Friday 23 June 2017

Bullet journal tips

or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Book

I’ve tried keeping a diary, and I’ve tried all sorts of life management apps, but I’ve never managed to really stick with it. Then a colleague introduced me to Bullet Journal. It’s turned out to be invaluable. I’m a fan, even if I’m not using it as prolifically now as I was when I started a little over a year ago.

A few days ago, I was asked if I knew a good introduction guide. I don’t really. Rather than disappoint, I typed up some quick tips, and I was encouraged to write them down publicly. The particulars of the process are already covered very well elsewhere, so, in lieu of anything coherent, here’re a few disjointed thoughts on the subject.

To start with, you can’t go wrong with the “How to Bullet Journal” video (~4 mins) from the project’s main home page. It’s a short video explaining how the system works, and why you might want to give it a go.

If you pick it up, after a while, you might start looking for further inspiration. There are a lot of great ideas on the Bullet Journal blog. Scanning through the pictures will reveal a lot of (dauntingly artistic) alternative layouts for the main “modules”. Don’t worry if you’re not super-artistic. There’s a chance that might come with time, but I recommend focussing on the routine and utility. You can always add flair later.

I like to keep a lot of lists in the book, and transfer them to the new book once I’ve filled one up. I have lists for “movies/tv to watch”, “books to read”, “games to play”, “birthdays”, and others. Recently, as I’ve made more of an effort to cook, I’ve been recording recipes I like too.

As for the book you use, I highly recommend dotted grid-paper. I use the large Moleskine hard-cover books, but the Leuchtturm 1917 books look pretty nice too. The Leuchtturm books have slightly broader pages. They both ought to be good for fountain-pen use, if that’s your thing. It’s my thing.

Finally, don’t forget that it’s your book. By this I mean: it doesn’t matter if you stray from the guidelines, tear out a few pages, and scribble all over the others. Go nuts. Adapting, inventing you own way of doing things, and skipping the things that get in your way is greatly encouraged.