I work really well under pressure.
It’s probably one of my best qualities; I do some of my best work when I’m in a high-stress environment.
In fact, I’ve been told by a few co-workers that my endless to-do lists make me seem like I’m an organized person who has it all together.
They would be wrong.
I am exceptionally bad at planning out things in my personal life, and when it comes to chores, there’s a lot to be desired. It’s why the idea of bullet journaling, or, mindfully and methodically planning out one’s day/week/month to maximize productivity, seems so enthralling.
It’s more creative and interactive than a traditional planner, and allows the person behind the pen to create the best plan for their personal productivity. It can include layouts with habit trackers (think: drinking water, exercising, doing dishes), weekly to-do lists, both short- and long-term goals or anything one’s imagination allows them to do.
For inspiration, I mainly watch AmandaRachLee on YouTube (youtube.com/user/amandarachlee). She has a drawing background and often does videos while creating artistic bullet journal layouts. Being that bullet journaling focuses on productivity, rather than art skills, it’s an accessible hobby for nearly everyone.
It starts with a blank notebook. Any type of notebook will do, but most people who bullet journal swear by dotted journals.
I decided to go with a Leuchtterm1917 A5 journal ($19.99 at Barnes & Noble) in a royal blue color. On the front, I put a sticker of the Nintendo character Kirby baking cookies (sticker from Soft Serve Spooks in Building Character, at 342 N. Queen St. in downtown Lancaster).
In starting out my bullet journal, I wanted several pages in the front to be dedicated to things I enjoy, and I wanted this journal to be dedicated to 2021.
My first few pages are dedicated to what books, movies, TV shows and albums I listen to in 2021. That way, I can page back through at the end of the year and remember all the media I consumed.
Next is my goals page for 2021. Some of my goals include going back to Duolingo to practice Spanish, taking more time to practice art and learning the basics of computer coding, among other things.
I also have a separate page for my work goals to write down my hopes for this job, as well as my side candle-making business.
I haven’t yet decided if I'm going to include habit trackers, or layouts that promote building healthy habits by keeping track of a certain daily activity (think washing dishes, exercising, etc.). I struggle with my mental health at times, and the guilt felt by not fulfilling a task when I’m meant to could end up derailing any progress made.
Although bullet journals are focused toward productivity, rather than the cathartic writings one typically thinks about when journaling, I do think I’m going to write down as many things that I’m thankful for as I can, so when I flip back through the year, I can remember what small things I held near and dear to my heart.
I look forward to a full journal and a bountiful, beautiful 2021.
- Mickayla Miller is an LNP | LancasterOnline website producer. “Unscripted” is a weekly entertainment column produced by a rotating team of writers.