Jun 13, 2016

This Bullet Journal Thing

So how am I faring with this project? Not so swimmingly, I must say. Should I, perhaps, post about this less often? Like once a month or something? Not enough time going on between update and update (this is only the third post, and granted, my last three post have been about the bullet journal, but isn't that too early to complain?)? Who knows. I'm determined to stick to this project until the end of the notebook I'm using - as I said previously, in some other post - or the end of the year... whatever I feel like it. I'm still watching videos of people bullet journaling and how they set it up, but then, the more I look at it - and now that I'm using the system - the more I realize that this isn't cut for my style. Hey, you have to face the music, don't you? So here are a couple of my latest spreads.

Daily Spread
First of, the notations started all to flow into each other, so I had to break out my coloring pencils and put up some color into the bullet journal, shading the boxes (or banners) for the days so I could more easily make those out from the general flow of scribling. That's nice if you have time and the inclination to do so, BUT not so much fun when you are not filling up your "Today" the night before on the place you normally do and where you keep your colors. And that's where some of my issues with the system start.

I know that to make a habit you have to stick to it and keep doing it for a while and yadda-yadda-yadda, BUT there are things I know about myself and I know that they would requiere quite an amount of effort and time that do not compensate the expected benefits. (Sorry, economist here, I do analyze things like this on a Cost-Benefit basis. Everybody should, I think, but then, that's just me.) Normally I'm not very productive at night, save if I'm studying, but even for that, I can't just jump into the book at 9 pm and study all the way until 1 am or so. No, I don't work that way. I have a process for studying at night, which is pointless to detail now, but the thing is that I don't relate to studying as a "routine" thing I do. My mind sees studying as a different type of activity, specially because I don't study at night always. I study in "time pockets", which is not the same as to say when I have free time, but in carved little moments when I can make time for it, and these pockets are flexible, movable, from one point to the next. A habit would require a fixed time, and my fixed times are better settled during the early hours of the day, which is why I rather wake up earlier to do my exercise routine, than wait to do it at night.

I normally wake up really early, so by night I'm normally quite tired. If I have to study, I know I can muster some time before my brain teflons-up and nothing stick to it anymore, but to think that I still have to plan the next day out? Yeah, not gonna happen. Hell, sometimes even cooking up the easiest meal, or making a sandwich is a HUGE effort! Planning? Out of the question.

I've been planning for a whole week now with the bullet journal system, and if I have planned out my day the day before twice, that's been a lot. Copying down lists every day, trying to figure out good ways to put in my movable tasks - which in my filofax I just write up one day, and they remain there, maybe copied over for the next week, or written in the "this week" box... - and using post-its and fearing that I might end up losing my tasks because of way too many post-its crowding the place... Is it a mechanism to make me work though the list faster? I don't know, but I definitively don't appreciate the pressure.

As you can see in the picture above, I started using the "coding" suggested in the original bullet journal system, with the dots, circles and dashes. Don't really do it for me either. It's simpler that the boxes I was using - which I use in my filofax - but I'm still not there yet. What's my problem with them? Basically that they "disappear" from my sight. They become a listing and I don't see at one glance what's a note, an appointment or a task. I'm kind of using my filofax system by notating appointments at the left and tasks at the right, and now decided to import more from my FF by adding color coding into it as well. We shall see how that works in the future.

I did add other spreads, like a new spread for tracking my university subjects, and I like it, but then again, that's something I can easily do and refer to in my filofax, using a segment in one of my sections.

Subject Track for University
The thing I'm taking from the bullet journal so far is that it's a system that present definitively some challenges for proper future planning, doesn't quite give you (or at least me) enough peace of mind to make sure all your important tasks and appointments were dutifully recorded in the right dates (particularly for those of us who actually fix appointments or dates months in advance), and basically requires more time spent on planning than traditional systems.

Personally, I think the filofax system fills my needs about time planning much better. I don't have to worry about noting down every time I have class, or a test or so, per month, per day, per week. I don't have to fret I'm too tired and forget to file in something important, because a lot of important things were noted down the day I knew about them, so I don't have to deal with them now. In this first week of the project, though I used the system, I've been leaning heavily on my filofax to get things done and keep myself on task.

Wonder if with a little more of time, I'll change my mind about this.

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