Bullet journaling has been around for a while now and its popularity seems to keep growing with more and more people turning to it as their preferred planning system. Bullet journaling is by far the most superior planning system with a wide variety of features and promotes productivity. I am far more productive when I have my bullet journaling system in place.
If you are contemplating starting a bullet journal, you can sometimes become overwhelmed with the information available on the Internet. This is why I am sharing the pros and cons of bullet journaling based on my 4 years experience.
Indeed, bullet journaling can work for anyone and improve their organisation skills and productivity however there can be some down sides to this creative form of planning that you should be aware of before you start exploring and purchasing supplies.
Pros to the bucket journaling system
Bullet journaling is the ultimate creative planner experience that allows you to be completely open to any design, colour or spread. It acts as a blank canvas for you to put your own mark on it. The creative aspect of this style of journaling is where the joy and relaxation comes in. Many bullet journal users will say that the time they take to set up their planners is their down time. Being able to create an idea or design that is completely your own cannot only bring a sense of achievement, but you have a planning system that is specific to your needs with your favourite colours and designs.
As an adult, unless you are in a career that allows you to be creative, you do not have the opportunity to express yourself in this way, on a daily basis. Furthermore, family life, daily chores and work commitments can all get in the way; bullet journaling offers you that creative space. By practising being creative in your journal, you will be able to develop your handwriting, lettering and designing skills.
Bullet journaling is the ultimate tool for enabling you to become a more organised person. Bullet journals are superior to other planners on the market. You can design collection and tracker pages for just about any subject to help organise all areas of your life. Being able to track and record all areas of your life in one place can make things so much simpler. For example, you can keep a log of daily and monthly house chores, a list of all your account passwords down to a habit tracker to remind you about daily tasks e.g. taking medication.
It can be difficult to be at your most productive during a normal week; this is why bullet journaling has page ideas that help you track your to do lists, habits and more. Having a single place where you can record all your tasks, enables you to check them off thus increasing productivity and motivation. This style of planner is flexible and designed around your needs, so that you can be goal specific when creating your weekly and monthly spreads. Just by writing your tasks or assignments down encourages and motivates you to get them completed rather than trying to remember what you need to get done. Using habit trackers are the best productivity tools for holding yourself accountable and will actually motivate you to check each habit/task off your list.
Although I have shared many positive benefits of using the bullet journaling system, there are some cons that I am also going to share with you as you need to be aware of these before starting your journal.
Cons to the bullet journal system
Creativity v productivity
The reason most people keep coming back to bullet journaling is for the creative aspect. However, if you find yourself spending hours on your designs (if you have the time, then that’s great!), it can sometimes be less productive as you are spending more time on creating your spreads rather than completing your tasks. You have to find that balance between creating your designs, but also giving yourself enough time to complete your tasks within the deadlines.
The bullet journaling system is more time consuming than your standard planner. Even with the bare minimum set up, you still need to set up each weekly spread, make your own habit trackers and monthly calendars; you have to make sure that you have allocated enough time for your monthly set up. Once you start to feel the joy and sense of achievement with each spread, it will not seem time consuming and you will want to find the time each month.
There are so many beautiful spreads, designs and ideas shared by many people in the bullet journal community (it’s an amazing community by the way!), it can sometimes be overwhelming when you see pretty or intricate designs and you feel that pressure to deign something equally as fabulous or you feel that you are failing at this style of journaling. You may feel pressure to have the best supplies, create the best designs or lettering, but you be careful to remember that you are creating something just for you, so it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t turn out quite how you wanted; bullet journaling is meant to bring you joy not frustration or annoyance with the end product!
If you search bullet journaling on social media or in Google, there is so much information, tips, suggestions and supplies available, it can be confusing to know where to start. There are helpful websites (like the Official Bullet Journal websites) or you can find people on social media such as bloggers who you trust to read about their experience or their shared tips and ideas.
Social media has so many benefits, but it can also have a negative side which can add to the feeling of being overwhelmed or information overload as stated above. Instagram has a huge bullet journaling community which can sometimes add to the pressure to make Instagram-worthy content in your journal. Comparison is negative behaviour and can leave you feeling inadequate; this can happen to anyone, but you don’t want your journal to end up becoming a chore. Just take a deep breath and appreciate the skills and talents that you do have. However, Instagram offers a community which can inform and inspire you with your journal.
If you have been bullet journaling for a while, what pros and cons do you have from your experience? Can you relate to any of these? I’d love to hear in the comments.
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