There was a time in my life when I thought I didn’t need a to-do list or system, and I could keep track of everything in my head. This was naive; after all, you don’t know what you don’t know—and you don’t remember what you’ve forgotten! Things fell through the cracks. Maybe your life is simple enough that you really keep it all tucked away nicely. If that’s the case, most of us wish we were like you. This article isn’t for you.
It’s for the rest of us non-geniuses, who just need a little bit of help keeping track of all the details. If you’ve been thinking about getting a little more organized (but keep forgetting, because you’re not all that organized), I have one recommendation: bullet journaling. It is hands-down the best, no-nonsense, easy way to get started, and it doesn’t even take any special tools. Don’t let people tell you that you need the perfect journal (though that can help) or the best pen before you get started. Just grab a notebook and a pen and dive in, and start getting things out of your head and into a system. (And this is coming from an office supply addict, so you should know that means a lot).
I could endeavor to explain the basic tenets of bullet journaling to you, but I just wouldn’t do nearly as good of a job as Ryder Carroll, the inventor himself. So if you’re completely new to the system, I’ll refer you to his website for a crash course.
But what I’ve set out to do today is convince you that bullet journaling is the best way to get started organizing your life. And I will do it succinctly, because you should go start bullet journaling in as least amount of time as possible.
Have you ever used a regular planner, and found that you used certain section more than others—and some sections not at all? With the bullet journal, you fill up each page as you need it. If you need to take a little more room in January than you do in February, you can do that! There aren’t a limited number of pages between monthly calendars or for any given section, so you never worry about filling it up too fast. So, stop paying for planner pages that you won’t use; the bullet journal is 100% completely yours.
No more forgetting where you put a certain piece of information: it’s in your bullet journal. If you’re anything like me before bullet journaling, you have information scattered across multiple sources: sticky notes on your desk and wall, jotted in a notebook on that shelf over there, or typed into the notepad app on your phone. Probably in one of three planners you’re currently “using,” too. The bullet journal endeavors to be the one central place where you put everything!
You know what they say, “If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.” I found this to be true for my iPhone or any other digital app I’ve used. Entire tasks lists can get sucked into the black hole of just being out of sight. Instead, just seeing my bullet journal laying on the coffee table can remind me that I have a planner, I should probably look at it. Sometimes just glimpsing it can remind me of a really important task that I wrote down a couple days ago, because it’s physical and distinct, and it takes up space, both in my world and in my mind.
Tell me, did I convince you? Let me know in the comments below, or on social media! And check out my other bullet journal posts below.