By now, everyone knows I love my Bullet Journal. It’s what keeps me focused, not frazzled. It’s what helps me prioritize myself and my goals in days that can drown you in housework, chauffeuring, and everyone else’s needs. It’s my brain and my creative outlet.
Everyone also knows that I’m on a mission to convert moms over to the Bullet Journal system with a whole series on BulletJournal.com on how life-changing it can be. That’s why I just have to answer the question a friend threw at me this week publicly. She asked:
So, isn’t a Bullet Journal just basically a to-do list?
Good Question! She put into words what keeps so many moms from giving Bullet Journaling a try. Why should I devote my precious time and energy to a system that takes up more of my time?
Well, Benjamin Franklin said it best:
Good old Ben. He gets it! The truth is, setting up and maintaining a Bullet Journal is some work, but wouldn’t you devote 15 or 20 minutes a week to keeping yourself organized if it meant peace of mind?
And part of the brilliance of the Bullet Journal system is it’s totally flexible and forgiving. Sure, you could just use it as a to-do list + calendar, and that would be sooooo much better than having sticky notes all over your house as reminders, but a Bullet Journal can (and I would argue, should) be so much more.
Let me offer just a few specific examples…
Meal Planning + Grocery List
Are you in charge of most everything your family eats? I am. Lots of mothers are. And that’s a HUGE responsibility!
Before I started my Bujo, I would usually show up at the grocery store with a short list and good intentions. I would roam the aisles sort of randomly throwing ingredients into my cart without really having a plan.
I always thought meal-planning was kind of crazy until I tried it and realized:
- it made my grocery shopping quicker and more focused.
- I no longer had nights of “What the heck are we eating for dinner??”
- and I spent less on groceries because I only bought what I needed to cook the meals I’d planned for the week.
My Bujo has made me a total meal-planning convert because I can quickly and easily plan out a week’s worth of meals and the accompanying grocery list on the adjacent page.
Let me ask you a question: How many days go by where you get into bed, completely exhausted, and realize you never exercised, you didn’t drink your 8 glasses of water, you didn’t take your vitamins or prescriptions…you basically didn’t take care of your body?
All the time, right?
What if you had a little reminder, all day long, of your responsibility to care for yourself? Wouldn’t you be more likely to make it happen? Yup.
That’s why many of us keep self-care trackers in our Bullet Journals. A little checklist of things we need (or want) to do every day to care for ourselves. And because the checklist shows up right next to your regular to-do list, there’s a constant reminder that you, too, are a priority!
As moms, one of the things that stresses lots of us out is housework: it’s always there, it’s never finished, and we’re supposed to get it done while raising a family. Yeah…
There are weeks when I get totally overwhelmed by the housework, but something that really helps me is making a schedule for getting it all done in manageable chunks. Okay, today I need to:
- Load of laundry
- Empty garbage
- Change sheets
- Vacuum upstairs (or whatever)
I’m not going to tackle everything all at once. But over the course of the week, I’ve basically cleaned the entire house. This is where the Bullet Journal helps me prioritize and execute!
When it comes to oil changes, I’m the WORST! I know I’m supposed to get my oil changed every six months or every 3,000 miles (um, is that right?), but I can never remember when I last had my oil changed if they don’t put one of those silly stickers on my windshield. And even if they do, I don’t remember to look!
I can be that way about a lot of tasks that don’t need daily attention:
- When was the last time we changed the air filters?
- When was the last time we vacuumed under the furniture?
- When was the last time we washed the comforters on the beds?
- When was the last time we replaced our toothbrushes?
Hello, that belongs in your Bujo! A simple calendar of maintenance tasks will keep you from wondering.
Has anyone else kept a log for a baby? A sleep log or a diaper log? How about a log of when the baby took a bottle and how many ounces? Which side did you last breastfeed on and how many minutes?
When I did my baby logs years ago, I’d find some template online, print it out, and fill it in. Before long, those pages were scattered all over the place, and they were utterly useless because I couldn’t see them in a sequence that gave me any sense of patterns or outcomes. Avoid the insanity: Make those logs in a Bujo!!
Or another motherhood-related Bullet Journal idea: any one else doing a little homeschooling over the summertime? We’re pretty casual over here, but the educator in me likes to have a basic game plan for each child for the week. What are our educational goals and how are we meeting them?
And stay tuned, because next week I’ll be addressing one of the most common concerns I’ve heard from mothers about staying organized: keeping a whole family’s activities, appointments, and schedules straight. I’ve got a tremendous new spread that I can’t wait to unveil!