To keep myself organised and, because I love paper and all things stationery, I’ve been a journalist all my life. From writing in little spiral-bound notebooks and school exercise books as a child, right on through to a fancy leather-bound Midori (an expensive Japanese notebook) that was a birthday gift. I’ve been an avid note-maker since I was able to hold a pencil and write.
I’ve used all sorts of notebooks to scribble in, and even tried the made for journaling journal by Baron Fig—yes, what a great name! Never mind the journal that everyone seems to hold as sacred, the Leuchtturm1917. But amongst them all, big, small, ruled, dotted or blank, fancy, plain, expensive or cheap. The one I love the most has to be the A5 pocket size Moleskine.
I’ve noted everything from lists of movies watched, to books I want to buy, to snippets I want to remember—quotes, sayings and random thoughts—all the things I don’t want to forget. From To-Do lists to complicated weekly and monthly calendars — they’ve all been scribbled in my beloved Moleskine.
Whatever the notebook of the moment, I’ve found the best way of journalling, the way to make it a habit rather than a chore, has been to follow the simplistic guidelines of Bullet Journal Guru, Ryder Carroll, who has made journalling not only easier to stick to, but almost an art form in and of itself.
Simplicity being the key to making it work. We’re not talking the kind of journalling where each and every page is a work of art, quite the opposite, in fact. Carroll preaches the minimalist approach. His BuJo approach gives you leave to just jot down notes and ideas, thoughts and reminders, as a series of short form sentences paired with a symbol that is your visual guide, as you categorize your entries into: Tasks, Events, or Notes (in it’s basic form).
“In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could do to any person; I create myself.” — Susan Sontag
For more information, Melody Wilding writes a great introductory article about Bullet Journaling for Beginners, over on Medium, and the New Republic has Why The Humble Notebook is taking over. Even the prestigious LA Times ran an article Why Is Everyone Crazy for BuJo?
Why? Because it gives people in a digital world the freedom—and yes, permission—to go analogue when it comes to note-taking. Rest assured, a BuJo only needs a pen or pencil—nothing more, nothing less—and doesn’t need constantly charging or updating. Further more, filling a notebook and filing it away on a shelf next to its brethren is an achievement.
And you, do you obsessively note take, and do you BuJo with the best of them?