IMG_1164I am someone who struggles with organization. Maybe it’s the husband, four kids, four cats and a bunny. But if I’m being honest, I was much more unorganized before all of that. I use a calendar on my phone, which sort of keeps things from going totally bonkers, but last week we showed up a full 24 hours early for a dentist appointment and I just got a text from a very patient therapist who we were supposed to be meeting with one hour ago. So there is room for improvement. And as a writer, I have always had a journal. Well, I’ve always started a journal. I have so many “this is me” style entries at the beginning of yet another pretty, lined notebook and then pages of nothing.

So, when I heard about bullet journaling, which is a way to be organized, track your schedule and everything else, as well as a journal, I was interested. A guy named Ryder Carroll came up with this system and people are really into it, judging by the number of YouTube videos about it. You get a journal and set up a complicated yet forgiving calendar/tracker/journal that will revolutionize your life! Or so I hoped.

I used a notebook I already had to set up my bullet journal. It is very fancy and I never wanted to just let it become a repository for grocery lists and doodles like so many other notepads I have. Here’s how it went:


Day 1, 10 am

This is the first day of the rest of my life! I have a journal and I’m ready to arm it! See what I did there, with the bullets and all? Oh the cleverness of me! First thing is to watch the how-to version.

11:00 am

Ok, this how-to video is complicated! I had to stop and rewind several times. Turns out you need a pen and a ruler, so after I got those and really dug in to the process, it took about an hour to set up 10 pages of the journal.

1:00 pm

I had to break for a bullet coffee (I love a theme) and a green smoothie because they sell those at the same place at Whole Foods. Had to pick up some groceries while there. Now I’m back in action. I can’t remember what some of the pages are for. There was a lot of talk about migration, task pages, brain dumps and “appropriate” items and I forget what all that really means. I’ll just check out a few more bullet journal how-to videos from other YouTubers.


Holy crap, what is washi tape? Everyone has so much adorable washi tape on their journals. Plus: charms! pen loops! color coded tabs! stickers! taco seasoning recipes! inspirational quotes! Stayzon ink pads! habit trackers! I feel both overwhelmed and like I need to go to Staples. I am also very lacking in both rings and hand movement ideas (I blinged myself out for the visuals on this post), based on these videos.

10 pm

I feel good about getting my bullet journal going  today. Everything I need to do tomorrow is written on there and there’s much more that I can pull from to get things done in the future. This is going to be so great!

Day 2, 10 AM

This morning I looked at that pretty little journal and kept walking. I did all of my chores just to avoid opening it. And when I finally did I just thought “Stuff?! I hate doing stuff!”

I don’t know if I’m really cut out for this bullet journal. I did finally get down to business a day later. I had already done a few things on my list and it did feel good cross that stuff off. But I had to “migrate” a bunch of stuff to future days that I really need to just do. This would be great if I didn’t actually have to do so much stuff. I’d have so much more time to plan to do stuff! One thing I did notice is that just talking about bullet journaling makes other people want to bullet journal. Two people in my house have already started their own. . . .

Another inspiration I got was to make a bullet journal walk thru of my own.