This past weekend I was brunching with a dear friend; sharing a glass of wine and catching up on each other’s very busy, busy lives. I was trying to describe our impending kitchen re-model and verbally lamented that I had no paper nor writing utensil to draw it out. She quickly reached into her purse and produced a notebook. Immediately her face lit up and a wide smile beamed at me. “Do you know about Bullet Journals? My daughter turned me onto it.”
She proceeded to walk me through hers. The grid-ridden pages filled with tasks and events. Little “O” – or bullets, lined up neatly before the event. Dots proceeding her long list of tasks. A few dots turned into x’s – representing the Herculean effort of completing them. She flipped to the front where she gleefully demonstrated how her index was set up and how she could skip to much later in the book where her ‘Project Logs’, ‘Personal Projects’, ‘Wish Lists’, and doodles and notes of encouragement from her daughter resided.
Affirmations written on washi tape decorated a variety of pages where my friend was keeping track of new, healthy habits she was incorporating into her already crazy busy ‘woman-business-owner-mother-of-three’ lifestyle.
As I watched her, part of me was pulled into her excitement. To be clear, I don’t even carry a purse anymore – or a wallet, for that matter. I have an iPhone 8S with a stick-on wallet attached to the back. I carry a drivers license, a debit card, a credit card, and my insurance card…. that’s it. No cash. No lipstick. No pen. No tissues. No snacks…. I keep EVERYTHING digitally. I have a Note or Google Drive Document for everything. One note keeps track of my workouts; one my passwords; one my ongoing grocery list; one my ‘To-Do’ list – sometimes I tell my Amazon Alexa to add crap to my list so, I have to look at her App as well. I stay as far away from paper as I possibly can. I have been done with paper – entirely; for years. I have even gotten to the point where I use Facebook as a daily dairy, saving my friends from the drudgery by posting ‘Only For Me’.
But, sitting across from my Bullet Journal Believer friend (I am sure the glass of wine helped), I got sucked into the concept of returning to the analog days of the FiloFax. Remember those? I spent hours, probably more than I care to admit, researching the origins of the BuJo and the many and sundry ‘add-on’ goodies you can purchase to set it up and use it. My Amazon wishlist is about ten products longer now. There are stencils – so all your boxes and headers and calendars are the same size. There is washi tape with labels of days of the week or month so you don’t have to write it out each time. There are wooden-block stamps of monthly calendars or ‘to-do’ lists. There are special pens with special ink to go on the special paper….the possibilities are endless. To the point where I went into analysis paralysis and realized that I could Bullet-Journal my way into NOT getting anything done….except the actual journal. Not to mention, who is going to carry that thing around everywhere??
If it’s not clear by now, I decided against the Bullet Journal. It did make me realize the inefficiencies in my current behavior. What I really needed and wanted was a way to track my habits and life – digitally – in ONE place. Something to replace the myriad ‘Notes’ on exercise, guitar playing, water drinking, Portuguese study-time, etc… I dropped Amazon and went onto my iPhone App Store. As of today, I am the proud user of ‘Productive’. Already, it’s reminded me to do my push-ups and plank, as well as, to drink water. No pens, no paper, no bulky book to lug around. Guess, I answered my own question. I am not returning to the land of analog. Now, to go and delete all those items off my digital wish list.