Friday, September 1, 2017

A Novice Bullet Journalist


I've never been a super organized person, but I've never been disorganized either. For a while I was able to keep my schedule in my head. Most of what I do on a daily basis is determined at the start of each day and not something I need to plan ahead for. I love stationary, pretty pens, doodling and writing, so it's no surprise that during particularly busy periods of my life I've been coerced into buying fancy planners with the expectations of becoming a super organized person. Alas, a few months in I'd always seem to fall off track. After a certain point I let go of trying to be picture perfect on paper and allowed my planning tendencies to unfold in a natural and unforced manner. I've found that I work very effectively off of a running to do list, and have been trying to find a system that works with that planning style instead of against it.  

I have known about bullet journaling for a while now, my first exposure being a photo I saw online of a woman proudly displaying her journal. What caught my attention was the list on the page and how organized and perfect it seemed to be. I remember watching vlogs wherein people would talk about their new experiences in the bullet journaling world, but I never took the time to research this style of planning further because I figured it was too much work for me. I'd already found that making lists in random journals and on scrap paper was working well enough, why bother fixing something that wasn't broken? 

It was some time in the middle of April, freshly engaged and trying to close on our house that I realized Spencer and I were headed for the busiest period of our lives thus far. I decided that keeping little piles of to do lists on scrap paper just wasn't going to cut it, and chose to dedicate my most used journal (that I use for note taking and doodling) as the only place I would make the lists I use to organize and schedule my life. It worked well for a little, but I was still using the journal for my writing, note taking and doodling, and honestly keeping my scheduling and my free-writing in the same place proved to be a total mess. 

It wasn't until about a month ago that I had my real exposure to bullet journaling. I logged into Youtube and found a recommended video with "Plan With Me" in the title. I had some time to spare and sat through the video. I was mesmerized from the start, bullet journaling was not what I thought it was. I kept watching video after video of people's bullet journal spreads, realizing that bullet journaling was anything you needed and wanted it to be for you, the possibilities were truly endless. By the end of that day I'd decided that this was the perfect way for me to corral all of my scheduling/planning lists into one place, and a great way to encourage my creativity to flourish. I purchased a bright sunflower yellow journal, a Leuchtturm 1917 dotted to be specific, online and anxiously waited for it to arrive. 

Creating my September 2017 spread was a lot of fun. Filming it and making a voiceover video about it was equally great, almost therapeutic! It was a good excuse to take time for myself to doodle and reflect. My friend, Kiki, recently mentioned that she can tell creating makes me happiest and that I should keep doing it. She's totally right. Often times I can forget what makes me truly feel alive because I'm so busy trying to use up my time in other "more productive" ways. My passions sometimes feel like hobbies, and I don't know if I'm the only one who feels like hobbies can sometimes be a waste of time, but bullet journaling has opened my mind to the idea that maybe that isn't such a waste of time, or perhaps it's a necessary waste of time. A time to take for your mind to slow down and tune out the chaos that is the world we live in today. 

-Stephanie 📒