A Year Of Bullet Journalling – Pros And Cons.


On paper (see what I did there) bullet journalling looks right up my street: nice notebooks, ALL the pens, pretty stickers, fancy fonts and procrastination? Tick, tick and tick.

I’ve always had a paper diary, even when I was at work and we also used online ones, but when I first heard about bullet journalling it sounded like an even better way to keep myself organised.

What is a bullet journal?

Dubbed the “analog system for the digital age”, a bullet journal is a flexible DIY system for organising everything in your life. As well as a diary it can include things such as sketchbook, sleep tracker, a gratitude log and travel bucket list. As you are the one setting it up, you include whatever you like.

“Where productivity meets mindfulness.”

I started my first bullet journal a year ago – actually I started two, the first set up went wrong so I had to start again (good job I have a stash of notebooks!). There are any number of ways to set up a bullet journal (there’s a helpful video here) and you can be as creative and colourful as you like (or not, it’s up to you).

I had visions of beautiful, instagrammable pages until I remembered, that’s right, I’m not artistic and, oh, I’m also in charge of a (then) three-year-old (or was she in charge of me?) so reasonably time poor.

While it might not have looked very inspiring, I really enjoyed the freedom to create what I wanted and needed rather than having a regimented system.

My set up went like this:


Monthly log – all 12 months.

Daily log – set up each day.

I then went to the back and set up:

A monthly blog planner.

TBR book list.

Travel bucket list.

Christmas present list.

Random notes section.

What did I think?

As the time has come to decide whether to set up another journal up or go back to the old all-done-for-you diary, I thought I’d make a list of the pros and cons to help me work out what’s best.

Pros Cons

There’s a lot to love about bullet journalling, especially for someone who enjoys pens and stationery as much as me.

I really liked the day to day list and felt it helped me keep better track of what I was supposed to be doing. I felt less stressed about it, for some reason. I also liked that there was space so that I could keep everything in one place rather than on random scraps of paper that tend to get lost.

However, my overall feeling as the year progressed was guilt. I know that’s silly but I felt like I wasn’t doing it justice (and that’s self-imposed because no one other than me ever saw it). All the extra things I could have included that you simply don’t get in a conventional diary never saw the light of day because I didn’t have time (or I did have time but it would mean something else I felt was more important falling by the wayside).

So, what next?


It has been a tough choice but I have gone back to the old style diary (and not just because it has butterflies on the front).  I will be using bullet journal elements within it but for the time it takes to set up and what I was using it for, it made more sense to buy a ready made diary and just adapt it to my needs. I’m not saying I’ll never bullet journal again but not for the next year at least.

Are you a fan of the bullet journal? What do you love about it? Would you ever go back to an old style diary?