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My experience with the Bullet Journal method (editorial)

(OPINION EDITORIAL) After nearly 6 months of Bullet Journal usage, here’s what I’ve learned about myself and my professional life.

A list does not an organized person make

I am a list maker. A list lover. A list connoisseur.

Before I even knew the Bullet Journal method existed, I owned and collected journals like my ten year-old self once collected Beanie Babies. I loved each one for exactly what it was, and used each for a very specific purpose. One was for bucket list goals, one for recording positive change and progress, another for my calendar and to do lists, one was an actual diary – I could go on. Because I am a crazy person.

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Dipping a toe

The Bullet Journal method was perfect for my list-writing shenanigans, and of course, the strange love I have for my own handwriting. It basically consolidated all eight of my journals into one mega-journal to rule them all. Rad.

Plus, the amazing stuff people are doing with these things is cute as hell. Consider me inspired.

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bullet journal instagram
images from bujoinspire

Six months of BuJo later

And now, after nearly six months of Bullet Journal usage, here’s what I’ve learned about myself.

1. I needed it.
Splitting my life into seven journals was not as convenient as Voldemort makes it out to be. Having everything in one spot was actually really, really helpful.

I mentioned above I am a crazy person, so for transparency’s sake I confess that in addition to all my journals, I also kept about five different calendars in various places (work, home, desk, by my getting ready mirror, in my purse). Having a SINGLE journal in which to log my dates, appointments, and reminders was revolutionary. Before I planned for my week, a simple skipping around in my BuJo helped me ensure that I didn’t miss anything.

2. I don’t have time for this.
Not to brag, but I’m busy as hell. This happens when you’re very, very important. Sometimes even when you’re very, very unimportant. I won’t tell you which I am!

Maybe naïve, but I had stars in my eyes looking at the gorgeous charts, habit trackers, ink lettering, and handwriting challenges splayed across various BuJo Instagram accounts.

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I really hoped I would eventually get the hang of the habit, but I simply don’t have 30 minutes to dedicate to the delicate, wispy tendrils of the “y” in Tuesday.

bullet journal instagram
images from bujoinspire

3. I can’t change who I am.
As much as I want to be the person who plans her work outfit the night before (trust me, I try once every couple of years and last no longer than a few days), regularly incorporates Pinterest recipes into my dinner plans (I prefer the “pin-it-and-forget-it” approach), and doesn’t go through “phases” of regularly not flossing (much like a 15 year old boy) – I just can’t.

Having a Bullet Journal doesn’t change that. It keeps me organized, yes. But it doesn’t change who I am or what my priorities are.

Positive lessons learned

Even after publicly admitting all of this to you, I’m going to keep using my Bullet Journal. It may have not changed me or made my teeth whiter, but here’s what it has done:

If I procrastinate on a task, it’s stuck in there forever. The task doesn’t go away. It doesn’t suddenly get crossed out by a Get Shit Done Fairy. When I finally get to it, even if it’s months later, I feel awesome.

I don’t forget as much stuff. I have a record of when I worked, sometimes even how I felt, occasionally what I ate. That’s cool.

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I get to try out new habits. And sometimes they stick. Sure, my habit trackers aren’t pretty. But they are efficient.

I can make it my own. There’s no wrong way to BuJo. And I think that’s what I want to end this with. You can make it beautiful, you can make it ugly, you can do straight lines or crooked lines or spell everything incorrectly. Your charts, methods, checklists, and words are your own. And that’s pretty powerful.

#BuJoMethod

Written By

Jenna keeps the machine well-oiled as the Operations Coordinator at The American Genius and The Real Daily. She earned her degree in Spanish at the University of North Texas and when she isn't crossing things off her to-do list, she is finding her center in the clean and spacious aisles of Target or rereading Harry Potter for the billionth time.

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