Mindfulness, hygge, wellness – there are plenty of buzzwords and interesting new concepts out there that all claim to be the secret to helping you get organised, feeling less stressed, and more relaxed.
While some – like mindfulness and hygge – are said to help you feel more present in the moment, others – such as the brand new ‘Kon Mari’ method of tidying up, came about with the aim of helping you to get your life streamlined and in order.
And that’s where the interesting idea of bullet journals come in – a new method of note-taking which is said to combine both of the above principles, to help you unwind, and to organise all of your thoughts.
Bullet journals and bullet journalling are a relatively new concept, but have taken social media by storm, where users share pictures of their journals in order to inspire others to do the same.
So what actually is a bullet journal, and how does it work?
It sounds like a relatively complicated method, but once you have the basics sorted out, it’s an easy process to follow, and aims to help you keep on top of your life, day-by-day, week-by-week, and month-by-month.
Essentially, a bullet journal uses different codes to keep track of your everyday thoughts and tasks, in order to organise them.
You can use any sized journal you want, but the idea is to make sure that it’s big enough to be able to fit in all of your notes – a medium-sized notebook is generally perfect.
First of all, there is an index, made up of different symbols which you can update as you go. These are assigned to each of your task, or thoughts, in order to categorise them.
The symbols include a bullet symbol, which goes next to the things you need (or plan) to do. An X marks tasks that are now complete, while an , shows a task that has been ‘migrated’, perhaps to another month. An open circle – o – shows big events, while a dash – is the symbol for smaller events or thoughts.
Then, there is a daily log, a monthly log, and a future log, a type of calendar you use to keep track of everything within each respective time frame.
Essentially, you can lay out your own bullet journal in any way you want, although there is a video that explains how you can sort yours out if you’re unsure.
And if you need a bit more of an explanation, visit the Bullet Journal website here.
So how can bullet journals benefit us, and why should we use them?
Well, while a lot of people use them to organise, they can also be a creative outlet through which to relax, unwind, and collect your thoughts after a hectic day.
The bullet journal has experienced a massive wave of popularity over the last few years, especially on social media. In fact, many have taken to sharing the pages of their bullet journal on their social media accounts, debuting the colourful, creative and artistic ways they’ve decorated their pages.
However, yours can be a simple and minimalistic, or creative and exciting, as you’d like. Creating an arty layout is by no means a requirement of the exercise – which is primarily used to organise and plan.
And it seems that a creative bullet journal really can be n beneficial way of relaxing and, in turn, reducing stress and anxiety.
Speaking to New York magazine, neuroscientist Daniel Levitin explained that bullet journaling can in fact help you to remember tasks and all those little niggles we all seem to forget, leaving space in our heads for more meaningful thought process.
He also explained how the mindless doodling, colouring, and creativity that some people employ in their bullet journals, can also help towards being more productive when you are working, or focusing on a particular task.
He said, “The research tells us that if you can take time off from your workflow and let your mind wander – maybe doodle, listen to music, draw pictures, just stare out the window – those periods of inactivity are actually essential to having productive periods of activity.”
It’s also well known that getting organised can help improve our mental health, in order to stop things from feeling overwhelming.
And in fact, a clinical psychologist, Andrea Bonior, explained to BuzzFeed that bullet journalling can even be a therapeutic ritual if you find things are getting on top of you.
“When your life and emotions feel so out of control or chaotic, there is something immensely therapeutic about organizing it into a systematic structure like a bullet journal,”
So what are you waiting for? Will you be setting up a bullet journal for the New Year?