Everywhere you look these days, the advice is clear: it’s time to start journaling. You’ll get some people advocating for daily journaling as a way to get everything that’s stuck in your noggin onto a piece of paper, since your brain was made for making – not storing – all of your wonderful ideas.
There are others who’d advocate for journaling to clear your head. Writing about two A4 pages of handwritten words about basically anything is supposed to be great for your mental health.
When I started using my Bullet Journal way back in 2014, there was a lot of chaos – a lot of disorganisation – in the way that I used it. I’d follow all of the Pinterest pages and Youtube channels about how to make your BuJo look pretty and what sections to include and why, but never really thought about my own thought process while journaling.
Who is this BuJo actually for? I should have asked myself that question a billion times. On the other hand, the system that I now use – and am proud to recommend (you can find everything I’ve written on Bullet Journals here) – took years to develop. It was only through asking myself that question, over and over again, that I got to where I am today: a usable, useful, Bullet Journaling system.
What makes a Bullet Journal system so good? And why is it crucial that we’re intentional with our journaling?
Let’s start with unpicking the why: why do we Bullet Journal? First and foremost, it is to track your habits. If you’re not being intentional with the way that you open and record the world in your Bullet Journal, you’re not using it the way that Ryder Carroll, the creator of the system, intended.
Let’s think about how you track tasks, for instance. If you’re using tipex, for instance, you could be journaling wrong. Instead of crossing out tasks that you’ve not completed, for the sake of making your page prettier, migrate it onto the next day or into next week. The reason we write all of these tasks down is so that we’re very aware of what we have going on in our lives. If you’ve not had time for whatever task it is that you’re migrating, and you keep migrating it (maybe you’ve noticed a pattern over a few days), there could be a reason for that. It could be time to re-evaluate your tasks and figure out what is being procrastinated, and what is being reprioritised.
How to be more intentional
These are my top tips for being more intentional in your Bullet Journal:
- Have a reason for what you’re doing (don’t just do it)
- Don’t waste time making your BuJo look pretty (it’s for you, not others!)
- Do waste time making your BuJo look pretty (if that makes you happy, and you enjoy it, then why not?)
- Think about each task before it gets committed to paper (do you have to do it? Really?)
- Keep priority lists (a daily, weekly and monthly)
- Migrate every task that you commit to paper but haven’t had time to complete (and if you cross it off, consider: why did I want to do this in the first place?)
Do you have any tips for being more intentional in your Bullet Journal? Let me know in the comments below.
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