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Why Keep a Bullet Journal? A Student’s Argument For Organizing Thoughts and Ideas

Last fall, I introduced my teenagers to bullet journaling. My kids have fallen in love with it because it has really met all of their schedule planning and note taking needs. It's also enlists their creative sides, which makes it even more fun to use.

I asked my son to share his perspective on how his bullet journal has helped him organize his thoughts and ideas. He was more than willing to share!

Why Keep a Bullet Journal?

by Andy Strauss

“Always speak the truth, think before you speak, and write it down afterwards.” -Lewis Carroll.

It’s one thing to create a beautiful idea, but it’s a whole other story when it comes to recalling that idea at the desired time. Undoubtedly, no one can deny that they forget things every once in awhile. Some people are born to conjure and recall ideas, but most of us forget ideas ten minutes after we had just remembered them.

It’s called drawing a blank.

Ideas come and go like shooting stars, and it takes a brilliant mind to remember what those flying flames looked like. Interestingly, modern man has discovered a way to snatch those shooting stars right out of the sky and keep them in their possession forever. It’s called the bullet journal.

Basically, a bullet journal is any kind of journal kept for writing things down. Not only does it allow the possessor to write his thoughts down, but also to customize, compact and collect them in such a manner that is fitting to its owner.

Unlike store bought planners, a bullet journal gives its owner the opportunity to turn his/her plan into their very own. Before I uncovered the wonders of a bullet journal, I used a daily planner to arrange my school work across the week. As a homeschooler, I loved this planner and used it often, but little did I know the opportunity of bullet journals.  

Not only did the planner limit my plan to six subjects, but also cut all other space for writing down anything other than school. Switching from a cramped planner to an open journal, I found planning enjoyable. With a bullet journal, one can create a plan, organize their collected shooting stars, or take note notes in as unique a style as their personality.

Multiple times when those ideas show their faces, one will write them down on the first markable object nearby, whether that be on a random sheet of paper, on an app, a sticky note, a whiteboard, or even the wall for that matter. With this arrangement, notes become rather scattered.

Sticky notes cover the wall, the whiteboard fills up, and it takes the collection of five separate notebooks kept in five separate places to find separated notes and plans. When one has a bullet journal on hand, every single church note, school to-do list, book reading list, idea, thought, callander, prayer and epiphany ends up in the same place. Often times I find myself referring to my bullet journal as my “everything book.” If I ever need to find an idea, I know where to look.

My favorite aspect of keeping a bullet journal is that I have a record of my thoughts and studies from the year. Throughout the year, notes, plans, schedules, and dashes of creativity will fill up a loved bullet journal. By the end of the year, one will be able to look back on every idea that has been conjured during the previous year.

If a idea is written on a random sheet of paper, a sticky note, or a whiteboard, that idea is easily erased from any material existence. Creating a collection of ideas, one can rediscover and apply any idea left behind to new experiences. Diamonds hide in the rough. Imagine being able to recall thoughts from over 7,000 hours of thinking. The results would be remarkable.

Some object to the use of bullet journals. Of course, there are people who can remember important events or tasks. As the sorns (aliens) from C.S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet say, “It is better to remember.”  While there are those who remember some, man was not made to remember everything. Man can employ his brain to the task of memorization, but a bullet journal can be used to man’s advantage to lessen his load. Memorization is too difficult to completely replace the beauty of a bullet journal.

Like the sweet smell of a morning wind or the presence of dew on the cool grass, a bullet journal is like a beautiful ambrosia of the mind. The ability to customize, compact, and collect your ideas removes the stress of remembering, and leaves the presence of peace in its midst. Why bullet journals? With a bullet journal, peace will be abundant, writing paper will never be absent, planning will become enjoyable, and your ideas will be memorable.

2 Comments

  1. Marae on June 4, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Thank you taking your time to present your thoughts on a bullet journal system as a student!
    You show forth the consequences of diligence in your studies by having crafted a finely executed and enhanced essay!

  2. Kay Stumbo on August 31, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Beautifully written Andy! I hope my daughter comes out of Challenge as articulate as you are. We are enjoying Latin with Andy too! Thanks so much for your efforts in creating that program. My daughter has just started Challenge A here in Windsor, CO. We are off to a pretty good start. Just received our bullet journals today, so hopefully that helps her organize better. Thanks for your comments here!

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