Reasons to Start a Bullet Journal

Bullet journaling first garnered attention when founder Ryder Carroll posted a YouTube video on August 8th, 2013. In the video, Carroll shared his personal method of organization—an extremely unique method at a time when most people used pre-made agendas. His video struck a chord with people who had grown tired of mass produced planners that didn’t quite fit their needs, and they quickly hopped on board the bullet journal movement. His video blew up fast and became extremely popular. Within the blink of an eye, more and more folks started bullet journals, and more and more videos, photos, and articles on bullet journaling started to pop up all over the internet. There are good reasons why this method blew up.

1. It’s extremely customizable. 

While pre-made planners require a rigid commitment for six to twelve months, bullet journals allow for maximum customization. As you explore various methods throughout months of use, you realize what kind of layouts and organizational methods best suit your needs and lifestyle. If you are a minimalistic user, you can easily keep your journal sleek and simple. You can add or remove as much as you want. Likewise, as a flamboyant user, you are welcome to add all kinds of drawings, doodles, stickers, washi tapes, pictures, and more. Besides that, you can add particular things unique to your lifestyle. For example, if you’re training for a marathon, you can add a tracker in your planner to track your progress—a feature that isn’t present in many agendas, especially the ones from 2013 when the bullet journal was just introduced. Likewise, if a journaling method isn’t working for you, you can easily take it out. As a result, your bullet journal ends up becoming exactly what you need. 

2. It’s easy to set-up. 

Scrolling through the beautiful bullet journal layouts on Instagram, it’s easy to get the impression that you must be a talented artist to use this system. Many beginners fall into this trap, myself included. But it’s not true! Anyone can start a bullet journal, regardless of artistic talent. Make sure to reference Carroll’s video, as it contains the basics of most bullet journals without all the intimidating artsy things. In fact, when you start, it’s advisable to avoid doing art altogether, at least for the first month. Focus on the bare basics—which are actually quite easy to establish—and on making the system work for you. And remember, it doesn’t have to be beautiful to be effective. Do whatever you enjoy doing in it, whether it’s decorating it or keeping it minimal, just as long as it works. 

3. It’s great at keeping track of the things most important to you.

Since bullet journals are customizable, they fit everything you want to fit in them. You can keep track of deadlines, projects, and tests in the same way as with a mass produced planner, but you can also find room for creating test outlines and setting up study schedules. On a more personal note, you can keep track of memories, books, shows, and other interests. You can jot down thoughts—something you’re happy about, something you’re sad about. You can track the progress of your latest big goal, like writing a book or saving up for a car. If you’re struggling with an illness, keeping a daily food diary in your bullet journal may help you discover some particular triggers. If you’ve been having a bad day, writing down your thoughts in a reflective way can help resolve some issues. If you feel like you never accomplish much in a year, keeping track of your accomplishments every month can change your perspective when you look back on the year. The bottom line is, everything that matters to you is in your bullet journal.

So, like I said, there’s a good reason the bullet journal method blew up in recent years. The flexibility of the bullet journal gives it a functionality and a purpose that is completely unique to you. Its abilities and limitations are all up to you.


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