Writer Wednesday: How Using a Bullet Journal is Helping Me Transition Back to Schedule

Hi all, Rose here.

*rubs hands together*  This post is going to be part reflections of personal and productive practice so I’m going to dive right in.  If anyone’s interested in seeing some of my bullet journal posts, you can check my Instagram here.  I also posted a list of some of the NetGalley reviews I need to get to on my Tumblr – the spread of which I was actually proud of visually even if I still have quite a bit of reviews to write. I certainly plan on tackling that list and others in the coming months, that and tackling my 6th (I think?) NaNoWriMo in November.

Though I haven’t actually been inactive on my blog for too long in terms of periods of time, I definitely feel like I’ve been away doing different things from the blog than what I’ve been normally used to in previous years.  One of my blog mission statements is that I blog everyday or almost everyday in terms of updating content – whether it’s book reviews, reflections on the writing life or my WIPs, media reviews, random things that catch my eye in the health/fitness/meditative realm, among other things.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t always happened due to me wearing many hats and having a number of major life transitions in just the past few years (day job, deaths in the immediate and extended family, etc.)

I went back and forth between different organization systems to try to see if I could better balance my productivity to where it didn’t seem like I was neglecting one thing over another, and for certain stretches, I managed fine.  When I was writing book reviews (ARC and library reads) and checking my bookish social media sites I would do that regularly but find that my writing time and other hobbies (a la binge watching Netflix/Hulu) to recharge my creative batteries were getting neglected.  And then when I’d commit to getting a WIP finished writing (I noted in one of my status updates that I have 27 projects written, in various stages of completion – so my writing productivity is on point), my reading and socializing on bookish and other social media got set aside.

So what’s a busy woman to do to balance all this and life stuff?  Enter the Bullet Journal system as created by Ryder Carroll.


Seriously, take a few minutes of your time to watch this if you haven’t already done so, because this is the barest bones of what the Bullet Journal entails and the original system from which it’s based.  My first thought was “Holy crud, why haven’t I heard of this system before?” and my second was “I need to get on this right now.”  Then commenced my journey akin to descending into Oz of looking at what other people were doing with their bullet journals. My mind raced a mile a minute at all the potential things I could do for productivity AND potential creative outlet.  It would be a return to journaling for me since it was a nostalgic hobby when I was a child. I loved collecting journals and stationery, using them to my heart’s content with writing projects, scrapbooking, etc.

Plus, there’s the potential of making a BuJo (short form of bullet journal) very pretty (by choice, of course). Considering people have different means of expressing their minds and putting their ideas, thoughts, musings into numerous words and images – the variation in expression and production in various Bullet Journals does not surprise me.  I applaud the variation actually, but I realize that starting out with this kind of level of detail for someone who isn’t familiar with the system can be a disaster waiting to happen or grossly overwhelming for the prudent semi-perfectionist (*tentatively inches up hand*).

My Bullet Journaling journey started on the tail end of July/beginning of August.  Not all of my efforts followed the system to the teeth (I didn’t have a future log at first, and I wasn’t keen on doing daily spreads as I was the modified weekly spreads, but that quickly changed). I was bent on incorporating many different collections.

To me, the jump into Bullet Journaling somewhat reminds me of jumping into my writing journeys.  You have rules for what you can follow and a measure of best practices, but it gives you room to play with those elements until you figure out something that works for you and engages your sensibilities.  I love the flexibility of this system, I love the fact that it gives me room to play with different methods of keeping up with the things in my life that I wish to do, and gives me a sense of accomplishment every single time I set out to it.  True, I’ve had a few spells of planning slumps, but since the system works so well with the way my own mind synthesizes ideas, I keep coming back to it.

Further, I’ve found that it makes me more cognizant on a daily basis as to how much time I’m devoting to the different facets of my life, whether it may be writing, reading, exercising, meditating, blogging or whatever else may be going on.

That said, I’m using a bullet journal even now to keep track of the posts that I’m making on this blog, the amount of time I’m checking social media sites, what portion of my day is committed to reading ARCs, writing/editing my WIPs, or level grinding on games on my PS3 (because I have those moments and it’s admittedly good creative release for me).  I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me, but I’m already seeing progress as to my productivity level – something that I hope is reflective in not only the personal projects I peruse, but also the content that I share. My hope is that in the coming weeks (months) that I can share my bullet journal pursuits with respect to my writing and reading life and maybe inspiring some of you in the way that many in the community have inspired me.  It’s a supportive one, and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Until next entry, happy reading and writing!



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