Bullet journal Pros and Cons
If you are here, I'm sure you've heard about bullet journaling. You've probably searched for the ways to be more productive and organized and that's how you hear about it. At least that's how I found out. The system was created by Ryder Carrol, you can watch this video to understand his vision of the bullet journal system.
Originally, it used to be just any paper notebook, pen and you. Now, it's so much more. Its the place where you can also get creative. When you type Bullet journal on Pinterest, you'll see those spreads on steroids: each page like a work of art. But the main purpose of it is to get you more organized and productive.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to your bullet journal style. If you feel like add watercolors - go for it, if you want it to be black ink on white paper - do it. At the end of the day, it's absolutely just your journal, you are the one who made it and only you the one who can judge it. You don't need anyone's approval, it should work just for you.
Many confuse bullet journal with a planner. And no wonder. The line between those two is really thin, but it's there.
If you are not sure whether to get a planner or start a bullet journal, read on. I put together Pros and Cons lists to help you decide which one suits better for you.
What is a bullet journal?
In short, it's a method of journaling and note-taking that uses bullet points as a core structure. Its structure helps to organize, priorities and track important tasks, events and notes across days, months and even years. The difference between bullet journal and a planner is that its a mix of planner, diary and to-do list. You basically have all your life in one journal.
Now let's break it down by its pluses and minuses.
And because I'd like to finish this list on the positive note, let's start with minuses first.
- Bullet journal is time-consuming. You are starting with a blank page and have to put together everything: yearly logs, monthly calendars, future log, weekly and daily pages. And those are just the basics. You would probably want to add to those pages others, like Goals, to read, Bucket lists, ideas, diary etc. And what if you choose to decorate those pages, add some fancy layouts you saw on Pinterest? At that point, you might ask yourself if it's really worth it? You are putting the time you could spend on actually doing things in setting up layouts to just write down your tasks. Instead of being proactive, are you procrastinating?
- The planners are much more straightforward. You write down your tasks and cross them out once they are done. With bullet journaling, you need to learn the whole cohesive system. There are new concepts like logs, migrations, modules etc. It might take time to understand and implement this system (something, to be honest, I never get around to)
- If you are a perfectionist - bullet journal will be your nightmare. Because you set up all pages yourself, you have the full freedom, but with it comes a price. It's going to be an endless struggle to get your spreads to look beautifully crafted, like the ones you see online. You can also feel the pressure to do monthly themes and try every bullet journal hack there is.
- With all the time and work you put into bullet journal, you might wonder if it actually worth it. You might wonder if you better off with just a planner. In fact, nowadays the line between planners and bullet journals are so thin, that the bullet journal system might take a backseat. You still can be creative with your planner spreads without having to implement logging and migration system from bullet journal.
For me personally, those are the reasons I'm not using bullet journal on daily basis. Don't get me wrong, I love the concept (especially the creative part of it) and I love to create illustrated weekly and monthly pages for bullet journaling. But I cannot commit myself doing those every week of every month. I'm a procrastinator enough already :)
But nevertheless, here are the things that are awesome about bullet journaling:
- From the first minus coming out this plus. If you posses drawing skills, want to unplug and just sit down with a notebook and your favorite supplies - bullet journaling is for you. It's a great place to unleash and put to good use your creativity :) You can go with minimalistic layout or be adventures with them, everything works here.
- Unlike the planners, bullet journal has a migration step, which helps to evaluate the importance of your unfinished tasks and decide whether or not they worth your time in the future.
- It's totally unique and it's just yours. Because you set up each page yourself, you add your personal touch and style. And since there are no two people alike, your journal will be unique in that way.
- It's totally built up to accommodate your needs in a way that traditional planners cannot. While the blank pages might feel daunting at first, that's also what gives the flexibility to adopt journal to your needs. You can set up a page to track your habits, meals, business goals and to just try out new stationery.
Nowadays, what's cool is that you can experiment with mediums for your bullet journal. It doesn't have to be just a paper notebook anymore. If you have IPad or another tablet, you can set up your bullet journal there. The digital journals are more forgiving (thank heavens for the undo button) :D And they might be a great place to experiment with the system before committing to it and buying expensive notebooks and supplies.
You can save some time using premade journal layouts. No need to compromise between having beautiful spread and getting things done. Download Free weekly layout at the Library or go to Etsy to purchase one.
Digital journal is also a great place to practice with the pages you want in your bullet journal. In Goodnotes, for instance, you can move page anywhere you want it in the journal. This helps you to decide on how to set up your journal system and what pages and collections are more important to you.
If you are ready to commit to the bullet journal system and would prefer to have a paper looking journal with blank pages on your Ipad, check out this Digital bullet journal.
The best feature of digital journals and planners for me is clickable tabs and bookmarks. It's also what distinguishes it from the paper notebooks. You can have quick access to the pages you need by just clicking on the tab. :)
Hope this post helped you to decide with which system to go: planner or bullet journal. And either you are a digital girl or paper lover girl, there is always a place for experiments and for trying something new.
Stay creative and be curious. :)
Talk to you soon,