Let’s be honest, in our increasingly busy lives – which we mostly spend glued to our smartphones or in front of a computer screen – how often do you actually write something by hand? Whether it’s calendars, notes or journals, we are too time-poor, impatient and addicted to our digital support system to bother with traditional analog scribbles.
Yet, at the same time, we live in a time where colouring books for grown-ups have become a thing thanks to their calming effect and offer of a creative outlet. And despite our lack of focus and laziness when it comes to expressing ourselves via a medium other than emojis, we are still as obsessed as ever with stationary.
Step forward the Bullet Journal. Currently a hot topic on Instagram and Pinterest, it is a concise, creative and totally customisable way or organising your appointments, thoughts and just about anything else going on in your life. Highly efficient yet extremely arty, it is a mix between a planner, scrapbook and journal, allowing you to spend as little or as much time on it as you desire. And it is also credited with improving your wellness and mental health. What more could you possibly want?
Unlike classic organisers, the Bullet Journal is an empty notebook you fill with exactly the topics and categories you desire, no more, no less. You can fill it with anything from important dates, to-do lists, weight loss plans or party planning to doodles, pictures, wish lists or poems. Everything is handwritten and encourages you to further express yourself with drawings, calligraphy, photographs and stickers to your heart’s content. Because there is no pre-set calendar or schedule inside, if you ever miss a day or take a break for a longer period of time, it doesn’t matter because you simply continue where you stopped, without those annoying blank dated pages that haunt you in a normal diary.
At the heart of the Bullet Journal, though, lies a streamlined, concise and efficient organisational system invented by digital product designer Ryder Carroll. Described as ‘rapid logging’, entries consist of four components: topics, page numbers, short sentences and bullets. In a nutshell, you decide on a topic and write down a descriptive headline, number the page and organise your collection of information and thoughts by dividing them into bullet points that you mark as ‘task done’, ‘task migrated’, ‘task scheduled’ and ‘events’. All bullets are prioritised and marked by ‘signifier’ symbols to give them more context.
Apart from the organisational benefits, many people have credited the system – short BuJo – with improving their lives in a myriad of ways. From rediscovering a creative streak to soothing their minds and decluttering their lives, because it is so customisable, it has become a runaway hit for may. Carroll himself told LiveScribe.com, “I receive a lot of messages from individuals who convinced me that it really has changed their lives – especially people who either have some kind of health problems, psychological disorders, or learning disabilities, and find this system really beneficial. I’ve also spoken at a school recently, and at a wellness fair just to show people an alternative to traditional note taking.
“The feedback has been great and also what’s been really rewarding is to see how people customise their Bullet Journals. At the end of the day, the big thing about the Bullet Journal is that it’s a series of methods so if a method doesn’t work for people, then I always advise not to use them. If they do work for them, great. And if there’s something they need the book to do, that it doesn’t, then they should go ahead and invent it. A lot of people made contributions that I think are really clever.”
Credit: Featured image via @Pinkplan.Suarez on Instagram.