Bullet journaling — the ultimate marriage of productivity, creativity, and reflection. Sounds like the dream, right? While bullet journaling can be fantastic for fostering productivity in your life while also having a healthy balance of reflection in your life and ability to express your creativity, it's definitely not for everyone.

Journaling is heralded for its positive benefits to your mental health: lowering anxiety, stress, expressing emotions, and helping you to better understand yourself and the world around you. Therefore it's easy to see how bullet journaling could be a happy medium between journaling's positive health and also our constant need for productivity.

Related: The Telegraph - Dear Diary... The Surprising Health Benefits of Journaling

However, although it contains some benefits, it's also not for everyone and depending on your lifestyle and personality, bullet journaling could induce the opposite effects. Based on my brief experience with bullet journaling after I tried it for a week, I've definitely already experienced some of the pros and cons to bullet journaling and have compiled some tips on determining if bullet journaling is for you.


one. you thrive on organization and to-do lists.

Are you a boss at organizing everything and anything? You'll love bullet journaling. The best thing is that you can make it as neat and as not neat as you want, as long as you're willing to put in the effort to add your own structure to your journal. Turn those countless to-do lists into one nice, neat little bow, in your bullet journal, the home to all of your lists in one happy place.

two. you're self-employed and/or work from home.

I think that one of the best things about the bullet journal is that it encourages you to be productive and adds a bit of structure to your life. If your life is very self-dictated, meaning that you don't have a job or school to add structure to your life, but rather you create your own, the bullet journal can be great for encouraging you to continue to get things done and make little accomplishments. Therefore, although I'm not self-employed or working from home (technically), I think that it could highly benefit you by helping you to add some structure through deadlines into your life.

three. customization is a #1 priority to you.

The thing about bullet journaling is that you have to be willing to put in the work to create your own outline for the journal. While customization is a great thing that bullet journaling is known for, the downside of being able to customize your journal however you want is that you have to invest a little more time to do so on your own.
You have to create and plan out your own monthly logs and daily logs, so you have to put in that extra work to get that prepped every month. If customization is of utmost importance to you and you're willing to put in that work to customize yourself, then bullet journaling is for you.

four. you want to form new habits. 

Bullet journaling is wonderful for people that like habits — making new habits as well as adhering to existing habits. One exceptional use of bullet journaling that I've noticed has been habit tracking. Habit tracking is essentially where you make a list of the days and mark off the days that you've completed a habit, such as the amount of water that you drank, exercise, hours of sleep, anything you want to track. This is great because it encourages you to maintain that habit by offering you the incentive of getting to check off those boxes, while also reminding you of your holistic progress for forming these new habits.


one. you like living life spontaneously.

Some people don't like planning. And that's totally fine. While I believe that you can still potentially like bullet journaling if you don't like planning, if you like to live your live more spontaneously and less out of habit, you'll probably have a hard time adhering to journaling daily and sketching out future logs and monthly logs if you want to leave your months unwritten.

two. agendas aren't your thing.

If you don't like agendas, you probably won't like bullet journaling either. Bullet journaling are essentially completely customizable agendas. They're meant for planning, so that you can track things happening in your life. The monthly log and the daily logs are basically like agendas, but instead of adhering to the pre-made structure of an agenda, you can go off on your own and make it more focused on your own life. If you don't like using an agenda, bullet journaling will probably be a pain for you, since you not only organize your life similarly, but you also have to construct the outline of the journal yourself.

three. you prefer to journal for reflection rather than inspiration.

The thing that I've noticed about the bullet journal is that it's very centered around productivity — getting things done and producing new ideas. However, there's not much room for reflection. Sure, I've seen those posts online about how people make lists

Related: Sandglaz - Why Analog Task Management Doesn't Work

four. aren't willing to set up your own weekly/monthly spreads.

If you're not willing to commit to the time of having to set up your own weekly and monthly spreads, then you won't like bullet journaling, where you have to commit a good chunk of your time just creating an outline for your journal every week. Although the customizable parts of bullet journaling has its perks, the downside is the time commitment of having to set your own structure to your journal. If this is the deal breaker for you, try an agenda instead.

Okay, but all in all, while all of these are good indicators for you to gauge whether or not you're more likely to enjoy and find benefit from bullet journaling, obviously the only true indicator of whether or not it's for you is going ahead and trying it. While there were definitely some ups and downs for me and I haven't really been maintaining my bullet journal, I'm still glad that I got to experience the bullet journal life (+ good for the 'grams, am I right?) to see the benefits.

So what have you liked/disliked about bullet journaling?

How to Know if Bullet Journaling is For You


  1. A bullet journal is only going to be helpful if someone is willing to put out the time and effort. You're absolutely right. It takes a lot of dedication to create the spreads. For some people, the ability to block out a chunk of their time to create is actually really peaceful and relaxing. Others may find it a chore. Your bujo is only going to work for for your lifestyle if you're willing to put in the work.

    Great post. I think anyone on the fence about starting a bujo will find it helpful!

    -Kim :)

  2. I never tried out bullet journaling for these exact reason. When I checked out the official site for bujo and read what to do I was like, "Eh, this is too much of a chore" and that was it.
    But I honestly want to try it out in the future because I'm a fierce believer of never knowing what good something can give you unless you try. Awesome post!
    x Kate | https://allthetrinkets.wordpress.com

    1. Yeah, I would definitely say that if you're interested, try it out! Let me know how it goes if you do!
      Rebecca xo