The first time I heard about Bullet Journaling, I thought my friend must have been referring to a list of bulleted items in her journal — like what I do in my prayer journal when I am short on time or too tired to write everything down. However, there was something about the way she referenced her tasks that made me wonder if there was something more to bullet journaling. Well, my gut instinct was right!
Bullet Journaling is a method designed to meld together a task list, calendar planning, goal setting, and reflection the old fashioned way — with a writing implement and journal.
Utilizing a step-by-step coding system referred to as modules, a bullet journal is divided into multiple sections, with a customized index to keep track of the various areas recorded, such as dates, tasks, and important pieces of information. Bullet journaling is a great solution for anyone who wants to be more organized and focused with their time, and it’s especially help for a big idea girl, like me.
So how do you set up a bullet journal? For a traditional approach to this method, the first step is to look at the example provided at bulletjournal.com. A quick internet search on “bullet journaling” will bring up a plethora of tutorials for how to set up your bullet journal with creatively infused with doodles, quotes, and scrapbooking bling.
I was hesitant to jump on the bandwagon as a “sucker for new systems,” because I already love using the Restart Planner I created to keep afresh the principles described in Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change. But I the concept of bullet journaling intrigued me, so my solution was to create supplement pages for the planner wondering if that might work best. The pages reflect the typical modules in a bullet journal along with blank pages for customizable sections.
At the same time, I grabbed an inexpensive notebook-like journal and set it up with an index and tabs for each category in my life — which are equivalent to the “hats” I wear and reflect the way I’m wired. For example index includes: Big Ideas, More to Be (ministry), Coaching, Article & Posts Ideas, Book Ideas, Women Leading Women, Mission (thoughts in light of what God is teaching me), Bible Verses, Quotes. Yes, this little journal has become quite a help for a big idea girl!
Every time a new idea pops into my mind, I jot it down in the appropriate section in my bullet journal.
When the tyranny of the urgent isn’t dictating the use of my time, I pull out my journal and flip through the pages to see which idea I could move forward on. At the end of the month, I review all the ideas and prioritize the ones that get to stick around. In some cases, I transfer information into Evernote and set up a reminder to return to an idea or project too. So yes, Evernote is still a go-to tool, as it’s always with me on my phone. When my journal feels too messy or filled up to keep using, I transfer “keeper” content to a new journal and start fresh. This process, my friend, is the secret to managing life for a BIG idea girl!
All of us need some sort of system for managing our responsibilities, but for big idea girls, having a way to process our thoughts so that they lead to productivity and not procrastination is key.
We need to feel like we can “do something” with our creativity, and the process of writing down ideas before acting on them is key. In the months I’ve been using this system, I’ve felt less cluttered by my ideas and more purposeful in seeking God for His purposes.
Whether you’re already a bullet journaling girl looking for a creative twist on the method, or if you’re giving this a whirl for the first time, I hope and pray this method equips you to take one more step towards living out focused habits for the glory of God.