Celebrating success: a Bullet Journal experiment update

It’s not the prettiest Journal, but it works.

The first two weeks of September are always the busiest in my day job and usually I get to launch day exhausted, facing a hundred little crises, and with a knot in my stomach because I have not had time to complete some really important tasks.

This year, however, everything has gone as smooth as silk and I have to attribute the success to my use of my Bullet Journal. Of course, every year, I make to-do lists, but always in a haphazard manner on a variety of different pieces of paper and/or computer files and emails.

I also managed to be productive in my personal life as well. Remember how I made the decision to be purposeful about my choices in life? Well, that has extended into this crazy period of the year, and despite ten and twelve hour days at work, I’ve been in better and more meaningful touch with my husband and friends than I’ve been in years.

I can’t pinpoint exactly why the Bullet Journal has produced different results, but I do have a few ideas.

  • Part of it is because I knew I was using it as an experiment here on Unclutterer, so I never let a day pass without updating the Journal.
  • By giving work and personal life tasks and thoughts equal priority, one never took over the other. And success in one area motivated me and encouraged success in the other.
  • I hate rigid rules and the rebellious teenager in me always wants to break them, so having been told right from the start that “rules” for Bullet Journaling are meant to be broken, my inner-teen never needed to rebel.

The system isn’t perfect, of course. Now that I write everything down, if it’s not in the Journal, it doesn’t happen. For example, in preparing to go down to our apartment in La Rioja last Friday, I reminded myself to take the house keys off their hook and leave them out where I could see them, but I didn’t write it down. Did I forget my set of keys? You bet I did!

The index is useless for me. I know I am never going to go back to review things. My lists and thoughts are “in the moment” things. Once completed, I move on. In my next Journal, the index will disappear.

The Future Planning portion makes no sense to me. I prefer to have a section with the whole year divided into months so that the planning can go there (one side of the page with the days of the month and the other with notes).

I also have added a section. This Monday, I created a weekly calendar that went before this week’s lists. It helped me organize my time in such a way that I didn’t forget a single appointment and I managed to squeeze in free-time and relaxation before the week’s craziness took over.

4 Comments for “Celebrating success: a Bullet Journal experiment update”

  1. posted by Pat McDermott on

    Are you using your bullet journal in combination with any online calendar? My spouse and I have shared Google calendars with one another, which has been much easier to manage than the paper calendar on the refrigerator method we used for many years. Easy to update, and can be checked for each other’s commitments from anywhere.

  2. posted by Katherine on

    Do you take the book back and forth from work to home?

  3. posted by Gigi on

    I like that your journal isn’t “pretty”. Makes me feel better about mine which also isn’t pretty. But it gets the job done and that’s most important I think.

  4. posted by Lisa on

    I’m using my weekly planner that I get from work as my journal. Tasks are not being forgotten, and there is no paper clutter on my desk. All the things that used to be jotted down on scraps of paper are now in the planner. I am using the Future planning page at the back of the book to jot down ideas for future projects.
    I have a spiral bound notebook at home next to my computer for home use, and I am using the index for that, and it is handy.

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