Bullet Journaling is the new kind of calendar organization – super simple, yet clear and structured. Besides, you can customize your Bullet Journal individually according to your needs. The idea behind it is to have a place for all notes, appointments, tasks and thoughts – and still be master of the (apparent) chaos.

The benefits of Bullet Journaling are definitely there for me. I have a place where I can almost note everything down and look it up later. It “forces” me to reflect regularly. I also started to write more daily through Bullet Journaling. I never stayed long on the classic diary. I can really sort myself out, get ideas out of my head and find the overview.

Bullet journal self care and motivation page
@silverstudies_

What Do I Need For A Bullet Journal?

Bullet Journaling is not limited to a specific notebook, and it does not matter whether it is checkered, lined, blank or with a points grid. There are also no specifications for the size. However, make sure that the pages offer enough space, especially for the monthly pages

You can use any pen. I like to write with fineliners from Pigma Micron, mostly in strengths 08 and 03.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Like pretty much everything in life, rapid logging and Bullet Journaling have two sides.

Bujo goals challenges and motivation
@craftyenginerd

Benefits of Bullet Journaling

The handwritten note is undergoing a revival. And not without reason! Not only does it look beautiful, but it can also be helpful in everyday life.

  • It’s economical. You don’t have to invest in an expensive special calendar diary; you can use any notebook.
  • You don’t waste resources. Typically, calendars are pre-printed, usually with a blank space for writing notes every week. If you don’t use this space, it stays empty, and you just turn to the next week. If you have to note down many appointments, everything squeezes together in the smallest space. This doesn’t happen in a Bullet Journal. Each day takes up exactly as much space as required.
  • It’s flexible. The whole setup with the different logs and with the notation signs is not a regulation carved in stone, but a suggestion. If you notice that, you don’t need certain elements or that you want to use other icons – feel free! You can also freely determine the space you give to the respective categories, which is a big advantage over pre-printed calendars.
  • There are apps for all of this, but they usually force you to adapt to a particular system. In BuJo, you develop your own system.
  • This is exactly where the great strength of this clear retro trend lies. You can romp about individually and are not subject to anything that can restrict you. You can use a habit tracker to visualize the development of your habits, note lists, packing lists, weekend planning, date overviews, period trackers, or any type of time trackers. Anything is possible with the Bullet Journal.
  • Another plus of a Bullet Journal is that you can use it as a notebook at the same time. Only a few calendars have enough space for all my thoughts and things I want to remember.
  • An often-underestimated point is the positive effect of self-written things on memory. I have been observing for a long time that I can really remember things I have written myself. When I create a handwritten summary, I can rely on the information in stressful situations much better than if I had just read or typed it. The Bullet Journal system uses the same principle. Even dealing with the question of how I should design the individual pages creates a closer bond to the subject.
  • Above all, Bullet Journaling can bring order to your mind. Here you can empty all thoughts. Errands, a wish list, sports planning – everything can find its place. That’s how you like it. It’s a structure that triggers relaxation.
  • Whether it concerns travel planning, an overview of appointments and finances or gives your ideas a space – this design helps to create awareness through the technique of visualization. We can record everything we worry about in a single book. Also, you do not need a battery to access it.
  • I quickly realize what I postpone and how many times and can question why this is so? (I’m pushing myself, maybe it is not so important, do I need to refine my time management?)
  • It is a nice evening routine to plan the tasks of the coming day and vice versa to see what you have done today.
  • I have everything in one place. Not separate calendars (with post-its, if space was not enough), notebook for the blog, sketchbook for drafts or a booklet for ideas and concepts.
  • It is a perfect secret weapon for establishing new routines and habits. And in a playful light, yet binding way.
  • It helps you with your personal development. Like a kind of coach who gives you observation tasks, so that you better observe yourself in everyday life and become more attentive.
  • Many people would benefit from an ordinary pocket diary, but only one big disadvantage puts them all in the shade – they lack individuality. That is where Bullet Journaling comes into play.
  • It is difficult to forget your failures, but it can be hard to remember successes as well. If you are not satisfied with your progress, it is easy to get back at your Bullet Journal and reflect on all the achievements you have made in the past.
  • With age, our past events become hazy and a journal helps you to document your life. Who knows, you kids might get some inspiration as well.
  • When making a decision there may be some things that may have skipped your mind. When you pen down your thoughts, you might find some stuff that you had overlooked. A Bullet Journal can thus give you more understanding and perception when executing an important task.
  • Fleeting thoughts and ideas are easy to ignore, but a written record is more convincing. You will find that if you keep a Bullet Journal, you will be more conscientious and more responsible for yourself.
  • You constantly need to give attention to your goals if you want to fulfill them. A BuJo helps you to make entries about your goals regularly and this keeps the momentum going. You will also not lose your focus after a few days of enthusiasm.
  • There are many research reports indicating that a few minutes of writing helps alleviate stress. When you write about your feelings, moods or anything, you will notice that you feel at ease and find pleasure in everyday tasks.
  • Bullet Journaling liberates my mind and gives me unprecedented mental clarity. Because the awareness of being able to collect all relevant information, notes, appointments, etc. in one central place and thus keep them out of my head was reassuring. I did not have to “keep things in my mind” anymore. I knew I would not forget them as it was taken care of, and I could go on working undisturbed.
Bujo monthly review and motivation
@studyreadlove
Bullet journal mood and mental health tracker
@cute.bujo.trackers
Bujo grocery planner
@fin_dagbok_bujo
Bujo finance and budget tracker
@hayleyremdeart
Bullet journal habit tracker
@planningwithkay
Bullet journal daily log and planner
@plannerjules

Drawbacks of Bullet Journaling

  • The flexibility is also a disadvantage of the Bullet Journal. This starts with the first “setup”, which takes some time. Personally, I would plan about half a day for it. Besides, not everything will work correctly from day one, and it will take a while to find your own personal rhythm in dealing with the Bullet Journal.
  • A Bullet Journal requires regular, preferably daily, maintenance. If you let it grind, you get out of its rhythm very quickly, and that means a tedious, renewed familiarization. Your motivation to write your journal may decline over a period, and your notebook may lie around unused for several days or weeks.
  • You write relatively much by hand, which of course takes time. Also, it assumes that you can still decipher your handwriting the next day.
  • Sometimes you have to write down dates three times. First, in the yearly overview, if they are still relatively far in the future. Then again, in the monthly summary, as soon as the respective month is reached. And, a third time in the daily overview.
  • The downside to this freedom is that if you just do not have the time to think about all these possibilities and the effort is too big, a real calendar is probably better for you.
  • Since you cannot really make a backup of your Bullet Journal, there is no cloud, no password and no encryption, you need to keep it in a safe place and not lose it. It is an excellent practice to write your first name, your mobile phone number and a personal message to the finder on the front page of your journal. With a small finder’s fee, to which you also refer, you can create the right motivation for a spotter to bring your journal back to you.
Bujo fails or bullet journal failed spreads
@erinflotodesigns
Bullet journal mistakes, tricks and tips
@plentyofplans
Bujo mistakes and challenges
@virgoventure

Conclusion

When you look online, you may get the impression that you need to be creative with your setup. And most of all, it’s an unbelievable amount of work and time to run a “perfect” Bullet Journal.

That is not the point. A Bullet Journal should not cost you time but save time. There are minimalist approaches that work just as well as the extravagant ones.

Rapid logging minimalist page
@everydayreflections

You do not have to use fancy fonts, colored pencils, or hand-drawn graphics if you do not want to.

For me personally, I noticed that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. 

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