You've heard of it - maybe. Bullet Journaling is the hot new thing, and for good reason! It combines journaling, list making, and your daily planner in a notebook of your choice. It can be started at any time and customized to suit you exactly. It can be plain, it can be fancy. You can use one pen, or many. You can keep it plain, or decorate with stickers, doodles and washi tape.
And it is ADDICTING.
First off, the system sounds complicated when you first read it. I advise you to pick up your notebook and then follow the basic system as outlined here. It'll walk you through step by step and by the end of setting up your journal you'll have the concept solidified in your brain.
You don't have to wait for the New Year, or even the beginning of the week to start one! I started mine on a Friday in AUGUST.
I do recommend going and getting a good notebook. I went to Half Price Books and got a lovely Piccadilly for $6 (you can get it on Amazon for $7-$12, still cheaper than the popular Moleskine). I highly recommend getting a college-ruled one if you like lines, although they also come in graph and plain.
There are a TON of blog posts out there illustrating how different people use their bullet journals. Browsing through them is fun to get ideas, but don't get overwhelmed (or intimidated by artists!).
The foundation of your bullet journal is the index. I left four pages blank to fill in index entries!
Then you have your monthly calendar and task list. I am so glad I got college ruled, because there are 32 lines - just enough to get the whole month in there! (You don't do all of these at once, just whichever one is coming up next)
You also have your future log, which is a spread at the beginning of the journal to keep track of your whole year. Then, as you add each new month page, you will refer back to this to add in important dates and tasks.
Then you have your daily log! Each day you write down tasks and events, using different signifiers as desired. Uncompleted tasks migrate. I've made up some unique modifiers for myself, to use to easily go back and spot Mateo milestones, health issues, special events (like friends getting married), or Star Wars RPG night mini-synopsises.
The ribbon date banners are kind of popular. I chose to pick a different color for each month. August was orange/red, September is blue. I think October will be purple, but not sure...
The idea is to jot each entry as it happens, except for when making out the daily task list. You are supposed to only write out one day at a time, as it happens. No plotting tomorrow until you reach it! I appreciate this, as I can refer back to my monthly task list for reminders, but I don't need to feel pressured if I wake up feeling sick. I only make the task list after I've gauged my available spoons for a day.
(Speaking of health, another reason I love bullet journaling is that the amount you write each day is very small - very important for my fibro limitations! I use Staedtler microliner pens, which are the best I've found for my hands to use).
Then there are the lists! Each journaler has their own priorities. The awesome thing is that because of the index, you can insert a list any time. You can either refer back to the index to find it, OR make mini-tabs, like the one shown here. (I used paper and tape,but some people like to use washi-tape or metal page markers).
I finally have a place to note all of my upcoming blog post ideas!
This is my messiest list. I needed to keep track of when to plant seeds so I don't miss any next year. I'll transfer it over to my monthly logs once I get to next March.
And my book log. I stink at keeping accurate book records, so we'll see if this one actually lasts. My problem is that I read so quickly, and I forget the author name, etc. I'm hoping that since I'm already logging every day, I'll keep up this time.