Bullet Journal: Start Here.

I love my bullet journal.  What’s a bullet journal you ask?

A bullet journal is sort of an analog freeform task management system with personal insight capture.

OK … that’s the bullshit answer.  The real answer is it’s a paper journal with just a few rules to keep you on track.  Watch these videos to get a feel for why it’s so cool.  Yes, both videos are aimed at ADHD, but watch them anyway.  I watched a LOT of video on YouTube before starting my bullet journal.  Jessica’s videos are easily the most entertaining and informative of the bunch.

As far as supplies go, I recommend starting with this Northbooks notebook .  It’s inexpensive, sturdy and works just great for me.  I don’t have a recommendation for pens, but if you Google ‘Bullet Journal Pens‘ you’ll find a ridiculous number of pages out there dedicated to the topic.  I’ve had good luck with a couple old ball point pens I had lying around.  I picked up some superfine Sharpies at Office Depot but they bleed through the page too much.

I have two pieces of advice that really helped me get started (both from the videos above)

  • Mess it up now, not later.  What that means to me is, don’t make your journal precious.  It’s a tool.  Use it.
  • Start simple.  I use one color, almost no doodles or sketches.  No colors.  All that stuff will come later.  Just start.

Finally, the thing that’s surprised me the most about using a Bullet Journal for a couple weeks now is HOW I use it.  I thought I would be spending most of my time in daily entries.  It turns out I do dailies when I need them and they really help me stay on point on those days.  When I don’t need them, I skip them.  I have a lot of lists and pages dedicated to brainstorming or just thinking through things on paper.  It’s THOSE pages that I find the most useful.

Do you use a Bullet Journal?  Please share your story in the comments.

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