Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bullet Journaling

Bullet journals and planners are all the rage these days.  Just walk into any office supply, big box, or craft store and you are sure to find a journal or planner display somewhere. Of course, most people already know what a planner is, but I wanted to introduce those of you who aren't "in the know" to the bullet journal.  I recently found out about them while searching Pinterest for creative lettering ideas and the more I found out about them, the more excited I became (as you can tell from my Pinterest Board here).

One of my favorite things in the world is organizing things.  Ever since I can remember, I have had a fascination with Rubbermaid.  If I had been smart when I was 20, I would've bought stock in the company!  And planners are my fav, too!  I am a visual person, so I need things laid out for me in black and white.  I am also intensly passionate about stationery and school supplies...(it might have been one of the reasons why I went into teaching LOL).  The creative side of me is exploding lately, too. So the totally awesome thing about bullet journaling is that it combines ALL of these passions at once and soothes my inner Type A personality.

We live in an age where technology dominates our lives.  We have our iphones, tablets, fitbits, laptops, HDTV, smart homes, apps here, remotes there.  We are completely inundated with beeps and dings all around us.  Our lives are fast-paced and to some extent (especially when compared to generations before us), chaotic. With every day that passes, though, we learn about new features and apps on our smartphones to help us stay organized.  And they're great!  I use many of my apps to organize my life.  For instance, I couldn't live without my calendar and my notepad, or my many programmed alarms to give me reminders about places I need to be (don't forget to be home in time to get the kids off the bus), things I need to do (paperwork, paperwork, paperwork), and people I need to call (8 bazillion appointments to schedule this week).

At some point, though, remembering to look at my apps (and/or not just absent-mindedly clicking off the reminders) becomes challenging in the day-to-day hustle and bustle. It's kind of ridiculous, actually, that I have all of these strategies in place to help me remember something, but then I don't even pay attention to the reminder so that I can remember! And don't even get me started on the challenges of scheduling appointments on the phone while my calendar is...on the phone!  It can be tricky and awkward at times to have the doctor's office hold while I pull the phone away from my ear to check my calendar...and god forbid the appointment doesn't work and I have to check again! Aaargh!

So if you're like me and like to be organized, have a visual display of your life, and JUST NEED EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, then a bullet journal may appeal to you, too!

Essentially what it is, in it's most basic form, is a blank journal, where you can record your life using bulleted lists, an index, a key, and calendars.  Hence the name, bullet journal.  Beyond that, the sky's the limit! It is all up to you how much time and effort you wish to put into it.  You can make it creative and beautiful, or plain and simple.  You can write down your plans for the day or week, or you can do that and make honest-to-goodness real bucket lists.  You can use it as a journal where you write your hopes and dreams, log special events in your life, and work on your inner-self. There are so many things you can write about and track in your life...should you choose to.  That's the beauty of it.  It is completely up to you how detailed it is.  And it will all be in ONE LOCATION!

There is a certain way that you set up your journal initially that helps you keep it all organized.  The person who created this idea and system is Ryder Carroll.  You can find out more about him and the bullet journal system here.  But, if you take a few minutes (it's seriously only 4) to watch this video, you will understand the bullet journal a little better.

Isn't that amazing?! I mean, it's so simple, yet incredibly helpful! Or does it seem confusing to you?  That video shows the most basic setup...and it starts to make more sense as you begin to use it.  But basically, you use the Index to keep track of what content you have on each page, which is also a great tool for finding information that you may need again later on, after you're long past that page in your journal.  Plus, having an Index let's you add bullet journal pages about ANYTHING on your next blank page...it doesn't have to be in a specific order because you just index it.

But wait! There's more! (Sorry, just having a '90s flashback of infomercials there). While it is fabulous to have all of the things you need to take care of in one journal, I also really like the Collections.  That's where you can have a lot of fun.  This part of the bullet journal or BuJo, as it is often called, is the creative part!  You can make visually attractive lists of things like books you'd like to read, movies you'd like to watch, family birthdays (so you don't forget), your health goals and the plan you have to achieve them, places you'd like to visit, playgrounds to bring the kids to...the possibilities are endless!

And the creativity doesn't stop there. To begin with, you start by choosing a beautiful journal or planner, and then you add your own creative elements along the way.  You can sketch or draw (even simple icons like hearts and stars for those of you like me who cannot draw), write with fancy lettering, use colored markers, pens and pencils, and/or add stickers, stamps, you name it!  The DIY ideas are plentiful out there on the internet...(shameless plug...don't forget to check out my Pinterest board for some ideas), and the factory-made embellishments can be found in many different brick and mortar stores and web stores. Personally, I am using a little bit of both the DIY and factory-made embellishments. Yikes!  It's all just soooo exciting!!!! Here are a few of the items I use to embellish my bullet journal:

Well, that's it in a nutshell.  I hope you found it as intriguing as I did.  In my next post, I will be discussing more about how I am using the bullet journal system to meet my family's and my needs.  So click the link to follow my blog if you don't want to miss out! And don't forget to leave your comments or questions below...(tell me if you think this system is something you're interested in)!  Thanks for following!

Excitedly yours,
Marathon Momma

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