I heard the Bullet Journal is the new frontier of organization, and I could use a refresh.
Why is it so hard for me to keep myself in one cohesive piece rather than a scatterbrained mess? I feel like this mode of operation has been a constant in my life since the moment I could talk. Is it because I have the brain of a creative? Or am I just a hot mess? Hard to say. Maybe both?
Regardless, the older I get the harder it is to get a grip. Maybe that’s because adult-ing is hard, and in life your to-do list only grows no matter how many things you check off. But if you’re most people, your life probably isn’t a to-do list but rather a room full of post-it notes stuck on every available surface to remind you to do things like: be a better human, drink water, feed your cat, write that masterpiece, etc.
Just me? I don’t believe that for a second.
Not sure if you’ve noticed, and if not, then I’m covering it up really well, but I’d say the last 12 months of my life I’ve been especially distracted compared to the year before. Instead of writing like mad woman and writing multiple books (which I love to do) I’ve instead shifted gears to having fun. Obviously, not a travesty. It’s a good thing that I interact with humans, but everything in moderation right? For me that’s always been hard. I’m an “all-in” kinda girl with whatever I choose to obsess over in the moment. One year it was writing, this year it’s been partying. I prefer to call it “reconnecting”. My grandmother passed away last year too which has also been a big factor. So I’ve been starving for human connections. It became time I text back all those friends I’d been neglecting, and possibly start to date before I exit my 20’s. I needed that reconnection in order to cope with everything going on within my head, which was chaos. It helped … a lot. I feel more complete, but just like anything in my life, I now feel a bit overloaded with fun.
Is that a thing?
Regardless of fun, I also starve for goal setting and writing, which seemed to have been off my radar for awhile and I could feel it in my bones. My brain is annoyingly bipolar when it comes to my want and needs. There’s got to be a balance, and this past week I’ve been trying to find it. Here’s my official attempt to get my shit together. I want the party on the weekends and drinks with friends, but I also want daily word count goals and setting publishing dates … oh, and also focusing on fitness.
I know what you’re thinking: there are only so many hours in a day and days in a week. Oh ye of little faith, I can be a productivity monster when I wanna. Just ask my 2014 self. Le sigh.
After extensive research I decided that a BULLET JOURNAL might be the best avenue for me to try with maximum effort. I knew only the jist and nothing of its meaning or original purpose. All I knew was: i bullet point my goals/agenda/etc, I get to make it pretty, and the layouts can be whatever I need them to be, from lists to daily charts with my favorite quotes. It can essentially be your sketchbook/planner/to-do list/diary all at once! Also, I get to use a notebook and pretty pens. Sounded like a win all around, especially since I’ve been seeing a myriad of my author and blogging friends posting about their amazing journals. There’s actually a website about it, like a totally legit one: http://bulletjournal.com/
I also felt a bullet journal might help my OCD tendencies. There is something about the ability to freely and meticulously create my own designs and doodles that is so appealing. I should add that bullet journals don’t have to be for creatives either. You don’t need colored pens and elaborate shiny tape and stickers. Nah. You really only need a pen and a notebook.
Some of the popular notebooks I’ve seen used are:
or just a plain spiral notebook will do too!
Other things I learned as simple guidelines that tend to be bullet journal formatting must haves are:
- A bullet journal key
- An index
- Monthly View
- Daily Log
- ANYTHING YOU WANT
So here I am trying my luck. I spent yesterday after work in a cafe with a friend elaborately planning and adding to a list of goals. I think I might feel better already, and also, it does look so fricken pretty so far.
You can choose whatever you want to focus on, but here are some of the main things I wanted to track and motivate myself to do:
- Daily word count goals/weekly word count goals
- Create a daily affirmation and live positively
- Keeping up with fitness goals, ex: 10,000 steps on my Fitbit, schedule weekend hikes
- Creating weekly Author related goals in general (ex: creating teasers/posting on social media/sending emails)
- Managing my social plans and not overdoing it
- Go on dates
- Meal prepping
- Monthly TBR book list
- Blogging schedule
- Get a new agent
- Publish a book by the end of the year
- Finish writing a book by the end of the year
- Lose 30lbs
- Save some money
Nice list, right? And yes my bullet journal is pretty, and yes my goals and plans are stellar, but now it’s time for the follow through. I’m hoping all of the elements of a bullet journal create some kinetic energy I can continuously work off of.
One of the questions I seem to get the most from people is, “Alex, how the hell do you have the time to write books, work full time, and go out?“. My usual response is, “I don’t sleep“. I’d like to change that.
I want to get you awesome readers another book(s), but I also might want to try and find my soul mate along the way (I mean, it’s only fair since I write romance). This will all take some planning and time management and I’m really excited about becoming a full functioning human again. I also totally get off on intense organizing. It’s like heroine. Organizing and binge watching Netflix. *shivers*
Okay, where was I?
I’m blogging about this because I think it’ll help my accountability, and I can also share my process and resources with other people. Maybe this post will help you out too! I hope so 🙂
Wanna see some of my layouts I’m trying out? I’d like to say these are test runs and I feel like as weeks go on I’ll find out what works for me (that’s kinda what’s also so great about this type of journal). Next week I’ll be switching it up and I’ll try to update everyone on my progress.
So far so good ….
Whatcha think? I might actually be getting the hang of this. Also, reminder: you don’t have to be a pro at calligraphy or have a billion pens to do this! I prefer everything in black ink anyways. If you’re thinking about attempting bullet journaling too, remember to keep it at your level. You don’t want the notebook too big that you won’t carry it around, or too small that it becomes impractical. And you don’t want to set yourself up for failure either. Start simple. Don’t set the bar too high even though you love all the elaborate designs/layouts. Just do you, boo-boo. You got this.
Still a little lost? I know I was at first. And ya know what? That’s okay, because sometimes all it takes is a Pinterest search, which could seriously be a motto for life, because when in doubt, Pinterest probably has the answers. It’s seriously my creative go-to all the time. So of course when I attempted this crazy endeavor and how I found all my favorite resources, I literally searched “Bullet Journal Layouts” and here’s the link for you to follow too: [click here] to see the amazing selection offered as inspiration and helpful links via Pinterest search.
I’ve also posted a few of my most favorite resources below to help anyone else who’s considering this bullet journal thing, including a link to my Pinterest board of Bullet Journal/Organizing inspiration. If you do attempt this, let me know how it goes! Hopefully my venting session and/or rant, along with my (super) simplified break down was informative, or in the least, entertaining 😉
Wish me luck. Did I mention I want to get you more books to read?
- Bullet Journal Website – www.bulletjournal.com
- My Pinterest Board – Layout ideas + More
Bullet Journalling for Beginners:
- Buzzfeed – WTF Is A Bullet Journal And Why Should You Start One? An Explainer
- Starting A Bullet journal – Hannahemilylane.com
- Starting A Bullet Journal – Sarahschapter.co.uk
- BuJo Hacks – bohoberry.com
Bullet Layout Ideas