What are Bullet Journals?
One of my favorite crazes right now is Bullet Journals. I love the idea of bullet journaling because I'm a list maker. I have at least five notebooks running right now. I use them to keep track of my notes when I am in thinking mode or don't have my computer available for some reason. My phone has gotten old and doesn't keep a charge for longer than an hour of active use and I really only used that when I didn't have paper to write on.
For some reason, when I am thinking and plotting or making short-term to do lists, I like the feel of the pen in my hand and the look of the ink as it flows across the page. I don't have particularly nice handwriting. Sometimes it looks pretty like my mother's and my grandmother's, but then the rest of the time it is a train wreck, barely legible even to my own eyes. The sooner I transcribe my notes, while thoughts are still fresh in my mind, the better.
About eight years ago, I started using Microsoft OneNote to keep track of notes at my office job. When I started writing novels five years ago, it was an easy transition to using OneNote to keep track of story ideas, character notes, and plot lines. I tried Scrivener, and even taught a course on how to use it, but I had already gotten used to the convenience of being able to take notes on any of my devices and being able to sync all the notes in one location, but accessible to all.
In the last couple years, Bullet Journals started heating up. Asked to give a presentation on organization strategies for writers for my local NaNoWriMo group , I had mentioned my newfound respect for bullet journaling. Most of the audience had no clue what I was talking about, but one of the writers had just started one and she was happy to share it. Her journal was gorgeous. She has a gift for conceptualizing pages and bringing them to life.
So, ehem, what is a bullet journal?
Oh right! I haven't told you what a bullet journal is yet! A bullet journal is the artistic method of journaling to capture past events, organize current __ and set future goals. It was designed to be an analog process that adapted to the creator and allowed them to work however it was they worked. In other words, keep a notebook on hand and work when and where and how you want.
Bullet journals are being used to track household activities, dietary goals, and more. I've seen pages that have scheduled chores, tracked water intake, prepared for vacations with packing lists and sight-seeing plans, and track days when self-care was actively practiced. The beauty of the bullet journals, in my mind, are that someday in the future, the artist will be able to take them back out and have a journal full of memories.
I think I understand the fixation that bullet journals need to be analog. It's been an art form implementing pen to paper. I just don't now that I agree that it needs to stay analog. Why not bring that creativity to the 21st century? Working on computer can be cheaper (for people who have already purchased a computer), and young people are already used to creating on that platform.
Bullet Journaling goes digital in Microsoft OneNote
So, I've been spending the last couple months thinking about how I could bring the ultra-cool aspects of bullet journaling to the electronic platform. Again, Microsoft OneNote seemed like a perfect fit. It's an organizational tool. It is a free multi-platform software. It allows all the notes taken to be synced across every device with the software. It has tools for notetaking, list making, and drawing.
This month, I'm going to share the types of pages I've put into my bullet journal. I will even break down how I'm creating the pages and share my OneNote templates for anyone who'd like to start their own.
If you don't have Microsoft OneNote, visit http://www.onenote.com to download and install it, or visit the app store for your device and find the installation. Make sure you sign up for a Microsoft account so you sync across all of your devices. Both the account and the app are free!
What kind of Bullet Journal am I making?
My posts this month will be for both readers and writers. Some pages will be used for writing, others will be for reading. Some will be just for fun or to get you engaged in the processes of creating. My goal is to create 15 posts. I've already started a list in my current electronic bullet journal. Hop on over to the post and enjoy!
Visit the Office Warrior Connection index
Go to the Annual Reading Goals post