We have all had a moment in time, usually in childhood, where we write our deepest, darkest secrets in a diary. For most of us though the act of writing our inner thoughts in a diary wanes after a while. For others it morphs into list making as a way to keep life organised. I have always been one for lists, written on odd bits of paper, post it notes both hard copy and virtual, and running to do list in my head. This system of lists had worked until a big gust of wind came along and scattered lists everywhere.

Those winds were Postpartum Psychosis. As I descended into psychosis my list making increased, writing endless notes on bits of paper to remember what I needed to do, when to feed the baby, what questions to ask people about things I wasn’t sure of, list after list. I remember getting an exercise book out one morning as a journal and pouring out the contents of my head to try to get my thoughts to stop racing. I even attempted to get a diary working for me to work out upcoming appointments for our son and me as I was having trouble keeping track of days and time.

As I recovered, with my memory shot to pieces, I struggled to keep track of what things needed doing. If it wasn’t written down, it didn’t get done. I started off using our kitchen whiteboard to jot down what chores needed doing, upcoming appointments, and general tid bits. I progressed to Evernote app and Google calendar, both of which were very handy as I can sync with my husband. The downfall of technology however was it was out of sight, out of mind and not a reliable method of recording quick thoughts as notes.

This all changed August last year when I came across bullet journalling. Back to the old school pen and paper method the original bullet journal concept makes it so easy to be organised. Just jot down tasks on a day to day list, any tasks not done in the month get rolled onto the month to do list, as well a monthly view calendar. Any special topics e.g. Christmas lists, holiday checklists can be created as a separate page and indexed. Everything is in the one place with symbols distinguishing between tasks, events, notes. There is not any particular type of diary you have to buy for it to work, any blank note book will do. The lists can be as big or as small as you like, with no pressure to write in a pre-defined area, and its ok if you skip a day (or two!) So simple!

Here is a video by the creator of Bullet Journal to give you an overview:

Since I started bullet journalling my productivity has sky rocketed. I feel a sense of accomplishment as I tick off things on my to do list. I am motivated to complete tasks that have been hanging around on my monthly lists for too long. I don’t forget the little things to do as I now write them down on the day I think of them; it doesn’t mean I have to get it done that day. I even started a bullet journal at work to help keep organised and on track with all the tasks I am working on. I would be so lost without bullet journalling.

I still use the kitchen whiteboard as a place for meal plan ideas, chore prompting, and the occasional upcoming event. All events are synced into our Google calendars, so my husband and I both know what is coming up for our family. I use Evernote a lot for occasional notes like books to read, photos of receipts, wish list items and other random notes. My go-to master list is now my Gratitude Diary 2015 (from Biome) with the bullet journalling to do lists and notes, as well as my daily gratitudes, all in one convenient location. If I feel like I am getting overwhelmed or lost my rhythm I call a 5 five minute time out where I can brain dump everything into my diary.

2015-03-27 Diary

My gratitude diary (from Biome)

I start the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator Program next Monday and I am so excited to be learning everything there is know about essential oils and self-care from the passionate Kim Morrison. I received the first email this week in preparation for the start of the course and it was titled “Time to get a Journal”. At first I was hesitant to be writing my flowing thoughts into a journal. I now see this as an opportunity to expand my daily journalling practice, and as a way to document my feelings, thoughts and learnings on the Twenty8 HLE course as an investment in myself.

Are you a list maker? Do you write your musings in a journal? Or are your a bullet journal fan?