Bullet Journal for the Industrial Grade Procrastinator?

It’s a vicious cycle for me. Dread of failing to finish so never starting. Needing to get things done… hating the very word ‘need’ because my parents would say, “I need to do this… I need this done… I need that to this” And nothing ever happened. So I have an emotional response of frustration, anger and disappointment to the very word ‘need’.

Anyway… course correction.

So in my latest attempt to make my life more bearably, for me and for everyone around me I have a doctor’s appointment to get referred to mental health services for an assessment. The 25th of January, I am telling you all so that it’s more difficult to back out! I am trying to get ahead of the behavior game and try out some things.

I dislike word shortening. My husband says things like, “Rocks” when he means rockets for the rocket launcher and ‘mats’ when he is talking about materials needed for something. I hate it. It genericizes everything, is less precise and it frustrates me, no end. So we will not be talking about ‘BuJo’ here. (Hate name shortenings too. My name is ‘XYZ’ not ‘Exie uwu’.)

Again, course correction.

I have begun delving into the youtube video library to find everything useful to ADHD and bullet journaling. Beginning with videos about why people quit and pitfalls to avoid. I have random notebooks aplenty… I could start today.

What should I start with? I guess numbering some pages and starting an index.

I kind of want those color coded little sticky tabs too use. Maybe each time I write down a story idea I can save the opposite page for a chapter outline? Not to be done right then but when I might come back to the idea later… or right now. Seasonal goals seems like a good idea. Homeschool schedules…

OMG… should I be teaching my kids this so they can have some responsibility for themselves and a visual accountability.

Now I want to make a journal bag to hold whatever current journal and some pens and pencils. It should both fit inside my regular bag and be something I can toss over my shoulder to just have the dang thing with me as I wander, hopefully less aimlessly, through the house.

well, shoot. i have so much to say about bustles jostling, butter joiners, bullock jobs, and bungee jogging.

but i guess that’s not allowed.

i hate bullet journals so i vote no.

okay, really, i vote you should show them lots of different methods and teach them to evaluate what works for them. teaching planning/organization/self-management skills (se ma ski?) is a really great idea. lucky kids!

also, the bag sounds cool. i like the idea of it being something to make it easy to carry the journal around the house and something that can go in your other bag too. i’m imagining something very visible too so you can see it easily in the bag.

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You are cracking me up. :smiley: Bungee Jogging… I can see this in my mind. It looks hecka fun. Kind of like those bungee jumpers they have at the mall but like on a treadmill trampoline. I could be into that.

Yes. I think I might invite them to join me in my bullet journal adventure. They may take to it or not. We can go from there. The middle boys are old enough to have good suggestions too that we can explore.

And yeah the bag. I have a design in my brain, percolating. Cross body length strap. Flap with magnetic catch, room for an average size journal, pencil bag and I want a super kawaii ruler set. Something that brings me joy to touch and see.

Which brings me to fabric and texture. I might look at using one of my dad’s old shirts to make the bag out of. Maybe I can use the sleeves for the strap so I am kind of getting a hug from him when I wear it. I might add flaps with snaps that don’t even have pockets as a fidget device/ something I can see without eyes when I grab for it in my bag.

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I have to agree with @papserweight, let you kids choose an organizational method. I would honestly probably get distracted decorating a bullet journal and then never use it. And while lots of people use them for health trackers and goal trackers, I feel like they might not be the best option for school?

I, personally, operated best on a weekly plan. Everything was due on Fridays, so it made sense. I just made a list of all the steps in all of my work and then split it up between the days. A bullet journal would have been too distracting and time-consuming. You might find that they work best with a normal piece of notebook paper taped to the wall to scribble on. Who knows. People are weird. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I am going back to the source for the bullet journaling. The guy who sort of codified the method did not use all these crazy fancy things. I think the meaning has been lost in Pinterest.

We will try a number of different things. I think the bullet journal is more a jumping off point. I am certainly not wed to it or any one system.

What, if anything, works for you guys?

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So I started my journal last night. I went back to Ryder Carroll’s videos to see the simplest version possible. He mentions not even focusing on strict to do lists or whatever on the dailies at first. Just write about what you want from the process. Things like that.

Ease into it and be open to what can work and what doesn’t. I am treating it like a delicate process, not to be rushed.

We’ll see how it goes. One of my sisters is actually going to do it too. She is in a rough place emotionally and could use an outlet and we both could use accountability.

My two boys are highly creative, one wants to be an animator and the other wants to be a game programmer (and a miner and blacksmith and cosmologist) I think something like this could help them have somewhere to put all their creative ideas in one place.

We’ll see, and let them find tools that work best for their individual brains.

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Usually what I do is to just put everything in my to do list app (Habitica) to keep track of them. And then I put some things in my phone’s calendar so I can set a reminder to do a task. Habitica is good for keeping track of daily habits and things on a deadline, because every time you open it up you see them staring at you.

I’ve also used normal paper and just written out each day of the week. The problem with this method is that you can lose your paper. Tip: tape things to the wall!

I’ve also used planners, but those usually already had the schedule put into them. I have also lost planners, and unfortunately, cannot tape them to the wall.

Taping planners to the wall foes seem problematic. I saw one girl on YouTube who just had a piece of notebook paper on a clip board. That one can hang easily on a wall and put in a larger binder later.

I like books and tactile things and I think I have fallen away from it because of how much I use my phone or computer now.

My problem is that every new thing seems like it’s working at first. I am trying not to doubt the process and hoping that even if bullet journalling as a whole doesn’t stick that it will still improve my skills and awareness of myself.

… if that makes sense

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ok, so been doing this since Friday, it’s now Monday. If I ever try and pass off that I can function ‘just fine’ or ‘ok’ without checklists, give me an e-slap and bring me back down to Earth.

I am thinking that I should break down some items on my to do lists and have them displayed where the task occurs. Like, with dishes:

Empty dishwasher
put dishes away
check rinse aid level
fill dish washer
clear a sink to be washed
start the washer
do hand wash items
wipe down sink

With these sorts of lists I am thinking of practicing my typography or calligraphy and making it fancy and laminating it to display. Because just that one item on the daily to-do list is actually what? Eight actions?

I might set up a list for each room. Make it pretty and not be ashamed of displaying it.

I don’t know if bullet journaling will stick with me long term but so far it has been helping me figure some things out at least.

I have a ‘goals for the year’ page. None of the journal itself is at all fancy. Just plain words on paper.

I have five items on my year list:

Finish editing my book and submit it

Draw something every day (a habit I want to cultivate)

Learn Japanese

Be more productive

Play Christmas Carols on our piano

Now, these are big goals and some are subjective in nature. One could argue with the way things went over the weekend I can cross be more productive off the list. I already did that in the few days I’ve been doing this. But that’s not happening just yet. lol

I have already broken down ‘Learn Japanese’ into some smaller steps and done them. I looked up different electronic aids for learning Japanese. I decided on a system to use. I recognized the system alone was not going to be enough. I found a free resource to fill in the gaps. I priced the system I decided to purchase. I discussed it with my husband because of the cost. I bought the system. I have begun using the system and the companion site.

I am doing it.

I am trying to force myself to take everything slowly. I am inclined to just dive in the next 48 hrs and do nothing but Hiragana worksheets, Rosetta lessons but what then? I won’t even look at it for months or maybe ever again. I am trying to do just enough to keep myself interested and excited. Little spikes of dopamine.

Oh, and my sink is clean. :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Probably due to the novelty factor.

(I have sampled out many productivity strategies, and tried out several of them, but still haven’t made any into a habit. I’m planning to start a bullet journal for a self-improvement plan that I have in mind. Right now there is just too much uncertainty in my life to start just yet.)

And that’s why novelty works so well to try new things, but when the newness wears off, the “little spikes of dopamine” can drop off, too.

  • If you can form a good habit before the dopamine rewards wear off, then you can keep it going with minimal effort.
  • Of course, getting little spikes of dopamine from checking things off your list might be persistent enough.
  • Plus the dopamine spikes from the feeling of accomplishment for the particular things that you cross off your list. (Brain-to-self: “Wow! We just recited a classic work of Japanese poetry with perfect pronunciation. Here’s some dopamine! Now let’s do something else amazing!”)
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Yeah I am trying like mad to keep the rewards kicking in to try and solidify this journal habit. I know it will be good for me if I can keep myself engaged (difficult over the long term).

I am trying so hard not to blow it. I feel as though it is making me more aware of myself.

Does that make sense?

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Rewards don’t work for me. If I can form a habit before the novelty wears off, things go better – I fast walked daily for over 6 months, only stopped due to injury and hope to get started again once that heals. Bullet journalling didn’t work for me after a while, though now I have three very nice mostly blank notebooks! What works better is to make a weekly list of things to do (have to write it down). What works better is if I get started on tasks in the morning before getting distracted. If I get started on one small task and the another… What works better is if I get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately there is no one formula for what works for everyone with ADHD!

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I’m hoping to get some good information from this podcast:

It’s very long (1 hour, 51 minutes) and I’ve only gotten 1/4 of the way through it. The host, Dr. Andrew Huberman, gives a lot of detail of the science behind the techniques. Even though I “nerd out” on the scientific details, I want to try to distill it down to just the HowTo details.

(An interest of mine is creating Infographics, and I want to develop an infographic of this info… If I can stay focused enough to get it done. I also have an idea about how to make interactive infographics that I want to try out, but that’s a secondary goal.)


It’s good to have motivation and a sense of purpose. I know that when tell myself things like “don’t blow it”, my anxiousness increases, and I’m more likely to make preventable mistakes.

Self-awareness can be very insightful. (Try to recognize when you get to the point of being self-conscious, because that could stall your progress. It’s best to catch yourself being self-conscious or self-critical early, so you can nip it in the bud and get back on track, instead of ruminating on those thoughts.)

It’s easier for me to think in terms of a week at a time, too. The self-improvement plan I’m going to start was developed as a 30-days at a time plan, but I intend to break it down to 4-weeks at time, to plan based on the week, and track progress daily. I’m going to use a Bullet Journal style for tracking progress.

Yeah, me too. Except that lately I keep waking up in the middle of the night. I woke up about 2:30 tonight, and now it’s 3:50 and I’m just getting sleepy again.

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Sleep is key isn’t it? Right now (maybe the time of year for us?) I am sleeping little but also feel awake. I know I will eventually crash and sleep for like a day. But there are times I will sleep like 4 hours and be wide awake. I have experimented with a multiphase sleep schedule and that work wonderfully for me! Um… not so much the rest of my family. Maybe once the kids are grown I can go back to it.

And I kind of like that there is no one size fits all solution for us. Even if it can be troublesome at times. :smiley:

I love infographics! My husband works on a system called zspace, can you imagine a 3 dimensional infographic? It would be awesome. I hope the 3d monitor tech he works on is used for more than educational programs soon. To see what everyone can do with the 3d space.

Anyway, tangent…

I am absolutely a person who want to discover the whys of everything. When I taught myself how to sew I quickly got discouraged because patterns make no sense to me. So I went back to the 1200’s and learned how they used to make their own clothes and have worked my way to making my kids regular modern clothes now. But I needed to find that foundation. The hows and whys at the beginning to build up from.

Maybe that’s why I have always been so interested in psychology and behavior?

I’ve always liked art and graphics. I took some art classes in my early years of college, and I was never quite satisfied with what I made … It never looked quite right to me. The best satisfaction I got was when I learned architectural perspective drawing.

Then, I took a sculpting class, and I loved it! By the end of that semester, or perhaps it was sometime later, I had a realization about myself. I think in 3-D.

So, while I would have to change how I think about infographics (as they’ve been designed do far), I think I would be able to think up 3-D infographics.

shocked-i-know-this


The zspace system looks awesome. I would want that for my kids. They are homeschooled, but they have loved every AR/VR experience they’ve ever had. Do you have any idea if there’s a homeschooling option for zspace? My guess would be that there’s not, since pricing info appears to be geared for schools and school districts.

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Ways my bullet journal saved me today:

Thought up an excellent new idea for an online store (I make them and sell them, or at least that’s what I am trying to make a business of). Instead of jumping headlong into another project before I finished my last one I wrote it all in there and the page is listed in the index. I won’t lose it. And I won’t be thinking obsessively about it while I need to do other things.

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I have been using apps such as obsidian or logseq for storing my half baked ideas and link them together! I also find that writing down my ideas is really helpful in ‘emptying’ my mind of them so that I don’t continue thinking about them for a long time! The worst is if I get a new idea near bed time. Then it is bye bye bed time!

Another idea for you @Mabd: I am using a free app called CollaNote on my iPad and I really like it. You can write with an Apple pencil (as opposed to use the keyword) so remembering is better. It can do character recognition, you can embed links, even youtube videos. You can attach ‘buttons’ to a page to link it another (so for example you can make a planner and click on the button for a month or week and switch to that page), you can draw, you can not only record audio but correlate your drawing/writing to audio! You can collaborate (hence the name, it is written by a student!) and so on. It is absolutely wonderful. The only thing is you have to keep your iPad near you!

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I’ve been thinking about how to create a bullet journal on a tablet. (I don’t have a tablet, and I prefer Android over iOS, but I might be willing to go with an iPad if it would make a much better digital bullet journal with the Apple Pencil.)

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Yeah I’ll check if there is something similar for Android… I don’t touch Apple. That app sounds pretty awesome.