In June, I decided to adopt the principles of Bullet Journaling. There’s lots of information out there about the idea, and the reactions range from saying it’s not helpful to groups of people who call themselves “bullet journalists.” Initially, I tried this out because I wanted to have a more tailored way of keeping track of school and other things.
There are some who create beautiful, artistic pages in their journals. I am not one of those. I’m not particularly artistic, and my purpose was to have a place to keep track of things on a monthly and daily basis. And I like paper. I do have a calendar on my phone, but my bullet journal has more detail than I need on my phone.
My favourite journal is the Leuchtturm dot grid journal. I do have a Rhodia dot grid, which I bought with a gift card, and I will use it, but the dots are darker than the Leuchtturm and that will probably be distracting. The paper is nice, though. It stands up to a fountain pen easily. I use a Micron pigma pen most of the time, and it doesn’t bleed through in either journal. It’s the dots I like.
What I like about the empty journal is the flexibility. The numbered pages come in handy when keeping track of lists (like the resources I compiled for my research paper, complete with call numbers in the library) and being able to use as much or as little space as I want means I use all the paper in the journal. I’ve had my current journal since June, and I suspect it will last until the end of March.
Every month, I have a two page calendar spread with squares for appointments, activities and due dates. I also have a place alongside the right hand of the page to keep track of daily things. I am task oriented and having that list of dailies is incentive. I like to do Greek and write daily, so when I complete those things, I check the date. It’s probably more psychological than anything, but it works.
I keep track of my study needs as well as Bible reading, and lately, keeping track of how much I read in other books. Being organized isn’t just about planning ahead; it’s about recording what we’ve accomplished. It’s encouraging to see if we’ve accomplished something.
Each page has two days worth of entries planning my reading, including Bible reading. I have a “to do” list of domestic things which need attending to, and then a list of school items that I want to do that day. I don’t always finish everything, and if I don’t, I just move it ahead to the next day.
What I like most about this system is that I can tailor my calendar to what I’m doing. Over Christmas, I did not plan school items, so I was able to have three days per page, listing only a to do list and what I was reading. I also have some pages at the back of the book reserved to record books I’ve read. Hopefully, I’ll be more diligent about that this year.
I’m sure there are many ways to keep such a thing in a digital format. I think there is even a digital version of the bullet journal itself. I still like my paper and pen.
Kim Shay lives in Southern Ontario, Canada. She converted to Christ in 1985. She has been married for 30 years and has three grown children and two unruly Beagles. She is currently attending Heritage Seminary where she is working on a Masters of Theology. She has been a member of her local church for 21 years, where she serves as a Sunday school teacher. Find her online at http://philippians314.squarespace.com
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