Bullet Journaling for Genealogy

I must admit that I am not familiar with “Bullet Journaling.” However, a notice about an upcoming genealogy presentation in Ohio caught my eye:

The next meeting of the Lake County [Ohio] Genealogical Society is set for 10 a.m., Nov. 29, in the basement of the Morley Library, 184 Phelps St. in Painesville.

Carla Cegielski will talk about “Bullet Journaling for Genealogy.” Attendees can learn about how a bullet journal can help plan, guide, and organize genealogical research, according to a news release.

People can capture their random thoughts and midnight revelations and turn them into actionable tasks.

Cegielski is a freelance family history researcher specializing in Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia research, the release stated. She is a frequent speaker at genealogical societies, libraries, and conferences.

Visit www.lcgsohio.org or call Dave at 440-209-1639 or Cynthia at 440-951-0914 for more information.

I won’t be able to attend the presentation in Ohio so I decided to do a bit of digging to learn what I can about bullet journaling, also known as rapid logging. What I found looks promising. According to https://bulletjournal.com:

“Be it for taking notes or journaling, studies keep identifying benefits of writing by hand. That said, it takes time and can be unorganized. How can we enjoy the benefits while avoiding the shortcomings of hand writing? Rapid Logging.

“Rapid Logging is the language in which the Bullet Journal is written. In short, it’s a way of capturing information as bulleted lists. Let’s start with the basics.”

Also:

“If Rapid Logging is language the BuJo is written in, Bullets are the syntax. Bullets are short-form sentences paired with symbols that visually categorize your entries into: Tasks, Events, or Notes.”

You can learn a lot more about Bullet Journaling, also known as Rapid Logging, in the Bullet Journal at https://bulletjournal.com and especially at https://bulletjournal.com/pages/learn.

If you have any experience with Bullet Journaling for genealogy applications, please post a comment below describing your experience(s).

4 Comments

I’ve used bullet journalling as an organisational tool on and off for a couple of years. I don’t use it to store records, but it’s useful for planning, monitoring progress and developing ideas.
It’s grown in popularity with the ‘digital generation’, who are less likely to use more traditional methods of working. It probably seems a lot less revolutionary to those of us who worked or studied without the benefits of technology. It’s taken the simple idea of bullet point lists and developed it into something more systematic. I think it’s appeal is that it’s simple and uncomplicated compared to some technologies.
Bullet journals tend to be very personal documents and are less useful for collaborative working. But I find it useful as a support.

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This is a concise system using one record book. I used to make A, B, C lists when I was working. “A” had do be done immediately regardless of the time involved, “B” was less immediate, but was on the next level of what had to be done. “C” had to be done in a reasonable time, but required less time per item.
My main list saved my sanity, as I just kept referring to it. Just having this one little book with a pen handy for entries, changes, additions, makes it easy to do without always fiddling with an electronic device, and it keeps it easier to hide from snoopy persons who are always trying to look at what you are entering into that electronic device.
I kept making up main lists and the pile did grow. This one record book would keep control over the undone tasks and enable rescheduling them in an orderly, inclusive, and timely manner.

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I suppose I use the bullet journal idea for genealogy. I use an old fashion graph composition book. I have the list of FHL films I want to look at and date I looked at them, research questions categorized by grandparent branches, lists of my Revolutionary War ancestors, list of my Mayflower ancestors along with the ancestors between them and me. I also have a history section so I can quickly reference if a military conflict might have been occurring during a relative’s life and so much more. It is very useful!

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I have a bullet journal for a personal journal, but never thought about doing it for genealogy. Totally beats all the notebooks I have and the crazy Excel spreadsheet I got going for my genealogy research. I think I will give it a try!

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