Productivity & Photography

I have two words for you Bullet Journal. Now you might be thinking what does journaling have to do with photography. One is writing and note taking, the other is making photographs and being creative. Photography takes a lot of technical know-how, as well as creativity. Creativity requires expression, ideas and a medium to showcase your thoughts and vision. Taking notes, be it in a notebook, iPhone, journal or napkin, reinforces your thoughts and ideas. Notes can help to achieve tasks. Whenever you get an idea you run the risk of losing it if you don’t write it down. The Yin and Yan world of photography is left and right brain-dependent, balancing creativity and productivity, which fits perfectly with Bullet Journaling.

I started taking photos before I can remember. I was a visual child. I never read or wrote a single word in my childhood until it was mandatory in school. Even then I avoided reading and writing like the plague. It wasn’t until my adult years that I needed to become more organised and disciplined with my time, chores, health and finances. This is where taking notes and tasks entered my life. Goals, daily tasks, ideas, and anything that came into my head down it went onto paper. It was my way to stop thinking about it, and get on with the task at hand. A brain pause button if you will.

A.B Watson's Bullet journal notes

It’s only been in the last two years that I have got really serious about bullet journaling. Before I used to go through dozens of small moleskin books, writing down every composition, article and photo idea or direction I had. I would have conversations with myself on paper about my style, where I wanted to take my photography and what I was really passionate about. Here is where being an adult and journaling got me, with daily tracking. I’m of the age where I need to think about my health as well as my business. This is where daily tasks come into play.

I started daily recording my meals, my monthly tasks, goals and a few other things. Be it uploading 5 Instagram photos a week, to writing an article once a week. And tracking my weight, fitness and what I’m grateful for that day. Having done this for half a year, I realised that I was wasting a lot of my personal time. I wasn’t pushing myself and my photography and with daily tracking, I could visually see the decline in motivation and consistency. In short, my productivity wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

Over this past year, I was planning to start teaching workshops and selling my prints. In short, I failed at my task. Not because I couldn’t do it, but because I didn’t want to. With my journal, I realised that I was more passionate about writing and taking photographs, sharing my thoughts, ideas and knowledge through written text, than in person at a workshop where people would of had to pay. I was more comfortable sharing my knowledge for free instead of putting a price tag on it. With the reflection, I also realised that I love printing my photographs in the darkroom. But I never gave myself the time to do it. Something I will rectify this year.

Photographers that inspire A.B Watson

What I’m trying to say is that bullet journaling doesn’t make you instantly productive. What it does, is track what is important to you. It helps you reflect on the past year and helps you steer towards the things that you really want. And steer away from the things you don’t want. Bullet journaling reinforced my process when it comes to my photography. It helped me see what was really important to me. And it cleared up things that I thought I wanted or thought I needed to achieve. I have clarity now thanks to the simple task of daily journaling. It will make 2019 a more productive year because of the self-reflection from the previous year.

If your someone that takes notes, writes things down, uses lists to achieve your goals or tasks. Consider bullet journaling. It might just steer you down a direction you might have never considered before, and open new doors and pathways to your own unique vision. Be it creatively, productively or visually, it could help your photographic life as it did for me.

Here are some resources you might want to check out to get started.


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