Bullet Journaling 101 – Pandemic Edition

If you’re like me and are looking for a new project to become wildly interested in for a brief period of time, thinking it will take your mind off the deadly pandemic, life altering isolation, and melting polar ice caps, then bullet journaling might be for you!

Bullet journaling is, um, I’m not really quite sure what it is. I’ve read a bunch of blog posts about it and watched three tutorials, but I still have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing beyond scribbling in a blank notebook with gel pens. It’s a craze, apparently. And it’s going to make me organized and focused. Goal oriented!

There are dots and dashes, I think. I can’t remember. But there are definitely X’s and O’s. Oh wait, that’s tic-tac-toe. Did I mention the gel pens? That’s really the only thing I care about. This project will justify my purchasing even more pens than I already have overflowing in every single drawer in the house. Because organization!

I am absolutely sure there are categories, lots and lots of categories. You can organize each and every aspect of your life. Infinite possibilities, they all say. You can chart your travel goals. Well, maybe not this year. You can plan family get togethers. Hmm, not that either, huh? If you’re focused on health, you can log your calories and chart your alcohol consumption. Maybe we can do that one in 2022.

And you can break down your organization goals by year, month, and day. I guess we can throw the year option away straight off. I mean, what would your 2020 goal be? Don’t die might be the only option. And the days just bleed together so we’ll focus on monthly goals. Here’s how I bullet journaled my way to happiness this month:

First, I broke my cleaning goals down into two categories, rage cleaning and shame cleaning

  • Rage cleaning happens after I watch the news or whenever my husband comes downstairs to tell me about his latest work zoom meeting. Rage cleaning usually involves those tasks you don’t normally do. This is not your basic load the dishwasher, vacuum the stairs nonsense. We’re talking dusting all the air conditioner vents or scrubbing baseboards with a toothbrush, preferably your spouse’s, while you mutterscream I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT HOW LINDA IN HUMAN RESOURCES CALLED A MEETING AT 6:30 ON A MONDAY MORNING under your breath.
  • Shame cleaning is another animal. Shame cleaning happens after one of those mini depressive episodes you have. You know, the ones where you eat nothing but popcorn for every meal, don’t change your clothes for three days at a time as you watch the dog fur tumbleweeds start piling up in the corner of the living room. Shame cleaning is your basic stuff like laundry and scrubbing toilets, only you’re beating yourself up for having a perfectly normal response to being indoors for nearly a year. Also, you’re periodically crying and snacking.

Next, I tried my hand at a little meal planning

I spent countless hours on my phone googling sheet pan meals, which took me to the Pioneer Woman’s website, which brought me down a rabbit hole of research about the Drummond Ranch where I found out that they aren’t just down home farmers. They basically own the entire state of Oklahoma and they’re millionaires. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but damn. Then I ate popcorn for dinner. Again.

Then, I tried to create a vision board for my capsule wardrobe because the term seems super futuristic and cool

But I remembered all I ever do is wear sweatpants now and I scrapped that idea.

So, I moved onto charting my finances

I drew a bunch of squiggly lines and dollar signs on the page and wrote #GOALS in that one sparkly glitter gel pen that’s my favorite. But then I looked at my bank statement and realized I’m broke now because all I do is order stuff off the Target app all day long and tell my husband how much we NEEDED it, no matter what the it is and I thought, maybe I’ll tackle finances another year.

After that I organized my entertainment options

This involved writing a Facebook status asking what everyone is binge watching on Netflix and I wrote every single suggestion down with a pretty heart shaped bullet point before it. Then, I went back to watching reruns of The Gilmore Girls.

And that’s it! That’s bullet journaling, pandemic style. Super simple, right? All you need to do to live your best Pinterest worthy pandemic life and be able to humblebrag about how together you are right now while everyone else is losing their damn minds is a simple notebook, a few dozen more pens on top of the dozens of other pens you already have, and enough delusion to believe you’re going to make crippling depression go away by doodling. Happy journaling, folks!

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