If you’re not much of a writer, the idea of journaling can be a little off-putting. But the latest pen-to-paper craze—bullet journaling—is far from the old practice of keeping a diary filled with your deepest, darkest secrets. Bullet journaling (or “BuJo,” if you’re hip) is a creative, customizable way to organize tasks and goals. There are no hard and fast rules on how to bullet journal: It’s all about how you can reap the benefits of journaling on the regular in a way that works for you. Certainly, you can use a bullet journal to jot down moments from your day—but it’s really about much more than that.
Here’s how bullet journaling works: Basically, you choose what you want to chronicle. Some people decide to keep track of their daily habits or moods, how they feel physically, or what they ate. You can also have a section for daily to-dos and appointments, gratitude lists, and debriefings after events like therapy sessions, dates or coffee meetings with friends. (Check out some inspiration and bullet journal ideas here.)
But how does all of this benefit you? Read on to learn the many benefits of bullet journaling.
It Helps You Stay Organized
Bullet journals provide a single place for you to write down everything that matters, from your daily tasks to your mental state. If you’re the type who keeps to-do lists in various places—on your phone, on paper, on the refrigerator and so forth—then a bullet journal will consolidate everything in a way that may make you more productive. And you may be more likely to keep writing down your daily tasks and ideas instead of keeping them all in your head.
It Provides Peace of Mind
By having one place for everything, a bullet journal ensures that you won’t forget anything important, from work deadlines to a friend’s birthday to a gym class you really wanted to take. Knowing that all you need to do is grab your notebook to see what’s going on in your life can be really reassuring on busy days or whenever you may feel a bit scatterbrained.
It Encourages You to Get Things Done
There are few things more satisfying than crossing items off a to-do list. Having a bullet journal allows you to slash and burn all of your daily tasks, from mundane chores like making your bed to finalizing your presentation for your boss. Having a concrete place to check things off gives your brain a reward every time your pen ticks off another completed item, encouraging you to keep going.
It Inspires New Ideas
Writing journals gets your brain flowing with inspiration. As you write in your various sections for the day, you might be tempted to explore new avenues with your journal, like keeping track of your eating and sleeping habits or chronicling places you want to travel. In this way, a bullet journal can encourage you to explore the possibilities in achieving a healthier lifestyle or following your wanderlust tendencies.
It Can Boost Creativity
Bullet journals can be really fun: Some people use highlighters, stickers or even calligraphy to make theirs totally unique. (See some ideas here.) Color-coding your sections, doodling or incorporating whatever artistic embellishments you like can help you tap into your artistic side, something that many of us don’t always get the chance to do daily.
It Motivates You to Accomplish Your Goals
Writing down your daily tasks go beyond making a to-do list: With a bullet journal, you can also write down your goals for the day, week or year. Maybe you want to make it to the gym more often, spend more time in nature, reach out to friends and family or engage in self-care—whatever it is, a bullet journal keeps you accountable. When you make the space in your journal for these items, you’re more likely to accomplish them.
Ready to get journaling? Grab a fresh notebook and commit to starting your morning with a bullet journal session. Taking this time for yourself will improve your mental outlook and give you a productivity boost.