Book Review – The Bullet Journal Method

Author : Ryder Carroll
Print Copy | Kindle
A year ago I watched the Ted talk of Ryder Carroll. He talked about a system with the help of which he bet the Attention deficit syndrome he was struggling with. I was impressed and wanted to read more about the system with the help of which he achieved it but I totally forgot about it.
 
In the past one year, I had been maintaining various journals and as a part of understanding what bullet journal is about I picked up this book. To my surprise, it is a combination of the all the journals I did in the past combined into one system. It was nice to read the book as it was a validation for whatever I did so far.
 
Will I also combine all my journals into one and say that I am writing a bullet journal? No. What worked for him, won’t work for me.You can ask me how can I say that without trying. I will be tired by the time I learn all rules and it will curb my creativity. I prefer everything digital as it is easy to carry around instead of a book which I can’t have with me all the time. Even if I get a small book, my handwriting is big and it won’t even suffice me for a week.
 

Why should you read this book?

 
If you have got no clue about journaling and want a rule book to start off with, you should read this. The book doesn’t talk about only journaling but revolves around one of the main benefits of journaling which is intentionality. It repeatedly tells you why it is important to know why you are doing what you are doing. He explains a few Japanese techniques like Kaizen, FIVE WHYS, wabi sabi and how they can be incorporated into your bullet journal. There are also examples from his life how bullet journal helped him in tough situations of life which will motivate and guide you to start using it.
 

Summary

 
The book is divided into 4 blocks – Preparation, The system, The Practise and The Art. The first block gives you real life stories of how bullet journal helped the users. The second block is more of theory. The rules you need to know to start your bullet journal. The third block is more of motivational concepts to help you understand how you can use it. The last block talks about the practicality and other logs which you want to maintain.
 
What do you think of bullet journal? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
 
Happy Bullet Journaling!
 

2019 Week 13 Challenges

One of the achievements I am proud of is marketing my article on social media. I was finding it very tough to make some time to publish my article all these days.  But this week, I made the poster and also publicized it over social media.
 

Review of week 12

 
1.Exercise
 
I went for running and jogging everyday. This week was the longest streak for this in months now. There is no greater a joy than getting back to regular exercising.
 
2.Thought tracker
 
I felt a lot more productive this week just because of the thought tracker. It was quite helpful for me to stay in the present. I had a long to-do list on the first two days. The list kept coming down over the week. I need to continue this over the next weeks until I become productive in an auto pilot mode.
 
3.Photography
 
I made a little bit progress in photography. Previously I used to avoid clicking on manual mode in DSLR. But this week, I took the plunge and discovered the perfect settings for my pictures. I always wanted to click a bird going into the moon. I couldn’t succeed in that but clicked something similar to that. I had to wait for 10 minutes at the same spot to place the bird the way I wanted it to look like. Another picture which I always wanted to click was a moon with the craters. It wasn’t really a successful picture but it was good enough to satisfy me. I did this on Friday night after working for 15 hours at office. It made me realize how mad I was about photography. Apart from these, I clicked a close up picture of Eagle which made my day.
 
4.Zero to One
 
Finally, I finished one book in my long to-read list for the year. But the sad thing about the book is I don’t have anything to implement from it. I read it. I enjoyed it. I ticked it off on my list. End of story. But for someone who is wanting to start-up, it is a good book to know what mistakes to avoid.
 

Plans for week 13

 
1.Where is my time going?
 
I want to start maintaining an activity log. I will note the time at the start of an activity and end of an activity. This means that if I have to do justice for my time, I should not have any distractions in between. This also means that at the end of the day, I will cut slack the useless activities of the day.
 
What will come to my rescue? I will use your time in your hands application to track the time I splurge on social media.
 
2.Words
 
Recently, I noticed that I was stumbling to recollect the right fit of words in sentences. I want to take a common list of words and write as many synonyms as possible daily. This helps me in words recollection and also builds up my vocabulary when I learn the synonyms which I didn’t know.
 
Below is the words list to start off with. Just one word a day.
[emaillocker] Vocabulary builder [/emaillocker]
3.Affirmations
 
To make this a sustainable habit, I will do it just in the night. Every night before going to sleep, I will think of the one thing I want to attract in the next one week. I will start small and then move to bigger things in life. The people around me who I consider as successful do this practise diligently. Even in my life, it worked pretty well for a few things. I just need to learn to harness it for other areas too.
 
4.Meditation
 
When I am committing to this, I am doing it with a fear of failure. You all know how many times I failed at maintaining a streak in meditation. That left me with a self-doubt of if I can ever do this. But last week, my meditation trainer was stern about me practicing it daily. So I did for the next two days. But I didn’t find it sustainable to do it on my own. Hence I found a place near my house to go for daily. If not daily, I am hoping to go at least twice a week to start with and improve slowly.
 
The saddest part of this week is I have to return the camera I borrowed from a friend. This translates to me not having an apparatus to improve my photography skills. I will need to figure out what I can do as an alternative.
 
How was your week 12? What are your plans for week 13?
 
Happy Week 13!

2019 Week 12 Challenges

The last week was one hell of a hectic week. The good part being I have 6263 words for my book most of it were written over the weekend.
 

Review of Week 11

 
1.Photography
 
In the past one week, two of them asked if they can use the photos I clicked as their wallpaper. I think it is a good enough appreciation to measure the improvement of my photography skills.
 
2.Zero to One
 
I had this book under the list of books to read to learn about finance. But this book is more about businesses and the market. I learnt a few important concepts and this book got me thinking. I have 80 more pages left to finish it.
 
3.Gratitude
 
It felt good to write in the gratitude journal. The feel of pen on the paper is totally different from typing it on the laptop. I felt it more powerful and it helped me look at the positive in the negative.
 

Plans for week 12

 
The problem I had been facing in the past 11 weeks is that whatever I start, it is lasting just for a week or two. I am not able to sustain it for a longer time which makes doing the habit for that week an experience and not really a habit. In order to counteract that, I will start with small habits from now on and make them sustainable for a lifetime. If the use of the habit becomes obsolete, then I will remove it. If it is bringing a huge impact in my life, I need to definitely stick to it.
 
1.Plan clothes for the week
 
One of the most trivial decisions you take every morning is what to wear and you lose your cool when you can’t find anything apt for the occasion which in turn is an absolute waste of energy. Instead, if you organise your clothes for the week, you can use that energy and decision quota of the day for better things. Then you will understand why Mark Zuckerberg wears an uniform. He doesn’t waste his decisions on deciding clothes.
 
Every weekend, this is my top priority. This is a must for a lifetime.
 
2.Thought tracker
 
I will write down all the significant thoughts of my day as and when they come. This helps me avoid repetitive thoughts.
 
This is a time consuming activity. I had tried this many times in the past but couldn’t sustain it for a long time. I will keep doing this until I learn to stay in the present.
 
3.An hour a day
 
When I focus in terms of words, I am not able to do justice to my goals. Because sometimes I spend time on reading literature on the same. Instead, when I set aside a focussed hour daily for this, I will have the satisfaction of working towards the bigger picture.
 
That’s all for this week.
 
How was your week 11? What plans for week 12?
 
Happy week 12!

2019 Week 11 Challenges

Week 10 was an eventful week. I could do two interesting tasks which I had not planned for.
 

Review of week 10

 
1.Connect online
 
With an intention to up my photography skills, I started contacting photographers who have a lot of followers on Instagram. Unlike the ones in self-improvement niche, photographers don’t know how to really guide. The first one was helpful and suggested me to watch Youtube channels of Manny Ortiz, Thomas Heaton and Peter Mckinon. This gave me inspiration to connect with more. But the second one asked me to like and share his photograph which was sent for a contest without replying to my question. It was sort of a rejection but then it showed me the reality that not everyone will be interested in guiding you. They just want to make use of the opportunity which came their way. They are not pro yet. The third one gave a vague reply asking me to search on google. At this point, I almost lost the interest in reaching out to more. But the fourth one, whose pictures were like expert bird photographers, gave a sound advice when I asked how to click good pictures of birds. He asked me to study the birds before I go click them. That way I can expect their behavior and click my dream pictures. He followed me back and liked the pictures of birds I clicked. It was indeed encouraging. The fifth one sent me a video when I asked him how he clicked the picture. The sixth one had an amazing profile of flowers. I reached out to her to ask how she can click normal flowers in a wonderful perspective. She looked like someone who doesn’t want to share her secrets and asked me “Are you worried?”. But then she went to my profile and liked a few of my pictures. On the seventh day, I contacted a lady wildlife photographer about the challenges she faces but haven’t got a reply yet.
 
2.Courses
 
I did a course on Google Ads fundamentals to get some basics on digital marketing.
 
3.Writing book
 
I could write only 1000 words for my book but I kept collecting ideas for it.
 
4.Affirmations
 
When I kept repeating to myself that I want to lose weight, I got some practical advise to start off with. Even if I target losing one kg a month, I can lose 10 kgs by the end of this year.
 
5.Night walk
 
This was one of the most beautiful starting step for couple goals. It gave us the undivided attention which is impossible in our busy hectic lives.
 

Plans for week 11

 
1.Gratitude
 
I had written a gratitude journal many times. But not a lot of times I shared it with others. I want to share with my husband how he makes me feel special everyday. I selected a purple memo book with a purple pen for that.
 
2.Skipping
 
I will do 300 count with skipping rope daily. One minute of jumping burns 10 calories.
 
3.Zero to One
 
This book has been on my wish list for a really long time. I borrowed this book for this week. Hence forced to finish it.
 
How was your week 10? What are your plans for week 11?
 
Happy week 11!
 

2019 Week 10

Week 9 is a recovering week from all the commotion in life. Getting back to routines is one of the toughest phases. Even though I didn’t have a lot of things planned for the week, I could make time for a few to get back the momentum.
 
1.Photography
 
I started watching a few youtube videos for practical advise on clicking amazing photographs. As a part of that, I learnt about composition. Just a few tips and I religiously observed those tips in every perfect photograph on Instagram and tried to apply them in the pictures I clicked too. This was a good start for the week. Learning just one aspect and applying them made a huge difference. I want to apply this to other areas of my life too.
 
2.Free writing
 
I wrote a lot more words in my diary this week than I did any time before. It helped me clear my brain and focus on what’s more important from all the clutter which had been running. I wish to continue this every morning and night to gather more benefits from this.
 
3.Writing book
 
Apart from collecting points for the book, I started writing down ideas in sentences. Also, I took the efforts to write as an article and could write 2000 words this week.
 

Plans for week 10

 
I moved into my new home last weekend. This week a majority of my time will go off in setting up the new house. I am very far off from the goals I set for myself at the start of this year but it is always fine as long as you are moving even if you are not running.
 
1.Affirmations
 
The instructions you give to your sub conscious mind make a significant change in your life. I want to remind myself four times a day that I want to lose weight.
 
2.Writing book
 
I want to write at least 3000 words this week. Also, do some research to gather scientific reasons for what I am writing
 
3.Night walk
 
The only time you can give undivided attention to your partner is when you go for long walks without any electronic devices. Every night I want to go for a walk with him to catch up with our lives.
 
4.Decision Journal
 
Most of the times you are consumed by hindsight bias. In order to avoid that, it is a good habit to write the thought process behind every significant decision you make in life. This will also help you to refine your thought process.
 
How was your week 9? What are your plans for week 10?
 
Happy week 10!