Three Reasons Why Bullet Journaling is Relevant for me

Bullet Journaling

Bullet Journaling is relevant because paper and pen are technology tested through time.

I have been bullet journaling for almost two years now. I used to think that going all-digital is really the best way to make myself productive due to the “pings” and “dings”. Yes, it has helped me to be a GTD ninja during those days since technology could have a lot of automation. However, setting up an analog system such as a bullet journal has helped me to stay grounded and mindful of my life.

Exploring new digital productivity apps has been my interest for the past few years. Transitioning to paper and pen was quite difficult for me at first but it is one of the habits that stick out with me. So after exploring both systems for quite some time, I think I can finally say something about using why Bullet Journaling has stuck with me.

Bullet Journaling is not an ‘app’ that may get obsolete

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I have seen and tried various productivity apps since I started working in the corporate world and now as a teacher. Every productivity app I have tried (including its premium features) is designed to work in an intended way. For example, my favorite To-Do app is called Things developed by cultured code and it was designed to work following the GTD system. I have been a GTD fanatic before but I stopped because I’ve realized that GTD seemingly made me feel like a robot programmed by myself.

Another app such as Trello is designed to use Kanban boards as a system for planning and brainstorming. This app is the one I used to have especially on my brainstorming sessions or planning my work.

Apps are very well-thought-of the developers and they work best especially if we use their apps as they are “intended” to. It’s like In Bullet Journaling, you don’t have to adapt to the developer’s intent for each app. You can do whatever you want on a blank page of your Bullet Journal. You can doodle, brainstorm, write, paste stickers, and more! If you are just like me who prefer a minimalist bullet journal setup, you can stick with the basics of the Bullet Journal Method.

The paper and pen have been a technology that has been tested through time. I guess, it is the reason why it works for most people until today.

Bullet Journal allows me to pause from glowing screens

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My work entails a lot of work using the computer by creating various presentations, documents, and even have a ton of virtual meetings. Staring at the screen all day makes me sick, to be honest. Since bullet journaling is an analog method, I can have a specific offline time each day during my morning and evening reflections. Furthermore, the Bullet Journal is free from distractions since it won’t give you notifications unlike your computer or a smartphone.

The Bullet Journal Method is a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity tool. – Ryder Caroll

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future – Ryder Caroll

One of the things I value is mental clarity. I switched to the bullet journal method after learning that I must do just ONE essential thing. Writing my tasks on my bullet journal is much slowed than using an app on my phone to capture it. However, writing and re-writing unfinished tasks allows me to reflect on whether a specific task is essential or not. I can commit to my Daily Highlight and protect my time to do just that one thing.

Bullet Journaling evolves together with me

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I have explored various spreads I found on Pinterest and Instagram. It just led me to frustration since I am not that artistic. I have stuck with the original Bullet Journal Method which is simple and minimalist. However, I also use a collection of my bullet journal to write down meeting notes from my various clients. The Index really helps a lot in getting back to where I wrote my stuff.

I have also explored a minimalist way of making my monthly spreads and weekly spreads. Simple enough that it helps me to just use the bullet journal as simple as it can be. Why should I make something complex when I intend to use it for a simple purpose? That is to be mindful and to be productive.

Final Thoughts

Bullet Journaling has been a very helpful system for me. I think it is the only productivity tool that I have stuck with for the past year and a half. I wish I did not spend most of my money on apps that could promise me to be productive. Moreover, I never knew that I will go back to my love for notebooks since I was in college. So yes, I am sticking with it until a better system evolves for me.