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Starting a New, Bare Bones Bullet Journal

March 5, 2020 -

2 min read

I've been using the Bullet Journal system on and off for about 4 years now, and I've done a lot of experimentation around it. Almost from the moment I learned about it, I was making customizations to make the system work better for me. These experiments would often lead me to focus more on tweaking the system itself rather than getting any of the things I was writing down done. This is a common problem when adopting a new productivity system. It's very easy to let the process get in the way of actually getting anything done.

Last year I experimented with doing my Bullet Journal entirely digitial through the use of an app called Goodnotes. There were things that I liked about it, such as being able to create templates for my spreads and collections, but I was missing the tactile feel of pen and paper. Also, with the templates, my layouts became too artsy, and I felt I was missing the minimalistic design of the Bullet Journal that makes it work so well. So, this year I decided to go back to a physical journal. I've also wanted for some time to go back and try out the base system with no customizations or modifications. It's something I've never successfully done, so I wanted the experience of doing so.

I recently acquired a new notebook that I just love. It's a start up brand called Jobi Journal, and you can purchase them on Amazon. The thing I love about it the most is the paper. The pages are super thick, so I can use just about any pen I want with it and there's no bleed through. The pages are also dotted, which gives me the freedom to write or draw in it with minimal distractions.

I started this new, bare bones Bullet Journal at the beginning of February, and so far I've loved it. I love the minimalist feel to it, especially the monthly calendar. That minimalist feel has cut down on all the distracting layout designing I've been doing, and I feel I've been getting a lot more actual work done as a result. Even though I've had the urge to do so, I've managed so far not to make any tweaks. I'm excited to see how long I can go without making modifications.

I'll be providing updates and sharing my thoughts on my Bullet Journal as the year progresses. I'll most likely make tweaks at some point, but I want those tweaks to be more natural and gradual than they have been in the past. It'll be interesting to see the evolution of the system as I go along.

My hope is I'll end up with a minimalist Bullet Journal that works well for me, and to inspire others to develop one for themselves. Productivity increases the fastest when we all share and help each other.

Written by: Brennan Davis