How Bullet Journaling is Offering a Lesson in Letting Go

It’s a new year which means that many of us have changed out our calendar or purchased a new planner to keep us organized.  And I am a big proponent of finding (& using) the organizing solution that really fits your personality, so I’m pretty sure there is no one-size-fits-all tool.  But, I also know there are alot of people out there fumbling with apps & planners & sticky notes & multiple calendars, feeling frustrated as they work to get a handle on their tasks, lists & dreams.  So, after getting a tutorial on the Bullet Journal, I thought it would be fun to share what I am learning about this tool & the process.

You see, I had resisted figuring out what Bullet Journaling really involved because I thought it might feed into my perfectionist tendencies… and because I already use Google calendar, a paper planner, a journal & a notebook.  I was pretty sure I didn’t need to introduce one more thing, but friends were raving about this method, so I sat in on the intro. to bullet journaling event offered at Content Bookstore last night. 

The talk was led by Cynthia Gilbertson, whose love of this tool and description of all of the great shifts that it has created in her life was so inspiring, that I found myself heading home with a new journal, a little pen-holding accessory, & some cute little tabs.

I let it all sink in overnight & then took the plunge today.  I pulled out some pens and started to fill in the blank journal.

I will admit that I ended up ripping out the very first entry that I made and then starting over, but I’m giving myself a pass on that one.  It’s not easy for a perfectionist to give up that desire to “do it right.”

What I am finding is that this process is actually very intentional, just as Cynthia said it would be.  And for me, it involves a ton of letting go– which is a recurring theme in my life.

Here are all the ways I was letting go as I started to fill in the first pages.

  • how messy or neat my handwriting is going to be 
  • that I’m not going to be able to erase!
  • that the themes of the pages need to go in order or be grouped together- they don’t!
  • that I might run out of space for notes on a topic if I start a new idea on the next page
  • that it has to be set up “right” from the very beginning
  • that I need to know all the tricks & gather fancy pens & stickers in order to start
  • that spending time on this is taking away time from something more critical
  • that someone else is using it more efficiently, more creatively, more intelligently than I am 

Cynthia said that there is a “right way” to Bullet Journal, but the right way is to make it work for YOU

That idea was just what I needed to hear as it fits one of my commitments to myself this year – Listening to what feels “right for me” and allowing it to find it’s way.

I have always been a journaler.  I love to write lists, collect quotes, jot down words of gratitude, and keep notes on lots of things, so it doesn’t feel like a big jump to try a Bullet Journal.  What I’m noticing though, is a little sense of freedom in having only one dedicated place to store all these writings & I’m pretty sure the process will have me considering how much I really need to collect. 

Intention & focus seem to be circling this new book.

Cynthia said that the process allows her to be more mindful & focused each day.  I can see how that can happen as you spend time creating your daily log & reflecting on the tasks that were completed and the ones that need to be migrated or reevaluated. 

I’m also feeling a sense of relief & excitement that the weight of my work bag could lighten up as I set aside some of my other journals & notebooks and allow the Bullet Journal to carry the load. 

I’m willing to see what happens.  Willing to watch this Bullet Journaling process unfold.  And I’m letting go of the need to make big any judgments until I have really had time to see how this tool enhances or complicates my life. 

More letting go… it seems the bullet journal is already doing it’s job.

Your Turn…

How do you stay productive & organized each day?  Do you reach for paper or are you a digital fan?  Are you ready to try something new?

No matter the tool you use, keep this thought by Greg Mckeown in mind, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”  Setting aside time to get clear on the tasks & events that line up with what is really important to you will allow your day to run with more ease & fulfillment.   I hope whatever tool you use, it offers you a chance to create that.

If you have never heard of Bullet Journaling, check out this quick video.  And I’d love to hear more about the system that works for you!  Submit a comment in the box below & I’ll get your message in my inbox.