We’ve been reading a lot about mental spring cleaning. We love the idea of cleaning our brains as well as our homes as the season changes. A lot of the advice we have been seeing is about watching the news less, meditating more and reconnecting to friends. Those are great tips. We’ve suggested them in the past for better mental health! One thing we saw that was unique was the suggestion to try bullet journaling.
Bullet journaling has been described as “a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system.” It’s part planner, part notebook, part journal. It helps you order the chaos of your day into an organized written system. It lets you think clearly with written to-do lists, calendars, long-term goals, reminders and important things that happened to you in your day.
Instead of writing traditional journal entries, you use bullet points or dashes. It doesn’t have to be written out in long form, and you’re encouraged to come up with your own symbols and shorthand. “You learn how to get rid of things that are distracting you and add things you care about,” said the creator of the bullet journal system Ryder Carroll. “The only thing that the bullet journal needs to be is effective, and how it can best serve its author is entirely up to them.”
People use bullet journaling for all sorts of reasons. It’s a wonderful way to clear your mind and keep your day organized. It can also be helpful when you are working towards something and need to keep track of information. People use it for everything from tracking fertility, to training for a marathon, to saving for homeownership.
Some people go to great lengths to make them stylized works of art that flow smoothly. But, if you aren’t an artist, or that isn’t your preference, you don’t have to worry. Mr. Carroll said that each journal is personal and should fit your style. “Bullet journaling is always about function over form, right? And to be very clear about that, form can mean sloppy or beautiful. It doesn’t matter what your bullet journal looks like. It’s about how it makes you feel, and how effective it is in moving you towards the things that matter to you.”
If you want to try bullet journaling, you should ask yourself your goals and needs. Then there is a standard template. You start with an index of page numbers and symbols you can update as you go. Then a four-page log for the year where you can write events, goals, birthdays and things like vacation plans. Then you have a monthly log that is a two-page spread of goals. After that, you have your daily log where your write to-do lists, goals, accomplishments, events, ideas, mantras and observations. You can watch a tutorial on it here.
The official site for bullet journaling has licensed journals and an app. But you don’t need either of those things to start bullet journaling today. All you need is a journal and a desire to start tracking your progress and working toward clear goals!