Last Updated on November 7, 2019 by Jody Halsted
OK, who has seen (and remembers) The Emperor's New Groove? That's how I often felt after using a new planner for a couple months. At first I loved it. But then… it threw off my groove. I was so busy putting everything in its place that I lost my work groove, got distracted, and failed to complete what needed done.
One of the best ideas behind the bullet journal is that it’s so deceptively simple, with only a few rules or guidelines to follow to make it work. This gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to finding your Bullet Journal groove.
Take It For A Test Drive
Yes you can read all about using a bullet journal and watch a ton of YouTube videos to get ideas. But you won’t get a feel for your Bullet Journal groove until you start to give it a try. Start with an inexpensive notebook (see article 3) and just try it out. Follow the basic bullet journal layout with an index, a key and a monthly spread. Track your daily tasks and see how it feels. Add in a few lists or collections and get a feel for what type of information is useful and what isn’t. Try trackers and various other “hacks” you come across and determine what works for you.
Start Small and Don’t Track Too Much
When you first start out bullet journaling, you may be tempted to write down and track every. single. thing. You have lots and lots of ideas for collections. The enthusiasm is wonderful, and while it’s perfectly fine to try a bunch of different stuff, you may over-commit and start tracking too much. You don’t want your bullet journal to become a dreaded chore. It’s a tool. Start small and figure out what works and what’s sustainable for you to write down and track. Always keep in mind that this is supposed to be helpful, not add to your workload.
Don’t Be Afraid To Rip Things Out And Start Over
If you find that something isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to rip it out. Did you think the weekly reading collection was a good idea, but now it is a dreaded task? Rip out that page. And if your overall layout for your bullet journal isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to toss it and start over. This is exactly why you start out with a small and inexpensive notebook. Grab another one and start over. You’ll find the setup and system that fits your groove.
Tweak It And Change It Until It Works For You
Expect some testing and tweaking, and changing stuff around until you come up with something that enhances your groove. (My journal is always a work in progress!) We all lead different lives and our brains work differently. Our bullet journals should reflect that. Keep working on it until you come up with a system that fits your groove. You’ll know it when you get there.
The end goal is to have a bullet journal setup that makes your life easier and helps you stay organized without feeling that writing in it is a chore.
Have you begun a Bullet Journal yet? Are you tempted?