Organizing Chaos – Bullet Journaling

I can’t remember how I stumbled across the article, WTF is a Bullet Journal and Why You Should Start One?, but boy am I glad I did!  For this list maker, agenda user and sticky note abuser, it explained, with lovely examples, what a bullet journal is and how it can be used and customized.  Simply put it is your agenda, your to do lists, your sticky notes, your health tracker, your kids schedules, your diary and so much more all in ONE place.  No loose papers everywhere or important sticky notes being covered up by other stuff only to be discovered once it’s too late.

I will admit it was a bit overwhelming.  There is so much that a Bullet Journal can do!  I spent some time on Pinterest checking out how others set up their journals and dove in both feet.  I had an empty journal laying around, so I thought I would start with that and see if I would actually enjoy it or if it would help me out.

After a week of trying it out, I was hooked and invested in a Leuchtturm1917 Dotted Bullet Journal from Chapters that has since become an extension of me.  If I’ve got my Bullet Journal and phone, I’m ready for whatever the day sends my way!  Not only has it organized me with time scheduling, it has done wonders for the never ending to do lists and guilt that use to swirl around in my head.

Like most families, our days are busy and jammed packed with regular routine, special occasions like birthdays or holidays, and larger projects that need to be completed.  Organizing six individual schedules on a routine day can be challenging and stressful.  Staying on top of household chores, meal planning and work demands can be stressful.  Fitting in time to run and exercise can be stressful.  My point…it’s stressful and quite frankly there are not enough hours in the day (even if I could find a way to not require sleep) to get it all done.  This would leave this Mama with guilt or feelings of failure that squashed any sort of energy stores I had to get the jobs done.  There was so much to do, that I wouldn’t do any because who the heck knew where to even start!

Here’s how the bullet journal has helped me in that department!  A day is a day.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Once I have laid out my day, the rest of the NEVER ENDING to do list that use to play on repeat in my head disappears because it has all been assigned to another day.  A day is a day.  When something new pops into my head, it has a place in the journal to be put so it can be dealt with at a later time and it doesn’t use up my current energy worrying about it.  At the end of the day, everything has been dealt with (even it means migrating it to another day) leaving a sense of accomplishment, pride and energy to tackle tomorrow.

I’ll be honest and say that it did take a bit of time to set up.  I could have kept it really simple with a black pen and basic bullet lists, which would have taken no time to set up, but I wanted it to be a calming and creative outlet for me as well.  After a couple hours I was all set up in my pretty and colourful test journal.  Yes hours, but I got those hours back plus tax once I started using the journal.  Over the next few days, I realized that items in my journal needed to be more or less or completely different to function for me.  Pages were X’d out completely and restarted but I quickly realized how much I relied on the journal, how much control I had in the flow of my day, how much less stress I had, how much more organized I was in every aspect of life.  Really, how can all these changes not make you feel like you are finally rocking it!

If you are interested in trying this magical organization system, I would suggest starting by reading the article, WTF is a Bullet Journal and Why You Should Start One?, taking some time to check out other people’s journals with a quick google search, making a rough plan of what modules you wish to include (types of items you want in your journal) and then let your creativity take over…or keep it simple.

Here are the current modules in my journal:

  • Index – the start of every bullet journal needs this
  • Birthdays, Holidays and Anniversaries for the year
  • Books I’d like to read
  • Gratitude page
  • Habit tracker (running, yoga, meditation, hydration, chores, etc)
  • Cleaning schedule (Daily, Monthly and Yearly)
  • Kiddos school schedules
  • Blog Ideas and notes
  • Monthly calendar
  • Monthly goals
  • Daily pages with time schedule for the day, to do list, supper plan, where my hubby is for work that day, and currently, my hydration tally because I’m working on that one.

The journaling has been such a success that my husband has asked me to set one up for him!  He has obviously seen how efficient I’ve become and how reduced my stress level is.  Here’s a peak at some of my pages!

Do you have an organization system that works for you?

Do you Bullet Journal?  What’s your favorite thing about it?