Have you heard about Bullet Journal or acronym as BuJo? A concept of planning your tasks and deadlines in a simple bullet forms. Instead of indicating your tasks on a planner or calendar, you just jot it down on a notebook. What it also does is also expanding your creativity by illustrating your thoughts into the journal. Basically, it is a diary + planner + checklist = in one simple concept.
When I first learnt about this concept from Claire Marshall‘s vlogmas, subsequently Rachel Nguyen and then Lily Pebbles raved about it, I got curious. I mean how similar it is to type it down to my iPhone. However, I recalled back that I am that kind of person who prefer writing my study notes and illustrate it according to my understanding, in a A3 workbook. Plus, I like to physically note down rather than typing it because it is the repetitive motion that makes me recall back my memory during exams. I started to read more about from the creator himself, Ryder Carroll.
OK fine, I succumbed and fall into the trap and started BuJo-ing in late February. I make a promise to myself that I will try for at least 2 months. In fact, I have million of tasks to handle in the future. From a newborn, personal finances, blog (which I procrastinate sometimes), career and husband. Furthermore, I may require to taking notes on my breastfeeding schedule once this baby pops out soon. Declutter and reorganising are just what I need.
Before any aspiring journalist enthusiast start with Bullet Journalism, you may want to watch the Carroll’s explanation on the concept. He really is the best person on reiterating it. See here on how to get started.
Let me explain on the main structure of a Bullet Journal in my own terms.
- Page – every page is numbered for better reference in Index
- Key – is the list of specific bullets that you are going to use throughout your journal
- Index – is basically the content page where you highlight on which page that journal is located at
- Future Log – is the year calendar page. This is where you indicate special dates like birthdays.
- Monthly Log – is where you plan events/tasks for that specific month
- Weekly Log – is where you plan events/tasks on that specific week
- Daily log – plan tasks/events the day before, and any pending items shall be brought forward to the following week or month depending on the priority of it.
OK. Sounds simple right?
The first month – Mid February
I saw quite a number of journalists prefer the Leuchtturm 1917 (pronounced as LIECH-turm) the famous german notebook/planner with dotted grids, but I cannot find it locally. Although, there are some sold in Carousell. Instead, I purchased an orange Moleskine plain notebook (hard-cover) from Urban Write at Tampines One because I was inpatient to buy it at Amazon. Overzealous.
The anticipation was so overwhelming. I just want to keep on writing and doodle on and on. And then, I noticed I have the worse penmanship ever. A hideous handwriting (or what my mother would joked, shorthand) as compared to the rest of the community. Really. If you experienced in quick scribbling during exam for 2 straight hours, you ain’t no time for prefect calligraphy. You just need to get your answers pronto for every questions.
The second month – March
The following month, I continue scribbling my logs and brain dump my ideas into the journal. And then I realise I need colours to make it more enjoy. Adding pastels should nice. Truly inspired by Amanda Rach Lee.
And then I stopped. I never really grasped the daily log concept. I mean, I am so used to plan out my day mentally, that I forgot to jot it down. As I flipped my journal, it looks amateurish and silly. Mind you, it have been a long time since I doodle on a piece of paper. I searched for inspiration on minimalist BuJo ideas and found that you don’t have to conform to other fanciful, creative bullet journalist. Stick to your own element.
So I decided to reset my journal and make it as minimalist as possible. Just to ease the sore of my eyes that I tore quite a handful of pages and start a fresh new future log, monthly log, daily log, hospital bag and a penny pincher page. So far, so good. No fancy doodles, just plain fonts and words. Then, I got consistent eventually.
Like it but not crazy falling it love with it. It is a tough to commit and be consistent in noting down the journal. I would skip some days on daily log especially during the weekends because I am that honest. To me, I would remove weekly log page and rely on monthly log instead because some days are just empty with no tasks or events
Another concern of mine is that, this journalism could be just a trending phase that eventually will worn out in the future like a blackberry. I mean the bullet journaling does not cater to everyone. This concept mostly would cater to students, creative professionals or freelancers. As an IT professional, my work revolves around modern technologies. So, manually writing notes can be easily converted.
Start small. As minimal as possible, to avoid tearing up pages that eventually you’ll hate. Plan well on what kind of brain dump page you intend to create. Pages like Penny Pincher (monthly expense), Daily Habits are some of the examples that you can begin.
Stationeries that I use
- Plastic white eraser – (I have to get rid of the black eraser, it leaves an ugly mark)
- Mechanical pencil (I wrote better using a pencil or fine tip pen/marker)
- Plastic ruler
- Coloured pens (Stabilo point 88, fine 0.4 in black, similar consistency as a Sharpie marker)
- Motex label maker with embossed label (Popular bookstore $20 or online)
- All purpose glue (in case the embossed label does not stick)
- Correction tape (to cover the mistakes)
- Zebra Mildliner pen set (I love the pastel colours)
Local stationery supply stores
I have list down some supply stores for the local Bullet Journalists enthusiasts out there:
- Typo – A5 Buffalo Journals
- Daiso – stationery (cheaper pen or markers sets) and washy tapes
- Bras Basah Complex – arts & crafts heaven
- Spotlight – Crayola Super Tips Markers in multicoloured ($12.99)
- Art Friend – one stop craft shop
- Tokyu Hands – Tombow Dual Brush Pen ($4.90 each), Zebra Mildliner Pen set ($9.60)
- Moleskine Store
- Book Depository – free worldwide shipping for cheaper Moleskine notebooks
- Popular Bookstore – Stabilo point 88 pens ($1.20 each)
Any interest to start bullet journal?