🌳A holiday and a review: Bullet Journal Method
Earlier this year, I shared my intent for taking more short breaks and reading weeks in 2022. Well, last week I ticked another one off the list with a short jaunt to the beautiful town of Gerringong, NSW (Wodi Wodi land). Miraculously, we enjoyed a mostly dry trip, and it was perfect timing for me to sleep off the remnants of the spicy cough, get into some books, and ogle coastal walks with views like this:
A couple of local businesses I’d highly recommend checking out if you’re in that area are Mr Booch (Mangerton) for delicious home brewed kombucha and kombucha gelato, NuForm Pilates (Gerringong) for a solid workout, I Feel Good Cafe (Gerringong) for delicious plant based breakfasts, and Wax Lyrical bookshop (Berry) for new books and a lovely chat with the owner.
Here’s some other things I’ve been enjoying since we last spoke:
Podcast - Sounds Like a Cult: I’ve recently got into this podcast which digs into topics from across the popular culture spectrum (Disney adults, Instagram therapists, Veganism, and CrossFit, amongst many others) to look at the cult-like, and not-cult-like elements of them in order to answer the big question: is it a cult, or does it just sound like one? All done with a healthy dose of humour and thoughtful perspectives.
Audiobook: I’m a couple of hours into Patti Smith’s Just Kids, which is her memoir / autobiography based around her relationship with artist and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It’s beautifully written and told.
Book recommendations: I always fill up my Kindle pre-order list from Adam Grant’s quarterly book picks. There’s some great stuff coming out; I loved Imaginable (hear me raving about it on this week’s podcast), am enjoying Mastering Community, have Bittersweet queued up, and am excited about Big Feelings.
TV - Peaky Blinders series 6: I love the Shelby family, and this final ever series was as dramatic as the others. Very good.
Album - At Least for Now by Benjamin Clementine: I was reminded of this album recently and have been listening to it a lot on trains and planes. It’s haunting, mesmerising, and addictive. I adore. (Listen)
Melbourne Comedy Festival: it is an absolute joy to be back seeing live comedy, and the comedians are delighted to be back in Melbourne. Last week I saw Rhys Nicholson, David ODoherty, and Mark Watson, all of whom were outstandingly hilarious.
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PS. To borrow from Austin Kleon (and everyone else who borrows this from Austin Kleon), this newsletter and the podcast are 'free but not cheap'. You can support their ongoing creation by buying me a coffee as a one off 'thank you', purchasing a card from the Good Press card store, or leaving giving the podcast a (five 😉) star rating on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Thanks!
Review: The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
Ryder Carroll struggled to get organised and so developed this analogue method for managing everything from his meetings to his holidays. Then he wrote a book about it.
What I liked
I am a total junkie when it comes to any kind of productivity/time management content, and this one has a lot to love. I’d dabbled in some BuJo content before, but had never read the full approach. It has quite a lot of overlap with David Allen’s Getting Things Done, especially the concepts of using a notebook as external memory, migration of tasks, and collections. I particularly appreciated the focus on analogue - the process of writing things down, keeping them in a notebook, and using that as an anchor at the start and end of each day for reflection.
I also like that everything is in one place, rather than having all of your regularly captured information spread across a multitude of different notebooks, post it notes, scraps of paper, virtual notes, and calendars (guilty).
The book itself is a pleasant read as Ryder switches between teacher and friend mode, and despite the book being longer than expected, it’s easy to get through.
What I didn’t
I mentioned the book is longer than expected, and that’s because there’s a big chunk of self-help type content in there. There’s advice on everything from fighting perfectionism, finding meaning, being kind to yourself, starting small, and controlling what you can control. It’s all good information, but I found much of it unnecessary in this book, it maybe could have been a good companion book to a shorter method book.
As with any good productivity method, there’s a whiff of Messiah complex wafting through the pages. The book is peppered with stories from people who’ve healed ailments, improved their businesses, and saved lives as a result of using a Bullet Journal. I’m sure they’re all absolutely true, but there’s something a little bit ‘much’ about attaching these claims to the better use of a notebook.
I found myself suitably inspired to try the method out properly, with a couple of adaptations. For example, I will ignore the Future Log collection and transfer future tasks into my digital calendar instead.
If you’re someone who really struggles with organisation, this might be the approach that cracks things for you. Ryder shares his own experience with ADHD and how this approach filled a need that other advice/methods just couldn’t. And even if you’ve got a pretty good organisation system, it’s an easy enough read to flick through (especially the first 120 pages) and pick up a few ideas that might tweak or improve what you’re already doing.