I spend a lot of time working on my Bullet Journal. Two hours, regularly scheduled, each Sunday, to set up the next week, and, at least four hours, cumulatively, each week in addition... but hey, who's counting!?
"Bullet journaling is not just lists, and schedules - it is a running record of your life, all those small moments that we tend to forget, but that make up who we are."
You, see, after a while (ahem, about five seconds after you start your first page) you find yourself, well, for lack of a better word, addicted. You pour your heart, your soul, and almost your entire paycheck into this notebook, and in the end you have a beautifully unique piece of living history - your history.
Bullet journaling is not just lists, and schedules - it is a running record of your life, all those small moments that we tend to forget, but that make up who we are.
Now, some may consider Bullet Journaling too much of a commitment. Perhaps the phrase "time suck" is even thrown around. And often this exact comment occurs in my life:
"This is really incredible, but couldn't you just buy a planner, and save yourself a lot of time?"
The short answer: yes. I could go to a store, pick up an already laid-out planner, and use that for all of my to-do lists and appointments. But does that planner allow me space to track my blog, separately from my business, separately from my personal life? No. Does that planner give me room to write what books I've read, or where I've travelled to this year? No. Does that planner have a section for car maintenance and pet care? No.
But, beyond any lack of section, I Bullet Journal, instead of purchasing a planner, because I like to! It's a fun hobby. I get to express my creative side weekly. And I enjoy looking back at previous year's journals.
That being said, however, I will be the first to admit that my journal takes up a good portion of my time. I don't regret the time I give it, but I am also aware of it. And when I travel, I ensure that my journal does not become the unintended focus of my trip.
Many use travel journals to record their adventures. They're a great way of remembering the smaller details, and all of the wonderful paces you saw. However, they can also quickly become all-consuming.
It's surprisingly easy to find yourself franticly recording every moment, so much so, that you end up failing to experience your trip.
And that's why, for me, I make a point of jotting down less, and seeing more.
"Live in the moment, not on the page."
Many expect me to have beautifully detailed pages on each of my trip's moments. And while I won't lie, I get seriously envious of other bujo-ers, like jose_naranja's spread pictured here (click it to see his other amazing artwork!), for me, I stick to a much simpler layout when it comes to en-route travel journaling.
I truly try to live in the moment, not on the page.
For me, what I ensure that I've recorded, while away, is the smaller details that I may forget. The weather each day, what I ate (and where), the people I met, the places I went, and the phrases I heard or learned - I'm a total logophile!
Not in great detail, but in simple, non-exciting looking, lists. Yes, lists. Bullets, and scratchy, quick hand-writing, usually completed in utter exhaustion just before falling asleep.
What I've found is that this quick, five-minute-or-less activity, allows me to get down the tiny pieces of travel that could be forgotten, while simultaneously creating "memory-jog" points for myself.
Now, when I'm back home, deeply upset that the trip had to end, and I am spending some time writing about it in detail so I can vicariously live through my memory, I have just the right amount of information recorded to spark some "Oh, yeah! That's what happened..."''s and a few, "I totally forgot about that weird [insert person, food, animal, ect. here]".
When I'm away, I'm away. From my job(s). From my hectic schedule. And yes, even from my BUJO. I travel journal, but only in the simplest of terms. I record details, but not in a detailed manner. I do my best not to hide behind a camera, or a notebook, and instead truly see what I came to witness.