Bullet journal

And with this tweet, Kim Werker changed my life.

The bullet journal system is one of those things that’s so simple and so straightforward that you almost can’t believe it hasn’t always existed. As much as I rely on email and Twitter and various other online tools, I also keep a paper calendar, a Moleskine weekly planner with days on the left and a blank page on the right for groceries lists and weekly goals, plus tabbed notes pages in the back that I’ve used for a list of the books I’ve read that year or to keep track of DIY wedding projects. This has generally worked out really well, but I’m also constantly making notes on scrap paper–lists and thoughts, things I’d like to cook, outfits I’d like to wear, schematics for sweaters I’d like to make, plots for books I’d like to write, menus for parties I’d like to throw–that the planner doesn’t have space for. The bullet journal is a way to corral all of it, a flexible structure for keeping all of your written notes in one place. I’m only the tiniest bit abashed to say that it makes me swoon. The video explains it all better than I could:

I’ve been using it for, oh, about four days now, and I’m completely converted. It feels natural and works really well with the way that I think and how I break down tasks. I had already been planning to do monthly goals this year instead of my normal long list of resolutions, and the bullet journal system is ideal for that: at the beginning of each month, I’ll think ahead about what I want to accomplish in the next 28/30/31 days/what would make those days more joyful and go from there, rather than doing that at the beginning of January for the next 365.

At this point, my paper calendar is still in play, since the only drawback of the bullet journal is that because the daily entries vary so much in length and there’s no way to figure out how many other kinds of notes I’ll be adding, it’s hard to use it to plan more than a month ahead. I may switch over to a digital calendar for appointments and the bullet journal for everything else, but I’m not quite there yet.

Also, I finally got around to joining Instagram, ostensibly so I could play along with #yearofmaking, but I can see that I’ll be having a lot of fun with it. I’m stephanieklose on there, should you want to play along.


  1. says

    Wow – I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this ever since I read your post. Like you, I’ve used a Moleskine weekly planner for years and have a system that I know and like but it does involve scrap paper lists etc. I have monthly goals for myself at work but love the idea of personal monthly goals (versus a long list for the year). It seems that I could be more intentional that way.

    I think I’m going to do the same – keep my calendar but start a bullet journal.

    Longest comment ever but this makes me giddy too! Oh, and happy new year.

    • sklose says

      Yes! I really, really love it. Having notes for everything in one place is really handy and the system just works well with how my brain operates. That said, next year I’ll set up the full year’s worth of monthly calendar pages at the beginning of the book to make planning ahead a little more streamlined.

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