We here at Learning How to Live love the method of the Bullet Journal for planning, collecting, and organizing.
The longer we use it, the more we use it.
The more we use it, the better at “life” we get.
Over the next few weeks, we’d like to provide you with
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE BULLET JOURNAL!
We’ll show you how the Bullet Journal works for managing our homes, our personal goals, our money, our menus, our life.
We’ll blog on how the Bullet Journal fits so naturally for homeschool planning–book lists, future goals, evaluating our children. It especially works well for a Charlotte Mason approach!
We’ll write about how the Bullet Journal has simplified our routines, organized our lives, and helped us find peace.
But first, we want to talk about why the philosophy behind the Bullet Journal fits with the way we see the world. Like so many of our readers, as we’ve read Charlotte Mason’s life-giving philosophy of education, we’ve learned principles that haven’t just made us better teachers and parents, we’ve become better humans!
So principles first, then practices for a cohesive, integrated whole!
Why is the Bullet Journal such a useful and revolutionary, yet simple way to get a hold of your life?
We believe that its success is because it’s a method, not a system.
The Bullet Journal is a method, not a system!
Charlotte Mason writes on the importance of method vs. system in education and her ideas are all of the same reasons the Bullet Journal works.
So what’s the difference between a method and a system?
A SYSTEM is a machine, like a bodies, like a factory conveyor belt, that breaks down when it comes into contact with our very real, very human life. We are not cogs in a system; we are persons!
A METHOD, like a system, is way to achieve a desired end, yet it provides for “the vital growth and movement of a living being” (Volume 1 page 11).
Method implies two things––a way to an end, and a step by step progress in that way. Further, the following of a method implies an idea, a mental image, of the end of object to be arrived at. What do you propose that education shall effect in and for your child? Again, method is natural; easy, yielding, unobtrusive, simple as the ways of Nature herself; yet, watchful, careful, all pervading, all compelling. Method, with the end of education in view, presses the most unlikely matters into service to bring about that end…Charlotte Mason.Volume 1 page 8.
We all need a way, a path, a step-by-step guide to achieve the end, the idea, the object we have in mind.
This is true in education, but it also true for menu planning, party planning, homeschool planning, list-making, tracking appointments, wish lists, recording memories, collecting ideas, brainstorming for the future.
If we don’t stay on the path, we will get lost in the details or lose a detail. We miss appointments, stack up library fines or forget to pick-up more vanilla and toilet paper at the grocery store. Without a method, we feel stressed and anxious.
The Bullet Journal allows you to create a way, a path that is flexible, meeting your individual families needs and the way you think.
2. We all need a way, as Mason says, that is “natural, easy, yielding, unobtrusive, simple.”
The Bullet Journal is just that. A simple Pinterest search will show you the thousands of different ways people set-up all the things you might ever need to track, all in one place.You can doodle, add art and stickers, or you can be plain Janes, like Camille and me! If you need to change your weekly spread, you can!
The blank page of the Bullet Journal is key.
The problem with other planners, apps, or systems is that they operate on creator’s ideas but may not work with your world.
Take the example of Meal Planning. You want to meal plan and make your grocery list on the same page. You only want to plan dinners but your planner has a 3 row by 7 column grid. Or you like to have your menu list in your calendar on that day of the week, you don’t want a whole separate table, but the cells aren’t big enough to hold your to-do list, your appointments, and your menu. So you have different notebooks, papers all over the house, sticky notes, apps. You end up needing a system to keep track of all your systems! Or you just give up!
3. The Bullet Journal, as a Method, is “watchful, careful, all pervading, all compelling.”
We use it for everything–work, family, creativity, home-making, holidays, journalling. And it helps us to be more “watchful [and] careful”!
A great example is planning for one of my children’s birthdays. When I create the monthly calendar and fill in my child’s birthday on the 9th, I immediately turn to the next open page and create a new page titled, “Birthday.” Perhaps, I also had that nagging thought that she wanted new shoes and I had an idea for a great theme so I jot them down and then head back to the calendar. The “Birthday” page is there for me to come back to and create menu plans, wish list, shopping list, RSVPs, etc, etc!
4. As an analog method, the Bullet Journal also helps us be more “careful.”
With technology we can move at such a fast-pace that we often let details slip. As we are forced to slow-down and write out our plans and ideas, we ruminate on them. This plants our plans in our minds, new ideas grow, and we feel at peace.
5. The beauty of the Bullet Journal is that once you figure out your method, you can turn it into a system.
But if that system stops working, you can try a different method, but you don’t need a new notebook or a different approach. The Bullet Journal allows for you to change as you need.
Mason tells us that “There is always the danger that a method, a bona fide method, should degenerate into a mere system.” Volume 1 p 8.
Since the Bullet Journal is just a blank book, we can always turn to the page and start again as we need. After trying different weekly spreads, for example, I have one I mainly stick to week after week, but if it’s a very different week, Christmas or illness, I can change it up easily.
Method…aid[s] the many sided evolution of the living, growing, most complex human being; but what a miserable wooden system does it become in the hands of ignorant practitioners!
We are living, growing, complex human beings. In the Snell home, there are 7 of us, living growing, complex human beings! No wonder wooden systems have failed before.
If a human being were a machine, education could do more for him than to set him in action in prescribed ways, and the work of the educator would be simply to adopt a good working system or set of systems.
But the educator has to deal with a self-acting, self-developing being… (Volume 1 page 10).
Thus, a bullet journal is needed.
So how do we Bullet Journal? What do we recommend? Would you like to see how we keep track of our curriculum as Charlotte Mason mamas? Subscribe today so you don’t miss out future posts!
Would you like to learn more? To see some of these collections and pages “live”?
Sign up for our Bullet Journal for Homeschooling Moms Webinar, now just $10!
Camille and Amy will walk you through setting up your bullet journal and maximizing its potential for homeschooling!
February 21st at 8pm.
We look forward to “seeing you” there!