Yes, I was skeptical too. (Well if we’re being honest, I’m basically skeptical of pretty much everything until I’ve proven it for myself.) But when this trend of bullet journaling kept popping up everywhere on the internet, I eventually felt I couldn’t ignore it, and I was intrigued. Some of them were just so pretty.
After I did a little research, I decided that the bullet journaling system could probably work for me. And that’s significant because I. hate. planners. I always failed hard at them (or maybe they failed me…), and was left with January and half of February enthusiastically filled in, and then… nothing. They didn’t help me in the big picture; they just made me feel guilty for failing at something else. Those blank months just sat there, taunting me.
So if you’re brand new to bullet journaling, or new-ish, here’s a couple important things you need to know:
- Bullet journals are perfect for people who hate planners (see above).
- Bullet journals are perfect for people who love planners.
… Wait, what?
Here’s why: the magical key to a bullet journal is its absolute flexibility. The whole point is that only YOU can define your journal. It’s setup however you want it to be. You do you.
Hate trying to keep up with filling in or checking a planner? No prob- don’t even put a calendar in there, if you’re not going to use it.
Love making detailed plans for each hour of your life, down to the minute (even typing that just made me cringe, by the way)? Awesome! Fill your pages with calendars and schedules.
Are you artistic (or like to pretend you are)? Decorate your book inside and out however you want.
Rolling your eyes at all of the unnecessary fru-fru? Perfectly fine- just skip it.
Want an in-depth record of your life to look back on some day? Record everything in your bullet journal!
Don’t have time to write about how you were feeling or draw a daily doodle to represent the weather? Don’t worry- you don’t have to!
Get the idea?
If you are interested-yet-confused, check out this awesome post for bujo beginners from Parker & Me. It includes tons of stunning photos like the one below, and the explanatory video from the originator of the bullet journal system, Ryder Carroll.
Now that you know how to start a bullet journal, let’s take a look at some of the ways it will make your 2018 even more amazing. (Because we already know it’s going to be amazing, we just want to amp up the amazingness… OK, I’ll stop now.)
Keep all of your lists in one place. All of them.
While I am not a planner kinda girl, I AM a lists kinda girl. (Go figure.) I make shopping lists, to-do lists, idea lists, more to-do lists, insane department-specific grocery lists, lists of lists… It’s bad. But when these lists are scribbled on various pieces of paper, the envelope for my water bill, and in the Notes app on my phone, they’re not doing me much good. One of the best things about a bullet journal is having a dedicated place for all your lists.
Never forget a password again!
Put an end to the frustration by creating a handy username and password log in your bullet journal. Seriously, all the effort I have put into my bullet journal over the past year would all be worth it, just for this one benefit! Plus you can include other important sensitive information that’s easy to forget like your bank routing and account number. (Just be mindful of what information your journal contains if you choose to take it places with you.)
Start or stop a habit.
This is probably one benefit of a bullet journal that you’re already familiar with- all those fancy habit trackers. But they’re popular for a reason. It’s really enlightening to find that you’re spending over $300 a month on groceries for just two people (true story- ouch!), or that you’ve only had three actual glasses of water this week (maybe that’s why you don’t feel so well). And it’s really encouraging to see that you’ve already saved $200 toward your vacation, or lost 10 lbs.
If you’re interested in motivating yourself to change your habits, or simply interested in finding out more about yourself, I would highly suggest using your bujo to track your habits in 2018. Pick up some serious inspiration in this tracker round-up post from Zen of Planning.
Actually keep up with important dates.
So we’ve established the fact that some of us just aren’t “planner people.” However, we all have due dates, important days, or deadlines of some sort. (If you don’t, I’d like to meet you…) So even if you don’t care for a monthly calendar, you can still keep track of when bills are due, when your grandma’s birthday is, and what time your next dentist appointment is going to be. If you’re using the more traditional bujo method (as is shown in the Ryder Carroll video), then you can list dates to remember in your monthly overview, if nothing else. If you like to get more detailed, then transfer them over to your weekly or daily spread, as the time gets closer.
Enjoy a creative outlet and reduce anxiety.
I could go on for days about why you should use a bullet journal in the upcoming year, and how much it’s helped me (More bujo posts are currently in the works- check back soon for more.), but one of the coolest ways a bujo can help you get your life together is by reducing your anxiety. I find that it calms me to know that I have all of my important information in one place, and that those great ideas I thought of in the middle of the night are safely recorded for future action. And it relaxes me to spend some time taking a look at my life– where I’ve been, where I’m headed, where I’m at now.
Plus, if you do enjoy doodling, crafting, hand lettering, or even tracing, your bujo is a great place to practice your artistic ability, and that can greatly reduce anxiety too. Slap Dash Mom has a great post about how her bujo helps with her anxiety as well.
There you have it- 5 ways a bullet journal can improve your life in 2018.
If you’re looking for supplies, below is the journal I use and love (it’s half the price of the most popular journals and actually has thicker paper!), and my favorite pens. I use washi tape in my bujo all. the. time., but couldn’t find a link to any just like mine, but this is pretty close. 🙂
(Don’t feel like you have to get the most expensive or most popular- once again, this is meant to be whatever you want it to be.)
What do you use your bullet journal for? Share in the comments below.