The Self Care Tool That Really Works–Bullet Journals

From “The Life-Changing Magic of Bullet Journaling”:

“Introduced as an organizational method by Ryan Carroll, the bullet journal (which, its website says is called a BuJo for short, but, no, I will not call it that) functions as a combination planning system, calendar, to-do list, and even diary, and is a self-proclaimed “analog system for a digital age.” In short, it lets you do by hand what you could also do on one of your phone’s million apps.

Now, I’m far from being a Luddite and compose the vast majority of my writing on a computer, but there is still something appealing to me about writing things by hand—particularly things which I need to remember later on; the very act of writing things down helps me feel like they’re more real. The bullet journal method encourages users to write and write and write, and so it appealed to me on the level that I wanted something distinct from the usual keyboard-based writing I was doing—and the bullet journal method is certainly distinct.

As intended, bullet journaling is a very well-regimented system. The bullet journaling website offers a really comprehensive explanation of how it works, but the premise is quite simple: Journalers divide a notebook, pages of which they manually number, into sections including an index, a daily log, a monthly log, and a future log. There’s also room for more spontaneous notes, but those temporal log sections are the backbone of the bullet journal. Within those different sections, journalers are supposed to write everything from long-term goals to daily tasks to random musings, but the point is that all of these things are going to be organized in such a way as to make them easily graspable by our often overwhelmed and overextended minds.”

From “When nothing makes sense, I journal. I’m not the only one.”:

“I think journaling is like going through a closet bursting with clothes. Before you can even begin cleaning it, you have to dump all the stuff on the floor and just look at it. That’s what you’re doing in the beginning,” says a reply to a newbie’s post in the journaling forum on Reddit. “So don’t worry about doing it right/wrong, your goal is to just look at your thoughts laid out, instead of it being cramped up in the head.”

A bunch of first-timers have posted on the subreddit, among the many digital communities dedicated to journaling, over the past few months: asking for advice, swapping stationery recommendations, and coming back to share updates on how it’s been working for them. Suggested prompts help on occasions when the days seem to have mashed together into one gray blob, a frequent experience during lockdown.

Some go all out with the washi tape and colored pens and Leuchtturms; others stick to good old-fashioned “streams of consciousness lite” in exercise notebooks. There are detailed descriptions of the day, habit trackers, and mood logs, and then there are entries like the one posted by a journaler struggling with depression:

5.21pm. I ate.

There are plenty of places online besides forums for journalers to swap ideas and learn from one another. Journaling workshops — paid and unpaid — via Zoom have flourished. Ceballos participates in twice-a-week sessions organized by an online community called Goddess Council, where members get journaling prompts — a helpful tool for beginners and the experienced alike.”

From “My Journey from the Hurt”:

“I’m Tessa Jeane or TJ Hall. I’m a 1994 edition weirdo, married, owner and creator of a small craft business, mom to 3 awesome fur-babies, and a broken little girl trying to live an adult life.

I’m the product of a selfish Iowa cowboy and a selfless Wyoming country girl. I grew up in a bit of a toxic environment with a very toxic relationship with my father, causing a whole bunch of unhealthy problems in my teens and now adult life.

I discovered that journaling was a form of self-counseling, something that I need since I can’t afford actual therapy, and have way too much anxiety to even consider it to begin with. Using a blog as an open large platform is my way of helping myself while maybe helping others as well.

Those of us who have grown up in lives causing us to have mental health issues as a result of childhood trauma but weren’t seen as abused or neglected always seem to get overlooked. Here is a safe place to be ourselves, talk, encourage, heal, and help one another. Please feel free to reach out for any reason if you need to. I’m no professional by any means, but I have an open ear and a kind heart willing to listen and help those who need to heal just the same as myself.”

From “How to Challenge a Challenge?“:

“In July I started taking part in one of the doodle challenges and I absolutely loved it! Have you tried any?

It’s so much fun!

I actually worked out a bit of a routine around the challenge. When I wake up in the morning one of the first things I do is I make myself a cup of coffee, obviously. I used to have a cigarette with the coffee but since I quit I was looking for something else to kick start my day. So I am doing the challenge instead! I sit at the kitchen table with my cup of coffee and draw the doodle of the day. It works fantastically because by the time I finish the cup I have already accomplished something! One thing from my daily to-do list is already done and it’s so much easier to do the rest.

How does it work?

Well, as with everything connected with bullet journaling there are many ways. The one I find the best is coming from @everydaybulletjournal. You can find the account on Instagram easily. She posts a list of prompts at the end of the month and all you need to do is follow the prompts. Here are some examples:

Read more here.

One comment

  1. I bought a bullet journal but I turned it into a place for notes, blog post ideas, and business ideas. I wanted to make it pretty like the ones I see others do but I can barely draw stick people. I like what you said about self counciling, I didn’t think of journaling that way, I like it!


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