If you ask me, I’m a creative through and through, so I’d think that I identify more with being a ‘Type B’ personality. To my surprise, I was proven to be wrong. After taking numerous tests, I’m a ‘Type A’ personality without a doubt.
As a ‘Type A’ personality, I’m expected to be super-organized, ambitious, competitive, and a dominant figure, always eager to help others. ‘Type A’ people can also be friendly and caring, but cannot sit for long periods and chit-chat about “nothing.” Perfectionists at heart, failure is never an option, and we hate being bad at things. Natural pessimists and highly prone to stress, but people can always count on us to be reliable and a leader because of our work ethic and boss mentality.
For me, organization is therapeutic and necessary to my sanity. If I’m candid, my life can be super chaotic, and my surroundings are often cluttered beyond belief. Having too many of those red notification bubbles on my iPhone makes me stressed, a scribble on my paper will make me tear the whole thing out, and my clothes even need to be hung a certain way; it makes me kind of OCD.
Being a long-time lover of systems and organization, there’s a system for pretty much everything that I do. Many people close to me have agreed that I am so organized that I’m messy (definitely not bragging about that one). Either way, I am obsessed with neat, well-put-together, and organized things.
With my affinity for organization and systems, it only makes sense that I am a bit of a “Plan-NERD.”
In one way or another, I’ve always had a pen between my fingers and paper beneath my hand. From my drawings and doodles that got me into art school to continually rewriting my ABCs to perfect my handwriting and writing the occasional poem. Writing, planning, and journaling have always been inconsistently incorporated into my daily life.
When I was in high school, keeping a daily planner was one of the main requirements that played a part in graduation.
Every morning, before we went to our classrooms, the entire school gathered in the lunch area for “Pick-Me-Up” meetings. These meetings consisted of the morning welcome, announcements, recognition, and anything else we all needed to know for that day. After being dismissed to homeroom, our teachers would tell us to write the day’s schedule, memos, assignments, tests, due dates, and any other relevant information in our planners.
Not to mention, I’m a HUGE stationary junkie! Pens, markers, journals, paper, notebooks, pencils, highlighters, you name it, I AM OBSESSED!
At any given moment, you can find me on YouTube binge-watching planner and calligraphy videos, and scrolling Pinterest for hours, fawning over clean, precise, and expressive writings and journals (don’t judge me!).
I love the feeling of writing, so much that you’d probably never hear me turn down the opportunity to write for any reason. I take pride in my handwriting, and I look for ways to improve it and try new things whenever I can spare the time.
Walking into a store and heading straight for the aisles with stationery and supplies was no one-time thing for me.
Browsing through the books and flipping through the pages to find that thick, bright white paper in a journal that lays completely flat was my happy place. If I was lucky, whatever store I was in at the time also sold loose pens and such that I could try out. The joy of finally experiencing what it felt like to hold that pen between my fingers, press it down, and feel it glide across the paper was a special kind of treat.
No matter how much I told myself that I wouldn’t make any spur-of-the-moment purchases, I somehow always left with a journal or pen that I felt would have so much purpose in my life. This recurring habit is ultimately what lead to me amassing a large number of journals, stationery, and other writing tools that were never used as I’d intended.
Time after time, I’d convince myself that this new thing had a grand purpose and jump straight into planning how I was going to start that new habit. Each time I’d manage to go strong for a short while before the spark would gradually fade and leave me with an abundance of incomplete journals with unachieved goals.
Between being required to keep a planner in high school for graduation and my stationery obsession, planning is a habit that has always been second nature to me.
Upon starting college, I was introduced to the unicorn magic of Apple’s iOS.
With iOS, I gained a new appreciation for interconnectivity and consistency between my electronic devices. My newfound love for iOS was the start of my technologically-driven obsession with automation and convenience.
A LAZY, DIGITAL-CENTRIC MILLENNIAL AT ITS FINEST!
No longer was I taking the time to physically write things out (outside of class). My computer and other devices are where all of my writing started to take place. Nonetheless, my love for stationery and physical writing tools remained intact.
Even though writing had become a scarcity for me in the physical sense, I still had a desire to write and plan my day in between partying, stressing, and being in class. It didn’t matter how unsuccessful I was at being consistent with it.
Miserably failing at something that I was so passionate about, technology became my sole tool for writing, creativity, and productivity.
No matter how dysfunctional it proved to be, as long as I had iOS, I pressed on with managing my life digitally. A few years ago, that all came to a halt when all of my Apple devices started giving out on me at the same time. One by one, I lost them all — first, my iPod went, and shortly after that went my MacBook, iMac, iPhone, and finally my iPad.
Once I lost the convenience of having my calendars, notes, memories, and everything else all synced together and easily accessible, it was like my life broke. My productivity, daily habits, motivation, and memory suffered a MAJOR reduction. I wasn’t writing at all, my productivity and timeliness sucked, and all of my technology was now gone.
Since then, my mission has been to find my way back to physically writing to get my life back on track.
Maintaining a writing or journaling habit has a list of benefits that never seems to stop growing.
No matter where you turn, studies, books, YouTube, or articles, you name it. Keeping a journaling or writing habit is a practice that can be very successful in many ways, taking on many different forms based on the purpose behind it.
From daily planning and life management to creative expression, mindfulness, problem-solving, and goal achievement, among other things, journaling is an excellent tool for anyone to use, no matter the age or gender. Whether it be journaling therapy, gratitude journals, habit trackers, daily reflections, task planning, and the like, the list can go on and on.
The more research that I did, the more it was confirmed that journaling was just the thing I needed to get my shit together. In no time, my search leads me to discover the Bullet Journal phenomenon. It’s the new journaling trend that some consider “the Marie Kondo of to-do lists,” and are calling it the “KonMari for your racing thoughts.”
What is a Bullet Journal?
In a nutshell, the Bullet Journal (or BUJO) system is seen as the most divine organizational system and productivity tool to help anyone live a more mindful and meaningful life. This is the analog, rapid logging method here to disrupt the Digital Age and help us connect to the most basic form of mindfulness.
Creator, Ryder Carrol, a New York-based designer, says the Bullet Journal is meant to help you “track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”
The funny thing of it all is that Ryder never intended for this unique journaling method that he’d developed to keep himself organized and mindful to go viral. In merely sharing his process with close friends that he thought would help, the Bullet Journal trend spread like wildfire. The world couldn’t help but take notice of, developing a cult-like following.
Want to know more about Bullet Journaling? It’s probably best for you to pop by the site directly, read the book, or watch the video of Ryder Carroll explaining the gist of it himself:
Convincing me that this was the tool for me was a no-brainer, and I was eager to jump right into the Bullet Journal way. I dove head-first into the rabbit-hole full of Pinterest pins, Instagram photos, niche bloggers, and online communities dedicated to BUJO. It sparked my interest as a tool that I could use to release some of my creative desires and redevelop a writing habit that I could stick to. (I’ll let you know how that goes)
I will be using my Tumblr blog to catalog my progress and keep me interested, inspired, and accountable while exploring myself through journaling for mindfulness and growth. Hopefully, I won’t let my ‘Type A’ side that wants perfection, or my ‘Type B’ side that’s bouncing off the walls with creativity get the best of me where I’m not productive at all.