Bullet Journals

In the early 1990s, in an effort to organize my life, I adopted the Day Runner system. I used that for several years. The end result of that experience is that I learned that a paper system does not work well for me.

After that, I used lists. I had adopted that from my buddy Steve who used lists. It seemed to make sense.

For 20+ years I made lists. In that time, those lists morphed from paper to digital. And I was miserable.

Lists are obligations. Lists weigh upon me. Lists can become lengthy. Lists are something to manage. Lists ultimately are not good for me.

These days I eschew lists. Occasionally, if I feel there are tasks to be done, I may create a list to be done that day so I do not forget to do something. I absolutely will not create a list of stuff to do in the future.

Even in making a daily list, should I need to, I find that I can not complete some of the stuff on there. That means I add aspirational stuff to the list.

Nevertheless, I am intrigued by bullet journals. First, I am surprised by their name. Each time I teach students about how to use bullets on a computer, I think in my head that someone will take offense at the word. Shoot, the basketball team had to change its name from Bullets to Wizards. How dare a teacher discuss bullets with his students!

Anyhow, bullet journals, cute and crafty as they are, are nothing more than lists! Paper lists. It seems to me this is a highly inefficient methodology in today’s society.

I am sure some will speak to the tactile approach of these making a difference. If that works for you, so be it. But if I make a list on page 14 and I move on to page 70, I will never remember what I had written on page 14.

Likewise, what I see a lot of people doing is creating yearly and monthly calendars. They are artistic beauties! But don’t your calendars change? Mine is in constant flux. I never see the cross-outs in a bullet journal.

My foray into this space came through the efficiency door. Bullet journals appear to be highly inefficient. Even my daughter who loves all things paper is keeping a calendar electronically now as it is easier.

Folks can certainly use what they want and what they find helpful. If that is a bullet journal, all the power to you. For me, I am happy not to have that clutter.

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