How Bullet Journaling turned Busy to ProductiveAF

May of last year I was slowly losing my mind.

I’m a mom, wife, coach, business owner, blogger, and (less than stellar) home maker.  Those are a lot of hats to wear and for a long time I was able to keep my life on track simply from memory.

As business and responsibilities have grown, I’ve attempted to get my world together using all sorts of fancy apps and calendars.   Nothing I downloaded or bought ever felt like it could truly handle the COMPLEXITY of my life so they were quickly abandoned.

As I searched for organizational tools last year, I came across bullet journaling but honestly, it was never something I seriously considered doing because it looked extremely intimidating and unhelpful.

Go ahead… go to www.bulletjournal.com and watch the 5 minute how-to video.

It’s brilliantly done, but they lost me on the whole “analog” thing.

I was all… WTF do I need to speak to myself in code?  That seems like more stuff I gotta keep in my head and I’m having trouble as it is!  No thanks.

However, May of 2016 was my “come to Jesus moment.”

That month, I forgot to do 3 very important things, but honestly, I don’t remember the first two.

I just know that the 3rd, forgetting my son’s birthday party, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Like who DOES THAT, RIGHT?  That’s the stuff movies are made of, right?

Uhm… nope… apparently it happens in real damn life cause when I got a message on Facebook from a mom asking for my address to drop off their child to my son’s spend the night party, I about had a nervous breakdown.

The good news is that my son was turning 11, which means X-Box, a giant bowl of chips, candy galore, and pizza and they’re happy as can be.  They don’t need coordinated games and balloons and THANK THE LORD, I don’t have to entertain parents anymore for a birthday party.

Just drop your babies off for some free babysitting, please!  It’s a friggin’ win/win for all.

My son’s birthday party went well, but there is no way one forgets their child’s birthday without realizing that my organizational framework was BROKEN.

That Monday swim team started and wouldn’t you know it a fellow momma, neighbor, and bullet journaler sat next to me.  It took me about 3 seconds to strike a conversation and get the momma low down on why she had chosen this bizarre looking method to organize her life.

Low and behold… she too had been totally intimidated by the whole bullet journal thing before starting.

She sent me to read the article that helped her get going… “WTF is A Bullet Journal and Why Should I Start One”  and since it spoke my WTF style language, I skeptically gave it a go.

  •  I went to Barnes and Nobles and bought me a super cheap Bargain Buy journal for $5.98.  I saw all the expensive ones the experts were bragging about online but I wasn’t convinced this thing was actually going to stick.  I wasn’t willing to invest $20-$30 yet so I went (and still do) go off brand.

 

  • I re-watched the official bulletjournal.com video and set things up just like they suggested except I ditched the analog stuff.  I didn’t have use or patience for special, secret code language about what I needed to do, what was important for me to do, what had gotten done, and what didn’t get done.  I’ll stick to crossing stuff out, please and thank you.

For about the first month it was just an awesome daily to do list where I could just DUMP my daily demands and even jot down fun little random events like “Emery lost her first tooth!”

No more post it notes all over the place.

No more lists that I’d forget at home or in the car.

No more trying to keep 10 different tasks in my head at the same time.

I felt IMMEDIATE RELIEF and darn it… I was getting so much more done without being MORE TIRED.

THAT was the biggest win of all!

Because we could all DO more and be busier but the cost to our sanity is huge.

And let’s be real…

busy is not the same damn thing as PRODUCTIVE.

I could feel my days becoming more efficient, my tasks getting done faster, decisions came easier, and I was LESS tired.

By month two I began to morph, tweak, and adjust my bullet journal so it was customized for a mom, trainer, business owner, blogger, and book worm.

If you were to open my bullet journal, it would probably look like a hot mess to you.

It certainly doesn’t look like the fancy ones you see on Instagram.

My bullet journal does not have fun doodles or colors.

It does however have business product ideas, conference notes, grocery lists, favorite quotes, my social media editorial calendar, my kids’ activities, appointments, and a million other random things.

I am doing more than before, better than before.

Quite frankly, I don’t know how I ever lived without a bullet jouranal before.

That’s why I put together an informal Nerd Out/Meet Up on Saturday at 11a.m. at Mellow Mushroom on Cecil Ashburn… next door to Sweat.  If you’re interested in coming just click the link above and let me know.

There’s no cost.  You are welcome to order food, drinks, or just chill and listen or start your journal.

I’ve sung the praises of bullet journaling enough that I’ve gotten some folks addicted and many others curious but they feel a bit intimidated… just like I did.

So, my goal on Saturday is to bring this bullet journal thing out of the fancy, intimidating Instagram accounts and make it accessible to you.

I’m happy to help you set yours up and answer your questions as to why you may or may not want certain things in your journal.  I’ll be sharing my own favorite strategies and giving you guys other resources so that you can adjust the journal to your very specific needs.

If you’re feeling anywhere close to overload and melt down the way I was last year, this low tech tool might be exactly what your busy life has been needing!

 

 

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