Stationery Sunday: just WHAT IS a Bullet Journal?

Welcome to this week’s

Stationery Sunday


I have a confession to make: I’ve not been myself lately.

Whilst university coursework, editing commitments and social events have all intensified in workload and frequency, I’ve found myself putting off a lot of things due to stress. I tend to be the type of person who looks at the pile of work before them and panics about it, but, instead of taking the stress in my stride – and you may have heard a little strain is actually quite motivating and useful – I tend to do the opposite: abso-lute-ly noth-ing. And worse? I’m a part-time perfectionist.

I know – based upon my appearance, “perfectionism” is not a term you would associate with me. My hair, once straight, I kid you not, less than two hours ago, bounces wildly on my shoulders upon the first droplet of rain, making my thick hair more hedge-y than Beyoncé. And my make-up – what even is good make-up? I’ve even less time for the “paint” on my face than I do the pile of things on my ‘to do’ list. I’ve lived in the same pair of Docs for about a year now, those tights? Yeah, you saw them yesterday too.

So, aye – dress code aside, internally, I’m quite a perfectionist, and it often gets quite debilitating. I tend to make large, unattainable ‘to do’ lists for each day and often end up quite disappointed in myself when I can’t meet self-set, impossible standards.

I decided to branch out within my favourite corner of the internet, Pinterest, (like you didn’t already know) in search of some how-to’s in the world of awesome organisation. And, I came across Bullet Journal.

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I was drawn to this method initially because the title is, fundamentally, composed of my two favourite words:

  •  bullet as in bullet points, ultimately how I organise my daily ‘to-do’ lists, and
  • journal as in a personal notebook of thoughts, lists and ideas which I kept from aged 12 to 17.

On their website, it reads like the beginning of my autobiography:

Note-taking and traditional journaling take time; the more complex the entry, the more effort is expended. The more effort expended, the more of a chore it becomes, the more likely you’ll underutilize or abandon your journal.

Referring again to my perfectionist streak: when it comes to finding new methods of organisation and starting them, I tend to do a really good first job. I can do the shopping, and co-ordinate those highlighters with the page tags, but one week down the line it’s old news. It didn’t work for me. I got bored. I lost motivation.

“Rapid Logging is the solution,” Bullet Journal write on their homepage. “Rapid Logging is the language in which the Bullet Journal is written.”

” It consists of four components: topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets.”

As you will see from the video above, the concept of the Bullet Journal is fairly coherent and straight forward. All you need to begin is a notebook and a pen.

The Bullet Journal website has an excellent step-by-step method to help you set up your journal, the key thought being that you must take it day by day, list by list. It is a journal of mindfulness in away, which means it wants you to live in the moment right now, dealing only with what needs to be dealt with today and in as few words as possible.

The beauty of the Bullet Journal is that it is completely customizable. On the right-hand-side of this post you will see images of example pages, although the only one you should definitely include is an INDEX to ensure ease of access when you want to read your journal.

You should decorate your journal accordingly, using as little or as much as you want to make it your own.

Some ideas for pages include:

  • an index
  • birthdays
  • monthly calendar
  • future calendar
  • a space for ‘to-do’ lists
  • deadlines
  • meal planner
  • budget planner
  • up-and-coming social events

…but remember to only include what you will use.

Another benefit o the Bullet Journal plan is that it’s harder to “waste” pages. I am an awful candidate for restarting an entire sheet of copy if I have to score a word out, thus, when the opportunity to plan my life in a nice, clean diary emerged I was instantly disheartened upon the first instance of a scribble. And as pre-printed diaries do not afford mistakes, I am generally instantly put off.

Have we finally found the solution for avid, perfectionist plan-aholics?


What do you think of the Bullet Journal concept? Let me know below!

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And read more stationery Sundays here:

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