I’ve resolved to try and be more active on here.

Baby C is settling into his routine. The twins are who the twins are (which at this point is a couple of nutballs mixed with love of all things Pokemon and a penchant for making wife and I laugh when we’re trying to discipline them).

But I’m a big believer in the New Year, and embracing change, so I’ve resolved to pick up a practice I stopped right around the time The Pandemic started: Bullet Journaling.

If you need a quick breakdown, honestly, the YouTube Intro video does a dynamite job, and in only 4 minutes, so I would check that out if this interests you. Other than that, I press on:

I understand there’s a grand tradition of people out there who like to treat their Bullet Journals as art projects. To them, every Habit Tracker and Daily Log is a chance to let their creative expression show. This can be good, especially if you work a job where artistic expression isn’t really called for.

However, what I found when I started doing some Bullet Journal research (to see if there were any new methods I might want to try out) was a series of videos all about how people were quitting Bullet Journal.

These were the same people who liked to make their daily water intake log look like an ornate art installation dedicated to the preservation of a

Don’t do this.

Or do. But don’t let it stress you out. They key to a good BuJo, or any practice really, is remembering the practice is supposed to help you, not hinder you. If you’re losing your mind every month, trying to come up with a fresh way to show you’ve drank enough water for the day, then stop doing it that way. I think once the trackers spread, and the innovative layouts caught on within the journaling sphere, people thought they needed to keep up with the trends. I recall a time when I wanted to keep track of the books I read for the year so I drew a bookshelf across two pages towards the front of my BuJo and drew in books with the title on the spine to mark when I finished one.

It took way too long.

Keep it simple.

Here’s mine.

My Index is an index.

Monthly Log. I think the thing I wished I had done was center it, so I could write holidays on one side of the page and events/deadlines on the other. I did that with the 2018 version and I really liked it.

“But, Robert, didn’t you say don’t draw fancy things on your BuJo pages to make you less crazy?” That Level Up bar took 17 seconds to draw and I never have to draw it again.

Writing Project Breakdowns go here.

Books, Movies/TV Shows, and Podcasts all get a page like this. Title on the left. Rating (out of 5) on the right. That’s it.

Once the Daily Logs for the month start, the Habit Tracker goes at the start. Think of it as a Title Page for the days ahead. It’s adjustable, so if I want to keep track of something one month doesn’t mean I have to include it on the next month. For January, for example, I’m making sure I read at least 2 books a day to Baby C. I feel he hasn’t been exposed to as many books as his brothers had, so I’m doing what I can to change that. Once I feel I’m in a good groove, then I won’t track it here anymore.

Oh, and water is 9 cups (or 72 ounces) a day.

And that’s it. There’s a Future Log (just before the Monthly) but that’s so boring I didn’t even want to share it. Once you’re off and running, you should have pages like these, taken from my 2018 edition:

Sensitive names have been blocked out.

It should look messy. Of course it should look messy. Life is messy. But this thing, this habit, should do a good job of helping you keep things organized.

It’s 2023. Time to get to work.

Thanks for reading,

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Contact: robertmichaelacosta@gmail.com