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How To Remember Everything — Use A Bullet Journal

How many times have you forgotten something important? Or even something trivial? How many times have you had a great idea in the shower or in the middle of the night and foolishly told yourself you’d remember it? How many times have you forgotten an appointment or a piece of information? How many times have you come home with a bag full of groceries, and then had to go back for the milk? Yup, yup, yup, yup, yup. Been there.

For me, I’ve never been able to keep a journal or a scrapbook for any prolonged period of time, but I always keep coming back to the idea, especially now that I have a kid. Looking back over happy memories is a lovely way to pass a day, and to preserve some posterity for future generations. I’d been trying to document a few things in my Filofax but it was a familiar losing battle. And then I stumbled upon the Bullet Journal and it was the answer to my planner prayers. And it could very well be the answer to your memory misfortunes too.

So what is it? Long story short: it’s where you write all your shit down. Short story long (‘cause that’s more my style): it’s a calendar, to-do list, note-taker, list-maker, sketchbook, doodle-jotter, journal, recipe keeper, and all-round lifesaver. Sound exciting? Deep dive time!

The system was developed by Ryder Carroll. He uses what he calls “rapid logging”, which is fancy speak for “just write it down and do it quickly”. Now’s not the time for details or fluff; add the decoration later. Just jot it down now and, if necessary, jazz it up later. As long as you’ve got a pen and portable notebook, you’re good to go.

I’m sure I have 1 or 2 lying around here somewhere… *cough*

Bullet Journal. Pens & notebooks. Stationery.

So you write everything down as it occurs to you. Everything. Appointments, tasks, events, memories, notes, reminders, research, plot-lines for that novel you’ve been working on for the past 15 years, evil genius plans to take over the world… It all goes in there.

“But that’ll turn into a total clusterfuck,” I hear you say. Ah! But you put an index (or table of contents, if you will) in the front so you can see what page each thing is on, and you use little symbols to differentiate each item. So tasks could have a checkbox next to them, events or appointments could have a circle, etc. If there’s a few bunched together (like a shopping list, for example), you just bung that on a separate page.

Bullet Journal

If you’re a massive geek (hey, definitely no judgement here — *puts on geek glasses*), you could colour co-ordinate it either by writing different things in different coloured pens, or highlighting them in different colours. If something’s important, you can put a * or ! next to it, or stick a page flag beside it. The world is your icon oyster!

But yeah, it’s still gonna get really chaotic really quickly. So, from there, you sit down periodically and transfer the stuff into somewhere that makes more sense for you. Maybe some of it goes in another notebook, or onto a big calendar on your wall, or into a Word document… Split the stuff up and give it a good home.

Think of bullet journaling as panning for gold. You throw everything in there so you don’t miss anything, and then you start sifting through, dumping the junk and moving the good stuff somewhere safe. And BAM, Robert’s your mother’s brother.

So there you have it; with the Bullet Journal, you never have to forget anything ever again. I’ve been using it for over a fortnight now and it’s working out really well for me. I’ve been jotting down appointments, reminders, ideas, notes on books I’m reading, and little snippets from our family holiday so I can capture a snapshot of our lives.

Bullet Journal. Midori. Fauxdori. Raydori. Notebook.

How much fun will this be to look back over in 5 years? 😀

Have a gander at the original Bullet Journal video to see how simple it is in action:

Or check out the Bullet Journal site to learn more.

So what do you think? Could a Bullet Journal work for you?

And, if you already use it, I’d love to see pictures! Tag me (@HowToGYST) on Instagram or Twitter, or post them over on the Facebook page.

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7 Responses

  1. My bujo is pretty much the only thing that keeps me sane nowadays, especially with the kids in school and having to keep track of all of their school stuff along with all of my “adult” stuff. I don’t even want to try and envision the scrambled mess I’d be without it!

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