Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - Bullet Journals, daily planners, to-do lists. If you're anything like me, you've tried to solve the chaos of your life only to fail. Let's fix that. Thank you to Skillshare for sponsoring this video. Hi there, I don't know if you know this, but my life is a mess. And it's not for lack of trying. I've used apps, planners, sticky notes, Bullet Journals, whiteboards. I own four white boards. Why do I own four whiteboards? But it's the same story every time. These organizational solutions work for a little bit, but then fail. It creates this cycle of planning, productivity, getting overwhelmed, giving up, and the cycle restarts when I see some new stationary and get inspired I'm sick of it. And you may be too judging by this Google trend data on Bullet Journaling. Every year without fail, people seek out this hobby only to inevitably peter out in this perpetual planning fallacy. It seems like we're doing something wrong, but what? And while it's important not to take graphs at face value, I made a whole video about it. I don't think my claim is too far off base. How many organization apps have you abandoned? How many planners do you own that are half empty? In this video, we're gonna figure out why that is. And more importantly, how to avoid it, let's get started. Of course, it all started with a Google search that led me through a rabbit hole of articles that ended at yet another 300 page book. This time I read "The Accidental Diarist: A history of the daily planner in America" by Molly McCarthy. The book strings together analyses of old diaries and planners to identify the origin of the habit that inspired this video. You know, somebody commented on our last video that my job is basically making book reports, and it's not even a lie at this point. If I thought that book about olive oil was dry, well, this book was simply arid. Not to say it wasn't good, it was neat and romantic. However, I did the thing where you read the page, you get to the end, and then you'd realize you didn't register any information, so you need to do it again, I did that several times. Anyway, here is the evolution of the daily planner in America. It all starts with the almanac, kind of like the smartphone of the 16th century. It's an annual reference book with dates, weather forecasts, and other local information. This book was imported to colonial America, alongside a habit of sewing in blank pages. On those pages would go a chronological diary, or as George Washington put it, where and how my time is spent. This practice of recording one's days on limited pages, familiarized people with regular abbreviated forms of writing about themselves, the foundation of modern journaling. As the years progressed, almanacs fell out of fashion and were at a place with pocketbooks that invited users to input more information than ever before. Demand only grew as people saw the opportunities held between the covers. It was a way to track finances in the rise of colonial commerce, a more accurate time piece when mechanical time had yet to be perfected, and an account for one's time to God. By the mid 19th century with printing cost at an all time low, and literacy at an all-time high, it's place was secured in the cultural landscape. The pocket book or diary or journal was marketed under many names, but it was consistent in its promise. It was a way to make time one's own. With a journal time was more than days and hours. It could be money spent and earned, distances traveled and places explored. It captured the rhythms of life as it was lived. People saw this power and refused to let it go. So nowadays while the form and technology may be more diverse, that promise, that reclamation of time remains. Okay, so what really struck me about the evolution of the daily planner is how responsive the design was. Like there would be this product, this book. And then people would just use it wrong on purpose. They'd write in the margins, they'd sew in pages, they would spread out one annual planner over the course of years. But then after seeing how people actually use the product, publishers would update their designs, only to have it revamped by people all over again. It was this iterative process that was driven by the people who were actually using the product. They didn't just comply with the framework that they were given. They broke and bent it to work for them. However, I don't wanna buy a $30 planner only to ignore the guidelines. So when I try and think of an organizational tool that has it built in to allow for this kind of flexibility and iteration, I can only think of Bullet Journals. It's a minimalist journaling system designed by Ryder Carroll. It uses a blank notebook which makes the cost of entry relatively low. Traditionally, Bullet Journals are made up of four modules, a table of contents, a six-month view, a monthly view and a daily view. However, in a throwback to 17th century pocket diaries, the Bullet Journal method embraces flexibility and encourages users to define their own layouts using modules they find online, or otherwise invent, things like habit trackers, weather forecasts, or savings goals. And when it comes to Bullet Journals there is only one person I can think of talking to, I'm nervous. Hi there, Amanda, how are you? - Hi, I'm good, how are you? It's Nice to meet you, thanks for having me. - This is AmandaRachLee, an artist known for her Bullet Journaling videos that have amassed over 150 million views. Do you mind telling me why you started journaling and Bullet Journaling? - I felt like just writing down my tasks was kind of not enough for me to like motivate me and for me to feel good about getting stuff done. So about four years ago, I discovered Bullet Journaling on the internet and it was just kind of fascinating to me how customizable it was. - The more we talk, the more I realize that Bullet Journals had the flexibility I needed. But I didn't know how to start. - Somebody who's just starting out, who's feeling a little bit overwhelmed, maybe because the past year and a bit has been a lot. What tips do you think you'd have for them? - 2020 did not turn out how any of us expected. And there was that whole running joke of like, what was the point of buying a 2020 planner, you know? I really always recommend for people to start off simple and then they're able to add like any modules or things to their productivity system. I kind of like viewing it almost like a time capsule. And when I'm writing in my Bullet Journal or journal, it's very much so like me time. Yeah, you can kind of use it as a hybrid of like a journal planner, anything else, it's kind of all up to you. - I love that, sweet, thank you so much for chatting, bye. Okay, so y'all know what this is being leading into. I'm making a Bullet Journal, but not just any Bullet Journal, because I think that there are three reasons why my past attempts have always failed. Number one, I just copy a layout I found online without thinking if it actually worked with the way I live my life. Sure I could try and experiment and iterate based off of that layout, but then there's problem number two. I feel really bad about messing up cute and expensive notebooks. I know it's dumb, but they're leather-bound and they're like $30. I would rather leave it pristine than waste pages with experimentation. And last but not least, there's problem number three. They just seem like a massive commitment. Like I got to fill out this whole notebook with stuff I do every day? What if I don't do anything that day? Is there just gonna be a weird blank spot? What if I'm too busy to fill it out then? Like, what's the point? So here's my solution. - [PA system] We appreciate your... - I'm gonna be making my own notebook, and it's only gonna be for one month. So I'm just using stuff I own, And then a couple of other things I got from the Dollar Store. So it comes out to like less than $10. It's low commitment and it forces me to reconsider the system that I'm using every single month. That's long enough for me to get used to it but short enough for me to power through any inefficiencies. So join me in my first attempt at bookbinding. I wonder how this will go, probably not well. I was actually hoping to design the pages on my iPad because I have the handwriting of a five-year-old, but I don't have a printer because I'm not 50 and libraries are closed because of the panorama. Aargh, okay, how many pages do I need? I want 36 pages, and I'm gonna split each one of these into four. Shout it out with me. Say Dora the Explorer, yell it out kids. It's, nine? It's nine, big brain. (upbeat music) Ah, I was just trying to get these satisfying clips and it's just not happening. (upbeat music) Oh Christ, oh it cuts like (laughing) yeah that didn't work. Where's my box cutter Found it. Oh, damn she's whipping out the toolkit, I did it. This goes here, ooh, successful. (upbeat music) So I folded all the pages in half and now I'm gonna fold them in half again, just so that they're small enough to fit into my butt pocket, which is honestly the only pocket in women's jeans that can hold anything. So I'm just gonna (snaps fingers) cool. I did it. Is this butt pocketable? Oh, ooh, I'm not gonna show my butt 'cause you guys are weird sometimes. I made the cover from some craft bags because I liked the look. See that's about, that's like perfect size. I cut it down to size. Okay, time to bind it. Poked holes in the spine, (screaming) and cut, and stitched it all together. I'm kind of shocked at how easy that was. Does it pass the pocket test? It does, and I just realized that my graph paper is bigger on one side than the other. This is one size and there's the other size. - They're the same picture. - Okay I gotta clean up like all of this and all of this before I get started on filling out that notebook. (upbeat music) I just made this journal for February. Cause I've already given up on January. Anyway, I made the first page a side quest basically it's one habit I wanted to pick up next month and a reward if I do it Bought an exercise bike at the start of quarantine and then never used it.