Video: Bullet Journaling Changed My Life!

Video: My Minimal Bullet Journal Set-Up

I could never have imagined how much a simple bullet journal could alter my existence. Years of working at home as well as being a full-time mom has me constantly stressing out. From forgetting doctor’s appointments, events, and deadlines, to the sheer number of apology emails I’ve had to send as a result of my unorganized life. I even wrote a blog post (more like a letter to myself) about how not to be bitter, most likely to combat all of my negative feelings.

It wasn’t like I didn’t try, I had to-do lists everywhere, on notebooks, post-its, in my phone notes, and on my google calendar, but I still felt frustrated. No matter how much I did in a day, I never felt like I was on top of things. Even worse, I felt like I wasn’t even moving the needle towards my goals. I’d often find myself worrying about my to-do list, even when I was doing something fun and should have been enjoying the moment.

Then I discovered bullet journaling. The simple, rapid logging method of journaling that is intended to keep track of all things as well as keep us mindful of our most precious resources, our time and energy.

I actually started my first bullet journal a couple of months ago, in a regular journal I already owned, just to test the waters. What I quickly realized was I was doing a lot of busy work, and leaving myself very little time to accomplish the things I really wanted to. For example, instead of working on a project that I knew had a deadline, I’d find myself spending way too much time organizing a closet in my house, or responding to emails in my inbox.

I also realized I didn’t have as much time as I thought I did, since I was taking on almost all of the responsibility for housework, and ALL of the responsibility for the breakfast, lunch, dinner, school drop-offs, pick-ups, and after school activity drop-off’s and pick ups.

As a result, I’ve asked Tom to chip in with drop-off and pickup of Sophia on the two days a week she goes to daycare. The reason why we have her there two days is so that I can work, (and also so I don’t go completely insane). Despite knowing this, the other nonsensical thing I used to do is drop Sophia off late and pick her up early – because my mom guilt made me think she probably wants to be home. In reality, she actually loves daycare, playing with other kids and doing all of the fun activities. Having Tom take on that task and letting her stay the full day, gave me three additional hours of working time, six extra hours a week!

Another aha moment I had was that even though I was constantly thinking about my career, my blog, and how I wanted to create so much more, I wasn’t actually doing much of it. I had a really great intern over the summer last year who created a posting schedule and gave me her tips/suggestions – and I fully planned to do it all, or so i thought. Realistically though, because I am home with the kids, I didn’t have enough time to do any of it. I realized I actually could have done a lot of it, if not all, but I wasn’t taking advantage of my evenings and weekends at all to make my dreams happen.

Last but not least, I realized I grossly underestimate the time it takes me to do work, writing blog posts, shooting and editing videos, and even just planning and preparing to shoot. Now instead of making my daily log to-do list have 20 tasks, I’ll prioritize my top 3, and then list whatever else I will get to if time warrants. It is a simple but profound realization that I can’t just will everything to happen – I need to plan ahead and give myself the time (and grace) I need.

This year, my goal is to live intentionally every day, and keep myself accountable with my bullet journal.

If you are interested in bullet journaling, there are no shortage of amazing tutorials available online. I’d suggest starting with Ryder Carroll’s, the man who created the whole concept. If you want to make yours artsy and fancy, or just want to watch really cool and oddly satisfying bullet journal set-up videos, check out AmandaRachLee on youtube and have a field day with all of your recommended videos.

And here is my really simple, minimal bullet journal set-up for 2020, which I think is perfect for beginners.

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