Has anyone seen the new craze called bullet journaling? I started a personal bullet journal last September to keep track of my life, streamline my goals, accomplish my daily tasks, and record events and thoughts.
The system has worked so well that I decided to start a bullet journal for the studio. While I already have a notebook to keep track of thoughts and things I need to do (e.g. buy books, make flashcards, call so and so, etc.), I wanted a journal for tracking festival and recital preparation, noting books and repertoire commonly used, and keeping track of goals.
I know the bullet journal can get really in-depth, and some people thrive with a detailed journal, but I have chosen to keep my journal quite simple. Here are three ways I used the bullet journal in the studio:
Tracking Festival and Recital Preparation
The bullet journal helped to prepare students for Achievement Day. I used a separate page for each student and tracked the pieces they performed, the technique learned (including scales, arpeggios, chords), the tests they took and any extra options in which they participated. This will be so helpful next year when we prepare for Achievement Day once again and I can easily look back at what was accomplished previously (no searching for old judging forms or computer files!).
Noting Commonly Used Books and Repertoire
At the beginning of the repertoire section I have an index of composers, genres, publishers…any way I file it in my brain is how I filed it in the index. On the pages relating to the index is where I fleshed out the specific pieces used in recitals or festivals. For instance, my Vandall page is categorized by the name of the books, pieces from those books and names of students who have studied those pieces.
Although I also have computer files to keep track of commonly used repertoire, I have found a tangible notebook works better for me. I can easily flip through the pages to quickly reference pieces I am searching for.
Keeping Track of Goals
In the journal I have a section devoted to the “Happies” that happen in lessons. I write down comments or situations that make me smile. In my daily non-professional life, I do this in my personal bullet journal as well, and am a strong believer in the power of looking for the positive. It can change your entire outlook on life and teaching.
I also track the pieces I am learning, ideas for blog posts, summer goals, etc. It is a microcosm of some of the thoughts I scribble in my ongoing work notebook mentioned above, but in a much more organized manner.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you keep a journal? What works best for your organizational process?