The New Posting Schedule

The current plan for the new posting schedule is as follows: There will be 3 to 5 new posts per week, which will appear on the Patreon site at 9 am Eastern time. These will only be accessible to patrons. One week later that will become viewable to non-patrons, and will appear on BerinKinsman.com as well.
Each day of the week will have a different topic. Obviously, if I only post 3 times per week, not every topic will be covered every week. I won’t have more than one post per week on any topic.

Monday: Bullet Journaling

This topic is covers how I use my bullet journal, planning, and general productivity. There will be elements of minimalism thrown in, because I’m all about simplicity. Posts may also cross over with self-care, since I also use my bujo to manage my executive function disorder.

Tuesday: Writing

This topic is about writing and creativity. It’s a calling, a career, and a lifestyle, to be sure, and I’ve made a living as a writer for a few years now. You won’t find much advice here, because there’s plenty of that elsewhere. Instead I want to find connection with other writers, and the community, in this space.

Wednesday: Worldbuilding

This topic obliquely discusses the creation of tabletop roleplaying games and the work I do as Dancing Lights Press. It’s going to have more to do with my creative process and the use of the medium for self-expression than cliched nonsense about murder hobos and genre tropes.

Thursday: Self-Care

This topic is about making time for yourself in a world filled with stress and unreasonable demands. Because I identify as a spoonie there will be posts related to that, managing mental health, and living a productive life in spite of physical limitations.

Friday: Arts and Culture

This topic includes for posts about books, music, film and television, and other forms of entertainment. It is also the place for visits to cultural events, trips to museums, and dining experiences. While it may contain opinions and recommendations, I wouldn’t classify any of these posts as reviews.

The New Posting Schedule

This will all be subject to change, of course, based on how readers respond. If people get tired of a topic or, to be honest, I run out of things to say on a topic, I’ll swap it out.
Thoughts? Opinions? Leave a comment, I want to know!

Why I Use a Bullet Journal

For all of the ongoing hype about bullet journals, there are still people out there who aren’t convinced. I get it. When people insist that I have to try something, I often resist for no other reason than to prove them wrong. These sorts of fads and trends frequently turn out to be sound and fury, signifying nothing. The fact that roughly 95% of the website and YouTube videos about bullet journaling are really about calligraphy, stickers, and art supplies can make you question why this is a tool touted for its simplicity and benefits to you productivity. So today I want to explain why I use a bullet journal.

Why I Use a Bullet Journal

As I get older, my memory gets worse. Add to this the executive function disorder I suffer, brought about by my anxiety disorder, and there are times when I don’t know up from down. My bullet journal is effectively “base” for me. I can sit down, open it up, and center myself. The dozen or so things trying to run though my head at once can be captured, prioritized, and assigned. The things that I need to be doing today, right now, are there in black and white. That alone makes bullet journaling worth the little bit of effort it takes to use.

Writing Helps with Memory

Researchers Pam Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel Oppenheimer of UCLA published a paper in the journal Psychological Science that concluded you’re better off writing things down than taking notes using electronics. The reason is that when we’re typing we tend to write things down verbatim. When we have to hand-write things we tend to be slower. We have to think about what we’re writing, summarize the key points, and focus on the important concepts.

Another paper in the Journal of Educational Psychology by Dung Bui, Joel Myerson, and Sandra Hale of Washington University found that we retain less information when we type, rather than write. Their conclusion, again, is that taking time to write it down requires us to process and digest the information at a deeper level. I’m sure having to decipher my own chicken scratch handwriting, as opposed to reading neatly types notes, contributes to that as well.

Karin James of Indiana University contributed a paper to the journal Trends in Neuroscience and Education that showed other benefits to writing things down. It activates areas of the brain that aren’t stimulated by typing notes into a device. This sort of activity makes lifelong learning easier, and could help to stave off cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s.

It Isn’t Online

One of my great regrets in life is getting rid of my Alphasmart. It was a keyboard with a four-line digital screen that ran on AA batteries. The thing was made of nigh-indestructable plastic and weighed next no nothing. I shouldn’t have given mine away when I moved to Finland. The biggest benefit, to me, was that it was nothing but a word processor. No apps. Completely off the internet. Absolutely free from distractions when I wanted to write. I could become 100% engrossed in what I was doing.

My bullet journal hits that same sweet spot, albeit for different reasons. I don’t try to write anything long-form in longhand, but I have the joy of being disconnect. My attention can be directed to the page in front of my. Nothing is going to pop up, or ping, or entice me to do something unproductive in another part of the journal.

When possible, I try to review and update my bullet journal away from my desk. The Alphasmart was oddly soothing to use, because it was so simple and understated. The bullet journal is the same. It’s me and this simple tool. Minimalist. No added flourishes. The only thing I can do is dive into what’s important.

Bullet Journals Will Outlast Other Technology

The writer Warren Ellis has been blogging lately about re-acquiring movies and music on physical media. That promise that everything will eventually be streaming and accessible hasn’t panned out. There are shows that aren’t on any of the services. A lot of indie bands haven’t signed on with Spotify and the like. It feels like going backward, but physical media will always be there for you.

Hardware becomes obsolete. Software needs to be updated. Batteries need to be replaced or recharged. Paper will always be there for you. Okay, fine, don’t get it wet and try not yo set it on fire, but that applies to my laptop too. The worst I normally have to worry about is whether my pen will run out of ink. Being a writer, I have a minimum of 3 pens on my person at any given time just in case such a contingency arises. It’s no big deal.

Paper also means that I don’t have to worry about finding old information. Is that file still on the old computer, or did I copy it over to the new one? Is it backed up to floppies, or the external hard drive, or the cloud? Oh, wait, it’s in this book, sitting on this shelf. I don’t have to worry about whether I have a device or an app that can read a file in that format. It’s paper.

What Do You Think?

Do you use a bullet journal? What do you love about it? Have you tried it, and found it to not be your thing? What did you dislike? I’m interested in hearing your opinions. Leave a comment!

Topic: Bullet Journal and Related Posts

Bullet Journal: This topic is for posts about bullet journaling, planning, and general productivity. There will be elements of minimalism thrown in, because I’m all about simplicity. Posts may also cross over with self-care, since I also use my bujo to manage my executive function disorder.

This isn’t going to be image-heavy, with a lot of walk-throughs and tutorials. I use my bullet journal for practical matters, not as an arts-and-craft project. Nothing against people who do. This topic is more for documenting best practices, things that have helped me in life, and related anecdotes.

The reason I picked this as a core topic for the blog is because it touches every aspect of my life. I run my business out of my bujo, and organize my life with it. It helps me to manage my physical and mental health. While it’s not the only productivity and planning tool I use, over time those other things have become intertwined with it. There’s a lot to talk about, on an ongoing basis.

Posts

You can find more posts on this topic here:

https://berinkinsman.com/tag/bullet-journal/

Hashtags

#bulletjournal #bujo #planner