The Pros and Cons of Bullet Journaling for a Student

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pros and Cons of Bullet Journal for Students

If you're not a stranger to Pinterest or Instagram, I can guarantee that you've heard of bullet journaling - the new organisational method that has gained an increasing amount of popularity over the past few years. Scrolling through the endless images of aesthetically-pleasing spreads and gorgeous calligraphy is definitely inspirational and instantly makes you want to start you own. I decided to make the jump and start planning my own over the summer, ready to start in September. Since then, I've discovered many pros and cons to the system, including ways that it could be tweaked, and so I thought it'd be helpful to share this for anyone who is thinking of starting a bullet journal.


The Pros of Bullet Journaling

Customisable Layout
If you make a bullet journal, you can decide on how the pages are set out, from the size of each box to its position on the page. This gives you much more control and the ability to do what you actually want with it, opposed to being stuck to the guidelines set out by a regular planner. You can alter the design based on what works for you so that your planner is the most functional and suited to you that it can be. This is particularly useful if you want to customise your journal to suit being a student, as you're able to add a timetable, homework tracker, revision schedule and many other school-related pages that wouldn't otherwise be included in a regular journal or diary.

Creative Outlet
With most traditional planners, you simply write in any important events and to-do lists, which helps to keep you organised but can become quite monotonous. There's barely any room to be adventurous and creative with how you enter information in your planner, but the bullet journal provides a solution to this. Whether you show creativity through quotes, drawings, fonts or colours, all of this can be included in your bullet journal as well as important details and events. You can also use washi tape, stickers and coloured pens to decorate, which can actually be therapeutic and provide much more of a creative outlet for you, transforming bullet journaling into a hobby. If you're feeling stressed by school or in need of a relax, this can also be a good option for winding down and exerting your creativity elsewhere.

You Can Mix Things Up
Once you get a shop-bought journal, you have to commit to that layout and style of entering your tasks. With bullet journaling, it's a completely different story. If you opt for a vertical spread one week but decide you don't like it, you can easily change it for the future. Or if you draw out a monthly overview but find that you hardly use it, you simply don't need to draw it out next month. There's also the possibility to try out new things and explore different styles of journaling, knowing that you don't have to stick with it as you can easily revert back to normal whenever you want.

Everything Is In One Place
It can be hectic and unorganised to have a separate diary, notebook and calendar, as well as random notes on your phone and scrap pieces of paper. With a bullet journal, you can condense this all into one place. This means that you'll know exactly where to look for something and so will never forget a task. I've also seen quite a few people who have combined their bullet journal with a revision book or for class notes, meaning even their school work is contained in this one organised place.

It's Unique For Everyone
Everyone will have different uses for their journal and things to enter, so it's only right that each journal should also be unique. You are able to find a method that is suited entirely to you, making planning much more efficient. If you're a blogger and find that regular journals don't include any place for you to plan posts, you can easily add this in. Or if you want a section to track all of your school grades, you can implement this in no time. Whatever you find works best for you can be employed so that journaling is the most efficient and enjoyable it can possibly be.


The Cons of Bullet Journaling 

It's Too Time Consuming
One of my main criteria for planning is that it should be quick and easy to do. Whether it's entering important dates or creating new spreads, I should be able to spend a minimal amount of time on it. This is especially important as a student, as I need to quickly and efficiently jot down any homework tasks, notes and revision before it disappears from my brain. However, I found that bullet journaling took up a lot of my time, and I couldn't enter something into my journal without either having to draw out a completely new page or spending lots of time to make sure what I was entering looked nice.

I'm a Perfectionist
When I was creating my spreads, I didn't want to settle for alright. I wanted perfection and that's pretty hard to achieve. I was measuring boxes to be accurate down to the hundredth of a centimetre (this is how extreme I was going!) and constantly erasing things that didn't look quite like how I'd envisioned them. Although I was pleased with the final spreads, it took too long to get to that point and I'd always notice something that could be tweaked or altered to make it perfect. With a homemade journal like this, I was never going to get it 100% right. 

Some Spreads Were Unnecessary
When deciding what spreads I wanted in my bullet journal, I went a bit crazy and overboard. Some of the pages I included were a bucket list, the tracker of all the books I read and a list of things that made me happy. Although all of these were nice additions, none of them were really necessary or could've been fine just on my phone. I spent way too much time making these additional pages look nice, even though I'd hardly use them in my day-to-day life.

It's Difficult to Plan Ahead 
It's understandable that you won't have time initially to draw out every page and spread for the next 12 months, and this can start to become an issue. Bullet journaling was great for planning in the moment, or for that particular month which was already drawn out, but as soon as I found out the dates for a holiday next summer or important exams in the future, all of this went out the window. There's nowhere to immediately write down these things without drawing out all of the spreads between now and that moment, which I didn't want to do as there may be changes or alterations that I wanted to make in the future. For this reason, I found bullet journaling a lot harder to maintain, especially when considering long-term tasks and goals.

I Don't Have Enough to Enter
Although I do have plenty of college-related tasks to keep track of, I don't really have much else apart from that. Particularly in the holidays, I could have weeks with nothing going on and so a blank journal. This was hard to accept with my bullet journal, as I'd just spent lots of time drawing out each spread only to not even use it. Considering the amount of time and effort that was put into setting it up, it just wasn't worth it for only a couple of tasks or to-do lists.




Now that I've shared with you all of the pros and cons of bullet journaling, are you eager to start one or rather give it a miss? I'd love to know all of your thoughts on bullet journaling and also any resolutions to any of the cons I listed, as I'd love to start it again if I solved these issues.

Thanks for reading this post and remember that I'm currently running a giveaway, which will be ending in a week from now (27th November). To enter simply click the link here or check out my previous post. I'll see you next week with a new post, and I hope you're excited as the Christmas content officially begins!

Love from Daisy x

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