THE BULLET JOURNAL

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Here’s a solution to make your life easier.

I’ve always been a list-maniac. Every week, I write lists to keep me on track and remind me of all the unfinished tasks I have pending, as well as new chores I must see to. I prepare grocery lists, lists of books I want to read or buy, lists of movies I want to watch, lists of work which must be done around the house. It’s a never-ending list of lists.

Each day, I add more items to my lists. New recopies I want to try out, contemporary artists I’d like to know more about, lists of work-related tasks and appointments, and even lists of social events I want to talk to my friends about.

My mobile phone’s memo application is useful in this regard… as are my Google calendar, my Gorjuss pocket diary, my work-calendar at the office, and the writing pad I keep next to my laptop. In short, I seem to have lists all over the place.

Too many lists, which instead of helping to make my life easier, actually end up making it more complicated.

From the post-it notes stuck to the fridge, to the scrawled coloured notes in my office-calendar, these were all taking a lot of my time, as I’d end up needing to continuously update and synchronise them.

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Last month, I finally discovered a solution – something which finally allowed me to keep track of all my ‘to do’ lists, in just one place.

The answer to my chaotic system came in the form of the Bullet Journal. In this digital era of online calendars, mobile phones and applications, all one actually needs is an old fashioned notebook and pen. Quite simple, right?

Well apparently not, since it actually took an American designer called Ryder Carroll to come up with this analog system.

The Bullet Journal is a kind of coded system where one can organise and list all of one’s activities, events, DIY projects and ideas, while at the same time being creative and personalising it according to one’s own tastes. You can make your own rules and system, however there’s mainly one basic formula when keeping track of things in your Bullet Journal.

Here’s what to do:

1. Purchase a hardback, thick, and durable notebook.

2. On the first page, create an index with your own personal reference key, for example:

 = to do

! = new idea

 = top priority

3. Start a new page. Write the name of the month at the top, and number each line from top to bottom. This will be your monthly calendar page.

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4. The page right next to it is your task page where you can write all you wish to accomplish during that month. Do this in bullet form and in as few words as possible. Add further bullets and projects at will throughout the month. When you’re done with a task, simply cross it out. It’s so rewarding to look at all the finished tasks at the end of a month!

5. If you don’t manage to finish all your tasks in time, simply leave them uncrossed and transfer them to the next month.

6. Go to your next couple of pages and dedicate as much space as you want to each day of the week. This will be your daily diary bullet list.

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7. Each morning, take a look at your daily lists and see what tasks you’ve finished and what’s still pending.

That’s basically it! There’s obviously much more to it, especially if you want your Bullet Journal to reflect your personality and style. Mine for example, sports additional monthly lists of books I’ve read and articles I’ve written. Other people keep track of daily calorie intake or gym exercises. There are a myriad of ways to colour and jazz one’s journal too. Think glitter and animal stickers!

For more tips, check out the Bullet Journal website.