Over the last few months I’ve been working on a lot of personal development stuff (an on-going journey toward minimalism and a capsule wardrobe, embracing the mess, for starters). I’ve even started a new bullet journal to keep all my collections in as I go through this process, and lately it’s been focused on my desire to learn more about local politics and how I can exercise my power as a US citizen.
Caveat: Although my content is about politics, focus on the method and the HOW I’m using my notebook as well to see how it can be useful to you. Whether or not you are interested in Politics specifically, this is a way I’m using my bullet journal to actively LEARN about something I didn’t know about before – so interject your own version, whether that’s learning about movie-making or a history topic or your family tree.
With all the turmoil and division that have occurred in the last year, it ignited this question in my heart about what I can do as an individual – knowing that I DO matter in the process and that there are ways we can influence the system. But where do I start? First, I took the time to sit down and investigate – and I’m lucky enough to stumble upon a website movement in Minnesota called “Give a Shit Minneapolis,” which breaks down the process in easier terms, which I take notes on in my bullet journal.
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There are studies on studies on how to take notes that you’ll actually remember – but bottom line of almost all of them tell us that handwritten notes, especially ones that involve visual drawing, are the ones that stick with us the most. So, as I learn about various things, I am reaffirmed in my choice to do a combo of lettering and sketchnotes.
As I took notes in the main body, I separated out the “to do” items on the right-hand side, much like I do with my work notes. This keeps it visually tidy and yet free at the same time. Using a mix of casual boxes, colors, and fonts I can keep visual interest while writing down important information.
I wanted to define what a Caucus was, and have the important date information down – this is where local folks gather to decide who they want to nominate from the party to be on the ballot in the local election. So, before elections even take place, there are little events that determine who people see on that Tuesday – it matters!
A huge barrier for me is not knowing what to expect, so this website and the resources it links to really helps break it down in an accessible way – making this newbie grateful for the translators of Scary-Jargony-Lawyer-Sounds to casual and engaging.
Page Threading: In the lower left you can see I’ve listed off the candidates running for each of the races – and a little box next to each. I intend on learning more about each candidate by starting a new collection and taking notes from their platform pages. Then I can put the page number next to it and keep track of them all in one place.
This would be an example of how I’d thread collections into the previous page – which helps relieve the pressure of having all the pages next to one another.
Additionally this is an example of the ghosting of the Crayolas and Le-Pen through the Leuchtturm paper. This isn’t extremely bothersome to me in this case, but it is very apparent!
If you want to see how Leuchtturm paper compares to Rhodia paper, check this review and comparison out.
Lastly, if you have been like me and NOT called your representatives because of that extra step of looking up who your representatives are, finding their info, etc – this is the app for you. I downloaded Countable (android, apple) and it has been amazing at making the process easier in staying updated on issues I care about, including news and the bills that are up for votes. You can indicate directly whether you say “yay” or “nay” and your representative hears it – an easier way to make your voice heard.
For all the people who can’t, and for people whose voices usually go unheard, I am committing to doing more than I have in the past to create a better world ahead (for as many of us as possible).
So, I’ll continue logging my progress and sharing that with you (probably on my Instagram page) – because we are always learning! These notebooks and bullet journals log more than our tasks, but our desires and intentions and leave the legacy of the life we are actively building. I’d love to hear more about how you incorporate lifelong learning into your notebook, or how you’ve done more to be an engaged citizen in the comments or via email – I am a newbie and would love to hear!