Guest Blogger: Jackie Anderson
To quickly introduce myself, my name’s Jackie and I’m an ecommerce manager by trade, specializing in B2B ecommerce environments. My whole career revolves around trading online; developing systems, integrating data, worrying about hosting and bandwidth and ensuring online stores are available 24/7.
So how do I keep myself sane, productive and focused while doing this as well as striving for that overall work / life balance – well, I do it with my trusty notebook and pen!
Yep, even though I’m an “online guru” I am proud to say I’m a “Bullet Journalist”
Over the years I’ve tried many ways to keep myself organized using applications like Evernote and Trello or Outlook tasks and iphone Notes. I’ve tried a whole range of solutions that promised to make my life easier all but I always gravitated back to my trusty notebook and pen.
There are many articles and TED talks out there explaining why writing things down is better for you than typing but for me personally it comes down to these three things:
I love stationery – always have done! I like getting new pens that write really well and there’s something special about starting a brand new notebook. It just makes me happy. I’m a visual learner and thinker. As well as writing notes, I like to draw; connecting dots in a process, generating mindmaps as I think things through or just doodling as I weigh up the pros and cons of a decision. Its not quite the same on an electronic device.I can remember where I put things! As much as I try to be organized in Evernote and Outlook, once things are out of sight they are out of mind – with a notebook a quick flick through and I’m back on track!
I’ve used notepads and pens for many years but last year it was a bit of a revelation when I came across the website www.bulletjournal.com; a site dedicated to an analogue productivity framework developed by Ryder Carrol; himself a digital product designer. The Bullet Journal concept uses nothing more than the trusty notebook and pen but gives you a way of structuring your daily to do lists, your general notes and your calendar in a way that makes a lot more sense. Some people keep their journals very minimalistic and others use it as a way to really unleash their creativity.
Everything is tied together in your Bullet Journal using an Index and a Key; symbols that denote what everything means.
Here is a video explaining how it all comes together. Watch the Video
I started implementing the suggestions and I can honestly say that today I am more organized and productive than I have ever been. There is something very satisfying in ticking off completed tasks from your to do list! I have made it a habit to spend about 10 minutes every night updating my journal. As well as planning my tasks for the next day, I make notes of anything that is “swirling around my head” whether it is business related, bills that have to be paid, meal plans or even ideas for Christmas presents; I’ve come to learn that if it goes down on paper I don’t have to think about it until the appropriate time which has led to better quality sleep and ultimately a lot less stress. It’s an analogue system in my electronic world that definitely works for me.
In the last year or so, Bullet Journaling has reached “cult like” status with articles appearing in publications from Vogue to the Washington Post. As I check today there are over 750k Instagram posts containing pictures of people’s bullet journal styles and there are Facebook groups galore; Bullet Journal Junkies, Bullet Journal Minimalists even Bullet Journaling just for Guys. Whatever style you prefer, there will be a group to inspire you!