I posted a link to a video I made about my return to using a bullet journal. I thought it would be good for a longer write up to explain some of the parts of the bullet journal I am using.
I chose to resurrect a notebook I had started taking reading notes in. The notebook is made with Tomoe River Paper, perhaps the finest paper for fountain pen writing around. It is thin (think Bible paper) but handles fountain pen ink very well.
I am trying to use the original Bullet Journal setup as outlined at bulletjournal.com and hope to keep doing this for a while.
The first three pages of the notebook are dedicated to the table of contents. This will help me find things I think/thought were important or to find specific collections or projects as I work.
I am evolving my “key” of signifiers to what I am more comfortable with. I’m a box sort of guy, rather than a dot user, so you can see that boxes are for tasks, filled in boxes are for completed, a single diagonal line means I’ve started a task, a > is for migrated forward, a < is for scheduled in my monthly or future planner. Other signifiers are an O for events like birthdays, etc, a triangle for appointments or scheduled events, a ? is for something to research and a box with a check mark is for when I record something after the fact. That’s about as complicated as I want to get.
The future planner is a simple 6 month view of the year. I intend to always put appointments or scheduled events here first so that I know that I have a go to spot to check for conflicts. However, I also know that I make pretty good use of my phone calendars (google and apple) and this is where others put events on that impact me. So, part of my daily and weekly routines is to check the future log and phone calendars as I plan my day or week.
The monthly log is a 2 page spread. The left page has the days of the month written down vertically, with the days of the week indicated next to it with a letter. I started using R for Thursday back in college and that has always just stuck with me. The right hand page is the monthly master task list. As life gets busier, I would expect to see more monthly priorities listed. The monthly spread is the go to spread for intensive planning on a daily and weekly basis.
I am considering using a weekly spread, however, I wonder if this is just too much paper real estate to give up. I know that when school comes back, I might use this quite a bit more.
The stay at home nature of this pandemic has given me a case of Quarangut and I thought I needed a little more work than yard work to keep me from having to buy all new pants, so I started working out with resistance bands and walking. After mid-month, I talked to the owner of the gym I use and he has opened up for personal training, so I am back to doing that.
I have bees. I may have mentioned that before. Well, I inspect the hives on a weekly basis so I thought it would be good to have a place to record what I find and learn. When I fill this page, I’ll simply go to my next open page and start the next section. I’ll keep track of it by ‘threading’ the pages together with a number of the next page in parenthesis next to the page number of this page.
And lest you think I am not fully obsessed with my bees, here you go!
And that’s about it. I believe this is a setup I will continue to use. I’ve used my version of bullet journaling for probably 5 years or so and will continue to refine what I do as I work in this new world we are in. It seems that we will have to really pay attention to our priorities as we navigate into the world of working more from home and and getting to wear t-shirts and shorts more than slacks and button-downs.