Little Boxes

black boxI love little boxes.

No, I’m not talking about those little black ones tied up with a bow and containing sparkly diamonds or shiny gold jewelry.  

Instead, my heart goes pitter-pat for these little boxes.


Let me explain.

I’ve been reading up on something called a bullet journal — “The Analog System for the Digital Age”.  The purpose of this journal is to organize your life and boost productivity using a good old-fashioned notebook and a pencil.  It started as a simple, streamlined system created by an art director in New York City who “specializes in interactive design and usability”.

I have no idea what that means.

But then some really creative artsy people got ahold of this thing and took it to a whole new level.  After perusing the “Bullet Journal Junkies” Facebook page, I got hooked.

As it turns out, there’s a whole culture of dedicated fans who have very strong feelings about the best notebooks and writing utensils to use. They also are extremely supportive of each other and offer newbies tons of encouragement.

So I dove in with a Moleskine journal and some Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens. Now I see what this really is all about.

  1. This is a way to create a completely customized planner.  I decide what goes in and what stays out.  In other words, it’s a control freak’s dream.
  2. This is a glorified chore chart.  I remember making job lists for my kids when they were learning to make their beds, get dressed, go to the potty.  After every completed task, they got a sticker to put on the chart.  A chart full of stickers usually meant a trip to town to buy a toy. It was pretty effective. Instead of stickers, I get to color in little boxes with my new pens.  It’s pretty effective.
  3. This is an ingenious mix of a right-brain organizational tool and a left-brain creative outlet.
  4. Some people need a little box to color in at the end of the day to give them a sense of accomplishment.
  5. I am one of those people.

Here’s a peek:

See all those orange boxes? They make me so happy.


This is my habit tracker — it’s keeping tabs on my behavior, helping me stay accountable to the good habits I want to develop.


Yeah, I’m not about to disclose what those habits are — that might be a little too much accountability.  I know it’s working, though, because I caught myself thinking, “If I don’t eat my 1/2 pound of raw veggies today I won’t be able to color in my box.”


I’m not much of an artist, but I can make dots and dashes and print nicely.


I already know what I want to tweak for November.

Maybe this is just another kick that will wear off by 2016.

Or maybe I will become a bullet journal fanatic.

Either way, coloring in little boxes sparks joy.

And it might give me an excuse to drive into town and pick out a new toy.

2 thoughts on “Little Boxes

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