2 min read

I tried to keep a bullet journal

I really tried. I had a new notebook, watched the introductory video, even wrote out each day of the month twice. I love the concept and I wish I would stick with it, but it’s difficult.

One of my resolutions this year is to write more. I don’t just mean with a notebook and pen here, but just in general. This blog counts, that’s for sure. I saw the bullet journal as a way to keep this up without having to think about it too much. Checking and updating a daily journal, writing down quick thoughts and meeting notes throughout the day while the words slowly added up.

But there’s a problem.

The notebook rarely makes it out of my bag. I should get some credit for at least carrying it around with me, but that’s as far as it goes on most days.

I used to still use Trello a lot in the office and also at home. Diana and I have a board just for supermarket shopping so that we both know what we need and when. Trello is perfect for this kind of thing, and my personal board is often a good place to find out what I need to do and what I’m currently doing. It isn’t a perfect system though, and as soon as an item has a date associated with it, or you need to keep a few notes alongside, it starts to get a bit hectic. This is where I hoped the bullet journal, described as the analogue system for the digital age, would help.

It’s a fantastic system. It’s simple, well designed and gets completely out of the way. There are very few rules and the setup takes no more than 20 minutes. I really can’t fault the system itself for my inability to keep it up, I just find it hard to remember it’s there. Though maybe the problem is it isn’t always there.

Trello works because it’s everywhere. Well, it’s available on my phone, tablet and computer, and one of those is almost always with me. Certainly the odds of having my phone nearby are much greater than having a hardback notebook within the same vicinity. Maybe if it was a digital system it would be easier to keep up. Though that’s not really the point.

I think I need to try harder. Give it another go, this time focusing on what works for me and what stops me reaching into my bag each morning to take it out. I also shouldn’t be scared of adapting it to suit me better. The bullet journal is intended to be a framework to fit around, rather than a strict set of rules that must be followed.

I’ll give it another two weeks, and hopefully the follow-up post will be more a long the lines of “how I made myself awesome with the bullet journal” and not so much “want to buy my partly-used notebook on eBay?”. Wish me luck!