Help, my notebook is a mess! Combining a bullet journal with a discbound system

how the modubooq idea started – blog series #2

Welcome to this blog series!

I am Marije, product designer at PATboard. In the previous blog I explained why modubooq fits into our Agile philosophy and how this idea translates to a more personal level and minimalistic philosophy. You can read this here. In this blog I will explain my personal journey with note-taking by using a bullet journal, also called a bullet planner. Next to that, I also explain how I managed to solve the first practical challenge I encountered: organizing my notes.

Organizing personal projects with one notebook

The most important function a notebook should have is a way to organize personal projects, work projects, random thoughts and new ideas into one notebook. I personally don’t like having multiple notebooks or bullet journals for every subject I come up with. Because that just leads to loads of unfinished notebooks and losing them all the time. As long as I can remember, this is what I settled on.

The bullet journal method

Then I encountered the bullet journal method. In short, this system describes a way you can structure your notes and goals into one notebook. After giving it a shot, it actually had some amazing ideas about structuring. Especially the symbols before each task, that allow you to quickly see the status of each task. Just genius! I still use this today. When I gave the bullet journal method a try it went pretty well at the start. I set a few goals and even the monthly planning system. And it did help with taking action by concretely writing everything down.

How the bullet journal method tries to solve page organization

As time progressed I also wanted to incorporate new ideas and sections into the notebook that I carried with me everywhere. For this to happen I had to break with the organization of the page order. The bullet journal method has a solution for this: the “Index Page”. This is like a table of content for your notebook where you can list the subjects of your notes with the corresponding page numbers on the moment you want to add something.

I tried this but my notebook still did not feel organized. Plus I could not remove pages I did not want anymore. I wished there was a way to bundle the pages for each subject so everything wasn’t so mixed up. So the search for a new solution began.

Blog continues below images.

The “Index” Page on the left and “Key” Page on the right.

Me ripping out a page and taping it on a different location.

The best solution to organize a bullet journal: a discbound system

So instead of a traditional bullet journal notebook with fixed pages, I started looking for a way I could be more flexible with my notes. One of the things I tried is a ring binder that you can clip open. But I did not like the look of it. And clipping it open was not very easy to do. It felt too much like a school project multimap.

Then I found the discbound system and tried it out. It was easy to remove or remove a page. The discs looked friendly and classy in black and they came in different styles and thickness. The only thing that I didn’t like about it is that paper pages get damaged when you move them often. And I still couldn’t really erase my notes.

Blog continues below images.

– The ring bound notebook I used for a while.

– The paper discbound notebook from ARC (https://www.staples.com/)

Conveniently I work at PATboard & modubooq as the product designer. We specialize in rewritable materials so I thought, let’s try to make an erasable discbound bullet journal notebook with rewritable pages. So that is how the idea for modubooq was born.

– Written by Marije

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