As fans of the bullet journal, we likely enjoy its flexible nature – that it can be as full or empty as it needs to be depending on your life and each moment. I’ve skipped days, or needed additional pages for some other days – and the bullet journal simply morphs with me. So that’s what makes it the perfect system for transitions – one that Austin Miller has recently gone through from college to “real world.” (I use quotes because well….. it’s all real life, real world.)
I am thrilled that he agreed to share his bullet journal with you today – because he’s awesome, funny, and his style is super functional and aesthetic in its simplicity, similar to the original system. Get it, Austin!
BULLET JOURNAL FOR ADULTING
I recently became a “real” adult. I’ve done fun little things like graduate college, start a desk job, sign up for health insurance, and opt out of the extra death and dismemberment coverage offered by my employer. (But it’s only an extra $2.47 a month—such a good deal!)
In this transition period, I’ve come to several weird realizations: I am no longer a student. I do not know what I’m doing in general. And thanks to all the changes, I have no idea how to use my bullet journal anymore.
There, I said it. (This is a fun admission because according to a friend, “YOU’RE INSTAGRAM FAMOUS!”—and Instagram famous people obviously know what they’re doing.) (I mean, don’t we? lolol – Jessica)
Being a student was easy. My semester was planned out thanks to the syllabus. I took the tasks outlined in the syllabus, stuck them into an itemized collection in my journal, transferred those items to a daily page so I’d actually do said tasks (though this generally happened after the task was due—sorry professors), and hoped I got a decent-ish grade.
Two months post-graduation and my life involves an 8-5, a lot of Netflix, and so much Chick-Fil-A that three different cashiers know my name and full order (before you judge, cooking for one is really hard and obnoxious, and I live 1 minute and 54 seconds away from Chick-Fil-A). Work tasks generally involve repetitive items like “respond to email” and “check breakroom for donuts.” Since I really haven’t taken the time to figure out how my journal fits into my new life, my journal has gone unused… for like a month.
I think we’ve all been there—good planning intentions fall by the wayside in light of a new season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Unfortunately, my life goes down the drain when I don’t plan, and I forget to do things like respond to personal email and write guest blog posts, so the past week I decided to take some of my own advice. I admitted that I was currently sucking at planning and decided to reevaluate my journal completely. Sometimes you just need a complete and total reset.
I made a list of the things I needed to get done with my journal:
- Completing daily tasks. (Well, duh.)
- Expense tracking. (Did I really spend $50 at Chick-Fil-A last week? Yes, yes I did.)
- Meal planning. (Did I mention that I ate out enough to spend $50 at Chick-Fil-A last week? And this doesn’t even include my numerous Chipotle runs.)
- Exercise schedule. (“Exercise” might as well be a foreign word to me currently, but maybe if I start now, I’ll get my summer beach bod ready by Christmas—or not.)
- House cleaning routine. (Though I am considering an alternative solution: hire a maid.)
Today I forced myself to use my journal throughout my whole day. Tomorrow I’m setting aside some time to figure out how I want to track expenses, and the next day I’ll work on the next point until I figure out how to fulfill each function with my journal.
Sometimes it’s okay to lose it and publicly admit to it. Who knows, maybe some of you feel the same way about your journal and need a reset too.
I want to know—ever had a journaling crisis or got stuck in a rut? What did you do about it?
Austin Miller is a photographer, coffee lover, NPR addict, and recently-graduated “young professional” (he doesn’t know what that means either). Desk job worker by day, Instagrammer by slightly later in the day (have to catch that perfect evening light), Miller shares his bullet journal (mis)adventures at @minimaljournal and his personal life at @amillerphoto.