Hi! It’s been a while since you’ve probably read a blog post written by me (Job) but I definitely have a good excuse. As you’re probably noticed, I’ve been wrapped up in getting a new Everyday Creators interview up on the blog every Tuesday that I’ve totally neglected writing about any other topics. Today, I wanted to talk about the bullet journaling system (also known as the or BUJO system) and my experience with using this productivity system in my everyday life.
After my Japan trip in February this year, I came home with a new traveler’s notebook from the Traveler’s Company. I was a proud owner of a new Narita Airport special edition passport-sized traveler’s notebooks. I purchased my new notebook with a monthly calendar insert, not knowing what I would use this traveler’s notebook for, or how I would be able to incorporate it into my daily planning and journaling. For the first few months, my new passport traveler’s notebook served as a reading journal in which all my reading reflections rested. As much as I loved jotting my thoughts down into that small notebook after a good reading session, I just was not satisfied with how little I was using this special traveler’s notebook in my everyday life.
I mean look at it! The notebook is so tiny and pocketable that I could easily bring it around with me even if I didn’t have a backpack handy. With that realization, it became obvious that this traveler’s notebook would serve as a catch-all notebook in which random ideas, rants and notes could live. It mainly held millions of post-it notes with various to-do lists that I would create through out the day. I’ve always been a to-do list kind of guy. I loved the satisfaction of ticking off a box from my to-do list, as well as the fact that having a to-do list prioritized what I had to do in a given day. Although I loved my to-do lists, I did not love it when to-do lists went missing. Although post-its are great, they aren’t always reliable, and more often then not I find myself scrambling to find my post-its with important notes and to-do lists. Here’s when the bullet journaling system comes to play.
I’ve always been intrigued by the bullet journaling calendar/productivity/management system but I was too afraid to jump into this new and overwhelming way of planning. Sure, I’ve been accustomed to keeping a planner for years, but the bullet journaling system was so extensive and thorough that it was borderline intimidating. I wasn’t ready to starting drawing my own calendars and weekly planning spreads, but I did like the way the bullet journaling system handled daily tasks.
Many bullet journalists would write down their daily tasks for each day beside a series of boxes, just like regular to-do lists. But rather than simply putting a check mark within the boxes to signify that a task has been completed, bullet journalists would use various symbols to denote whether a certain action has been made towards a certain task. This means that tasks are not just finished or incomplete, but they could also be in progress, or have been started, or even moved to the next day. I was so interested with this concept so I went to Pinterest, like any modern day journaler, to do some research on bullet journaling legends and symbols.
I basically borrowed from many different legends and made my own legend that made sense to me and the way I worked. While I didn’t commit to the full bullet journaling system, I took the fundamental aspects of the system and incorporated it into my life. Long story short, productivity levels sky rocketed! I started bullet journaling when I was working on launching this blog and the bullet journaling system definitely helped me hone in on tasks that were crucial to getting this blog up and running. Bullet journaling also physically showed me tasks that I was neglecting or procrastinating on finishing. You can just see in some of the photos that I have certain tasks that I carry over for many days due to procrastination. It was a real eye opener.
While I may not create task lists everyday in my bullet journal, I still find the system to be very effective on days when there are a million things that need to be completed. It’s been three months since I started my bullet journaling journey and I think I finally have a bullet journal legend that I’m comfortable with. It’s quite a simple legend but it covers all my needs. You’ve probably noticed in the photos that I tend to only jot down tasks related to my blog or YouTube channel but that’s not true. I do use this system for work but obviously I don’t want to divulge my work-related tasks for everyone to see.
While my BUJO journey has only just begun, I can’t wait to explore more aspects of this productivity system in the future. I may not be ready to start drawing my own monthly or weekly calendar spreads (mostly due to laziness), but I am intrigued at the whole indexing aspect of the system. Only time will tell whether I’ll be entirely sucked into the whole BUJO frenzy. For now I’m content with this tiny sampler from the BUJO system and I hope you try out this system too. Thanks for reading! I hope you found this post useful and interesting. If this is not your cup of tea, a new Everyday Creators interview should be up next Tuesday, for now you can read the past interviews here!