Why you’ll fall in love with Bullet Journaling

Please welcome my friend and colleague Sarah Sibley, the founder of Got2Jot – a fashion stationery company with the most gorgeous designs of all kinds, both for personal and some business uses. Sarah is a huge fan of Bullet Journaling – a highly personalised type of ordinary journaling . I asked her to tell us about it … and why she fell in love with it. Now I’m falling in love with it, too…over to Sarah:

article about bullet journaliing by sarah sibley on how to write better with suzan st maurI came across Bullet Journaling about three years ago. Attending trade shows and working in the stationery industry gave me a chance to find out more and see what this craze from the US was all about.

Since then I’ve been hooked. It is a simple system for those who still love putting pen to paper but are looking to be more organised in their lives.

We know that writing things down helps to offload some of that stress so that you can clear your mind and look at things more objectively. But sometimes writing lists and more lists can make things worse, as it can be overwhelming.

Ryder Carroll who created the Bullet Journal system certainly found this in his younger days and so looked to create a system that helped filter out the noise, allowing him to focus on the things that really mattered.

How does the system work?

The concept of Bullet Journaling focuses on combining productivity with mindfulness all in one journal.

So, for those of you with sticky notes and lists everywhere or multiple notebooks on the go, this is your chance to bring your life into one place.

You may have tried lots of different planners and diaries out there but have still yet to find the one that really suits your life and needs. This is the beauty of Bullet Journaling – you create and customise your journal to suit you. So yes, you start with a blank notebook; then using the system you create a companion which is tailored for you and will evolve with you.

What tools do you need to start?

At its most basic a notebook and pen are all you need.  However, most Bullet Journalists like to use dot grid rather than lined notebooks to help with designs and layouts, and having page numbers is also a big help. The quality of the paper is important; no less than 100gsm or else you will have bleed through especially if you use colour pens.

article about bullet journaling by sarah sibley on how to write better with suzan st maur

The basic structure

Starting out with a key, you assign different icons for different events. You can tailor this to suit your life and create your own icons. The true Ryder Carroll system uses the dot for a task but I personally prefer the square.

article about bullet journaling by sarah sibley on how to write better with suzan st maur

You then go onto create a series of logs to help you set out your calendar of events such as your Future Log and monthly logs. Finally, you start creating weekly or daily logs depending on what you prefer. This is where the productivity and mindfulness begin to combine.

By being more aware of your tasks you can start to question whether they are vital and important enough to stay on your list. Take time to focus on why you are doing something rather than what you are doing.

By filtering this way, you start to reduce the number of tasks on your list so that you can be more productive by working on less.

With your Bullet Journal, you can explore more deeply; it encourages reflection into your day. This way you can be more aware of what you want to be achieving in the day or week.

I find that it allows me to bring out more of my creative side by designing spreads and layouts that work for me across work and home – a great opportunity to slow down and take time away from screens and tech. It also allows me the chance to reflect on the week and look for the positives.

article about bullet journaling by sarah sibley on how to write better with suzan st maur

The concept of collections

This is what I love most about this type of journaling. The collections are pages that you can set up which enable you to track habits, capture ideas, inspiring quotes and plans for the future.

These can be business focused or they can relate to your own personal goals.

Some of the personal collections ideas you can use in your spread

  • Favourite places to visit
  • Recipe ideas
  • Favourite quotes
  • Self-care and well-being pages
  • Health and fitness trackers
  • Books to read

The list is endless but that’s the beauty of it: you create your own spreads.

My top tips
  • Invest in a good notebook, ideally a dot grid and A5 size so it can be easily carried around.
  • Start simply; don’t go overboard with lots of collections.
  • Don’t be overawed by what you see on Pinterest and Instagram – remember this journal is for you.
article about bullet journaling by sarah sibley on how to write better with suzan st maur

Sarah Sibley

There is no right or wrong, so if a spread isn’t working for you choose a different approach the next time.

This is only the tip of the iceberg so if you would like to find out more about how Bullet Journaling can work in your life we are now running beginners workshops at Got2Jot. At the moment (June 2020) due to COVID-19 our workshops are online. We also have some lovely Bullet Journaling notebooks and accessories available to buy through Got2Jot

Keep Jotting!