Bullets, circles, ticks, hearts, stars and strike-throughs. This is the new-age hipster planner. But is it really that new considering we are in the digital age, and this is as analog as anything can get?
Unbelievable as it may sound, bullet journals are a growing trend in the daily logging space.
People are ditching Google Keep, Evernote and Google calendar to pick up pens and colour pencils to maintain a good old Bullet Journal. But is this here to stay or just another fad that will wear off with time?
Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons.
What is a bullet journal?
First off, here’s a video that explains how it works.
As explained, it’s a traditional form of rapid logging, and requires only a bunch of blank sheets. In Bullet Journaling, you write in the form of topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets.
Mind you, it’s not only about your daily tasks though. There’s a future log, a monthly log, a daily log, things completed and a comprehensive index.
If you really love stationery, detailed planners and writing or doodling, this can well be your next obsession. Besides, if you want to get rid of your habit of procrastination, bullet journaling is the remedy.
It’s quite simple, actually. All you need is a notebook and a pen, and a lot of patience and determination.
A Key to the Legends in Bullet Journals
Here’s a basic shorthand list to start with:
X = Completed task or strikethrough
> = Task delayed or migrated from the previous day
< = Upcoming or scheduled task
O = Occasions or events
– = Note to self
* = Priority task
Index: Table of your logs.
Daily log: To-do lists
Monthly log: A record of your month.
Future log: Far-fetched, long-term goals.
Year log: A pointer-form lookback at your year.
Pros of Bullet Journals
Why should you take it up? Why, we can think of more than one reason.
It’s a one-stop solution: It can be a planner or a tracker of your fitness or eating habits, a calendar and an outlet for creativity. Your entire schedule and life is bound in this one notebook. You don’t have to depend on your apps or Google calendars anymore.
Easy and effective planning: You do not need to invest much – just grab a notebook and a pen. Thus, it’s easy to set it up. Also, there’s no set pattern, so you can do it your own way – add some colours to it or doodle your way to glory.
Acts as a motivator: A bullet journal definitely boosts productivity, but only if you are one of those who hates seeing unread mails or un-ticked off tasks on the planner.
…And Some Cons As Well
To be fair, this activity is not for everyone, and it’s likely that you may lose interest soon, especially if you’re the kind who never remembers where they left their journal / pen/ colour pencils last.
Time-consuming: Let’s not live under a rock, bullet journals can demand a commendable share of your time every day. In fact, at the very beginning, to number the pages and designing the index can also be a task if you are not really up for it.
Demands discipline: In terms of logging as well as writing, there’s a certain high degree of discipline required to maintain the bullet journal over a long period of time.
Cannot involve groups: If your task demands to be collaborated or shared with groups, the bullet journal doesn’t serve that purpose.
“I love stationery and when I came across the bullet journal stories on the Internet I immediately went and bought a journal, coloured pens, highlighters, sticky notes to start my own. I watched the YouTube video and read endless articles on how to perfect the art of journaling, but a week into the process I realised it’s not something I can do. Contrary to its central idea of increasing productivity, the whole process consumes a lot of time. All the colouring, making boxes, creating endless lists is more trouble than its worth. I didn’t see my productivity go up, in fact I think my regular to-do lists are simpler,” says Kaushani Banerjee (@literarystew), a media professional.
Having Said That…
We would suggest you take it up as a monthly challenge and see how immaculate you are in terms of logging. In case you love the traditional feel of paper and pen, go ahead, log your year into a notebook. Or else, perhaps, get back to that Google Keep page.