Time to Start Again with Bullet Journaling

Time to Start Again with Bullet Journaling

September 9, 2020 0 By Rosa

Almost two years ago, I had decided to try out bullet journaling. It worked like a charm for the first couple of months, but after that, I forgot more and more often to keep track. Recently, I stumbled upon an interesting video and figured I’d give it another go. Let’s see how long I can keep up with it since it’s time to start again with bullet journaling.

Cover Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

What is Bullet Journaling?

I was looking back at my post explaining why I would like to try bullet journaling. The concept was interesting and worth trying out. It would tackle my greatest weakness: planning. With a set of keys and rapid logging, you can quickly create an overview of the day. The symbols show you they type of note; the rapid logging makes the short and concise notes. In my case, I was using dots for tasks, circles for events, triangles for appointments, and so on.

Time to start again with bullet journaling
My Bullet Journal Keys

The beauty of the bullet journal that initially attracted me the most is that it is very versatile. You can put just about anything in your bullet journal. Reading lists, project planning, habit trackers, mood trackers, whatever you want to track, you can put it in the journal.

The Pitfall

The versatility of the bullet journal became my pitfall. Because you can put anything you like in the journal I became very focused on tracking just about everything there was to keep an eye on for me. I wanted to follow:

  • my weight;
  • my habits;
  • create new habits;
  • my monthly goals;
  • my finances;
  • my reading;
  • my studies;
  • etc.

As you can see, it was quite the list. I believe that this has caused me to stop writing in my bullet journal, because every day, I got confronted with the things I did not do or the lack of progress. It also became a hassle to keep track of all these things. Every time I would open my journal, I had to record my weight, check off the habits and so on and so on. At some point, I was spending more time with keeping an eye on everything I wanted to track than doing the actual planning.

Time to Start Again with Bullet Journaling

So, what prompted me to start again, and how will this be any different than my previous failed attempts? It started with this video by Improvement Pill. The way he uses his bullet journal is completely different from what I’ve seen so far. Even though there are all these “minimalist bullet journal” video’s on YouTube; they still track a lot of stuff. His bullet journal, on the other hand, is to the point and focuses only on what is necessary.

However, what struck me most in the video is his view on creating a habit. In order for it to stick, it has to be easy and fun. That got me thinking. What if I do the same? My biggest pitfall of the bullet journal is the fact that you can track everything. So, if I eliminate (nearly) all the tracking, the only thing I focus on in the journal is the planning itself. I still want to set myself goals for a month, because I believe it is important to strive towards something.

New minimalist bullet journal setup
My Monthly Setup

After figuring out what I want to have in my bullet journal, I only had to set it up. Of course, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the setup of this journal is ridiculously easy. A simple monthly with the dates of the month and a general overview of the events of the month covered one page, the other page the goals for the month. Everything after that consists of the dailies. I’ve created two columns, one for my work and one for my personal planning. That should help me to keep track of all the meetings and running tasks.

In Conclusion

Reflecting on my experience with bullet journaling has helped me to find the flaws in my way of applying the concept. However, sometimes it takes someone else to show a completely different approach on the same idea to open your eyes. Combining what I’ve learned from the present and the past, I’m confident that I’ll be able to keep up for longer. If this doesn’t help me starting with bullet journaling, then I don’t know what will.