Live :: Optimistically :: Through :: Universal :: Struggles
What is a bullet journal?
The Bullet Journal was created by Ryder Carroll. After many years of journaling himself, he created a short cut to journaling, that can be personalized. With a bullet journal there is no need to spend lots of money on a fancy planner, now you can buy a blank planner and create it to fit into your life. The simplest way to describe it is an all in one planner: to do list, planner, and journal. And the best part is that it can be personalized to an individual's needs. As you personally create a page, you can customize it to fit your lifestyle. Whether you track what you are eating, your sleep patterns or use it to keep on schedule and routine, it can be a helpful tool to help mediate your mood and increase your productivity.
One of the benefits of my job is that I have the opportunity to learn from all of my clients. In 2017, a few of my clients started to bullet journal and boy what a difference it made in their life. It gave them a way to track their behaviors, habits and goals and kept them accountable. I saw a dramatic change in their mood and energy levels. they were motivated to be on track, fill out their habit trackers and continue on working on their goals.
This blog is dedicated to those clients who introduced me to bullet journaling. You know who you are!
REASONS TO BULLET JOURNAL
1 - Keep Organized
A bullet journal is a place you can keep everything in one place. To do lists, monthly calendar, shopping lists, chore chart, you can put all these things in one journal and create it to your liking. The main reason why people usually use a planner is to keep organized. Writing lists, keeping track of appointments, and being able to see your week and month spread are all ways to keep organized. Traditionally bujo (bullet journal's nick name) consists of yearly, monthly and weekly spreads.
2 - Stay on track (...and get things done)
Habit Trackers. One of my favorite things about the bujo is that you can track certain habits or behaviors. As a psychologist, I feel that it is important to be able to have insight into what is going on. The best way to figure out what is going on is often tracking a behavior. When clients come into my office and I ask how their sleep has been or how their mood is, they do their best to give me an overall summary. Tracking your behaviors or moods can help find patterns that worsen or improve your symptoms. Maybe we never realized before that mid week we are more moody. If we know this, we can implement more coping skills during the middle of the week. Or that our sleep is not as restful or long on Sunday nights as we are getting off our weekend vibes.
3 - Keeps you positive
Most bujo templates includes a gratitude log. A gratitude log is a perfect way to practice positive thinking. To end your day with identifying something positive that happened everyday. This is particularly helpful for people who are experiencing mood symptoms as when they think negatively, they feel negative and behave negatively.
4 - Increases Behavioral Activation
Behavioral Activation is the act of doing things, whether it is getting out and doing things or completing tasks. Behavioral activation improves our mood as we stay active and focused. It helps us get out of that slum. Bujo allows personalization of daily schedules, it could be for a portion of your day like a morning or bedtime routine. Schedules can be created for multiple things like when's the last time you cleaned the bathroom or breaking down a large task into a smaller task, like decluttering my house!
5 - Brain Dump
Brain dump is the bujo concept where you write down anything that is on your brain. This helps clear your mind and reduce anxiety, it helps to improve concentration and help you to accomplish said tasks. It's like keeping a notebook by your bedside to write things down before you sleep. It's one of the best ways to clear your mind and not forget what you have to do the next day. A brain dump is similar to that, but it is not a specific list. Anything goes! (cravings, items to buy, places to see, thoughts or tasks to do, the options are endless).
6 - Inspiration
One of my favorite things to add to my collections are quotes. Quotes kill two birds with one stone. They help keep you inspired and motivated and allow you to be creative. I sample new fonts or different lettering, I doodle and draw pictures. This helps drown out racing thoughts you may have and keeps you focused on something positive.
7 - Bucket list it out
A bucket list is a list of things or experiences that you'd like to do before you die. But bucket lists don't need to lifetime ones. You can create a bucket list for an upcoming trip, or a time frame (18 before 18). One of my favorite list/pages I like to make is a bucket list. I think about what I want to do and what I would regret if I didn't do and write it down. Creating a bucket list in my bujo not only keeps me on track with living my life without any regrets but it also allows me to have a creative outlet to doodle, draw and create the experiences I hope and wish for. These visualizations inspire me to check things off even more.
8 - Process
Journaling is one of my most recommended coping skills. There is something very therapeutic about writing down your inner most thoughts and feelings. Journaling helps a person to open up and process their feelings without being judged. I personally premake pages for special events to encourage me to write and commemorate that experience.
9 - Unplug
Focusing on the paper and pen in front of you, helps you tune out the world and all your stressors. Creating logs, spread and trachers allows you to stay focused on goals rather then being distracted by social media, youtube or the newest episode of your favorite show.
10 - No judgment
There is no right and wrong way to bullet journal. Your lettering, drawings or pages don't have to be perfect. In fact it's great if it isn't perfect. Imperfection is a great way to practice living and coping with the lemons that life hands us. Instead of getting stuck on the imperfection, transform it to a positive. Create a doodle, turn it into a piece of art. Or leave it as it is. Our bujo's are just like us, no one and no bujo are perfect.
For more information refer to www.bulletjournal.com or Pinterest away (just remember don't compare your journal to someone else's)
Jump on the bujo bandwagon! I did! I promise you'll like it!