X Days in Colored Ink

Photo by Mario Valdez (flickr.com/mavto)

A handful of weeks ago, my friend and I decided to start bullet journaling, creating a fun combination of a planner and a journal that would help guide us through the years ahead and forever record our day-to-day struggles, successes, and favorite things. It’s called bullet journaling in part because it’s supposed to be quick—and also because bulleted lists are really pretty to look at sometimes, at least to some.

…So, we did a bit of research–well, a lot of research–on things like what type of journal to buy and what sort of key should we make to highlight things like deadlines and tasks. After a process of find, favorite, review checking, and double-checking, we finally settled on purchasing two copies of the large, hardcover Essentials Ruled Notebook from Peter Pauper Press. (Through Amazon, of course, because they had a deal and because we aren’t heathens who use eBay. Just kidding eBay. Please don’t sue me for libel.)

One thing we did not completely account for, especially on my end, was how piss-poor our work would look in comparison to the Pintrest and Tumblr women who practically bullet journal for a living. These people have all the right pens that don’t bleed through or “shadow” onto the next page. They are artists who create intricate borders of ivy around their to-do lists, have a color for every occasion, and have handwriting that could literally be from the Book of Kells, it’s so nice. (For the record, though I am not religious, the Book of Kells is really pretty, you should look it up. And there is this awesome movie about it–called “The Secret of Kells”–that you should totally check out…)

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Anywhoozles, back to bullet journaling. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re like me and really REALLY need some structure in your life that isn’t necessarily just classes and finals. Though, to be honest, much of my bullet journal is dedicated to course-related work, so I suppose I’m a bit of a hypocrite. Still, bullet journaling actually makes you feel pretty good about things. You can cross off or otherwise mark what you’ve completed, get fancy and decorate your pages, and really just get yourself pumped and ready for work or relaxation: I scheduled hanging out with puppies to destress, after all. And I feel like bullet journaling is helping me get my life together a bit in that respect. Setting goals is more satisfying than I thought, even if it’s mostly about writing papers or meeting deadlines.

It’s also pretty interesting! I mean, at first I was paranoid that I’d mess it up and produce some hideous work, but now I don’t really mind that my handwriting is atrocious or that I have White-Out everywhere. No, my eye did not twitch as I typed that. I honestly don’t mind, cross my heart. It adds a little character to the journal, making it feel more like a personal creation rather than a chore or simple project for others to critique.

Although, I suppose you, the readers, may critique it now that photos of it are up on the web. Forever. Because they can’t really be taken down. Ever. Oh, well. Regardless of my own subpar work, if you look up other people’s stuff it looks really cool. I’m pretty proud of my little December Christmas tree. Regardless, I can easily picture myself doing this for several years (hopefully getting a bit better artistically).

151223_002So, if you want to get things done while having some fun, give bullet journaling a try!

Image credits: Author Mario Lopez, used via Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 License

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