It’s time for me to check in and report the findings of my bullet journal experiment…
I’ve been using a bullet journal at work for just over one month. There have been some ups and downs … and I have come to realize a few things:
- My journal pages definitely do not look like the pages on Pinterest (or any page of the internet for that matter)
- My journal pages will never look like the pages on Pinterest
- I love my pages anyway
- I never would have known any of this if I kept that blank journal on my shelf another day
Before I even got started, I knew that having a collection of collections with an index was going to be a game changer for me. In my collections space, I have notes on different projects, meeting notes, lists of materials needed for specific projects, sketches of digital badges, and other parts and pieces of my master plan. Every time I add something new, I update my index page with a meaningful title and note the page number. This makes finding and adding to my notes extremely easy.
My bullet journal has done more than keep my collections organized though. Using the migration process on my (modified) daily log drew my attention to something unexpected…
I realized that even though crossing off tasks from a daily to-do list is extremely satisfying, physically re-writing the task list each day is a pain.
Through this process, however, I have been able to clearly see the tasks I don’t complete as things I avoid completing, things that are beyond my control, or things that I’ve added to my task list because they are interesting “extra projects.” Using a Bullet Journal has put some perspective and organization in my life and that is exactly what I needed.
Now that I have reached the end of my first month, it is time to sketch a new layout. I’ve decided to make a few key changes. Just like anything else, I’ve got to make this work for me and I happen to really enjoy the perks of modern technology.
Using a Rocketbook for my bullet journal allows me to be analog and digital at the same time.
With my Rocketbook I can scan and upload my pages to the drive, send pages as an email to myself, or send them to someone else. This is handy when I want to sketch out an idea and share it with my colleagues.
Rocketbook is currently working on their optical character recognition (OCR) technologies to search handwritten notes for keywords, and currently, I can send scanned pages to my Evernote or Microsoft OneNote accounts and search my notes there. Recently Rocketbook published and shared free Rocketbook PDF pages. These would be an amazing option for anybody who is using a disc journal.
The basic bullet journal includes a future log (year-at-a-glance), a monthly log, and a daily log. Since I use Google Calendar at work I’ve had a hard time making the basic setup work for me. Google Calendar is the ultimate planning tool for teachers and from what I see it is the most underused tool as well. Instead, I keep a minimalist future log, reserving this for really big projects at work, long holidays (like the exact dates of spring break this year) and birthdays. These are all things that I need to keep an eye on but don’t need a reminder for.
One of the other modifications I’ve made has been to change the daily log into a weekly log. Since I travel to work with teachers throughout my district, I set up meetings well in advance.
When I show up to meetings, I respect the time that I am given by being an attentive listener and fully focusing on my teachers. Sometimes that means that I don’t accomplish all that I set out to do. So when Monday is said and done, I usually can’t migrate unaccomplished tasks to Tuesday. I have to find another time in the week to accomplish that task (or delete it all together). Keeping a large space, divided into 5 blocks with their respective dates, has been really important for my workflow.
When I picked up my hardly-used Rocketbook off of the bookshelf and began this adventure, I knew that there were going to be some things that I would really connect with.
Part of my really really wants to be one of those amazing crafty planner ladies who can write in permanent marker and beautiful flare pens all over their blank pages and make it seem look like a piece of art… but that isn’t going to happen for me.
Instead, I will continue to bask in the glory and satisfaction of crossing off list after list after list and collecting my ideas in a very efficient and organized way. I will be satisfied and happy and I will (probably) love every second of it.