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Last Updated on January 5, 2021

7 Benefits of Bullet Journaling and Why It’s Great for Everyone

7 Benefits of Bullet Journaling and Why It’s Great for Everyone

There’s just something about the physical act of writing that helps you remember things more clearly, whether it’s something you have to do, someone’s birthday, or just the name of that book that you want to buy. You may have owned dozens of planners throughout your life and always started with good intentions, only to find yourself abandoning them a few weeks later in favor of to-do lists on post-it notes instead. The solution you may be looking for is bullet journaling.

Bullet journaling is an extremely customizable system, as you can use any notebook or even loose-leaf paper, and fill it in the way you want it to look. After testing it out, you can upgrade to a fancy notebook with graph paper and benefit as much as you like from the new system.

Bullet journaling is for everyone, and each person can use it to fit their specific needs. Let’s take a look at all the benefits bullet journaling offers.

1. It’s Customizable to Your Needs and Budget

I needed a unique planner since I planned to use it for a full-time job and full-time graduate school. All of the other planners I had used were good for one or the other, but not both. Using the bullet journal meant that I could divide up the weeks, days, or hours exactly how I needed to, even if that changed week to week.

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It also helped me stick to my budget. I didn’t have to spend $100 on a planner with custom-designed pages. I just added a $1 ruler to my shopping cart, and now I can draw in my own pages. Some people use washi tape to decorate their bullet journals or to help them color code things, but it’s just as easy to use inexpensive highlighters or colorful gel pens instead.

For a first-timer, you don’t even need to buy anything. You can use the system with paper and pencils that you already have around your house.

2. Set up Is a Breeze

It can seem intimidating to look at a blank notebook and realize that it’s up to you to fill in the design and the content, but bullet journaling is actually very easy. You don’t have to make it pretty, even though a lot of the online inspiration is overwhelmingly gorgeous. The official website has a very simple design, with just a few different icons to keep tasks, personal, and notes visually separated[1].

The first page of my journal is dedicated to the key. It has each symbol drawn with the definition beside it, plus I have what my different ink colors mean (I have one for each class, so I can quickly see what homework is due). You can include whatever you want in your key; if you don’t like the official icons, make up your own!

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3. It Promotes Organization

Bullet journaling is a great system simply because of how visually impactful it is. It makes sure the important parts of your to-do list stand out and grab your attention when necessary. It’s easy to see at a glance what you need to do that day, and you can create monthly log pages so you can see long-term goals and activities.

It also keeps everything in the same place, so you won’t lose your to-do list between days. At the end of each work day, I make a short list for the following day about what I need to do. That way I don’t have to spend time first thing in the morning trying to remember what I need to be doing, or trying to remember where I left the list.

4. It Keeps Everything Where You Can See It

This is especially good for people who are visual learners. Everything is always within sight—something that you can’t get with a digital planning method.

I also like being able to track my productivity across time. Since everything is kept inside one notebook, I can see what I struggle with and what patterns I’ve fallen into. This was a great insight for me, and one that I would never have been able to get if I’d stuck with my haphazard post-it note method.

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5. It Inspires Productivity

I hate seeing undone tasks in my planner when bullet journaling. If you can see that you still have to email a professor or send out that memo to your coworkers because that box isn’t filled in, then you’re more likely to get it done that day in order to mark it on the task page as complete.

It’s also nice to get to the end of the day or the end of the week and see that everything has been completed. It’s a nice sense of accomplishment that can help me relax over a weekend.

6. It’s Great for Keeping Lists

I find myself constantly adding lists to my journal. When bullet journaling day to day, making a list is as easy as turning to an empty page and writing down your items: a packing list, a list of books that you’ve bought but haven’t had time to read yet, a list of movies that you want to see, a list of article ideas that you want to write…anything that comes into your head has a place in the planner, so it won’t be forgotten or lost.

7. It Makes Tracking Long-Term Goals Simple

The third page in my planner is a calendar for this year with “write every day” written across the top. Each day that I get some writing done, I mark off on this page, and try to keep the chain going each day. This was one of my New Year’s resolutions, and once December 31 rolls around this year, I’ll know for sure how well I kept that resolution. I won’t have to guess, as it’s plainly written out in my planner.

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I also suggest creating a page with a list of long-term goals, a place you can turn to when you’re unsure of if you’re heading in the right direction with your decisions. This is a page that will help you measure how and why you’re making decisions in order to propel you forward.

The Bottom Line

Bullet journaling is one of the most versatile ways to keep yourself organized and to offer a helping hand to your mental health. It’s great for those who are already good planners, and it’s even better for those who aren’t sure how to get on track with everything they have to do.

With all the extra space your mind will have now that it doesn’t have to remember the due date of that project or the date of your niece’s birthday, you’ll have more time and energy to devote to being more productive and spending time on things you enjoy. Start bullet journaling today and see exactly what it can do for you.

More Tips on Bullet Journaling

Featured photo credit: Ava Sol via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Bullet Journal: Home

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Kathryn Harper

Media Relations Manager

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Last Updated on June 1, 2021

7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That)

7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That)

“Busy” used to be a fair description of the typical schedule. More and more, though, “busy” simply doesn’t cut it.

“Busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy”, or “absolutely buried.” It’s true that being productive often means being busy…but it’s only true up to a point.

As you likely know from personal experience, you can become so busy that you reach a tipping point…a point where your life tips over and falls apart because you can no longer withstand the weight of your commitments.

Once you’ve reached that point, it becomes fairly obvious that you’ve over-committed yourself.

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The trick, though, is to recognize the signs of “too busy” before you reach that tipping point. A little self-assessment and some proactive schedule-thinning can prevent you from having that meltdown.

To help you in that self-assessment, here are 7 signs that you’re way too busy:

1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Took a Day Off

Occasional periods of rest are not unproductive, they are essential to productivity. Extended periods of non-stop activity result in fatigue, and fatigue results in lower-quality output. As Sydney J. Harris once said,

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

2. Those Closest to You Have Stopped Asking for Your Time

Why? They simply know that you have no time to give them. Your loved ones will be persistent for a long time, but once you reach the point where they’ve stopped asking, you’ve reached a dangerous level of busy.

3. Activities like Eating Are Always Done in Tandem with Other Tasks

If you constantly find yourself using meal times, car rides, etc. as times to catch up on emails, phone calls, or calendar readjustments, it’s time to lighten the load.

It’s one thing to use your time efficiently. It’s a whole different ballgame, though, when you have so little time that you can’t even focus on feeding yourself.

4. You’re Consistently More Tired When You Get up in the Morning Than You Are When You Go to Bed

One of the surest signs of an overloaded schedule is morning fatigue. This is a good indication that you’ve not rested well during the night, which is a good sign that you’ve got way too much on your mind.

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If you’ve got so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when you’re laying in bed, you’re too busy.

5. The Most Exercise You Get Is Sprinting from One Commitment to the Next

It’s proven that exercise promotes healthy lives. If you don’t care about that, that’s one thing. If you’d like to exercise, though, but you just don’t have time for it, you’re too busy.

If the closest thing you get to exercise is running from your office to your car because you’re late for your ninth appointment of the day, it’s time to slow down.

Try these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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6. You Dread Getting up in the Morning

If your days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them, you’re too busy. A new day should hold at least a small level of refreshment and excitement. Scale back until you find that place again.

7. “Survival Mode” Is Your Only Mode

If you can’t remember what it feels like to be ahead of schedule, or at least “caught up”, you’re too busy.

So, How To Get out of Busyness?

Take a look at this video:

And these articles to help you get unstuck:

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Featured photo credit: Khara Woods via unsplash.com

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