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You’ve seen beautifully decorated notebooks on Pinterest or heard people talk about how much they love theirs. But are you finding yourself asking, what Is A Bullet Journal?
A bullet journal is a customizable journal that lets you track every aspect of your life. You can pick and choose what to include, such as household routines, to-do lists, your work calendar, exercises to work with your dog, or places you want to visit. It only has to include what you want to include.
The bullet journal can do just that and much more. With a bullet journal, you are not just keeping up a daily or weekly calendar – though that is definitely one of its functions.
What is a bullet jounal?
It is a single book that holds your entire life.
It helps you with special events and parties, plans you want to make with friends or family, to-do lists for your personal or professional life, important appointments, shopping lists, and whatever else is right for you.
The great thing about organizing your life with the help of a bullet journal is that there are no rules.
You set it up in whatever way works best for you, and by bringing the journal everywhere with you, you always have a way to keep up with everything that is important to you.
Bullet Journaling has expanded considerably as a concept and in its use. Artists have gone beyond the organization of the journal to making it a personal art form. Pinterest is full of lettering, graphics, and simple to complex drawings to add to your journal. And if you’re the artistic type, those will inspire you to spend hours decorating your journal.
If you’re not all that artistic or you so frustrated with a wonky line or circle that you tear out your page and start over, bullet journaling is still great.
That’s because a bullet journal is a completely flexible and personal planner. Emphasis on “planner.”
One thing to remember is that the bullet journal is customized for YOUR needs. Every decision you make will be based on what will work best for you. Get inspiration from others, and feel free to use my printables for different sections, but don’t feel pressured to make it look or feel just like someone else’s.
Note: Bullet Journal® (also know as BuJo®) is a trademarked name owned by Lightcage, LLC. Although the name and system is used widely, it’s important to acknowledge that it is, in fact, an intellectual property protected by federal and international law. As a writer, the rights of the designer of the system, Ryder Carroll, are as important to me as are my own. For more on the Bullet Journal® system, check out Bullet Journal.
If you love to-do lists, checklists, and bucket lists, you’ll love bullet journaling.
A bullet journal lets you track literally everything and anything.
We all have a lot of different daily tasks, appointments, and too many things we need to remember. Trying to keep track of everything becomes exhausting. And if you try to manage work and family commitments, you can easily end up juggling several planners to keep track of it all.
Just think of how much more productive and less stressed you’ll be if you can stop trying to balance everything and instead keep a unique and complete planner system that meets all of your life’s needs.
A bullet journal is a way of keeping track of everything you need to do in one notebook.
I recommend that, before you invest in a Leuchtturm notebook (see the resource list for details about the notebook and why I recommend it over others), you first play around with creating basic layouts in an inexpensive notebook you have on hand.
You’re likely to find that as you set up categories of pages you think you want, you’ll change your mind or decide on a layout that works out better for you. Better to do this kind of brainstorming what you want your bullet journal to be in a cheap notebook you can toss later as you transfer your ideas in the actual bullet journal you’ll use.
Inexpensive notebooks are good for the trial and error phase of planning out your bullet journal but they are too flimsy for daily work and will fall apart quickly.
Who Can Benefit from Bullet Journaling
Anyone can benefit from bullet journaling. Because each is unique and created by you for your own needs, your bullet journal can keep you organized and provide a place for all your lists and ideas. Unlike digital planners, a pen-and-paper planner lets you reflect, express yourself and allow your imagination to flourish while keeping you on track.
Are you a To-Do List Maker?
Then bullet journaling is for you.
If your computer screen is covered with post-its and your desk is buried under slips of papers with hastily scribbled phone numbers and ideas, a bullet journal will clean your clutter and give you the perfect platform for every stray idea or task. No more frantic searching through the debris to find the one name or number you need. It’s all in your journal.
Do you love the idea of maintaining your life and work with a written system
Let’s face it, if you run out of batteries, power or wi-fi, your electronic planner may let you down at a crucial moment. Your bullet journal can stay in your purse wherever you go.
I used to use Google Calendar but I’m also a Mac user and frequently things got mixed up, or double entered and I ended up giving up on it entirely. If it’s not in my bullet journal, it’s not happening.
As a blogger, there’s an added function to my bullet journal. I come up with ideas all day long, whether I’m grocery shopping, watching TV, or walking the dog. I used to dictate a note into my phone or text myself, only to promptly forget about it later. Now I just grab my journal and make a note in my blog post idea collection. Easy and it’s always available to me.
Are you looking for a creative way to manage your life
Do you wish you could fit drawing or painting into your day but simply don’t have the time? Find yourself doodling on a pad while on the phone?
While bullet journals can be (and in most cases, should be) very simple, there are so many ways to embelish the journal pages. You can Van Gogh your monthly pages with seasonal decorations, practice your best caligraphy in all your headings, use colorful washi tape on the edges of your pages, or even create beautiful inspiration pages.
As you plan your day, you can let out your creative side as you doodle and decorate your daily pages.
Do you feel like your head is so full of “stuff” that you’re going to forget important things?
(Raising my hand here!)
From the shouts of a teenager as he walks out the door that his morning practice on Saturday was moved to the afternoon, the cleaning and home routines you want to streamline into your day, the long-term redecorating or remodeling projects that need 97 steps completed before actually getting any work done, to the upcoming TV special you absolutely don’t want to forget to DVR, our lives are a whirlwind of “stuff.”
A bullet journal is the perfect way to anchor each of those things into one place, with a system to plan everything you need to do.
By writing down all these things, you don’t have to keep holding them in your head for fear of forgetting to do them. Less “stuff,” less stress.
Do you want an easy to use planner that can go with you everywhere?
A big advantage of the bullet journal is that it’s nothing more than a notebook and a pen. You can sit down anytime and anywhere to plan, check on your progress through the day, or add a new line item. There’s no need to hunt down a power outlet and it works just fine in bright sunlight.
Honestly, as much as I love my devices, it’s really refreshing to unplug and just spend some quiet time thinking, brainstorming and planning in a way that feels natural and very personal.
Are you a student who needs to organize class notes, assignments, goals, and extracurricular schedules?
Since a bullet journal is totally individualized by your needs, you can choose to keep all your ideas, timetables, plans and important school notes in your bullet journal along with all the rest of your life.
Are you an entrepreneur trying to keep all things business running smoothly?
While you have to use computers, email and text throughout your day, there are so many things that a bullet journal can make easier for you. Do you have regular brainstorming sessions, alone or with your staff? Your journal is the perfect repository of those ideas for you to go back over and reflect on. Organize your projects and assign yourself tasks throughout your calendar, write down tricky workflows that you will have to repeat over and over, even things like brand colors and font types you may need to have handy to give to a person working on your website. The bullet journal does it all.
Are you a homemaker and tasked with keeping all the details of home and family running smoothly?
The running of a home can easily be managed with a bullet journal. Keeping gift lists, birthdays, names and numbers for your children’s playmates, the best repair people in town, meal planning, homeschooling ideas and plans, and storage throughout your home. All of these can easily be added to your bullet journal to make your job easier and important information at reach.
What is a bullet journal?
No matter what your profession or passion, a bullet journal gives you the opportunity to create a totally individualized planner, idea repository, important lists, collections of things you want to do, details and contact info for the better running of your home or business, repeated task lists, habit trackers, personal diary, to-do lists, inspiration, financial planning and records, and setting goals.
Check out the many bullet journal posts linked throughout this article or click on the pinned images below. And be sure to download my free printable bullet journal set for your use in your own bullet journal.
Download your free Bullet Journal Printables here!
Throughout this article, I’ve linked other bullet journal posts you may want to check out. You can also see the complete list below:
The Bullet Journal Series: