Bullet journaling might be all over the internet lately, but it’s more than just a fad to me. I always kept a journal growing up, but instead of being organized and helpful, it was mainly word vomit about the guy I had a crush on at the time. Discovering and using bullet journaling, though, was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my adult life.
What Is Bullet Journaling?
Bullet journaling is essentially using bullet points to log all the important things going on in your life. And that means everything, from feelings to deadlines to gratitude to big stressors.
A bullet journal can be used for a ton of different things. You can cram all of them into one, for some sort of diary-planner-task manager hybrid, or you can focus on just one section that’s important to you. The organized bullet point format makes it clear and easy to see the big points – the bigger picture. It’s something personal for you, so you can make it anything that’s going to give you the most benefit.I suggest experimenting with styles and formats so you can find the one that gives you the most satisfaction.There are benefits for any focus you choose.
A Daily To-Do List
One option is to use it as a reminder of things to do every day, like a daily planner. With how busy our lives get, it’s always good to have something to make sure we do the tasks that need done. Instead of daily goals, try long-term goals. For example, maybe by the end of the year you’d like to try out Thai food or mountain biking. Long term goals remind you that things don’t always have to happen right now.
In my own bullet journal, I created a “got-done” list instead. For each day, I list all the things that I got accomplished. Even if it’s something small, like getting dressed and brushing my teeth, I make sure to put it down. If I get down in the dumps later in the day and feel like I haven’t been productive, this reminds me that I’ve actually done a lot that day, and it makes me feel a lot better.
A Habit Tracker
One of my favorite parts of my bullet journal is the habit tracker. I track both the good and the bad things that can impact my mental and physical health. For example, I track how much time I spend watching Netflix, how much soda and fast food I consume, and how much sleep I get. Fifty percent of our everyday life is habit. No wonder change can be so hard. It also takes 66 days to form a new habit, which makes staying dedicated to good things like exercise important.
When I track all these things, I also include my moods for the day to see if that plays a part in my habits and what I do. I notice on days that I was stressed, I tend to eat bad foods more, so it inspires me to work that out of my diet. I also exercise more because I like seeing consistency and being able to check that off every day, and add it to my got-done list.
Taking Note of the Little Things
For every day I include a little section about things that made me smile. Too often, I find myself getting caught up in the emotional turmoil that life can create, and I forget about all the great things in it. Like the cute puppy I saw walking to class or when a butterfly landed on my backpack. Taking note of what makes me happy gives me something to look back on when I’m overwhelmed and think things will never get better.
I also like to list the things and people I’m thankful for. We take so much for granted nowadays that it’s important to look back and really appreciate what we have. It also helps me to call my mom more, and make sure the people in my life know how much they mean to me.
I never thought bullet journaling would have the impact it did. I’m healthier mentally and physically, have kicked some bad habits, and started better ones. Best of all, I think it made me an overall better person. Try it out – you won’t regret it and it’ll make you a believer!