Bullet Journals – the Ultimate To Do List

Okay…well, after forgetting to post again, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d better get my sh*t together, and nevermind how I feel about to do lists.  So I took some time off my productivity app Habitica, dumped the usual weekly chore list, back-burnered all my larger projects and current to do list, tried not to think about my upcoming schedule and sat down to figure out exactly what I’ve been doing wrong.

I think the problem is largely prioritizing.  I’m not here to be Supermom, as I said in my last post, particularly since I have no children.  Besides this, the to do list is also an issue.  Some stuff was just always there and I never get to it, because there are always more important things that need to get done now.  But…I’ve got to write those things down or I will never remember to do them until I’m past the time where I just need them done.   Habitica doesn’t compensate for this headache and I’ve learned to hate to do lists so much, I don’t want to do them because they’re to do lists.  No other reason.  And that’s aggravating.

So while marinating in a depressive low and surfing Pinterest for new ideas on how to cope, I came across the concept of a bullet journal.  This is a journal, calendar, to do list, sketchbook, habit tracker and list collector rolled into one.  It sounds and looks intimidating until you sit down to do it – then it becomes kinda fun.  It’s a scheduler that encourages tangents, doodles and random (yet necessary) lists, thoughts and notes.  After a little research, I was charmed by the concept.  Not in love – and still not – but flirting with the idea.

See, I don’t need the full out bullet journal right now.  I like my productivity app, because it’s rewards you when you complete your daily chores and I love having a calendar on my phone because it’s right there where I see it all the time.

But my god, I need somewhere to put my million lists.  They need sorting to put them into something tidy and non-panic inducing.  So I found my prettiest journal, one I’ve been hanging on to since high school, awaiting something worthy of it, and wrote “Don’t Panic” on the first page.  Then, since I was listening to the Piano Guys, I added, “It’s Gonna Be Okay” as well.

I’m 15 pages in and I’ve got a lists titled: “This Will Take 5 Min…,”  “General Things that Should Get Done – and Sooner than Later,” “Artistic Accomplishments” for all of those art projects I want to do, a “Wish List” for me, a “Christmas List” for everyone else, “Things to Save Money For,”  “Life Changes” I want to make, “General Things that Should Get Done…Eventually,” “Blog Topics” and even the amorphous and kinda frightening “Bucket List” of all the big things I want to do before I die.

Of the lot, the “General Things that Should Get Done…Eventually” list turned out to be the biggest relief.  I wasn’t expecting how much pressure those non-priority things were putting on me until I could shelve them someplace where I couldn’t forget them…again.

I still use the To-Do function on Habitica, but it’s reduced to things that I can do in a day or so.  I doodle when I’m bored now, which is healthier than burning my eyes out surfing the internet.  How long this will last I don’t know, but the novelty is motivating.  Most importantly, there isn’t a list labeled “To Do” in my bullet journal, which is…surprisingly relaxing.

If you would like to try a bullet journal yourself, either check out this article from BuzzFeed on the subject or get the word straight from the original website itself at bulletjournal.com.  I promise it’s easier to do that it seems.

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