Starting a Bullet Journal

bullet journal

Writing lists on little pieces of paper is not the most effective way to keep track of things, journalist Bernice Nikijuluw found. So she tried something new: bullet journaling. It’s a surprisingly simple solution for keeping yourself organized. 

I have been keeping a Bullet Journal for a few months now and am very enthusiastic. Because it’s so simple and hardly takes any effort (‘rapid logging’, as Ryder Carroll, the developer of the Bullet Journal, calls this style of writing, is indeed very quick) and it now feels like my life is very organized. Gone are the messy stacks of scraps, and instead I have a tidy little notebook that I enjoy paging through.

I write down coffee dates, dinners and other social events in my Bullet Journal too, which are fun to look back on later. The only things I haven’t been able to find a place for are the non-urgent tasks and things I’d like to get around to one day: painting the bathroom, planning a vacation, making a photo album, stuff like that. I’ve devoted a page in the back to these things now, so that I don’t have to keep migrating them to the next month.

Things that I want to do soon but don’t know the precise day yet, I write in my month’s log (a haircut, getting together with an aunt). You can put all kinds of lists in your BuJo. I have a page with gift ideas for my loved ones, for example, so I always have ideas for what to get. And I have a list of books I’d like to read, and a what-to-take-on-vacation packing list, and restaurants I’d like to try. Thanks to the numbered pages and the index in the beginning, these lists are always easy to find.

No matter how beautiful and handy it is, my Bullet Journal is still a fancy form of lists and not a replacement for my agenda. I still use Google Calendar, where my husband and I can see each other’s appointments. The two systems, digital and analog, coexist peacefully. Carroll does it too: “The trick is to find the tool that works best for you,” he says. “Working with pen and paper helps you remember things better, and also helps to order your thoughts—as plenty of studies have confirmed. But digital systems are great for sharing information.”

Text Bernice Nikijuluw Photography Federica Santaroni (@feebujo)