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Bullet journaling is all the rage now, but it’s been around for many years.

I remember stumbling upon the website and watching the video, but my brain just sort of shut off with the explanation, as simple as it might be… I thought, “Oif, I don’t want to learn another system… I’m overwhelmed already!”

As a busy working mom with two young kids, I’m constantly feeling frazzled.

This is a feeling ever since I became a mother… and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon. I yearn to be organized and on top of things – from business to household to personal goals. And it seems there are plenty of busy moms who are kicking butt out there. But I seem to struggle with every step and I always find myself behind and feeling inadequate.

I realize it might simply be a state of mind, because we will always have a million things to do – that’s just life!

But the point is that I need to change something, so that I feel better about it all. Perhaps it’s about awareness and perspective. I currently use a mix of digital and paper planning… and basically too many post-it notes. It’s a  mess! I also find myself thinking of “planning” as another chore. Although I ventured into creating my own planner pages and templates, I’m realizing it’s not really about the tools, it’s the system that’s not working.

I need simplification and I was led back to the bullet journal.

I like the fundamental idea of getting everything into one notebook, plus it’s supposed to be super flexible with lots of room to grow and change. Seems like a framework taken from useful tidbits of other systems in the past like Dash/Plus, indexing, freeform journaling, etc all rolled into one.

There’s an official Bullet Journal website and the official video below gives you the basic lowdown.

There’s also a million blog posts about how each person uses the system and how they might have customized it to their own unique needs.

Not to mention another million youtube flip-throughs and tip videos. I really enjoyed reading Boho Berry’s posts and tips, especially the point about migrating tasks and how the “planning” and writing of things forces reflection. Usually I have so many lists, they just keep growing and growing. That’s not really a sustainable way to keep a list… there’s a limit where just looking at it makes my brain want to explode. And unfortunately that’s what makes me turn away…

So I don’t know for certain if the bullet journal will work for me, but I get the concept, I like it… so I MUST try it to see if it works.

I decided to stop thinking too much (get past analysis paralysis) and just do it – consequently joining in on Boho Berry’s #bbActionChallenge.

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I know some critics say it’s a waste of time to be numbering pages, indexing and migrating by hand on paper – in this oh, so, digital age. But I also thought, paper planners are the rage and besides being trendy it might be because it actually works. There’s something to be said about writing on paper with your hands. It sinks in differently for our brains. Not to mention the time it does take up, forces one to slow down and really focus and reflect on the items being written… going back to my point earlier. Again, time will tell.

I don’t want to be overwhelmed.

So I’m thinking it’s best to start super SUPER simple. I don’t want to set myself up for failure by diving in too deep and having a million logs and things I can’t keep track of, even if it’s just one notebook. So I have to think of the bare essentials to start with.

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The sad thing is that I dived in so quickly that my notebook was backwards. Yes. I opened it upside down, backwards and started my index page, future log and daily. DOH! I was oh so tempted to rip it all apart and go whimper about being seriously out of sorts.

You know how you can have the best of intentions but when things go awry, it really makes you want to curse and throw in the towel? That’s was me.

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But I took some deep breaths and thought, okay, this is a test. It’s not about being fancy or pretty… it’s about making it work. So who cares if it’s upside down. Just go with it! So albeit my cringing and heartache for how silly and boring it all looks… I’m keeping with it.

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I need to remember this is not the time or place for creative stuff… at least not right now, for me. I need to get organized first… fun can come later. There’s so much inspiration out there and super pretty bullet journalers… but I need to keep the focus.

Right now everything is pretty much empty for me, but I did start compiling all my notes into it, so I can throw away post-its and random scraps of papers with lists. Sort of braindump style… hopefully I can deal when I’m finished…

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I really enjoyed A Tiny Ray of Sunshine’s posts about bullet journaling, especially about the bullet journal addiction stages. It make me chuckle out loud! I would like to start with the simplify stage though and skip all the drama. Hah!

K.I.S.S is the way to go!

I’ve been thinking about how planning is such a huge topic and usually such a personal struggle for people. We want to plan and have things planned out… perhaps because it’s about being in control of things in this crazy world?

The only thing I’ve learned with life experience is that things rarely go as planned. In fact, I used to be a project manager and although managing teams is a bit different in the workplace, it was still an illusion to believe one could really be a master puppeteer.

There will always be things that are out of our control.

It seems that we can be organized and aware of the situation and possible situations, but there needs to be room for flexibility, change and plan b, c, d, e… etc! So although I have high hopes for my bullet journal adventure, I also need to remind myself that it can morph and change over time. So I really need to go with the flow, more than anything. That will probably help me the most to feel better about everything.

Oh please, wish me luck and I would appreciate any tips or suggestions from veteran BUJO folks out there – anything regarding bullet journaling.

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