography. (Blogging, as you might have noticed, was not on my priority list. Which – no surprise – gave me room to accomplish other neglected priorities).
As we approach a new year, enjoy a few of my photography samples during 2017 – achieved, thanks in part, to the priorities in my bullet journal:
For Readers, Writers, Everyone: As you ring in the new year, consider the old. Bullet journaling might be the thing that gets you on track and lessens your anxiety about goal-setting. Be like me: take the pressure off and start later in the year. No one says you have to begin on Jan. 1. Happy holidays and happy new year!