Time management is self-management. We all have the same amount of time; it’s what we do to manage ourselves that counts. I became interested in time management again a few months back when I discovered bullet journaling.
I’m a big fan of paper; working something out on paper is powerful. For a couple of decades I fell in love with tech, because I was writing for several computer magazines. That made me feel slightly guilty that I still used so much paper. I got over that very smartly, when I realized that using both paper and digital tools helped not only my productivity, but also my creativity. It just makes sense to keep doing what works.
Unfortunately, my diaries, journals, binders, and planners were a long way from being a real system. Not only did I have more paper notebooks than I could keep track of, I also had a blizzard of sticky notes on my bulletin board, my library shelves, and on just about any flat surface.
Although I’d been hearing about the bullet journal, I scoffed at it. Then in desperation, I decided to give the system a trial. Not only did I find it powerful and effective, I discovered something else. There’s a huge paper planner community. Who knew? My battered old Filofax is 25 years old, so I ordered a Hobonichi Techo, which is superb. Just right for bullet journaling in 2015.
Combining bullet journaling with digital tools like Evernote works for me, and I’ll write more about that in the coming months.
Bullet Journaling Resources
If you’re interested in trying bullet journaling, here are the resources I found valuable.
The Bullet Journal Website: Here’s What You Need to Know
Start by visiting the bullet journal website. Watch the video, grab a notebook, and get started. You’ll learn a lot about yourself. Here’s what I discovered immediately: I was more productive.
You can hide and ignore tasks you haven’t done with a digital task management tool. With a bullet journal, you can see that you’re migrating tasks over and over, and that fact alone irritates you enough that you DO that pain-in-the-rear task, or tasks. I hate administration, and while that won’t change, my bullet journal ensures that I DO those tasks.
The Bullet Journal Communities
Lovely people on both those communities. If you have questions about notebooks, signifiers, methods, or anything else, ask.
Blog Post and Videos: Tips From Bullet Journalers
Here are some blog posts and videos which helped me to get started with bullet journaling.
33 Days Later: an Update on My Use of the Bullet Journal Method Task Tracking System: Jewel Ward offers this insight:
“What I like about the Bullet Journal method is that the act of manually transferring my tasks from day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month forces me to be more aware of that I need to do, what I have done, and, what is feasible to do within the time frame I have available. It does take more time, but overall, it saves me time.”
How the Bullet Journal Cured Idea Overload Syndrome — Renee Shupe’s insight:
“I discovered that using pen & paper over a digital process actually has me reviewing the ideas and taking action by either crossing them out as they are no longer valid or hashing it out and building a plan for implementation.”
Video: How I set up my Bullet Journal – from Hailey Cairo, an excellent primer.
Video: My Bullet Journal from Miss VickyBee, another excellent primer on how to get started.
Will bullet journaling work for you? I’ve no idea. However, if you’re as desperate to develop a sane time management system as I was, you’ll love the system. Watch Ryder Carroll’s video, and start. You’ll know whether it helps within a day or two.
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