July 21, 2021

Returning to Bullet Journaling

By Aldric

It’s been ages since I seriously used Bullet Journals. I incorporated it in life sometime in 2015 until around 2018. I’m trying to look back to remember why I stopped. Was it because I was deep in sorrow and worry that the whole process seemed daunting?

It could also be associated with my reliance on mobile devices to organise my life. There’s Google Calendars, Google Tasks, Google Keep among others that made the BuJo feel redundant. Why carry a physical book when Cloud technology is helping me?

After some videos on Stoicism, it dawned upon me: journalling isn’t just about staying on top of tasks and to-dos, it’s also an act of debriefing after a long day. It’s also the ability to meditate, reflect, and discern. Something that I clearly stopped doing in recent years – minus the occasional #Musings on Facebook.

Return to Journaling

Taking a leaf out of Marcus Aurelius’ book, I thought that I should start penning down thoughts. I am doing so occasionally on my physical journal. Then the question came: how do I make sense of the online-offline dual system so as to not create redundancies?

The answer came in a form of a whisper: organise my time and schedule using Calendar. But organise my thoughts, feelings, experience, and learnings through journals. If I want, I can incorporate blogging as well.

Bullet Journal Set-Up

Today I took out one of the unused dotted A5 notebooks and incorporated the core Bullet Journal modules. I didn’t do it out of memory. Rather I used Ryder Carroll’s video:

After incorporating the core modules, I started three different collections:

  • Thoughts on Career
  • Thoughts on Practitioner-Philosopher-Perpetual Learner
  • Thoughts on Consultancy/Advert Writer

These are some things that occupied my mind in the past couple of weeks. During different moments of the day, different thoughts and ideas pop up. Since I don’t write them down, often these thoughts disappear into obscurity. Others, it returned repeatedly until it’s stuck in my head.

Collection: Thoughts on Practitioner-Philosopher-Perpetual Learner

Here’s a little sneak peek into one of those collections. I captured today’s thoughts on Practitioner-Philosopher-Perpetual Learner. For now, the thoughts revolve around introductory Stoicism as opposed to philosophy as a whole.

Extract from my Bullet Journal.

This particular collection was only named so just before noon. It embodies the three identities which I aspire to attain:

  • Practitioner: Someone who can be called upon to solve operational and strategic problems;
  • Philosopher: Someone who is constantly seeking wisdom and different insights based on finite knowledge and information. The insights and wisdom can be accepted at a personal level, or be used to empathise with others who do not share similar viewpoints;
  • Perpetual Learner: This term was introduced to me by The Rev’d. Canon Fr. Michael Woods, then Warden of the House of the Epiphany, Diocese of Kuching, during the 2012 Enquirers’ Weekend. Thre’s something about the pursuit of knowledge in selected fields that fascinates me. Often it’s very organic. Sometimes it’s practical. Other times it’s very metaphysical or whimsical.

When it comes to these identities, in itself here is what I gather:-

Practitioner– Ability to solve problems pragmatically
– Practically in demand
– Gathering practical experiences
– Becomes routine with no new insights.
– Boxed in specialisation or silos.
– Loses sight of the big picture.
– Becoming too comfortable with the desk
Philosopher– Constantly developing wisdom and insights – Detached from reality and practicalities.
– Becoming to attached to the ivory tower.
Perpetual Learner– Gathering of new knowledge– Purely theoretical with no practical application.
My interpretation of the three identities on its own

By bringing the three identities together, it allows different roles to counter-check each other within one individual (in this case me.) The con comes from a place of fear. When drawing up the pros, I was in a place of hope and aspiration.

I’m jumping straight into stoicism as the “trunk” of my philosophical knowledge and understanding in this entry. The idea of stoicism fascinated me over the past couple of months. I’ve just never gotten around to really understanding it. I’m departing from the usual reverse pyramid approach.

Key Takeaways

What are the key takeaways from this? Here are some things you could consider:

  • Consider Bullet Journalling to track your tasks and thoughts;
  • Stoicism as a philosophy of life is fascinating for me as I struggle with anxiety;
  • Consider investigating stoicism to help you find meaning. It stipulates that we can harness ourr will power to fill our lives with meaning – even in the bleakest situation.