My 30 day Bullet Journal challenge

nursery glider and pouf ottoman

Sometime during the final weeks of my pregnancy, I lost my productivity–and I’ve yet to get it back.

Exhaustion is an enemy of productivity.

Few things frustrate me more than feeling unproductive, but I’m not terribly surprised by my current lack of productivity. After all, I’m only five weeks postpartum, and five weeks with a newborn (plus a toddler, plus mastitis) is exhausting.

nursery glider and pouf ottoman

Exhaustion plus disorganization is a big-time productivity killer.

On top of feeling tired, I also feel disorganized. I consciously uncoupled myself from email for the first two weeks or so after Asa was born, and my inbox* is still a frightful mess.

Then there’s my to-do list, which is literally all over the place. Unable to commit to a task management system, I’ve been scribbling work-related notes and tasks into an assortment of notebooks, plus using the Notes section on my iPhone. And that’s not counting the miscellaneous tasks logged on the Wunderlist app.

notebook and magazine stack on blue knitted pouf

As much as I want to take it easy during this self-imposed maternity leave, I’m eager to start getting back into my blogging groove. Yes, it’s work, but it’s work I enjoy. Not that I don’t enjoy taking care of Levi and Asa. But blogging is my creative outlet, as well as a way to support my family’s coffee addiction. I get a different kind of personal satisfaction from working than from raising my kids.

Knowing it may take months before I’m no longer tired all the time, my immediate goal is to get organized. Specifically, I want to consolidate my to-do lists so that they actually serve their intended purpose–to remind me of what I need to accomplish.

yellow notebook and poppin pen

For the next 30 days, I’m committing myself to using a Bullet Journal for all of my note taking. 

Have you heard of the Bullet Journal? With a simple notebook and a pen, bullet journaling allows you to “track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” I like how the system incorporates notes, tasks, and events (although I don’t think I’ll be using my journal as my primary calendar).

You don’t need a fancy notebook to start bullet journaling, but I thought using a cheerful yellow Moleskine might help motivate me to stick with it for a month. Sadly, I have a track record of giving up on to-do list systems and apps. By announcing my intention to stick with the Bullet Journal for all of April, perhaps I’ll be more likely to follow through.

Here’s a short video about the Bullet Journal:

What system/s do you use to stay organized and productive? Wanna try bullet journaling with me? Let me know, and I’ll come up with a way for us to hold each other accountable! Maybe a group Instagram hashtag? 

*If you’re waiting for an email response or phone call from me, I promise it’s coming. Eventually. (I hope.)

Let’s Discuss

  1. Katie Clay

    I was reading about Bullet Journaling yesterday! I’m intrigued, but can’t give up my planner. Keep us posted on how it works for you!

    • PJ

      I’ll be sure to share my progress at the end of the month! Out of curiosity — what type of planner do you currently use? Are you a paper or electronic girl?

  2. Julia

    I have a four month old and also recently turned to a bullet journal to help me get back in the groove. I still use a regular planner, but the bullet journal is super helpful as a repository for various notes and to do lists. That way when the baby surprises me by taking a 3 hour nap, I already know how to use that time productively without having to think about it.

    • PJ

      You perfectly summarized the purpose of a bullet journal – to “know how to use that time productively without having to think about it.” Like you, I also plan to use it as a place to jot down various notes and lists. I don’t think it’s made me more organized or productive yet…but I’m still hoping!

      What type of planner do you use in addition to a bullet journal?

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