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America's many thirty-somethings

Jun 20, 2019

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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Bullet Journaling Text

Janet Nguyen Nov 2, 2018
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You can check out the image version of this story here.

What is “the bullet journal method”?

  • A mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system
  • All you need is a pen and a notebook
  • It’s supposed to be free form. You design the layouts you want to use

Now that bullet journaling has gone viral, do you ever sit up and say, “This is crazy. This thing I thought of is out there like this.”

  • Every day

Where did it come from? Where did you get this idea?

  • When I was young, I was diagnosed with ADD. And back then, there weren’t a lot of tools available to me. So I started creating my own tools that helped me tackle my challenges with focus and productivity and organization. And over the decades, essentially, I started developing these small tools and techniques.

We are, though, in an internet age, right. You’re saying we can gain some degree of emotional control over a chaotic and busy life with pen and paper?

  • Technology is incredibly valuable, but the more connected we are with the world around us, the less connected we are with the world within us.
  • It’s important to take a step back and think about how our lives have turned into an always-online experience.

I wonder if there’s a bit of irony here now that bullet journaling has taken off. Your life, is I imagine, more chaotic and unplannable.

  • Through bullet journaling, I’m able to identify when things start happening inside of me. Like OK, I’m feeling really overwhelmed — I”m able to identify that feeling and think, “OK, what is it that I can control right now?”

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