The Legendary Bullet Journal

One of the newest organizational crazes is bullet journaling, in which you essentially design the planning system that works for you. The bullet journal is a cross between a planner and a journal, so you can simultaneously have structure and work in a free-form way.

I believe you’re supposed to devise a system of symbols that you write on the first page of the journal, and you use these symbols throughout the journal to organize aspects of your life (work, personal life, etc.) and plan for the future. You can make an index, a table of contents, or whatever you want, as long as you know what you’re doing and as long as it works for you. There are more detailed guidelines on the official bullet journal website, but they are simply guidelines. There really are no rules.

Bullet journaling lends itself well to people who are more artistic. They design their journal pages with such beauty and creativity that a finished journal becomes a work of art. You can see some of their Instagrams and drool over the loveliness here and here.

The idea of bullet journaling really appeals to me, but I don’t think it would work for me in actuality because there is too much of a learning curve. The nameless system I have works for me. I have a planner and a journal, and the planner is for, obviously, planning, and the journal is for writing the random stuff that I think of every day, and for, obviously, journaling. I hate to say it, but most of the time, when I journal/plan, I value efficiency more than taking the time to make things beautiful, so the artistic aspect of bullet journaling would honestly stress me out.

Do you bullet journal, or have you tried it? Does it work for you?

Adulting

A somewhat new buzzword you’re probably hearing about all the time is adulting, which, according to Urban Dictionary (always the most reliable resource, I say with much sarcasm), means to carry out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals (paying off that credit card debt, settling beef without blasting social media, etc). Exclusively used by those who adult less than 50% of the time.

In effect, adult is now a verb, and it’s apparently used by those who don’t adult all that well. Back when I turned 18, I was shocked upon realizing that I was legally an adult, and it took over 10 years for me to truly feel as though I was an adult, which made sense because when I was 18, I had completed none of the typical markers of adulthood. Those have historically been (I don’t know if they are in order or if they ought to be in order): (1) finishing school (I assume that means college in today’s society), (2) leaving one’s parents’ home, (3) getting married, (4) having children, and (5) becoming financially independent.

By those markers, I’m not sure that very many people aged 18 to 30 are fully fledged adults at all. Based on those markers, I’m still not a “full” adult, despite being legally an adult for more than 10 years. And by that logic, people who never have children for whatever reason never become true adults, which is silly.

I suppose the people who popularized the word adulting have not completed all five of the traditional markers of adulthood, and perhaps they feel bad about that. So menial tasks like taking out the trash when it’s overflowing and getting an oil change for the car become a Super Big Deal and an Important Aspect of Adulthood (i.e., *Gasp* I Feel Like My Mom! What a Horror!).

Are people in my generation really that lazy and really have such low self-esteem that small tasks like that become huge milestones? Or perhaps because those five milestones are extremely difficult to accomplish in today’s economy? I tend to agree with the latter. Many millennials came of age during the Great Recession and are still finding it difficult to rebound from that. Finishing school is tough when you can’t pay for it because college is outrageously expensive. Becoming financially independent is tough when you have student loans and you don’t have a decent job because you haven’t finished school because college is outrageously expensive. Leaving your parents’ house is tough because you don’t have the money to afford an apartment or a house of your own, again because you don’t have a decent job. Finding a significant other and getting married are tough because it’s hard as hell to find someone decent these days, especially when much of modern dating consists of crapshoots like Tinder. Having kids is tough because, well, if you have kids (and if you don’t), you know why.

So those five are pretty huge milestones, and adulting seems to be a term that we (i.e., millennials) use to prove to others that we are taking steps (however small) toward those milestones and not just sitting around being lazy like everyone claims that we are. Maybe it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but even if we’re not “true” adults, we have a sense of humor at least.

Journal Review: Peter Pauper Press

Usually, I don’t buy super-fancy journals and for good reason: my handwriting sucks, and I don’t want to ruin a gorgeous journal with sub-par handwriting. The secondary reason I don’t buy them is because they’re often too expensive, and the tertiary reason I don’t buy them is because I think it’s a little pretentious to have a really fancy journal, like your thoughts are somehow super awesome and worthy of being kept in lovely binding and paper.

But my husband bought me this journal designed by Peter Pauper Press (I believe he actually bought it at Barnes & Noble):

It is easily the most beautiful journal I have ever owned. It’s bound like a book, which means it is very sturdy, and it has a ribbon bookmark—always helpful. The pages look like they are trimmed with gold, which has that pretentiousness factor to it, but I had to ignore that. After all, the worst type of journal is one that’s been sitting around your house for years waiting to be written in, so it would be a terrible sin to not write in this one. The journal isn’t too large and isn’t too small (6.25″ wide and 8.25″ high), so it’s not a pain to carry around in your purse, briefcase, or backpack.

At first, I thought the binding would be stiff and make it difficult to write in, but that thankfully wasn’t the case. The journal stays flat when it’s opened, so you can write in comfort. I prefer spiral binding or some other binding that will allow a journal to be folded over, but lying flat is the next best thing.

The only thing I could think of to complain about were the two gold pages used after the front cover and before the back cover. The gold rubbed off onto the last journal page a little bit, but that’s an extremely small complaint.

Would I buy another one? No, but I would give one to a fellow writer as a gift. Would I use another one if another was given to me? Heck yeah.