Aren’t personal letters a rare and precious gift to find in your mailbox? Here’s my letter to you, and in it I will catch you up to date with news of this and that.
Having come to grips with the fact that I have a personality that latches on to a new interest, focuses on it as long as it takes to become adequately proficient, and moves on–having realized this, I am not embarrassed to say my new interest is bullet journals. Another “talent” I have is to identify a problem with home management and recognize a solution when I see it. Bullet journals put the principles of Dave Allen’s Getting Things Done in a simple, elegant paper-and-pen system. Here is its originator, Ryder Carroll, explaining it in a four minute video (you can ignore the pitch for the book; a fancy book isn’t necessary, and it is sold out anyway; June 2016).
Want a summary? Others have explained it better, but here it is: Bullet journalling works on four principles:
- The Index. Keep an Index at the front of the book so you can use the next blank sheet as you go, keeping track of where your lists reside.
- Rapid-Logging. THis is about getting your tasks and thoughts into collections so your mind stays clear. Brief, simple notes using bullets (for tasks, events, and notes) and signifiers (symbols that give more information to the bullet, such as Priority, Call, Email; you create your own.)
- Collections. You work with two kinds:
- Logs: Future, Month, Week (opt), Daily
- Lists: Anything that needs a page such as Goals 2016, Bucket List, Writing Ideas, Gratitude Log, Gift Ideas, Movies to Watch, and Books I have Read. My bujo includes “Birthday Perpetual Calendar”, “Upcoming Big Scary Irregular Bills”, “Perpetual Calendar for Recurring Monthly Bills”.
- Migration. This is the process of moving uncompleted tasks into the next log.
Ryder’s approach is clean–just black on white–and has no frills or curlicues. Just the way I like it. However, when the women got a hold of it they opened a wide world of creativity, exploring all kinds of layouts, stencils, techniques, calligraphy, and color. Some of this appeals to me. I am still using a fine point Cross pen with black ink on my Leuchtturm1917 lined notebook–rarely fiddling with color–but have made this bullet journal really work for me.
For example, years ago I learned from FlyLady how to clean my house in Zones. It worked for me but I have neglected the simple technique for years. Now I have two-page spreads for each zone with the tasks listed on each room for that week’s work. When I plan my daily log it is simple to consult it and delegate chores. When the zone list is in my computer files, it does me no good.
I like the following spread.This is fancier than most of my pages. It is the menu plan for a month. Each day has a theme (such as seafood, pasta, poultry, pizza.) I list three or four meals for each category. When I plan the week, I pull from this if I have no other ideas or directives from the chief vegetable gardener. On the second page I list grocery items we’ll need and the cooking schedule for my teens and twenty-somethings.
The bullet journal becomes highly personalized, reflecting the soul of the one who creates it, just like our laptops are customized to the way we think.For those who find apps and computer programs too cumbersome or intrusive to adequately handle all the things buzzing in the brain, this is perfect.
I keep it with me wherever I go, and leave it open to my daily log when I am at my computer.
I’d like to tell you about my garden–how the $19 bistro table from ACE hardware allows me to bring a tea tray out to go along with my devotions in the morning, when I am wrapped in a quilt against the chill of the low 50s. Hummingbirds drink from my feeders and if I am wearing my red jacket they hover near me, threatening me with beady eyes because I am not a flower. Strangely unnerving.
But I shall close here. Do you bujo? If so, I’d love to see your favorite page in the comments below.