Anyone who knows me personally would not consider me to be an organised human being. Not one jot. And while I preferred the term ‘controlled chaos’, my university life really came to a point where laughing my way through the stress of disorganisation just didn’t work anymore and I needed to sort myself out. Furthermore, disorganisation was making me miss out on things, lose motivation, and causing me to allow myself to wallow in the self pity of impending deadlines.
Understanding how my brain works was the most important thing to do, and luckily for me it was pretty easy. It was always quite clear to me that I am a visual thinker. If you are unsure of your learning style there are a plethora of online tests and quizzes that can help to point you in the right direction. Colours and pictures and writing lists is how I process things. Any other visual-thinker-readers may understand when I say, that trying to remember or achieve things without a visual aid is like trying to collect water in a colander.
I remember reading about the concept of Bullet Journal-ing way back during my Tumblr days. Although I appreciated the concept of the Bullet Journal, the meticulous codes and mathematical layouts I first saw associated with the community did not do it for me. I massively respect those who can use the coding system that the Bullet Journal originally grew from, but I found it far too creatively restrictive for it to work for myself. Several years down the line I was actually watching a Jamie Genevieve vlog where the beauty guru mentioned the videos of AmandaRachLee and how Amanda inspired her to try out ‘BuJo’. I was curious as I hadn’t heard anyone mention the Bullet Journal for a long time, and I found myself in awe of Amanda’s phenomenal artistic organisation method. Cut to me watching back to back videos about designing her creative weekly spreads and habit trackers.
About a week later my canary yellow Leuchtturm 1917 notebook was in my hands and I was ready to become the organised young woman I had always dreamed to be. I think I had this romantic idea in my head that I would suddenly be a master of calligraphy? It is safe to say this still hasn’t happened but eight months on my bullet journal is still my creative outlet, and my organisation bible. If I can’t be creative, I can’t think. That’s just an annoying fact about my brain – if it isn’t colourful and decorative and carefully designed, I don’t want to know. This has caused a multitude of brain blocks in my lifetime. There are times when it genuinely feels like I have a physical wall up in my mind and the only thing that I have found to resolve this has been going about my problem creatively. Granted, all the stationary I purchased for journal-ing purposes was almost definitely unnecessary, but those coloured pens and washi tape make me happy so I tell myself it’s okay and that I definitely don’t have a problem. In all seriousness, I genuinely believe that the act of keeping a journal with the aim of organisation, pulled my third year of university around and helped me bag my 2:1.
Although I no longer plan weekly spreads every single week like I did during university, I still turn to my journal in times of creative need. The act of designing a monthly theme and picking out a colour palette may seem whimsical, but in reality it keeps me fully grounded and determined to achieve. There’s something about writing down goals and dreams, complete with a bright arrangement of sunflowers, that makes them feel so much more tangible to me.
I never would have called myself an organised person, except perhaps on a CV. But through creating and colouring, I have actually grown as an individual. It seems mad to me that that little notebook has so much significance to my mental health and development, and that through spending an hour or two for myself and my Bullet Journal, I have somewhat solved my jumbled mind. I think there has been a noticeable change in my attitude and demeanour since I started this process. I am determined to achieve, and for the first time ever I can almost see the roads and opportunities available to me, just by going about things the way my brain needs me to. I know I always had the potential to organise my mind like this, and I am glad I have finally found the means.
Next step; my bedroom.