Book Review: Bullet Journal Method | Jewel Images | Photography & Education By Julia Kelleher

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Every once in a while a book truly changes your life. 

I picked up the Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Caroll just one month ago, and it has literally change the way I work. Being a life-long paper snob, and pen-perfectionist, I immediately fell in love with the concept of journaling by bullet point. 

I’ve been “enthralled” with the idea of journaling my whole life. In high school, my hand-made 3-ring binder journal is full of young love, and sweet-16 drama. Page after page, I watched my handwriting change and my mind mold into a young adult who’s problems now seem trivial. Each night I wrote line after line of my thoughts and sagas. And then finally it fell off. Naturally. College came and my journal was replaced with copious amounts of lecture notes, flash cards, and highlighted quotes.

But that desire to record my life was still there, and every once in while I’d make a New Year’s resolution to try again. Nope, didn’t work. I finally gave up when motherhood, marriage, and career took over.

But then a funny thing happened. I still needed some way to record my life-my to-do list, my daily don’t-forgets. I should have bought stock in the 3M corporation. Why? The rainbow of post-it notes that stuck to my computer like unicorn poop, began to overwhelm me everyday. I had come to rely on neon pink, yellow, and blue slips of paper. Some of them would be there for so long, their stickiness would fade and it would float to my desk in a glorious crash and burn —the dust taking over the glue like a fungus.

The rainbow of post-it notes that stuck to my computer like unicorn poop, began to overwhelm me everyday. I had come to rely on neon pink, yellow, and blue slips of paper.

-Julia

When I opened up the Bullet Journal Method, I was a bit skeptical at first. I had “You-Tubed” the term ‘Bullet Journaling’ and was inundated by pages and pages of videos of BuJo-ers who make these gorgeously designed journals – flowers and fonts, all hand drawn. It was enough to intimidate even a retired scrapbooker, paper-snob like me. But alas, I cracked open the first chapter. Wow. It was so simple. You don’t have to be the girl with frills and pretty spreads. You can simply make BULLET POINTS. 

Do you love lists? I am lascivious about lists! It’s like the score of the day to cross off something on a list. Accomplished! Success! I am KILLING it!!! It’s as good as making the last payment of a credit debt – every DAY! And the Bullet Journal Method takes this love of lists and injects it with steroids – combining the art of journaling into your to-do task list. 

The ingenious method includes how to index your journal. Four pages at the front of your book record where everything is. You create it AS you journal- a living breathing index of where to look for that big project, or what page your annual goals are on. The Bullet Journal Method teaches you to keep track of your to-dos and goals, along with migrate tasks that didn’t get done and mark things that need to get done in the future with a simple categorizing system. It’s marvelousness in your past, present and future – all recorded in your dot notebook. Can you make it pretty? Yes! Can you make it simple? Heck, yes!! And that’s the beauty of it. The system is so cleverly simple that anyone can adapt it for how THEY work. 

The second part of the book is nothing short of inspiration. It takes you through your mindset when it comes to achieving goals, teaching you to become aware of how bad habits offer instant gratification, but long term decline. And small daily habits may be hard to keep doing everyday, but they lead to long-term goal success and immense growth. Inspiring and actionable inside your BuJo (short for bullet journal), it’s bound to lead you on a path of getting that sh*t done.

Speaking of #dothework, I’m now getting more done in days than I used to in weeks. My eyes are clearly on my goals. And my mindset is targeted to the now. The Bullet Journal allows me to record the facts AND bullet point my daily thoughts, too. And simply listing out my emotions, or something someone said, or the cute antics of my child is enough to mark it. It’s enough to remember it. It’s enough to see my personal growth. I don’t need to write pages and pages of sagas anymore. I’m not obligated to write sentences. In fact, I’m discouraged from it. All I have to do is write lists. Bullet Pointed lists.

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