Why bullet journaling works

There are odes to bullet journals, testimonials about their life-changing influence, streams of BuJo page photos, and blog posts from millions of fans. The Bullet Journal seems to be a magic bullet! But why is bullet journaling so effective?

Even if you’re not using a Bullet Journal, there are still basic principles that you can use in your own organization/productivity system and reap the benefits. Let’s take a look at some of those and see how you can use them in your own system.

Bullet journaling works because:

    1. It’s simple. – Even though you can make it as complex as you wish, you only need a notebook and a pen. Everything else is optional. The notebook & pen don’t even have to be nice! Although it helps if they don’t fall apart after a week of using them constantly, because that’s what you’ll be doing with your bullet journal.

    2. It’s flexible. – You can set it up in any way you like. If you like schedules, make a schedule for each day. If you like calendars, draw a calendar. If you like lists, list everything. If you like mind maps, map away.

    3. Rapid logging lets you write down anything quickly. – This is especially useful for ADD/ADHD sufferers. When you’re trying to concentrate on something but have millions of great ideas, just write them down in your bullet journal and focus on your task. They’ll be patiently waiting for you to finish the task and see if any of them need doing, delegating or ignoring.

    4. Writing things down makes you remember them better and reduces your stress. – It seems that writing things down makes your brain less anxious about forgetting them and also more likely that you’ll remember them. It’s a sort of catch-22: if you write things down, you’ll remember them, therefore eliminating the need to have them written on a page somewhere. Still, it’s probably better to leave them there and not rely completely on your memory.

    5. Collecting information doesn’t take much work. – Whenever you want to write something in your bullet journal, either add it to your daily log with rapid logging, or find an empty page and start a new “collection”. There’s no need to find an appropriate place for the information, no need to categorize it, format it, use a predefined style or process it in any way before writing it down.

    6. Everything is in one place. – Once you get used to simply opening a blank page in your journal and writing, it becomes easier and easier to collect all kinds of information in your journal. Combine this with the future log and the daily tasks, and it’s even easier to get organized, because you already have all the information in a single place. And whenever you need information, you know where to look for it.

Even though it has many benefits, it’s possible that bullet journaling isn’t for you. Try it out, see what works and what doesn’t, adopt whatever does work into your own system. There isn’t a single system which will work for everyone – just make sure that whatever you’re using works for you.

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