The bullet journal system is the perfect system for anyone who, like me, finds themselves with a bunch of notebooks and many bits of paper, but still has a panicky feeling that something has been missed. You’ve also tried many different solutions such as keeping a calendar on the phone, or perhaps you have more than one calendar for business and personal reasons. I’ve tried a slew of apps, and many different systems. Nothing until now had any chance of winning against my overloaded brain.
It’s frustrating as hell when you do everything possible to ensure you forget nothing, but then you end up forgetting something anyway. Your friends are more forgiving, as they too are busy. Some are moms too who get that there are too many things vying for your attention.
How many times have you had that sinking feeling when you do remember something, but it’s a day late.
Mortifying. I’ve missed drinks with friends, for no other reason than just getting on with my evening and then having to make excuses when I realised with horror that I was supposed to be somewhere 2 hours ago. And it’s always my personal life that suffers. I’ve missed dentist appointments, gym classes and coffee dates. My husband is in a constant state of despair as I don’t make the phone call he asked me to, or checked the thing about the whatever, or remember something that he feels is very important. My kids are slightly luckier as they don’t have major deadlines on projects. Bless the school for being well on top of reminders via the office and class reps. But birthday parties! Play dates! After school activities. It’s relentless.
I tried organising my life through my phone but I can’t spend every waking moment on my phone or laptop when there are children requiring my undivided attention. I have actually tried to manage my home life in the same way I manage my business life. It was a disaster. Children don’t give a shit about your perfectly timed schedules. In fact nobody does. As the mom, wife, home keeper, cook, social planner, cleaner of the family, it’s almost inevitable that something has to give, other things will be dismissed and when you have too many things on the go at once, without a workable way of tracking them, then yes, things that are important – to you or to those you love, fall through the cracks with often horrendous consequences.
This paints a bleak picture, but it’s not an exaggeration. This was my life about 18 months ago. I not only had to trouble shoot situations that arose from the multitude of balls I dropped, but I was feeling so down and alone, and I felt like I would never be able to get control of my life or even have time to have a life. It seemed to me as if I didn’t have time to do anything other than thankless tasks and mundane stuff that was predominantly for the benefit of everyone except me.
It was completely by accident that I discovered bullet journalling.
I wasn’t really someone who watched a lot of Youtube at the time, but for some reason I was on Youtube, and I don’t know what I had been looking for but I was watching a video and someone made a casual reference to bullet journalling, which I then researched non stop for about 2 weeks. I went to bulletjournal.com and read through the site. I then consumed an extraordinary amount of hours of Youtube videos watching others who had entire channels dedicated to bullet journalling.
After deciding how I wanted to proceed I went and bought my first bullet journal, the Leuchttrum 1917 dotted notebook which seemed to be the popular choice, and started to set up my bullet journal. If you are interested in knowing how to get started with setting up, I’ll be writing about this later this week. There are many channels and sites out there which will tell you how to do this but I’ll be going through how I do it if you’re interested.
The bullet journal system is an analog system for the digital age, meaning that it’s a really simple task tracking system that you can adapt to fit your life. You can get super creative or keep it really simple. The journal can also be used in it’s purest form to record daily life, as a calendar for planning ahead and a simple note book. The trick is in the index and page numbering which allows you to quickly find and reference everything.
For me it was a game changer. I’m not going to sit here and say I never forget anything anymore and that my life is going without a hitch, because that would be a lie. Life is unpredictable, but instead of forgetting something on an almost daily basis, it will be the odd small thing that is not a train smash. Like I imagine most people do.
What I will say however is that I feel more in control of what is going on my life. I even occasionally remember things that my husband forgets, and constantly do things in the background which keep our family ticking along nicely. It’s still thankless but I find a certain joy in knowing that I have a lock on things more than I used to. The bullet journal is not some miracle but it is a lovely simple way of helping ordinary people like me, who others perceive as scatty, forgetful or frantically overloaded and helps you to organise your tasks and appointments in a meaningful way that suits you.
Are you ready to get started?
Head over to the shop to see what I use day to day for bullet journalling. Click here to get started.