Is Bullet Journaling a Complete Waste of Time?

by - July 31, 2021

 Some people when they find bullet journaling, jump on the bullet journal bandwagon right away. But there are other people who are skeptics. They wonder if bullet journal actually works so they read every article they can find on bullet journaling before they decide to start (if they do). I mean if you have to draw every. single. layout. by hand isn't it going to take up more time than it is worth?

Is Bullet Journaling a Complete Waste of Time?

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Updated for 2024

This post is for those of you who are skeptical about starting a bullet journal. I'll be telling you why I think bullet journaling isn't a waste of time.

But... who am I to be telling you why bullet journaling isn't a complete waste of time?

I'm probably just a little bias. *cough cough* 😂 As you can see, I blog about bullet journaling regularly, so I probably love it. In fact, I make money talking about bullet journaling, so essentially, I could just be making the layouts and then posting them online to make the money. Maybe bullet journaling doesn't even work, and the whole thing is a scam!

Well, if you are skeptical about bullet journaling, and thinking that all the above is true, then today, I'm going to prove you wrong. No apologies! And at the end of this post, if you still aren't convinced that a bullet journal is worth your time, then no hard feelings. I hope you find a planning system that will help you to be productive, and that you love!

Let's get right into why I think bullet journaling is a valuable tool you can use to create a life you love! Pretty exciting, am I right?

Is Bullet Journaling a Waste of Time?

And just a side note, for those of you who saw the title of this post, and clicked on it because you were intrigued, even though you have no idea what bullet journaling is, you can read Bullet Journaling: What Is It? so you aren't reading this entire post wondering what in the world I'm talking about.

Is Bullet Journaling a Complete Waste of Time?

1. Increase Productivity + Manage Your Time

This is the obvious one but bear with me. Whenever I use my bullet journal, I am always more productive. I get more done. I work on my goals. I feel like I have a more fulfilled life.

The weeks I go without my bullet journal, I feel busy, rushed, and stress, though that's a confession for another post. Yep, the bullet journal blogger, that sometimes goes weeks without opening her bullet journal. I'm going, to be honest. Sometimes, it's a struggle to keep up with my bullet journal, but as I experiment with new bullet journal layouts, I've been getting better about using it regularly.

Sometimes, you just need a break from your bullet journal, and that's okay!

I also just started using my bullet journal for time management because I always wonder where all the time goes. Please tell me I'm not the only one! I'm going to be diving into how I use my bullet journal for time management and how it's working out in another post.

By the way, currently, I am reading I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam, and I'm finding it to be an interesting read about how successful women who work and raise kids use their time. So far, I wouldn't say I'm getting a lot of tips from it because I don't work full time and I don't have kids, but it is an interesting read. A book with more helpful tangible tips is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.

After that tangent... the main point is bullet journaling can definitely help you to be more productive if you use your bullet journal wisely.

2. Setting Goals

Okay, I'm going to be completely honest here. If I didn't have a bullet journal I wouldn't reach my goals. Most likely, I wouldn't even set goals!

You can write down your goals on a little sticky note, but the chance of you reaching your goals without having a plan are very very slim. It's not going to happen people!

Of course, you can use a planner to help you reach your goals, but most planners don't have layouts dedicated to helping you track and reach your goals. Because bullet journals are so customizable you can create layouts that will help you stay accountable so you'll be more likely to reach your goals.

If you are setting and reaching your goals, then it shows that you are on your way to creating a life you love, and hey, a bullet journal can help you with that!

Is Bullet Journaling a Complete Waste of Time?

3. Tracking New Habits + Being Organized

This one is similar to #2. You can use a bullet journal to track new habits you are creating. Your bullet journal also can be used the other way. Kick your bad habits to the curb with a bullet journal habit tracker.

This is where it really gets good!

You know how you never know your passwords for that site you created an account for years ago, and now you want to use it again?

You can create a layout for your passwords. Be careful that you don't leave your bullet journal lying out anywhere though!

Or what about when you can't remember the last time you visited the dentist?

You can keep track of that too! A bullet journal can basically be used to organize your entire life. I use my bullet journal to track my goals, my blog earnings, my blog growth, the books I've been reading, my passwords, my fave podcasts, my habits, my to-do list, and more.

4. Increase Creativity + Reduce Stress

Bullet journaling is fun! It brings out the inner artist in all of us. Your bullet journal can be minimalist or it can be very artsy. You get to decide.

Some people use their bullet journals only for creativity. You can write about what you are grateful for, or you could journal about how your day went.

Along with this, bullet journaling has benefits. Being creative can help you reduce stress, and unplug. It can help improve your mental health.

Will this be able to fit into your busy schedule though?

Of course it will! Bullet journaling can be very time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be. You can manage a bullet journal in under 10 minutes a day so even if you are super busy, it can still fit into your day.

5. Low Cost

This is taking a little of a different view on whether bullet journaling is worth it, but this one is for the skeptics that argue bullet journaling costs too much.

The skeptics are partly correct. If you are a stationery addict hehe then you probably buy a lot of new pens and journals to use, but for the rest of you who are not stationery addicts, all you need to bullet journal is a notebook and a pen.

Let's get real here. Say you choose to use a different planning system. Well, some planners cost upwards of $90 bucks. Dishing out $10 for a bullet journal isn't going to break your bank.

I even started out using a composition notebook for my first bullet journal, and I used pens I already had lying around my house. It was really cheap.

Is Bullet Journaling a Complete Waste of Time?

6. Doesn't Take Much Time

This point also has two sides to it. Bullet journaling can be very time-consuming. You know those exquisite complex bullet journal layouts you've seen on Pinterest? (By the way, if you aren't following me over there, now is a great time to do so!)

For example, the layout above I made just to be creative. It took a pretty long time to make.

Here is what those layouts probably took to actually make...

  • First, they found inspiration online
  • Then they used a pencil to sketch in the general idea of the layout they wanted to make
  • Next, they started adding ink to the page
  • After that maybe they got fancy with watercolors
  • Maybe they ripped up scrapbook paper or printed out photos online to glue to their layout
  • Maybe they added washi tape and stickers
  • Then they whited out any mistakes
  • Once it was perfect, they took a picture, thoroughly edited it, and then posted it online

It's not fair to yourself, to compare your bullet journal layouts to layouts you see online.

Those layouts took a long time to make and for some people who are just using their bullet journal to be creative, that's fine. For those of us who are on a time crunch though, bullet journaling doesn't have to take very long.

You can manage a bullet journal in less than ten minutes a day. It might not be a beautiful Pinterest-worthy bullet journal layout, but hey, who cares? It's for your eyes only, and as long as it works, it doesn't matter how imperfect you may think it is.

7. It's Completely Customizable

Now, we get to one of my favorite parts of the bullet journal system. It's completely customizable!

So for me, the bullet journal system is perfect because I am always able to adapt it to my needs. People are always coming up with new ideas for bullet journaling, and so there is always something new you can learn to make your bullet journal better.

As your life changes, your bullet journal can change too!

Store-bought planners don't offer this option. If you buy a planner, you might end up only using half of the pages in it because you want some of the options, but not others. With a bullet journal, you don't have any of that.

You don't need to have weekly layouts if you only like using monthly layouts. It's all up to you! Plus, if you change from using weekly layouts to wanting to use daily layouts, you won't need to buy a new planner. You'll only have to turn the page!

Is Bullet Journaling a Complete Waste of Time?

Is Bullet Journaling a Complete Waste of Time?

Those are my seven answers for the people that argue bullet journaling is a waste of time. Have I convinced you to start or keep using your bullet journal yet?

I hope so, but if not, no hard feelings! Let me know in the comments why you still think bullet journaling is a waste of time, and I'll see if I can find a solution for you. I'm always up for a challenge!

If I have convinced you to start a bullet journal, you can read Bullet Journaling: What Is It? to get started.

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I wish you good luck on your planning journey! :)
If you liked this post, make sure you share it or pin it so you can read it again! Thank you!

Is Bullet Journaling a Complete Waste of Time?

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