What is a Bullet Journal?
At its core, a bullet journal is made up of bullets. You know, the bulleted items you make a list with or to-do items. To clarify, it is a sort of journal of what there is to do, a low-tech hand-made calendar, notes, thoughts, whatever – thus, the journal part. It’s not just a calendar, most of the time.
The problem is that most bullet journals that you see online seem to be made by people with loads of time, an itch for creativity, and an artistic edge. Most moms don’t have that kind of time.
Here’s more samples of beautiful bullet journals –
Image Courtesy: ohlookimstudying on Instagram
Image Courtesy: journalsanctuary on Instagram
Image Courtesy: morbidmechadoll on Instagram
A Bullet Journal Alternative
Okay, so this is where we think that there is an easy alternative to bullet journals. At least the kind that takes up so much time.
Yes, we like the journal component – it rids you of having flying post-its and pieces of paper with notes everywhere. It keeps all your ideas and thoughts in one place. Centralization is useful.
Here’s what we recommend in the interest of time savings and simplicity:
CHOOSE A BASIC JOURNAL THAT’S BEAUTIFUL:
Get a basic journal with just lined pages – we like this budget friendly 7 – 1/2” by 10 – 1/4″ CR Gibson bonded leather 192-page journal because it’s slightly larger, doesn’t have spiral bound which can catch on things (like your sweater), has enough pages to last a while, and is nice to the touch … it also can be used at the office because it looks so professional, melding your personal and work life for some flexibility and centralization. One thing we like to often think about is will the size be practical? For example, sometimes we like to throw things into our purse to keep hands free, so perhaps you might consider size as well as look. We have found lots of pretty and professional blank notebooks for a small price at T.J.Maxx or Marshalls.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TECHNOLOGY-BASED CALENDARS:
Keep appointments, birthdays, and task reminders on a Google calendar or some type of program that syncs with your phone and computer . This way you’re not writing up all those items into your journal – that’s too much work to take the time to make your journal a full-fledged calendar. If you’re a working mom, you could try a subscription-based option like Daylite Cloud for Mac OS – it syncs with your desktop/laptop and phone/tablet and is a full CRM.
USE YOUR JOURNAL FOR WEEKLY TO-DO’s AND NOTES:
Keep it simple!! Use the journal to plot out your week’s to-do’s and appointments. Make notes as you go along. That’s it. (Though, we have been known to use our journal to write out ideas and thoughts in freeform — because the journal is so destructured, it allows this.)
ENTER INFO INTO EVERNOTE:
Evernote can actually be used as a wonderful bullet journal. Evernote syncs with your phone and computer. Also, you can write things and plan things in Evernote, as well as save web pages and documents — all within a file system, which we think is better than a paper bullet journal. For example, planning a vacation? Make a notebook just for the vacation with all your packing lists, itinerary, and web pages that you used for research. It will be available to you on your phone or on your computer at a moment’s notice.
If you stick with the paper type of a bullet journal, here’s examples of simple ones —
Image Courtesy: bigbluebed of Instagram
Image Courtesy: atrandum on Instagram
Image Courtesy: sparkleadventures on Instagram
In short, don’t try to compete with making your bullet journal some type of art piece … unless you have the time and want to.
Most moms just need a central note-taking and daily to-do to stay on track – leaving the rest to technology to help you along.
(Updated from the original post of 6/21/17.)