With the New Year fast approaching, I thought it might be worth talking about a system I’ve been using for a few years now to keep me organised. I’m talking about bullet journaling. The bullet journal is a simple system that has completely changed my life and it will change yours too! But how does bullet journaling help photographers? Well, allow me to show you!

So what is a bullet journal?

The simplest way to describe the bullet journal is that it is a continuous list. It can also be described as an analogue system in a digital world. A braindump to place all your thoughts. What’s really genius about it is how it’s laid out.

As a user, you have a simple key for tasks, notes and events. You can also move tasks forward and back or strikethrough if you no longer need them. You can mark things as a high priority and then cross through them when you’ve completed a task. It really is the simplest system.

You can also use a variety of spreads and layouts throughout the journal – yearly, six-monthly, monthly and weekly spreads. And you can set up other pages for things like keeping a gratitude journal, or meal plans, or a timetable for your studies. Basically, anything you need to keep organised can go into this journal!

How can a bullet journal help me as a photographer?

Besides keeping your everyday life organised, it can help you to plan and organise shoots. You can use it to keep a record of shots taken and the settings you used. You can write lists of places you want to shoot, or the types of shots you want to capture. Keep a ‘cheat sheet’ of favourite settings. List your clients and what you need to do for each of them. Keep a list of all your equipment and serial numbers, in case the worst should happen.

There are plenty of ways you can use the bullet journal and there is no one set way to use it for each person. You can do whatever you want with your journal in a way that suits you. It’s one of the things I love most about my bullet journal!

But I can’t make mine look pretty like all the ones I see online!

Right, hard truth time… DO NOT get hung up on all the pretty bullet journal spreads you see online. A simple search of a bullet journal hashtag in Instagram will reveal a whole host of pretty layouts and pages. It’s quite easy to become intimidated, especially if you’re not great at drawing or painting. Try to remember, though, that a bullet journal is a tool. It doesn’t HAVE to be pretty. It’s about lists and getting you organised. Anything else is a bonus!

That being said, you can pretty pages up with some stickers, stencils and washi tape if you want to make it look a little less utilitarian!

Where can I find out more?

The best place to start is on the main Bullet Journal website!

This great cheat sheet will tell you everything you need to know.

Boho Berry has a ton of great free resources for your bullet journaling journey!

Hopefully, this little introduction will persuade you to join the bullet journal ‘bujo’ revolution. I promise you, once you get into the swing of it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed your life without it!

Which reminds me, I better start planning my 2020 journal!