When A Bullet Journal isn’t JUST a Bullet Journal

Bullet journaling is a thing, like a full blown thing with YouTube channels dedicated to flip through videos and Instagram accounts and even a convention (yes, PlannerCon is a thing and it just happened in Washington D.C. ). There are bullet journal mavens like Boho Berry who have built quite a sizable following helping #bujo enthusiasts get their shit together in the artsy-fartsy-est way possible and I salute them all. 

I’m just not one of them. 

I stumbled upon the concept as I was looking for ways to make my writer’s notebook more useful. I have long struggled with things like meal planning (mostly just dinner) and productivity (I’m inherently lazy). But, I know that winning NaNoWriMo is as much about time management and planning as it is about writing actual words. So I stumbled upon bullet journaling and was immediately sucked down a YouTube hole for four hours. 

While I fought against the seemingly irresistible pull of this communituy of super organized, hand lettered planner princesses, I did find a few things that work for me.

  1. color is your friend. Don’t be afraid to use whatever color you want, just have fun.
  2. simple is good. Washi tape is fun, stickers are awesome, but none of that is necessary. 
  3. messy is awesome. My pages are messy, and unnumbered, and un-indexed and that works for me. After all this is a place for me to plan AND play. I write whatever interestes me on the pages not occupied by legit planning and that works out really well. 
  4. writing stuff works. Yeah, I tried all the online stuff and you know what? It doesn’t work as well. When I look at my notebook and get to color in boxes and check off things from lists and try to draw a cat in the margins and write random poetic odes to the andorgynous asian girl who sits across from me in the library….that’s MY PlannerCon. Okay! I get excited to do it again and again and I think of new things in new ways and its awesome and doesn’t require me to turn off my notifications in the movie theatre. 

So if you are a serious writer who is serious about writing I recommend that you look into the whole bullet journal thing for some great tips and ideas on how to be more organized and productive. And even if you’re just a hobby writer, my pro-tip is to get a notebook (a comp book will do) and write every day. Just do it. See what your mind comes up with. See what characters you have hiding in your brain folds. Write poems dedicated to cool people you’re too shy to introduce yourself to. That’s not weird at all!

Oh jeezus we just made eye contact. Could I be any more weird!


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