Several readers had questions about starting a bullet journal. The most common question was: one journal or two?
When you’re starting out and you haven’t built a journaling habit, it’s usually best to stick with one notebook.
Your bullet journal: one or several?
In Bullet Journal Your Novel: Free Up Your Mind, And Write, I talked about my decision to create a new bullet journal for each novel. A comprehensive bullet journal, with one book for work, home and everything else, doesn’t work for me:
I found it too distracting to have my day job, my personal stuff, and my novels, all in the same Leuchtturm A5 hardcover notebook.
If you’re completely new to the bullet journal concept however, start here, and stick with one journal for a few months. You’ll soon adapt the method to your own needs.
Let’s look at some tips which will help you to get started.
1. Everyday carry: take your journal with you
A friend told me: “I put my BuJo into my bag each night—I’ve walked out of the house without it more than once.”
Take your journal with you everywhere. Choose a notebook which fits easily into your bag. And speaking of notebooks, get one with numbered pages so you don’t need to number the pages yourself.
2. If you’re writing fiction, use your BuJo to track your scenes
Your journal can make all the difference when it comes to writing fiction. Create Collections for plot, characters, revision ideas—whatever makes sense to you.
From this article on using a BuJo for fiction:
Keep a one-sentence summary of each scene in a BuJo “Scenes List” Collection while you’re writing. Then, on even the foggiest day, reading your Scenes List catches you up on the action of your novel.
3. Do you use Morning Pages? Create a Collection for your insights
Many writers and authors use Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages process.
An author from our writing group suggested creating a Collection to keep track of insights and ideas from your daily stream-of-consciousness writing.
She said: “I’ve filled several notebooks with Morning Pages. Searching hundreds of pages for useful material was a pain, until I created a Morning Pages Collection. I wish I’d done it sooner.”
4. Need to store a page digitally? Snap a photo of it
Occasionally you’ll create a page you’ll need again. Snap a photo of it and save it to your digital notebook.
I’m not a fan of manually transferring Collections to a new notebook when I need a new one, so I snap photos of every Collection in the old notebook.
I hope these tips inspire you.
Enjoy your bullet journal; it will soon become your most useful tool.
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