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Nov 17, 2014

Bullet Journal

The above video is a handy introduction to the system of organizing your days and tasks.

Basically there are three types of data to enter, tasks, events and notes.  Tasks are signified by an open check box.  As a task is completed, the check box gets checked.  Events are signified by an open circle.  Events are appointments and dates that you want to remember.  Events can include food journals, chronic illness tracking and other such things.  Notes are signified by closed dots/circles.  Notes are things that you want to remember, but are not tasks or events.  These three types of data are fairly easy to keep track of.

What happens if plans change?  Then you place a right arrow through the open box or circle indicating that the task or event has been postponed.  If a task or event becomes obsolete, just cross it off the list for that day.  There you have it for those unexpected life happenings.

How do I know if something is important or I want to find out more about it?  For important things, I use an exclamation point in the margin next to the signifier for that data point.  For things I want to investigate, I sketch an eye in the margin to show that I want to look up info about "x".  But, how do I know what the various symbols mean?

I have an index page in the front of my journal.  There is also a key/legend page opposite the beginning of the index.  The legend page is where I have all the signifiers and their associated meanings.  The index page is a listing of what kind of data is on pages such and such.  I have a few blank pages after the first index page before the beginning of my first calendar pages.

On a fresh spread, I topic each page with the name of the month and year for the current month.  I list the dates down the margin of the left page.  In the margin next to each date, I put the day of the week abbreviations used at my first college.  U=Sunday, M=Monday, T=Tuesday, W=Wednesday, R=Thursday, F=Friday, and A=Saturday.  This way you can use one initial and know exactly what day it is without wonder if the T is Tuesday or Thursday, or the S is Sunday or Saturday.  On that page, I list any appointments in pencil that are not standing appointments.  On the facing page, I list the things I know as of today, that I need to get done for the month, like registering my car in August, rather than December. ;)

On the next page I repeat the calendar, only on this page I plan out the menu for the entire month.  If I have an old calendar handy, I'll look at 11 months ago and copy the menu plan, only tweak it to reflect food changes and taste changes that have happened.  I'd rather not eat the same thing every 9/15, so that's why I go back 11 months.

Anyways, then on the next page, I start my daily pages with the data points that are important for those days.  Most days currently have the following tasks, with intermittent appointments added in as needed.

  • Get ready for the day.
  • Get dog ready for the day.
  • Dishes.
  • Sweep.
  • Knit.
  • Read.
  • Enjoy the day!
So far, I've been doing this for a few weeks and am liking the break from a traditional calendar and having all the data in one linear form.  It fits with my love of paper and is easy to keep up with.  If I miss a few days there's no biggie, and if I only want to include a few things or a lot of things it's easy to accommodate.  I really am liking this new way of journaling my days. :)