I’ve been keeping a bullet journal for 5 years now, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I’m not sure exactly why I started; perhaps I wanted the benefits of a planner without the rigidity, or perhaps I just found myself watching bullet journal videos during a YouTube rabbit hole.
Regardless of why I started, I want to share 4 of the reasons why I’ve continued.
Using a bullet journal helps me be more organized, makes me conscious of my time, lays a foundation for making other changes, and serves as a little bit of art therapy.
A Bullet Journal Helps You be More Organized
I started my bullet journal in 11th grade — right when school was starting to actually get hard. Science class was now physics, chemistry, and biology, and maths was now pre-calculus. I was realizing that my previous methods of skating through school would no longer cut it.
Some of my more organized friends had been using planners since the start of high school; it only took me 3 years to realize that they were onto something. My rebellious and ADD self wasn’t content with the school planners you could get at the office, and so when I stumbled upon the idea of bullet journals I was hooked. I implemented it, and it worked!
I found myself getting better grades, remembering assignments, and doing my homework.
Whenever I misplaced my planner for more than a day (which would happen at least once a month) I would find myself forgetting things more and stumbling back on my progress.
Whenever life gets difficult and out-of-hand, I often find that it reflects in how I keep up with my bullet journal.
And when I need a fresh start, I simply take some time to go through my bullet journal, set up some spreads, and figure out my priorities.
You Become More Conscious of Your Time
As you use your bullet journal, you’ll create a map of what you spend your time doing (meetings, grocery shopping, lunch with friends) and you’ll also get a sense of how many things you can check of your to-do list in a day.
If you find yourself with an unfinished to-do list every day, you might be overestimating how much time you have, or underestimating the time that certain tasks take.
If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, you may find that your bullet journal is always full of meetings and errands.
Seeing your tasks written out, you may realize they’re not all important, and decide to schedule more time for yourself.
Creates a Platform for Other Lifestyle Changes
Exercising, school work, small habits — it’s so much easier to follow through when I’m using my bullet journal every day. The little reminder, the nudge it gives helps me be consistent with other behaviors.
One thing I’ve noticed while bullet journaling, is that when I’m consistent with it, everything else falls into place.
Since a bullet journal is used every day, and it’s multi-purpose, I find that once you’re consistent with it you can easily use it as a tool to implement other good habits.
It’s a Form of Art Therapy
I love art. I come from an artistic family; if we’re not consuming art, we’re creating it. Woodworking, painting, drawing, writing, playing music — it’s what I grew up with.
Part of my initial draw to bullet journals was the aesthetic aspect of it: pretty weekly spreads, doodles, and collages. I would set up my weekly spread during the weekend, spending maybe an hour, and it was a nice break to allow myself to destress. It’s hard to find time to create art for art’s sake, but you need to set up your weekly spreads.
I don’t set up my spreads a week at a time anymore as university tends to get crazy; I usually set my whole term’s worth of weekly spreads all at once. I also don’t spend as much time on the little pretty things, but sometimes I like to spend some time doodling or making my titles pretty.
Hopefully, this article has convinced you that starting a bullet journal is for you. Check out my other articles about all the supplies I use for bullet journaling as well as how I set up my 2020 bullet journal.