Bullet Journal Method: Simple Productive Reflections

Bullet Journal

I have been in search of the perfect productivity app for the past 5 years. I found my true love in the simplicity of the Bullet Journal.

It has been a year since I have read the Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Caroll last year. It completely revolutionized my life. I have never thought of going back to the paper in managing my life since I have been into digital tools for quite some time. Furthermore, I have spent a lot of money trying out different apps that I thought would make me more productive. It takes me just a few weeks to tell whether an app is the one that could magically change my life. Sadly, nothing about that shiny app did that for me. The BuJo method has stuck with me and I have been using the system for a year now. Here’s why:

The Bullet Journal Method is Simple

Simplicity in Principle

I have been practicing Minimalism in my life for quite some time. The principle of reducing the amount of clutter in my life allowed me to create more space to improve my mental clarity. The BuJo method is very simple. It would take quite some time to set up but the concept is about mindfulness practice that is disguised as a productivity system. I just need to start with daily practice by having my daily log. Daily log is where I just simply capture all my tasks, notes, and even my emotions within the day. Through daily reflections, I am able to carefully contemplate whether each task is worthy of re-writing again on another day. The missing link of the digital productivity system is about this mindfulness practice, whether a task is truly important that it is worth to re-write again.

Simplicity in Practice

Bullet Journaling is simple because it is like a stream of my notes, tasks, and events that I can capture in a single place. It is like having my brain dump from time to time to avoid mental clutter and then address the things I have captured within the day during my reflection times. I use the Bullet Journal Companion App to remind me of my daily reflections and track them. It is not a replacement for my notebook, but it is a companion on those “few times” that I am not with my notebook. 

Bullet Journaling for almost a year developed my muscle memory each morning to grab my notebook and pen while making coffee. Thus, a habit of using a pen and paper each morning to sit down with myself, thoughts and feelings have created sufficient headspace for me as I face each day. There is always something different doing my life admin on a pen and paper. 

The Bullet Journal is Customizable

It Customized the Way I used my Tools

Here is the best thing about using a paper and pen: You can write whatever you want. Yes, you’ve heard it correctly. My problem with task managers and digital note-taking apps is that it was limited to a singular purpose. For example, I used to do mind maps on MindNode then I started writing a note on Evernote. I even developed a GTD workflow using Things as my task manager. Google Calendar for events, and Notion for my project management. I have to say that these tools are very convenient and easy. Especially for someone who is into the productivity space trying out different tools. However, the lack of capturing and collecting all of my pieces with different apps affects my headspace. 

Bullet Journaling has allowed me to become more aware of the tools that I have used. I have come to a point in my life that I no longer need as much GTD and evergreen notes. Since I just finished my graduate studies. Furthermore, I started doing my life admins now in my Bullet Journal and developed a system that works for me within it. 

It Customize The Way I Used my Journal

Bullet Journal has been known for having a set of Collections that are very much tailored for the one who uses it. Collections can either be trackers, project managers, a monthly budget, or anything you can think of. I am using very minimal collections since I applied the basic Bullet Journal Method by Ryder himself. Furthermore, I integrated my habit tracker to my Monthly Log calendar and my Monthly Goals and Projects with it using Alastair Method. I am not as creative as those people on Pinterest and Instagram showcasing their spreads. Well, I just copy some of their spreads especially if it resonates with me. 

I am still trying things out in my Bullet Journal such as time-tracking, building content calendars, and even reading lists. I still have a lot of things to explore from the BuJo community, especially those who are already veterans in creating their own spreads. However, I think that through reflection that one can truly know what they want for their bullet journal to be.

The Bullet Journal is the Method that stuck with me

It sounds ironic for someone who loves tech and works a lot of bio-hacking through it. I have learned to love the Bullet Journal Method and it has stuck with me for a year. I searched over the internet and bookstores to get my hands on the official Bullet Journal Notebook because it is not available in the Philippines. Thankfully, I got one. Moreover, I have also invested in a fountain pen that could add to my everyday carry. I think this is now a habit that would be difficult to break so I chose to embrace it.