What is #BuJo? Find out how it can help you streamline your to-do list, stay organised and bring a little visual creativity into your journaling practice…
Search the hashtag #BuJo on Instagram, and you’ll find more than two millions pictures of stunningly beautiful notebook spreads featuring neat handwriting, impressive illustrations, eye-catching colours and plenty of individual flair. But what exactly is bullet journaling, and how can it help you streamline your to-do list, stay organised and bring a little visual creativity into your journaling practice – as well as possibly improving your health and happiness along the way?
We’ve outlined five things you need to know about bullet journaling, so you can decide whether this productivity craze sweeping the internet is worth a try…
1. It encourages you to step away from the screen
Bullet journaling is a process of getting your to-do list, important events, short and long term goals down on paper, which helps you ditch the apps and phone notes, and organise your life in an entirely analogue way. It means you externalise thoughts and get them out of your head, which frees up brain space for other things and helps you concentrate more fully on tasks. And taking the time to write down your goals by hand apparently helps signal to your brain that they’re important – which might make you more likely to stay on track.
2. You don’t need fancy equipment
Yes, many of the bullet journals featured online feature elaborate designs drawn out with multi-coloured gel pens, but as long as you have a pen (any pen will do!), a notebook (blank is fine, although many people prefer a dot grid design) and 15 minutes, you’re good to go. We recommend this bullet journaling tutorial to get you started.
3. It combines a to-do list, a planner and a diary in one
Rather than just using a planner, which focuses on the future, or a diary, which focuses on what you did that day, keeping a bullet journal allows you to track your day-to-day to-do list, your future goals, and log any memorable and important experiences (books you’ve read, films you’ve enjoyed, trips you’ve taken, recipes you’ve made, DIY projects you’ve completed, good times with friends, things you’re grateful for, etc.) – helping you simultaneously plan, keep track of and record your entire life, across all its elements.
4. Anyone can do it!
Despite what you see on Instagram, you don’t have to be an artist or an illustrator to start a bullet journal. Your journal is unique to you, so don’t worry about making it picture perfect and instead focus on making it work for you. Not great at drawing? Stick to a typographic style, or incorporate stickers, stamps or any other types of decoration. Your bullet journal should be easy and enjoyable to fill out – so keep it simple to begin with, and don’t worry about making a mess!
5. It could make you happier and more productive
Bullet journaling devotees say that the simple act of writing everything down on paper helps them get out of their own heads, and makes them feel more in control of their life. In fact, the practice’s founder, a Brooklyn-based designer called Ryder Carroll, originally started it to help organise his life and manage his ADD. And there’s plenty of research linking a regular journaling practice with increased happiness – which means it might be time to bite the bullet!
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