The Bullet Journal - How I Manage my High Tech Life With an Analog Solution
Six months ago, I came across a YouTube channel called Bullet Journal. The videos I found on that channel helped to to organize my life! I had heard of Bullet Journals from many Fountain Pen enthusiasts, and was curious about what drew people to use an analog planner solution. I had tried, and actually still use the famed Hobonichi but I use it as more of an art journal instead of a planner. I thought for sure that the calendar application in my iPhone, and Outlook at work was all I needed in my life. The only problem is, for me, I sometimes get forgetful. If I don't put an appointment in my phone or my Outlook calendar right away, I sometimes forget to put it in at all. It's not always appropriate in meetings to have my phone out, or have my computer in front of me. However, writing in a notebook is acceptable during most meetings so I was scribbling down notes and dates in random notebooks. While this was OK, it just wasn't as efficient as I needed and I was sometimes left looking for where I had put things.
Enter the Bullet Journal! A simple Analog method of capturing my notes, meetings, and personal project notes in an easy and organized manner. I use a fairly standard setup with a monthly index on the first page, and daily pages to map out my meetings and tasks. I have decided to use a four day per page setup, which I think gives me plenty of space to enter appointments and tasks for each day. Then I use separate pages for notes in what would be considered a "collection". My notes for every meeting go after the end of my Dailies. I have put pictures of my Index and my Dailies pages in the gallery for this post.
For me, writing things down helps me to connect to what I'm entering. Not only am I able to write things down right away now, I tend to remember them better. They're also organized better. No need to go reading through notebooks random pages later, because I just look at my day, and there is a page number denoting where my notes are kept for that particular meeting.
The other nice thing about the Bullet Journal, it's not just for work! I use it to manage personal tasks, meetings, and appointments too. I also use it for ideas and reminders for the blog. I just use 3 different inks and I leave myself a key at the beginning of the month to remind myself as to what ink is for what purpose. You can see an example of this in the gallery for this post. For November I'm using Bung Box Melancholic Grey for work, Diamine Blue/Black for School/Misc, and Sheaffer King's Gold for Personal. For the main part of the Journal, I use Platinum Carbon Ink. It's a water proof, permanent ink, that dries fairly fast. It is a pigmented ink however, so I do have to take some extra care in cleaning my pen, but it's worth it!
Overall, the Bullet Journal has been quite the lifesaver both personally and professionally. Having just finished my MBA, I only wish I had found the Bullet Journal sooner. It's a great analog system for today's digital world, and this is coming from a software developer. So, if you are looking for an easy and fun way to keep track of your life, I definitely suggest giving Bullet Journaling a try.