What are things like for you right now?
Kids home? Working from home? Personal rhythms in disarray?
There’s usually a bit of autopilot to our days—even when we use a Bullet Journal. But these days require full-on engagement. Autopilot is long gone.
If you’re like me, having my normal patterns thrown off has been both stretching and disconcerting.
We need tangible strategies to support us.
We’ve all experienced stress in the past, but this is new. Everything – big and small – feels stressful right now.
Here are 5 ways a Bullet Journal can support you when plans keep changing:
When shifts in schedule are inevitable, and what is required from you day-to-day keeps changing, a Bullet Journal can really help.
1. A Bullet Journal can show the structure of your day or week—even if priorities keep shifting.
In the normal Bullet Journal method, you write your days in the pages of your journal. This takes the chaos out of your mind and gives it form. When you can see it, you can process it effectively—and when you are the one designing the structure of the page, it “looks” the way your brain thinks about it.
But right now? Priorities are shifting with dizzying speed. So, I’ve changed to writing my days on an oversized sticky note posted on the inside cover of my journal.
This lets me scrap it and start over if everything rearranges (again) without filling my usual daily spread with lots of crossed out items and messy notes (and without feeling crazy that I’m burning through so many journal pages.) At any given moment, I can see what my day looks like in real time.
If your days aren’t shifting quite that quickly, it may make more sense to map the framework of a different block of time—like a week. Weekly Bullet Journal spreads are a great way to outline structure.
2. A Bullet Journal can provide encouragement.
When living in uncertain times, we need reminders of what is fundamentally true. Anchors our brains can rely on for comfort and direction.
A Bullet Journal is exactly the right place to write these down.
Taking a moment to capture a favorite verse, phrase, or even just a positive reminder, gives you a place to focus—which can be highly strategic when you are surrounded by fear, negativity, or constant change.
3. A Bullet Journal is a practical place to pray.
We all have people we love. The pages of your Bullet Journal are a perfect place to write down the names of the people for whom you want to pray for health, love, and protection.
Even if you don’t have a personal faith practice, writing down names is a tangible way to express care—which does something for our own hearts.
The key is to write slowly, letting love flow through your hand and out through the ink. Once you’ve filled the page, it gives you a place to return to every time you want to experience that connection and care.
4. A Bullet Journal keeps an account of whether or not we’re doing the things we want to be doing.
When I’m really caught up in my own head, my physical practices are the first thing to go. It’s hard to be present in my body when my brain is so busy.
My life is better when I’m doing my breathing practice, yoga, and walking my dogs on a daily basis. When things started getting crazy, I began making notations on my monthly spread to track whether or not I’d done these things daily, but you can make it much simpler than that.
Basic habit tracking keeps us from lying to ourselves about how faithful we are with our self-care.
Here’s what happens to me….
No capture of habits in my Bullet Journal = “Oh, I’m working out pretty consistently.”
With journal capture = “Oh, I worked out…THREE WEEKS AGO???? Whaaaat?”
During times of chaos, the fear of the unknown is hard. But small daily routines in the middle of chaos can create joy, appreciation, and a little bit of sanity. Physical practices and self care are perfect habits to track.
5. A Bullet Journal can help you integrate your experiences and process your emotions.
Whether you are just writing down your tasks and making notes Bullet Journal style or writing longhand in a more traditional journaling format, taking time to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper is powerful. It helps you process meaning when things are coming at you fast.
During times of crisis, we have to make decisions quickly—often decisions for which we don’t already have a template.
Journaling every day—even when you don’t have 5 minutes to yourself—can be a game changer in helping your brain process life events.
Our current reality is weird, uncomfortable, and often scary. (And it will probably go on this way for much longer than any of us would like.)
Taking time to process what’s happening is necessary. It’s an effective tool to help difficult circumstances make us rather than break us.
Use the tools you have to get through a challenging season well.
Difficult circumstances are a normal part of life. The difference right now is that we are all being stress-tested at the same time.
None of us will come out the other side of this exactly the same as we went in. We are going to pick up new skills. Build compassion. And probably have a deeper appreciation for small daily human connections.
You can do this. Challenging isn’t new for you. You’ve done hard things before.
And with the help of your Bullet Journal you might be surprised at how supported you feel by the simple act of writing things down.