Bullet Journal – Pros and Cons

Last week I explained what the Bullet Journal Method is. This week I want to talk about the pros and cons of Bullet Journal and give you an indication of whether it is right for you.

The Bullet Journal is one of the most popular analogue personal productivity methods around. This is both a strength and a weakness.

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of writing in longhand as opposed to typing. It makes us slow down and thus take more care over what we write. It also makes us more concise as the process takes longer than typing. Further writing in longhand enables us to retain more of what we write. According to Craft your content:

Writing by hand is a lot more prolonged, and this requires us to be somewhat choosy in what we jot down. This results in us having to mentally put in more effort to write; our brains function more intensely, which results in a better quality of work.

It’s a workout for your brain, ultimately, in the sense that you’re using it a lot more while writing at a much slower pace than you would typing.’

George Michelsen Foy, in an article for Psychology Today entitled The Creative Benefits of Writing Longhand says something similar to the above:

  • ‘Writing longhand can boost analysis and recall.
  • Using pen and ink may also boost creative flow.
  • The creative process is independent of which hemisphere is used.’

Another benefit of the bullet journal, as opposed to digital to-do lists or pre-printed panners, is the ability to fully customise your pages. However, advanced many of the to-do list apps have become, no app can give you things just so. A bullet journal on the other hand allows you to create any spread in any way you like.

Bullet Journals also have no sync issues or technological breakdowns that can occur with anything electronic.

On the other hand, writing things out in longhand can be time-consuming and frustrating and requires a lot of duplication. In a to-do app, you put in ‘Feed cat daily’ and it will automatically appear in your daily list. In a manual journal, you must write it out seven times each week.

Further, there are no backups for bullet journals, so if you lose it you are stuffed.

Whether the Bullet Journal is right or wrong for you is for you to decide. However, I think it is suitable for creative people who like to draw things on paper. It is also suitable for people who are less into technology and like the idea of having something paper-based. People who are trying to cut down on screen time would also benefit from it.

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