Since Emma moved in, I have made a concerted effort to be more organised. In some cases, such as the state of my room, or the organisation of the downstairs areas have taken (well, are taking) longer than other aspects of my life, but it is safe to say that since she has moved in I have been developing what resembles a routine. And that’s what we need in life, no? Whether it’s remembering to cook, or actually making my bed, I am doing my best to have habits and routines that involves healthier practices, and not perfecting couch-potatoing.
Emma has introduced me to quite a lot (to read her blog, click here). She has hugely broadened the household DVD and book collection, she has told me all about the library audiobook system which will revolutionise my commuting experience, she’s even taken me to see Shakespeare live, but none of these have been the most revolutionary thing that she has introduced me to. That would be the bullet journal.
While I was travelling, I kept a journal and wrote blog entries for the entire time I was away. It changed the way I saw planning my life, and allowed me a window into how I plan things, patterns in the way I live, and allowed me to see exactly how I spend my time. For some reason, I never translated this into real life. Yes, I blog regularly, but I never really developed a routine for anything else which meant that I was probably leading a more expensive and less organised life than I needed to or should have been.
And so I was introduced to the bullet journal. Emma told me all about it, and while the journalling life itself is something I am really not interested in, the bullet journal really appealed. I checked out the bullet journal website (here) and got the low-down on the whole concept and began looking into the elements that I would be able to use in my everyday life. I struggle sticking to things that don’t hold my interest or benefit my life, so I decided early on it was really important to sift through the elements I wouldn’t use to find the bits that would benefit me.
As much use as this site was, I found it rather bare bones, so I set out to look for some more information and artistic expression of the bullet journal process. This is when I discovered Boho Berry (once again, Emma has a big influence in this). Kara runs a lifestyle blog that also focuses heavily on the bullet journal. I found her colourful trackers and artistic pages much more gripping, and I also got a lot more in the way of ideas from her posts.
I quickly decided that instead of using it as a lifestyle journal to track meetings and appointments, I would use it as a tracking system. Not only does this allow me to see life patterns, and trends, it also allows me to feel responsible for different things I want to be doing (such as blogging) and for creating healthy habits, I’ve added basic things such as laundry, moisturiser, and bed making – things I am bad at remembering to do, or tidy, but would make my life feel neater and healthier.
And so I set out, bought some cheap squared schoolbooks (I didn’t want to over-commit to early) and began making lists of things I wanted to track. I then split this into lists, things I wanted to monitor on a daily basis, or track on what days I did things, then tasks I wanted to complete on a monthly basis, and then things that I wanted to track on an annual basis. Everything from petrol filling, to weight tracking, to sleep monitoring, I decided exactly what I wanted to track, and the best ways to track them.
Trackers are hard to make to keep you interested. Instead of making a series of simple tables, and obvious graphs, I had a look at Boho Berry, Instagram, Pinterest, and Buzzfeed to get ideas of how different people track things. I quickly saw things I liked, from the money bank for savings tracker, the bookshelf reads tracker, and the colourfully simple daily tracker. There is nothing more annoying than gaps in a perfectly coloured chart, so this powerful visual is a great way to guilt me to continuing with things I want to make a habit. I know what I am like, and I know that irritation at failure is as good a motivation as any other.
And so bullet journaling quickly became a part of my life. I am hoping to carry it over into other pursuits to help with my grand plans elsewhere. Boho Berry wrote a fascinating post (found here) on utilising the bullet journal format to aid in progress with the NanoWriMo project. NanoWriMo is a novel writing month that runs every November (for more info, click here) and has been something I wanted to do for years. I signed up when I was at University, but never did anything with it, so this year, I’d really like to think about writing a novel and if I can’t do that I would really like to make headway with plot ideas and character profiles.
I’m already learning how much you can get off another person since living with Emma, and think that this bullet journal malarkey is going to be something hugely useful to me. Yes, I wasn’t sure I would stick to it at first, but I am enjoying doing it, and not only that, I am finding the information I am getting from it and the routine it gives me hugely helpful in my everyday life.
Why don’t you check out bullet journaling? Do you already bullet journal? What do you find is useful, and what tips and tricks do you have?