Pros + Cons of Bullet Journaling in a Binder

by - July 27, 2019
Starting your first bullet journal can be hard. Especially with all of the options out there. Collections, layouts, dutch door layouts, the best pens to use, must-have bullet journal supplies, brush pens you need, what type of book to use, etc. The list goes on. You may have heard about bullet journaling in a binder, sometimes called the bullet journal planner hybrid. Some people say it's amazing because it combines the best of both worlds! Is this true?

Pros + Cons of Bullet Journaling in a Binder

Side Note - This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you buy something from one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. For more information, you can read my privacy policy. Thank you for supporting my blog. :)

Updated for 2024 - As of 2021, I am no longer using a bullet journal binder. To see what bullet journal I am using now, you can head over to My 2021 Bullet Journal Setup.

Yeah, it is definitely confusing to understand what bullet journal notebook and supplies you should buy, especially if it is your first time, and you are just beginning your bullet journal journey. It's even more confusing because so many people online (like me lol) are giving you their opinion on what you should buy. Don't let me persuade you to start a bullet journal binder if you feel like another planning system would work better!

I use a planner binder for my bullet journal, and I feel like it lets me be more creative than if I used a regular bound bullet journal. This post won't be biased though just because I love using my bullet journal in a binder. :)

Pros + Cons of Bullet Journaling in a Binder

As with any system, the bullet journal in a binder or the bullet journal planner hybrid has its shortcomings. Are the benefits of the system worth it though? That is what you have to ask yourself when deciding on any organizational or planning system.

Today, I am going to tell you the pros and cons of using a bullet journal in a binder. Should we start with the pros or the cons?

Let's start with the pros first so you can see why I like bullet journaling in a binder so much. :)

Pros + Cons of Bullet Journaling in a Binder

The Pros of Bullet Journaling in a Binder

You Can Add + Remove Pages as You Like

I think that this is the biggest reason why people like bullet journaling in a binder. If you make a mistake, you can start it over again! No need to try and cover it up.

You can also organize your bullet journal layouts however you like! If you want to add a new month to your bullet journal, you don't have to worry about not having enough room in your notebook. Problem solved!

No Need for an Index

You don't need an index because you can divide up your pages into sections. One for collections, one for goal setting, etc. You don't have to though. You can have your collections wherever you want which makes it super customizable.

If you want to though, you can still have an index to help you find certain pages in your bullet journal binder.

You Don't Have to Migrate Journals

When you fill up a traditional bullet journal notebook, you have to start a new one. What about all of those half-filled collections and trackers which took you so long to make?

Well, you are going to have to make them all over again, which can be very fun, but it is a lot of work, especially if you aren't done with your other layouts.

You may like setting up new collections and trackers every time you start a new notebook, but if you don't then you can use a binder and voila! You can just remove the rest of your used layouts and leave the collections and trackers you want.

A Bullet Journal Binder May Save You Money

Putting your bullet journal in a binder may save you money in the long run if you use the same binder year after year. I have used my Recollection Planner Binder for almost a year now and it still looks practically new.

I don't carry my binder around with me though so it doesn't get as much wear and tear as it would have if I carried it around with me.

If you are someone who carries your bullet journal around with you or you are planning on carrying your bullet journal around with you it may make you lose money if it wears out in less than a year depending on how much money you spend on your planner binder. 

Some of them are really expensive!

You Can Print Out Your Own Pages

You can print out your own dotted pages for free which means that you can go through a lot of different layouts.

Printables can be used in your planner binder too. If you are having a busy week, you can print out a layout and just hole punch it in.

You can also use lined paper or blank paper too! The possibilities are endless!

It Can Save You Time

This one goes along with the one above. A bullet journal binder can save you time too! If you find a layout you really like. Say your weekly layout, for example, you can scan it and then print it out as many times as you want! Just add the basic lines, and then you can decorate it however you want.

Those were all of the pros I came up with. Can you think of any other reasons why you like using a planner binder as a bullet journal? That is if you do use a bullet journal in a binder. :)

A Planner Binder Has Pockets

Depending on what binder you buy, your planner binder may have pockets in it. My Rose Gold Recollections Planner Binder has pockets in the front and in the back.

It has plenty of room for storage, so if you are a stationery lover (or hoarder lol), a binder with pockets might be just what you need!

Pros + Cons of Bullet Journaling in a Binder

The Cons of Using a Bullet Journal in a Binder

Now it is time to go on to the bad news about using a bullet journal in a binder. I think the pros are going to outweigh the cons, but you can decide for yourself.

A Bullet Journal Binder is Bulkier

A bullet journal binder is bulkier than a regular bound bullet journal, so you may not like carrying it around. If you don't carry yours around with you though, then you will be fine.

Plus, because planner binders are more complicated because of the rings, if you drop yours, it will be more likely to break.

Pages May Rip Out

If you use a certain collection or layout for a long time, the page may fall out. You can just tape it back in, but it won't be the same, and it will make your binder bulkier. I have never had this problem though so I don't think that there is much to worry about.

This also depends on the weight of the paper you have in your bullet journal planner binder.

The Rings Get in the Way

This is my number one problem with my planner binder. It doesn't annoy me a ton, but it is a problem which you may not like. 

If I am creating a layout, then I will remove the page from my bullet journal binder. If I am just writing something down, then I leave it in the binder and the rings don't get in the way too much.

Because of the rings, you also cannot easily make two-page layouts.

You Have to Keep Buying or Printing out Pages

It may take longer to make a bullet journal layout because you have to print and hole punch the pages. You can buy some pages on Amazon, but if you go through a lot of pages, it may be more expensive than if you use a regular bound bullet journal.

Pros + Cons of Bullet Journaling in a Binder

The Pros + Cons of Bullet Journaling in a Binder

So do you think you will like using a planner binder? If you want to try out bullet journaling in a binder, I suggest using a binder you already have and printing out some dot pages or buying a small cheap binder and trying it out.

Ultimately, in 2020, I moved on to using a regular bound bullet journal. The rings in the bullet journal planner binder, and the fact that I had to print out new pages so often, wasn't worth it to me.

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Pros + Cons of Bullet Journaling in a Binder

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