Good Fridays – Bullet Journaling

I said a couple of entries ago that I should dedicate a post a week on something good in my life. Doesn’t have to be an event, could just be a great cup of coffee or a good book I’m reading. It’ll balance out all of my doom-and-gloom writings, and might actually cheer myself up as well. In more blogg-y terms I suppose it would be one of those “thankful for the little things” posts, all inspirational like. Well, I don’t think I’m great at waxing poetic about hopeful feelings, but I can write about what makes me happy. So, without further ado, let me introduce you all to the first of hopefully many, “Good Fridays.”

Today’s topic is, like the title says, the art of bullet journaling. In case you haven’t heard of it, bullet journaling is a method of jounaling that’s a hybrid of a diary, planner, to-do list, scrapbook, art project, and whatever else you want or need it to be to keep your life on track. Here is its official website, which goes into much better detail. (There’s also a book but I think the website and a good thorough Google search would suffice.) It may seem intimidating at first, but trust me, I started on that exact same page, with just a plain notebook and single blue pen, and now it has blossomed into a dedicated notebook with thick paperstock and a full arsenal of stickers, washi tape, color pencils, micron pens, and you name it. I follow Amanda Rach Lee and Jenny Journals for tips and ideas, along with Emberlinmoon, although she uses hers more as a diary to record the past than a planner for the future. There are tons of content out there for bullet journaling that you definitely won’t be lacking in inspiration.

Aside from just a joy to create, my bullet journal has become a major part of my life. I keep it right on my desk, where as I sit down to start my workday it’s the first thing within reach. I’ve always been a planner – not obsessively, but if I don’t have a general idea of what’s going on I get anxious. I also have a terrible memory (I’m only in my mid-thirties! I dread the decades to come.) so putting all of my appointments in one place is crucial. At the start of my day I write down every single thing I need to do. There’s just something about seeing all the tasks neatly laid out that makes them feel more doable. Even if some things still don’t get done at the end of the day, I still know that the chance of it being done increases dramatically if it’s recorded in my bullet journal than not. There were days where I didn’t feel like doing anything, but forced myself to sit down and open the page, and somehow the goals feels just a little bit closer, a little bit more possible, and that’s really all I can ask for.

I am no artist, however. I watch all these channels with people whose ‘doodles’ look amazing and I can barely draw a straight line with a ruler. So I rely heavily on stickers and washi tapes to decorate all my pages. I get most of my supplies from China and our local Japanese markets, and it kind of ballooned into a massive collection, I had to go by a shelf container for them. My go-to notebooks are the large dot-grids from nuuna. The size is perfect, and the paper is heavy enough that my pens don’t bleed through. I make my spreads on the last week of every month. I’d put on some music, maybe a podcast, and then just let myself relax and draw/tape/write for the next hour or two. It’s became a ritual in itself. Instead of taking a bath or getting a massage I just bullet journal haha. If you feel like this might help you I highly recommend at least try it for a month or two. I don’t really remember exactly when I started this – a couple of years ago, perhaps, but I’m sure I’ll be doing this for a very long time to come.


Mood Tracker

I made a mood tracking page today in my bullet journal. The idea came when I was looking through Habitica (my productivity tracking software – I have a lot of trackers, okay??) and they had a challenge thing that say you should try to track your mood, three times a day, for a month. Well, October is the only month I actually don’t have to be anywhere else for an extended amount of time, so I thought why not? Made a tracker in my bujo and off we go.

Just so you know this morning I already woke up stressed. Don’t want to go into detail, but it was just me not ‘adulting’ right and general anxiety issues. I guess if I look through arguably my least crazy month this year and find out I’m stressed most of the time, maybe I should go back to my therapist. But then again, if things are getting done and I’m progressing forward, do I really have to go check myself? Major signs of depression is inability to do anything, right? I don’t think I’m depressed, because I’m still doing things (not at my peak capacity, but still doing things and not just, say, playing video games all day). If everything makes me anxious but I squash the anxiety and do everything anyway, and I don’t want to take more pills, does going to a therapist accomplish anything more?

(In the past I’ve only gone to my therapist when I couldn’t get anything done, as in I just lay in bed for weeks on end. Or stare at a blank page for three month in fear while not putting down a single word even though I already know what to write. Stuff like that. If I’m stressed while working but still working I’m categorizing that as ‘a normal adult life with responsibilities.’)

So I guess we’ll find out in a month how stressed I really am, and compare how much work I got done, and establish a baseline. That way I’ll know when stress is too much and impacting my productivity, and when it isn’t. Could be a good idea. And don’t worry, I can recognize when I’ve fallen off the edge and need to see a therapist again. I just don’t think it’s necessary right now.


BuJo to the Rescue

Can I just give a shout-out to the Bullet Journal method? Like, seriously, if I didn’t incorporate it into my life I would’ve gone crazy these past months. Note in point: this week, when I realized I had no idea when a lot of my essential doctor appointments are and called to find out I actually have one NEXT WEEK when I thought it’s a couple of months away. And just today, when what I put down on my task list as “organize mail” only to realize that it’s a HUGE project and then proceeded to break it down to many, many smaller steps, so it looks more manageable, and totally explained why I’ve been putting it off for so long because subconsciously my brain was freezing up whenever I thought of it, because what I thought was one step turned out to be 10+ steps.

Oh hi there, yes, I’ve been missing from the blogosphere. Yes, I suck a bit when it comes to organizing and working and updating and, sigh. Anyways, no excuses, just determination to do better.

I’m also feeling a tiny bit under the weather today so I’ve just been relaxing and doing non-brain-taxing work (or rather minimal brain-taxing work. Novel is not going to rewrite itself, again!). So what better time to regroup, take a bunch of Zycam and vitamin C, and just do all those chores I’ve been putting off, eh?