If you’re looking for a way to stay organized, journaling and bullet journaling are two great options. But what’s the difference between journaling and bullet journaling? And which one is right for you?
If you are interested in getting your life together you probably already search which options are available and just looking for something to help you make your life easier can be overwhelming. The thing is journaling vs bullet journaling can be a little confusing, especially if you never use any organization system or you just know what a planner is.
I will guide you to understand better these methods of organization and mindfulness and is up to you to choose which option is better. We’ll explore the differences between journaling and bullet journaling and discuss how to choose and if you are bad at choosing like me how to use all the options without getting all over the place and still making sure you get things done.
What is journaling?
Journaling is a popular activity that has been around for centuries. It’s a way to write down your thoughts, feelings, and ideas. It can be used to explore your emotions, help you process difficult events, and track your progress. It is not necessary to use it as a planning tool but it can be an option.
Journaling can also be used to reflect on the past, plan for the future, and simply document your day-to-day life. I like to think that journaling is whatever you need and use it as you want as long as it helps you.
Journaling doesn’t have to be complicated, I know that if you are busy all the time journaling may not be appealing but it can definitely be beneficial. You can simply use a notebook and a pen or pencil, or you could use an app on your phone or tablet. You can also find a wide variety of journals and planners that can help you stay organized.
What is bullet journaling?
Bullet journaling is a type of journaling that was developed by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer. The goal of bullet journaling is to provide a system for planning, organizing, and tracking your thoughts and tasks. It uses symbols, abbreviations, and lists to help you quickly record your thoughts and tasks.
Bullet journaling is great for busy people who need a quick and easy way to organize their thoughts and tasks. It’s also highly customizable and can be used to track anything from your to-do list to your health and fitness goals.
This is usually the option to mix planning and journaling and have the best of both worlds. The original system is quite simple and it helps to be organized with the option to adapt to what you need. Do not go with all the artistic setups you may find if you search for bullet journaling, do not worry, that is not necessary.
Benefits of journaling
Journaling can be a great way to reflect on the past, plan for the future, and explore your feelings. It is great to take time for yourself and take accountability for your decisions or see what is going on in your life.
It can also help you stay organized and on top of your tasks. This is usually not the common option and it is up to you what you want to do with your journal.
Here are some of the benefits of journaling:
- Creates a space for reflection: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you process difficult emotions and gain clarity and perspective. This is helpful for a personal process of healing or uses it with a therapist.
- Gives you a sense of accomplishment: Tracking your progress and setting goals can help you feel more motivated and accomplished. It is perfect to look back and see what you have done, your growth, and your progress.
- Helps you stay organized: Writing down your ideas and tasks can help you stay organized and on top of your to-do list. It is perfect when you want to do a brain dump journal, you everything out with no particular order.
- Enhances creativity: Writing down your ideas can help you come up with new solutions and generate new ideas. It is perfect for writer’s block or artist that wants an outlet to help flow their ideas.
Benefits of bullet journaling
Bullet journaling is a great way to quickly and easily organize your thoughts and tasks. It is the best option for someone that has little to no time but does not want to use a planner because it can be restrictive or intimidating because you do not want to waste a full-year planner.
Here are some of the benefits of bullet journaling:
- Quick and easy: Bullet journaling is fast and efficient, so you can quickly record your thoughts and tasks. Perfect to organize in short periods of time.
- Highly customizable: You can customize your bullet journal however you’d like, so it’s perfect for people with no time who need a quick and easy way to organize their thoughts and tasks.
- Great for tracking: Bullet journaling can help you track your progress and set goals. You can do any sort of tracker you want as you are free to create all of them or use templates.
- Portable: You can easily take your bullet journal with you wherever you go. You can plan at any time without thinking about it too much.
Journaling vs bullet journaling: which is better?
Journaling and bullet journaling are both great tools for staying organized and on top of your tasks. But they do have some differences.
Journaling is more open-ended and can be used to reflect on your life and moments to want to record to analyze or process in a more deep way. It can also be used to explore your emotions and process difficult events.
Bullet journaling, on the other hand, is more focused on organizing your tasks and tracking your progress. It uses symbols, abbreviations, and lists to quickly record your thoughts and tasks. You can do with it whatever you want as long as it stays on track with the original system.
I want to make something very clear: both are great! You do not have to do one or the other, it really depends on what you need and has time for. Journalling can be a little more time-consuming depending on the goal you have and bullet journaling can be something to help you stay organized with still the freedom of journaling.
Choosing the right journal or bullet journal
When it comes to choosing the right journal or bullet journal, there are a few things to consider. First, think about what you’re looking for in a journal or bullet journal. What is the problem you are trying to solve with these tools?
Remember, these are tools to help you. Do not get something that is going to make your life more difficult or you feel like a chore to even look at your notebook for journaling or do bullet journaling. Ask yourself:
- Do you want something basic or something more advanced?
- Do you want something that can help you track your progress and set goals?
Once you’ve figured out what you’re looking for, it’s time to shop around. There are plenty of great planners and bullet journals to choose from. You can find everything from basic notebooks to sophisticated digital planners. Take your time and find the one that best suits your needs.
How to set up your journal or bullet journal
Once you’ve picked out the perfect journal or bullet journal, it’s time to set it up. Do not get stuck in this step. Try to adapt and make it as functional or artistic as you want but do not feel pressure to make something to fit an aesthetic.
Here are some tips for setting up your journal or bullet journal:
- Choose a layout: Start by deciding on a layout that works for you. This could be something simple like a weekly planner or something more complex like a bullet journal (index, future log, year in pixels, trackers, etc).
- Create sections: Once you’ve chosen a layout, create sections to keep your thoughts and tasks organized. Do not create something too complicated, keep in mind you want to keep doing this in the future.
- Add labels: Labeling your sections can help you quickly find the information you need. Some notebooks already have these and you just need to follow them. If you have to start from zero make sure to keep it simple.
- Track progress: Tracking your progress can help you stay focused and on top of your tasks. See how things are going, what are you avoiding, and what is actually working to keep doing it.
Start Using the Right Type of Journal for Your Needs Today!
Journaling and bullet journaling are great tools for staying organized and on top of your tasks. Whatever you choose is great and I am hoping it works for you.
However, if something is not working for you and you need to go back to using a planner or do something different do not worry, there is no shame in that. Remember that what is important here is that you feel better and that what you use helps you feel less stressed, less anxious, and happier with the time you have ad the things you do.
If you’re looking for more tips and tricks for journaling and bullet journaling, be sure to check out our journaling tips. With the right tools and a little practice, you’ll be able to get the most out of your journaling or bullet journaling.