Often when I talk to people about bullet journaling (generally after they grab my notebook and demand to know what’s happening with it!) they confess that they have tried bullet journaling but gave up or not stuck to it consistently.
If you want to try to build and stick to the habit of regular bullet journaling, here are some suggestions:
- Quit your other lists and systems. Transfer all the information in your phone notes, post its and other notebooks full of lists (address books, birthday books, calendars) into your bullet journal. It will take a bit of time, but you can multi task by watching TV, listening to a podcast or using travel time on a plane or train to consolidate all your info. David Allen writes in Getting Things Done about the importance of managing your “ephemera” – that’s all those lists and pieces of information floating around your workspace, kitchen or phone into one workable system. The best way to make sure you stick to your bullet journal is to make it indispensible, so I think this is a very useful first step.
- Establish your BuJo routine. When is your planning time, and how do you create a back up for this if you can’t squeeze it in? For me, Saturday is Plan A – I’ll carve out half an hour to get my basic weekly set up done, review my work appointments and plan my workouts for the week ahead. Plan B is Sunday evening – I make it a rule not to head into Monday morning without a plan.
- Remember, it’s YOUR system. If you have a couple of crazy busy days where you don’t; open your journal, let alone undertake your habit tracking or daily gratitude log – that is absolutely fine. I have those days too. I either leave them blank or fill in afterwards. No-one is grading your journal and it is absolutely ok to fit it around your needs and routine.
- Get inspired. Sometimes I can get a little bored of my journal – I find looking at other spread ideas, either on Pinterest or Instagram, can often be enough to get me excited about my BuJo all over again and trying something new.
- Not every page has to be pretty. I have a lot of ugly, functional pages full of notes and scribbles and crossings out in my bujo. It’s my home for everything, including notes from meetings, grocery lists, packing lists and random doodles during phone calls. Not every page is worthy of it’s own Insta spread, and that is absolutely ok.
- Think abut frequency. If you don’t want to sit and plan each week, you don’t have to! Bullet journaling can work really well for monthly plans and reviews, and longer term goalsetting too. If you’re finding it too time consuming, set a fifteen minute timer and you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish when you put pen to paper.
- Make it rewarding. Bullet journaling should be an exciting and satisfying part of your routine. Set yourself up in a local coffeeshop, or in a nice corner of your flat, listen to music or a podcast – think of it as self care, not work or a chore and your brain will react accordingly.
Please let me know in the comments if you try these tips and find them useful – enjoy your journaling practice and I hope it brings you much peace of mind!