As the end of the year approaches, I always look forward to the chance to reflect on the past 12 months. One of my favorite ways to do this is through writing, and this year I’m going to try to incorporate my love of bullet journaling into my reflection process. Before I dive into reflecting on the year as a whole, I want to take a moment to look back on my progress with bullet journaling. It’s been a hobby that I’ve really enjoyed and I’m excited to see how far I’ve come in my skills and techniques.
📚 What I learned from bullet journaling for almost two years
Bullet journaling has been life-changing for me in many ways. First of all, it helped me become more organized and productive. I’ve accomplished a lot these two years thanks to my bullet journal progress, which has helped me keep track of my goals and get organized for personal and professional reasons. Secondly, it helped me become more creative and motivated with my tasks and goals.
I first learned about bullet journaling when I read the discussion about journaling in Tambayan404 Discord (the Philippines’ largest Discord community for Filipinos in Technology and general tech enthusiasts), where the topic was more on journaling. Some people do it in notebooks, but I started doing it in the Notion App. I’m more interested in digital content because I can synchronize all of my notes with the cloud, and it can back up my phone. When I reconnect my device to a WiFi connection after disconnecting from one, it will automatically sync, preventing any data loss.
So what is the content of my bullet journaling?
Every weekend, I keep track of my progress, including my successes and failures and what I learned that week. Just look at what I did to improve my life and grow deeper with my personal and career development. Also, it helps me stay focused, and I’ll use a digital tracker. Here is a preview of my last year’s bullet journal for the second week of January:
I’m unsure what the difference is between regular and bullet journaling. But, for me, bullet journaling is similar to making a to-do list or keeping track of your progress. But I tried their suggestion that I track at least three topics. Here are the three topics I tracked:
- “What did I learn” — In this week, what I learned? Did I try something new? anything that you explore, learn from hobbies, career development, or try to learn?
- “What is my top win” — Everything about your top win that week. It can be personal, work-related, or anything you think is a top win on my end. It’s work-related and financial.
- “What/Where did I failed” — Sometimes it’s okay to fail, like what I did mostly. I failed for the week, either not getting enough sleep or less exercise, and try to track to next week if you can avoid it.
In the end, you can explore other topics, but these three are good enough to build a habit for me. You can create your own bullet journal or document your life’s progress. There are no hard rules when journaling, but at least one or two for each topic can be helpful. And before the end of the year, I try to read everything and summarize it, and it’s up to you if you want to share it in public or not. But for me, I’m not particularly eager to share in public, but I try to learn and understand what I can improve from this year’s progress. And lastly, it’s rewarding to accomplish one major task in your life, and that is to document your progress.
🤔 How my bullet journaling practice and help me become more productive and sincere.
I don’t have a great experience with bullet journaling, but it’s helped me build a habit. For the next two years, imagine I go to my favorite cafe every weekend and then try to remember what happened during that week. Then I start opening the Notion app and enter at least 2 to 3 topics that highlight my week. The following week, I try to review what I did the previous week, beginning with “What/where did I failed?” to see if my progress has improved. At least on my end, I can see what I did and why I improved it.
Wait, how do you become more productive with bullet journaling?
It’s easy, and my honest answer is that I started with simple to-do lists every morning. How is this connected to bullet journaling? It’s like you create to-do lists every weekend, but this time on every morning and with the help of the Things app.
Creating to-do lists daily helps me identify my top priorities and manage my time by focusing on the hard task before the easy task. But aside from that, when I have an urgent, I try to block at least 3 hours without interruption with the help of Pomodoro.
But in the end, you must build a habit before gaining momentum. Maybe it’s working with others, but I try to be more sincere with my habit (And hopefully, I can try this when I start to diet and exercise).
✨ My reflections on the year 2022
The year is ending, and here are my 2022 reflections. I just realized a lot about personal growth, work, and improvements. Here are some of the most important lessons I learned this year but in the format of my bullet journaling.
What did I learn
- Don’t be too hard on yourself when things aren’t going as you want them to. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to make a change.
- Always listen to my body, mind, and heart.
- It’s important to take time for yourself to be the best version of yourself possible. Accept help when you need it! Being independent is great, but sometimes you can’t do everything alone.
- It has taken me a long time to realize that it is okay to set boundaries and say no sometimes if my schedule is too full or if I need a break to relax and focus on myself.
- Setting boundaries has been extremely important to me regarding my mental health and personal happiness.
- Surrounding yourself with positive people is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
- Learn to move on (both relationships and other things). Maybe it’s not for you, but remember that you need to move on and go with the flow, even if hard.
- Life is short. Travel more, and connect with your friends or family.
- I am much more self-aware now and have a greater understanding of my strengths and weaknesses.
- Spend wisely
- Pay debt first before planning to be financially stable
- There’s room for improvement, slowly but surely
- Another important lesson I learned this year is that I should not be afraid to take big risks. I have made some big decisions this year and have experienced some failures and successes. I have learned that it is important to be persistent and not give up when things do not go as planned.
What is my top win
- I still have work! After what’s happening to the world, I heard some of my friends got a layoff, and I’m still thankful that I have work.
- Time by time, I was able to pay some of my debt.
- More work releases I’m happy with my teams, and I am always thankful for their feedback.
- Publish a YouTube video (Still no audio but maybe next year?)
- Get an invitation to talk after Figma 101. I got almost three invitations to talk, but I only accepted one due to preparation and time conflict.
- Collaborating with cross-functional teams, including developers, product managers, and researchers, to ensure that the final product meets the needs of both the users and the business.
- Managing multiple projects and priorities effectively and delivering high-quality work on tight deadlines.
- I got an offer to other countries (But I declined because I’m still not confident about the Lead roles or more a managerial role. I’m still happy with individual contributors but mix emotions)
- Start writing again (Yes! since college, I miss writing)
- Able to gift my family
- Able to read 12 books in one year!
What/Where did I failed?
- Less physical activity (hopefully, 2023 is the time)
- I get less sleep (But from time to time, I manage my sleep)
- Eating habit at late night (Even I’ve been doing Intemiting Fasting for almost a month, it’s hard once you get back to being a nocturnal person)
- Debt!! (I still have, but I know less now compared to last year)
- Rewarding myself (I miss doing every month I reward myself)
- Side project died
- Decision making (Especially at work, I’m still doubting myself when making decisions with design)
- Storytelling (while presenting my design, I’m still reading and exploring other ways to improve my presentation and my storytelling)
I have a lot, but I want to put it as my personal 😅.
💖 My final message
My 2022 has been like a roller-coaster feeling, but I’m still happy and satisfied with every challenge, and I hope bullet journaling habits continue and improve, and I hope I can write this again next year! There are more than a few days before 2023, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank the people with that I worked, my friends. Even though we work in different companies, we still keep in touch and support this year. I am grateful for everything. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. Thank you again for everything.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
- Steve Jobs