Viva Column: I Found My Bujo Mojo

It’s late and small person is getting ready for bed, which, in this instance, means standing in a doorway licking the snot from one’s nostrils for 40 minutes. This is no exaggeration. I have been watching the minutes pass by excruciatingly as I lie immobilised by the giant infant on my chest.

They say time is flexible, and it’s true that moments like these are pretty much the only ones in my new-found crystalline adulthood for which the clock slows. The rest of the time, I am hurtling through hours and days like a slug from a blunderbuss. This is why the discovery of a new form of diary-keeping is changing my life.

A friend mentioned the word ‘Bullet Journal’ to me quietly in the school playground this January. My interest peaked immediately. What has always been lacking with previous diaries is a reference to violence – surely a Bullet Journal will keep me in line?

A Bullet Journal, it turns out, is first of all a notebook. A rather expensive, luxurious notebook with a hard cover available in every colour of the rainbow. It’s a German design, the Leuchtterm1917, with bevelled, off-white pages; corner numbering; a front index and dots. The ‘bullet’ refers to these dotted pages that make it easy to draw grids and charts to suit your planning needs, which is the other point of interest – its brand new notetaking system.

Everyone I have raved to about this has looked deeply perplexed as I have tried to explain how the system works. In spite of holding two communications/colouring in degrees, it seems I am incapable of making a mind-bogglingly difficult method seem simple. Sorry, I meant to say I am capable of making a simple method seem mind-bogglingly difficult. Note to self: normal people tend to switch off on hearing the words ‘hierarchical lists’.

I found the best way to learn was to spend a weekend watching YouTube ‘walk-throughs’ by self-styled heroes of time-management and Instagram-friendly calligraphic script handwriting.

If you can see past reams of washi tape and not be deterred by the evidence that millennials have such a luxurious abundance of time they spend hours decorating charts detailing their daily water consumption, you will find some handy tips. In any case, you should certainly watch the summary by Bullet Journal inventor Ryder Caroll at bulletjournal.com.

I’ve found my Bullet Journal such a boon because my brain simply doesn’t retain typed information as well as that which I have written down. We all know the best way to stretch time is to make better use of it, and now I can manage more efficiently my to-do lists; diary and everything I once filed in my overtired brain, an A6 diary, various notebooks, my iPhone and on scraps of paper.

In short, it has never been so easy to see how many small tasks and major life goals I am falling behind on every God-given minute of the day. I couldn’t be more pleased!

Published in Viva Lewes 138, March 2018

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