Tick Boxing for Beginners

Feather20Pen20ClipArtAs a compulsive list maker, I’ve decided it’s time to reveal my interest in Bullet Journaling.

I first stumbled across the concept of BoJo (Really? Really?) when I was researching journaling for an upcoming writing course I’m running (more of that later);  God Bless the internet and all who sail in her!

(One of the reasons I often work on an old laptop that doesn’t have Wi-Fi capability is that I’d be forever ‘researching’ rather than writing. But I digress.)

Bullet Journaling is an organisational tool for people who like lists (me, me, ME!). It’s a system of cross-referencing information in your daily life and keeping track of it in one place –  a Bullet Journal.

In a nutshell, it’s a fancy book of lists. And I’ve been doing it for years without realising that  the technique  has now been developed commercially, spiked with jargon and given a trendy name.

There are hundreds of examples to look at on the internet – along with videos of well-manicured hands turning a simple, monochrome copy book (Irish for exercise book) into a colourful kick-ass tome of lists-with-pictures.

The joy of bullet journaling is that it can be as simple as a combination of lists of things to do and then ticked as done, or as complex as a  fancy year planner dotted with coloured  lines, pictures and cross-references. The pages in your book can be as plain and functional as a shopping list.  Or they can be as colourful and arty as something you’d like to display in a frame on the wall. You choose.

For a writer, lists can be a useful creative tool –  great for prompting and recording ideas. And, of course, they are very necessary for recording activity and progress. I keep lists of writing competitions and submission opportunities , and I cross reference them with details of past  writing successes (and failures) and looming deadlines.

I combine the Bullet Journal  techniques with a ‘Dear Diary’ sort of journal which helps me dump onto paper all the confusing stuff that’s going on in my head at 2am. It’s a (private!) sanity-saving trick that’s well documented by professionals as being a good thing to do.

Which is how come I’m going to be sharing my knowledge over the course of four afternoons in September, hopefully encouraging newbies to dip their toes into the world of journaling.

My ‘Keeping a Journal’ course will be  in Charlestown Arts Centre, County Mayo, every Wednesday from 2pm until 4pm, starting on September 7th. I’ll be kick-starting  the journaling process with some scrapbooking materials  and creative writing prompts – and digging deep to find something personal we can all write about for posterity.

There. That’s another box ticked. Now where did I put my shopping list? I know I wrote one, but where on earth did I leave it?


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