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  • Writer's pictureCassandra Martin-Himmons

Bullet Journals: 3 Big Benefits, 4 Ways To Use Them

Why do you bullet journal? And if you don’t why not?

One of the reasons why bullet journaling is so popular is because there are so many ways to use a bullet journal. You can use bullet journaling to track what you’re doing throughout the day. Or as a way of keeping records of your habits. For example, you can look back and see how far you’ve come in any given week and month. Bullet journaling is a great way to relieve stress.

In this post, first I’ll talk about 3 big benefits you can receive from bullet journaling, then I’ll explain 4 different styles of bullet journaling you can do to achieve those benefits.

But first…

What Is Bullet Journaling?

I think of bullet journaling (also known as dot grid journaling) as a type of freedom journaling. Yes, much like traditional journaling you write your innermost thoughts, feelings and ideas, but you are able to create your own layouts.

Because the pages of a bullet journal don’t consist of dark lines, you’re able to create layouts customized to your specific needs.

Three Big Benefits of Bullet Journaling

1. It’s Easy And Customizable

When you bullet journal, you don’t need a big fancy planning system or download a app to your smartphone. All you need is a notebook and a pen or pencil, which more than likely you already have lying around. To set up your basic bullet journal is simple. You just set up your key, index and monthly spread and you’re good to go.

That’s what makes it so easy to customize for your needs. There are a million and one different layouts to be found on YouTube or Pinterest to get you started if you need. You could also follow a few bullet journal enthusiasts on social media. This way you’ll have plenty of ideas to help you customize your bullet journal for your needs. Because it’s an analog system (just pen and paper), your bullet journal will work anytime anywhere, no power or Wi-Fi required.

The other thing that I like about bullet journals being so customizable, is that in addition to using words or phrases, you can use symbols to journal more quickly. In my own bullet journal, I use a combo of words and symbols that make sense and feel right to me. When you use a bullet journal it’s not necessary to write in any specific format because the journal is just for you.

2. It Helps You Stay Organized

Once you get in the habit of recording and checking off those important things, your bullet journal will help you stay organized in all areas of your life. You can keep track of work tasks, dentist appointments, or your grocery list in one convenient place. The key and index that you create make it easy to keep track of everything.

Since it’s nothing more than a notebook and pen, you can carry it around with you everywhere. Throw it in your purse, keep it next to you on your desk, and review your day before you head to bed at night. Once you get in the habit of using your journal throughout the day, it will become second nature to carry it around with you, the way you keep your phone on you.

3. It Frees Up Brain Space

One of the biggest benefits to using a bullet journal is that it frees your brain! Which can be a total game changer! Especially as women, many of us don’t realize how many appointments, tasks, and random pieces of information we keep track of. Writing them down allows you to use those brain cells for more creative and productive endeavors. You might even start to sleep more soundly because you don’t have to worry about forgetting an important task or appointment the next day.

Four Different Styles Of Bullet Journaling

As I stated earlier, one of the great things about bullet journaling is that it’s so different for each person as your journal reflects your personal style. It’s your way to journal, plan, and keep track of your busy life. Below are four different types of bullet journaling that you can try. Use these styles as a starting point and don’t be afraid to mix and match to come up with a system that works for you.

1. Plan and Organize Your Day

Hands down, one of the most popular ways to use a bullet journal is as a daily planner. It’ll keep track of your appointments, tasks and anything else that pops up. Because you customize it in the way that works best for you and can incorporate your work and personal life. Color coding or adding different sections makes it easy to keep track of different aspects of your life.

2. The Ultimate To-Do List

If list making is your thing because you love making and working from daily to-do lists, then you’ll love the bullet journal. It will be your ultimate to-do list system because each daily section is nothing more than a list. You can also have collections which are nothing more than thematic lists that you use in addition to your daily to-do lists. For example, you can create several varieties of bucket lists such as one for travel, one for books you want to read and one for personal accomplishments you want to make. Since everything is collected in the journal, you don’t have to go hunt down random scraps of paper or worry about losing your lists or forgetting a task.

3. The Creative Outlet And Memory Keeper

If you’ve been thinking of keeping a traditional journal, art journal, or my personal favorite a scrapbook(!), but you don’t want to commit to a full book, consider using your bullet journal as a creative space to explore your artistic side because creativity is a form of self-care. You can make it as simple or involved as you’d like and still use the rest of your journal to keep track of the things you need to get done as well.

4. Personal Improvement Tool

If you’re anything like me, you’re always setting some type of personal goal for yourself. A bullet journal is also a great way to keep track of your goals and make sure you’re doing something every single day to help you move forward. If you have planned a smart goal that you’re trying to reach, you should also consider adding a habit tracker to your bullet journal.

Habit trackers help you track your progress and you can add monthly and daily reminders to help you as you create positive habits. You can use habit trackers, mind maps, and dedicated lists for books you want to read, courses you want to take, or new things you want to try. The bullet journal makes a great personal improvement tool.

Of course, how you use your bullet journal is up to you. Use this post to inspire you as you develop your own style of bullet journaling. Remember, it is a tool that’s supposed to make your life easier, more enjoyable, and more inspired. Make it work for you. It’s all about making time.

So there you have it, several reasons why you should bullet journal and four different ways to do it.

Let's talk, what style of bullet journaling do you like best and why? It doesn't have to be one of the styles I spoke about. Let me know in the comments section.


Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In


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