How to organize your life
My fedback after 3 years of bullet-journaling
In this back to school period, I find myself asked a lot how to organize life. I’ve been Bullet-Journaling for a little more than three years now and it's been a life-changing journey. Bullet journaling is so smart. It just relies on a few basic principles: indexing, daily logs, future logs and collections. The power of the method comes from its flexibility: with these few principles anyone can create a journal that works exactly for them. There are tons of tutorials and examples and inspiration boards on the bullet journal website, YouTube, and everywhere, so that you can find what fits perfectly to your life. This is what I’ve come up with over time, for yearly, monthly, and weekly planning.
To be honest I don’t get much use of the yearly calendar, but I find it pretty so it’s a good enough reason to keep it. I use it sometimes to plan for vacations or business trips in a glance, but my google calendar is generally where most scheduling and appointment-making happens. Oh yeah, and my January is in September, this is for me the real beginning of a year. 🙊
The monthly spread is mainly dedicated to the tracking of hygiene practices: meditation, exercise, sleep and food, and their relationship with mood. It helps me point out in just a glance where unease comes from and get back to balance faster. For example if I feel grumpy one morning and I realize it's because I've been eating too much, drinking alcohol and sleeping little, I pay attention to what I eat and clear out evenings or mornings so that I can sleep more, and things are back on track within one or two days. When there is no straightforward explanation, it helps me to know that it's time to reach out to a therapist for deeper inquiry. I also have a monthly overview of events and a goals list but I’m not so strict about it.
The weekly spread is where everything happens. I like to have topic columns on the side to gather tasks by category. I scroll through them in the morning and pick tasks that I add to the day depending on their level of priority, the time I have and what I feel motivated for. For bigger projects I have separate pages (collections) and I use edge indexing to find them faster. Each week I then fill first the side columns from these collections, the remaining tasks from the previous lists and the monthly goals list. It gives me an overview of what is reasonable to achieve this week, or urgent to finish. When the end of week comes, I underline some items when they've been procrastinated just so that I am mindful about it (but without being too rigid).
Many of the procrastinated tasks end up in the future log. The future log is very useful to schedule tasks that are not urgent yet important. It avoids having them lying around, polluting your tasks lists for weeks. Once I identified that I procrastinate a task because it's not due yet, instead of dragging it along, I send it to the future where they belong. Each new month I scroll through the future log and add the tasks that are still relevant to the month’s goal list.
This what I found works best for me. I hope it inspires you to give it a try and build your own kickass organization method!