Bullet Journals! 1canoe2 Style

Creativity and organization: two words that aren't usually seen together! We are constantly trying to keep our artistic spirits active and engaged while still managing the rest of our lives, be it kids, work, or even just the daily to-do list. So, when we heard about bullet journaling, we knew we had to give it a shot.

Bullet journaling is the process of combining your planner and journal into one comprehensive life guide. Instead of having a planner, a notebook, and a journal, bullet journals take a more holistic approach, making this one journal a collective book of your to-do's, memories, and musings.

You can create your own code to signify your status on each task, so that rather than transferring each task to the next day, you soon start to be able to see where you're at just by glancing at the page. For example, if you want to show that you're halfway through a project, you can mark it with a half circle, or if you decide to delegate that project to someone else, you can mark it with a triangle. The code is completely up to you! For those of us who get so much satisfaction from crossing things off lists, this system lets you get a bit of that satisfaction every time you make a little progress here or there.

After learning all of this, we were already on board for this journaling venture, but then it got even better. We started creeping on some bullet journal fanatics via Instagram, saw some *insanely pretty* bullet journals and were immediately smitten. People bullet journal in so many ways! Some stick to no nonsense black and white, while others are covered in washi tape, stickers, colored pencil and doodles. We love the idea of incorporating art and imagination into our everyday tasks, and these bullet journals seemed to be hitting every mark.

So three of our incredible ladies on staff decided to start a two month trial period to test it out and see if these journals could actually handle the chaos of our busy lives.

KELSEY

Q: Before we started this project, did you already know what bullet journaling was all about?

A: A little bit. I knew that you would come up with your own code for taking notes and it would be your own interior way of demarking stuff so that you would be to figure out what you're doing to make it faster. It was mysterious but I knew that you could set your own thing. You didn't have to follow somebody else's example, which I like 'cause I'm a contrarian.

Q: Can you describe your bullet journaling process?

A: So I took it to be a do-do calendar more than anything else, and kind of a place to reflect as well. I have a lot of different jobs and do a lot of different things so it was nice to have one spot where I could keep track of everything as I thought of it. I would make one big list where I could just write everything down, and then I would break those onto separate pages with more detail or description.

Q: Do you have a favorite part of the process?

A: I really like lists and I've always enjoyed making lists so that part I enjoy. I like the notebook that I use because it's really thin and portable so I took it on vacation and I didn't feel like I was lugging around another journal.

Q: Do you have a least favorite part of the process?

A: I think if I continue to do this, I would commit to keeping everything in one notebook, and because this was kind of a trial to see how I would like it, I still had two notebooks, but in the future I would try to only use one. It wouldn't be as pretty though because it would just be lots and lots of notes.

Q: Do you usually keep a planner or a journal? If so, how would you say this differed from a traditional journaling experience?

A: I keep a "feelings" journal, which is one of those things like "do not open this. That is not okay." And then I also have my planner which keeps my calendar, and I'm still a paper person, so I like to keep it all on paper. I use my phone but hardly. And then I have a notebook of lists and that sort of thing, so I'm kind of over journal/planner-ed. But I enjoy that, and I'm okay having those things be separate a little bit, but the good thing about the bullet journal is that it kind of gets to all of those things, because it almost became a record of March and April for me. These are both really busy months for me, so it was kind of like "wow, I did a lot of stuff!" Or "these are all the things I have to think about in the next couple of weeks."

Q: Did you find bullet journaling to be a time saver or a creative outlet and why?

A: I'm a creative person in my life. I draw and paint and take photographs so the creative aspect of it, while fun, was for me almost taking away from my creative pursuits in what I need to get done, so I think I would use this as a time saver as opposed to a creative expression.

Q: Will you be continuing to bullet journal?

A: Yeah, I think I will, but I think it'll be more of the time saving. I'd like to work it into my planner. I have the 1canoe2 big spiral bound planner and I think I would prefer bullet journaling in there. Although it's not traditional in terms of a blank page where you can do whatever, I think within the confines of each day box, that would be really helpful for me. I think it'll synthesize all of my to-do's. I came up with my own code and I'm really excited about it. I've started to remember what it is and not have to flip back all the time!

 

LIZ

Q: Before we started this project, did you already know what bullet journaling was all about?

A: I did not.

Q: Can you describe your bullet journaling process?

A: For me, I had to take a look at the subject that I wanted to use the bullet journaling for and then spend some time breaking it down in terms of what would be helpful for me to track. From there, I made a list of those things and I thought about how I could display that visually in a way that kept my attention and be interesting to me, so that I would want to return to it and would be able to glance at it and know what's going on.

Q: Do you have a favorite part of the process?

A: Having to spend that time thinking about "okay, this is the thing that I want to track", and then coming up with a few different ways to display that visually. But also, spending some time looking at other people's bullet journals was really inspired, and it's always nice to spend some time looking at beautiful things.

Q: Do you have a least favorite part of the process?

A: If you mess up a part, you have to work around it. It's a lot of problem solving. If I didn't like the way something turned out, I wouldn't want to redo the whole page. If I had just started I might redo the whole page but if I'd gotten further along there's that "okay, how can we make this work." I think it was hard not to want it to look perfect, but the realty is, that's the nature of journaling. There are these moments where things just kind of happen, and you have to go with the flow with it because you can't control it too much.

Q: Do you usually keep a planner or a journal? If so, how would you say this differed from a traditional journaling experience?

A: I do both. I use a planner and I also do "big" journaling once a month, but then I also do a daily thing too, so I have all these different methods going on. It just combines both of those really nicely - a space to write down things that are more observations that you wouldn't put in your planner, but they're more task-oriented than what I would put in my journal, so it's a mix of those two things, which was really nice.

Q: Did you find bullet journaling to be a time saver or a creative outlet and why?

A: Creative outlet, for sure. It was worth it, for sure. I am always looking for ways to incorporate creativity into my day to day life, because that is where most of my life happens, so I think that if there are ways to make it a space for me to problem solve visually, or get to practice different drawing techniques, or lettering that I want to try, then I can combine that in a way that's also useful. I really struggle when doing creative things because I feel like it needs to be purposeful too, so I don't just create to create as much as I should, but this was a space where I could create with a purpose. I do the same thing with my grocery list. My husband, Jonathon, gives me a hard time because I'll rewrite our grocery list a thousand times because I'll try to doodle on that and try to make that aesthetically pleasing.

Q: Will you be continuing to bullet journal?

A: Yeah! I really liked it for a really specific part of my life. I used one page for our family and day to day life and I felt like that was too overwhelming for me to map out, but when I did the garden one, that felt really good, because that's something I track anyways, but to have that kind of method, I think I would return back to it and use it once a week or something like that to keep track of those things, rather than my whole life.


JAYLYN

 

Q: Before we started this project, did you already know what bullet journaling was all about?

A: Kind of, not really. I had to Google it.

Q: Can you describe your bullet journaling process?

A: First I started scrolling and seeing how other people used theirs, and appreciating how neat and tidy everyone appears to be, and aiming for that but knowing that was pretty unattainable for myself. I think I started with a little bit higher expectations than I should have for my own abilities! I think it was helpful to read a couple of prompts from other people about what they felt bullet journaling was about and it's purpose. It helped me decide on what pages I wanted to try to flesh out. I used some pages to help flesh it out but then I would just turn the page once I figured it out, so my bullet journal is full of drafts and then the real thing. I flipped through my existing journal to see if I could figure out a theme, or some lists that were already going, and go from there.

Q: Do you have a favorite part of the process?

A: I think once I said "okay, I have to stop obsessing over it looking perfect or being formatted exactly how I would dream it would be and just make it usable." Once I got there it was a little more freeing.

Q: Do you have a least favorite part of the process?

A: Feeling this expectation of this unattainable beauty and perfection that I appreciate but isn't attainable for me.

Q: Do you usually keep a planner or a journal? If so, how would you say this differed from a traditional journaling experience?

A: It's the difference between your actual lab notebook in physics class and your notes that you take in class. The lab notebook being where you write all the notes that you hold onto until you have time to organize them in an efficient way as you discern what's important.

Q: Did you find bullet journaling to be a time saver or a creative outlet and why?

A: Definitely not a time saver for me, but that might be because I was trying too hard at first. But I definitely enjoyed when I did sit down and take things out of my other journal or I would think "oh, this could be a bullet journal entry" when I was about to make a list or plan. That was fun to put it out in an organized way. I'm a list person already so I like to do that.

Q: Will you be continuing to bullet journal?

A: In the future, I think I'll incorporate some of those bullet journaling techniques into my regular journal when I come across a theme or a list or a collection, and flag the page or something so I can find it again and keep the list updated and going, but for me personally, I think it would be hard for me to maintain it. It's definitely more my personality to throw down my thoughts as I can and then as I need to go back to them and they are still useful, then I'll organize them. And also, it's hard to know in the moment what's important.


Give it a try and let us know how it goes!! If you don't know where to start, check out our collection of planners, notebooks and scrapbooking supplies to find all the supplies you need for your first bullet journal.

Have fun!
:: Claire the Intern ::


---------- BULLET JOURNALING BASICS ----------

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1 Response

Nicci
Nicci

August 21, 2017

This is so awesome, and I love your examples! I just ordered some bullet journal supplies from 1canoe2. I cannot wait to receive them and start a bujo!

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