A bullet journal is part planner, part diary. It can be used for tracking fertility, recording thoughts, or keeping a running holiday gift list. The bullet journals you see on social media may make the process seem impossibly complex, but the beauty of bullet journaling is that you can spend as much or as little time and money as you like.

Many people have found joy in bullet journaling, and this amount of popularity usually can't be found for projects that are too complicated. Regardless of your schedule and responsibilities, you can probably find some benefits to keeping a bullet journal.

It's Flexible

The main attraction that initially draws people to bullet journaling is the flexibility. Planners are nice, but few are designed just the way you want. Everyone's life is different, so their needs are different. This often leads to juggling separate planners, calendars, notes, and maybe an app or two on your phone. A bullet journal allows you to create the product that works best for you.

Woman writing in journal. Iryna Imago / Getty Images


It's Affordable

You've probably scrolled through Instagram and witnessed how extravagant bullet journaling can be. While some people enjoy that, it isn't necessary. A bullet journal can be a simple notebook that contains the most bare-bones information. It doesn't even need to have dot-grid pages, which is good news since these notebooks have spiked in cost lately.

At its most basic, your journal layout will include a four-page spread that gives an overview of the year, a two-page spread for each month, and a daily log. You can add or exclude other information as you like.

Build tracking pages — known as modules in bullet journal-speak — for workouts, food, books you read, courses you take, your budget and spending, and anything else you want. Include as much or as little information on your pages as you like.

Notebook and ink pen. artursfoto / Getty Images


It Boosts Productivity

Having all the information you need at your fingertips makes it much easier to be productive. No need to build a grocery list from scratch if you have an outline you can add to and scratch out each week. No need to make multiple packing and to-do lists before travel if you have one in your journal.

Pages of an open bullet journal. artursfoto / Getty Images


It Helps You Stay Organized

Faced with so much information every day, it can feel impossible to stay organized. Some information is in a notebook, other stuff is jotted down on post-its. You keep so many tabs open your computer freezes, and you are emailing yourself things daily to help remember them.

All of this information fits in a bullet journal, so you only have to flip through the pages, not try to remember where you stuck that note with your new friend's address.

Woman writing in bullet journal. Iryna Imago / Getty Images


It Increases Mindfulness

Keeping a bullet journal up to date is a form of mindfulness. No matter how minimalist your journal, there is an aesthetic appeal to this process. Sitting and flipping through the pages, writing notes to yourself, and pondering your schedule is an invitation to look forward to what you have on tap, rather than dread the day ahead.

Woman writing in journal. locknloadlabrador / Getty Images


You Can Use a Regular Notebook

As mentioned, a bullet journal does not need to be fancy. It can be a regular notebook or a pad of unlined paper. You want something with a cover to help protect it through the year, but otherwise, choose the style and size that works best for you. Because the journal is meant to be used, something that will fit in your bag is ideal. If you're a leftie, consider one that is bound at the top so you aren't fighting with the coil on every line.

Woman writing in notebook. artursfoto / Getty Images


You Can Use it as a Scrapbook

Some people enjoy using their bullet journals as scrapbooks. If this is a style you are interested in, you can lose yourself online looking at how others have built their journals. This is a nice way of keeping track of special events and trips throughout the year. You will get a lot of enjoyment from going back and paging through these journals. Consider buying a notebook that has sleeves build into the covers, so you can keep all stubs and flyers safe until you have time to place them permanently.

Woman adding mementos to journal page. pixelfit / Getty Images


You Can Personalize It

The hyper-organized are often drawn to bullet journaling because it is so easy to personalize your notebook in a way that meets your needs. In addition to the traditional calendar pages, you can create pages to track appointments, schedules for each child, to-do and to-buy lists, and short and long-term goals. Some people set aside time at the beginning of each month to decorate a cover page, while others would rather keep things crisp and clean. Luckily, because you can choose any notebook you'd like, even the top cover can match your personality.

Woman writing in planner. NataBene / Getty Images


You Can Flex Your Creativity

For some, the benefit of a bullet journal is in their ability to create something beautiful. Whether you spend time adding watercolor flowers to your calendar pages, create a sketch-a-day project for the year, or spend time each morning recording what you are thankful for, bullet journals are designed to blend the creative with the practical. Because it is for your eyes only, you can work without feeling self-conscious.

Paints and a notebook. Elena Gonzalez Hontoria / Getty Images


You Can Use it as a Memory Tool

Writing by hand helps your brain retain knowledge much better than through typing. Keep your bullet journal handy to jot down notes from a training at work or beside you to record something you want to remember from your reading. As you page through the journal throughout the year, you will be reminded of those things without actively studying.

Woman taking notes from computer. chee gin tan / Getty Images


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