East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

New tool: bullet journal

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22350Things with pages.
I am a compulsive buyer of things with pages – books, sure, but also copybooks. I had an early fetish for those MEAD composition books with sturdy, thick cardboard marbled covers and rounded corners. But also, cheap Moleskine knock-offs from the Chinese supermarket, organizers, ring-binders.
I’m weird like that.
Last Sunday, during a provision run at the local hard discount, I spent two bucks on two oversized copybooks.
Why? They might come handy, I said to myself.

And today, during lunch break, I read a post about Bullet Journaling on Shanna Germain’s blog, which led me to googling about the subject, and so I discovered the joys and the promises of bullet journaling.
That’s the sort of thing I like finding out early in the new year, as this might be an interesting year-long experiment.

So, what are we talking about?
Basically, it means making your own calendar/agenda, tailored on your needs.
Here’s a brief overview…

Nothing exactly world-shaking. And yes, they did a Kickstarter and created a commercial, ready-made journal. But if you cut through the hype, there is at the core of the thing a pretty useful tool.
And talking about the hype, what really kills me is the images out there of journals that are true works of art, with watercolor flourishes, complex calligraphy and what not.


I’d never be able to do that, and it would take me forever anyway.
But a copybook and a pen? That I can manage.

In fact, after my father’s death, when life crashed on me and my brother, one of the things that kept us (barely) on track was a massive spiral-bound copybook we carried around, in which we noted all to-do lists, all expenses, all chores and hang-ups, trying to keep focused and not miss anything essential.
Simply, it was not as structured as a “proper” bullet journal, but the idea was there.

Also, I still carry in my back pocket the tiger-striped fake Moleskine in which I jot down story ideas and stuff – something I started doing in the ‘80s, after reading H.P. Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book.


So, I dug into my pile of old virgin copybooks and found a nice round-cornered, white-page thing that’s just what I need. Tonight I’ll get my old ruler and a cheap BIC ballpen, and set it up.
It will be rough and trail-ready, but what the heck, I’ll call it minimalist and feel cooler because of it.

In case you’re interested, apart from Shanna Germain’s post linked above, I’ve found useful the following

. A post on Lifehacker
. A post by the Lazy Genius Collective
. … And the following infographic found on Pinterest connected to a dead link

bullet journal

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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