This may seem like a very specific post – why bullet journaling, only for work and only during Covid? I realise that to seasoned Bullet Journallers, the exclusion of non-work activities in Bullet journaling may be an oxymoron but hear me out.
A few weeks ago, on Instagram, I complained that my work life is in a complete disorganised chaos as a result of working from home and social distancing.Having meetings in front of my computer and living off my Outlook calendar has meant that I don’t need to spend the first 15 mins of my day organising myself and working out what I need to do that day, that week, that month and review what is outstanding from my work list.
I also had a small hissy fit at the notebook I was using as my “planner” notebook – I like to keep my planner and notebook separate because it usually helps me to organise myself better. My list and to do’s are all in a central location and it makes it easier for me to move my work around and plan. The notebook, which shall not be named, just would not stay open, so I didn’t want to use it even when I was doing so.
My resolve was to move to Bullet journaling for work. I typically keep my work life and home life separate (and I do understand in Bullet journaling everything is mean to be in one place, but it helps my work life balance to separate). I wanted a system where I could spend some time planning and keep my notes, without having to switch notebooks etc. Eagle eyed viewers will notice that the above layout is virtually unused compared to the initial post.
I have toyed with the bullet journal concept for a while. I like that its simple and easy to set up and as flexible as you need it to be, so it was easy to get started straight away. Its never something that has really worked well for me – I’ve picked up some pretty good tips through the system, like numbering pages and different signifiers to indicate different things, but as a system, I like to plan things in advance a bit too much and I certainly waffle on in my writing too much.
So has it worked this time? Its too soon to say. I’m certainly not doing it as a “true” bullet journal like the guidelines say. To be honest, I think the only thing I have been able to accommodate from the bullet journal system has been the “all in one” notebook system. I think it would work better if I actually committed more to the system and took some time to get used to it. I do dislike that the sections are all over the place – I don’t really like that the notes pages interrupt my planning pages etc. It feels messy to me, although I think that could be easily fixed by keeping one end of the notebook for planning. I could also outline weekly layouts a month at a time to enable me to pre-plan without ruling up an entire notebook.
I also think the neatness might be improved by using a gridded/structured notebook. I’ve been using a blank notebook for work at the moment and after having used our dot grid notebooks for so long, I think I’ve relied on the structure that it provides to assist with neatness. I’m also trying to be a bit kinder to myself – not to look at the beautiful bullet journal spreads on Instagram and feel bad that mine doesn’t look as neat or tidy as what I see. Its not realistic (for me) and for now I just want to focus on something practical.
Have you tried bullet journaling? Do you use it for work separately or do you use it as an all in one system? Do you have any tips for me?