You might be seeing a bunch of pictures in your feed of nicely laid out planners drawn by artists. When you look closer, you realize that it’s your friend from high school you remember struggled to get through Intro to Art! It seems as if everybody is getting their lives together using the bullet journal system nowadays, artists and civilians alike. I started using mine last fall and it’s led to me feeling not only more productive, but more confident in my abilities to accomplish my tasks. This planner/personal journal/workout diary is capable of helping with almost anything that you are trying to accomplish. This is why you should try out a bullet journal, too.


The number one reason why people often turn to a physical planner is that they feel too dependent on technology. It’s nice to take a break and have somewhere concrete to map out the day, week, or month ahead. Putting pen (or marker) to paper can help you visualize the future in a way that just typing out things can never replace.


Because the bullet journal is all about what you want it to be, it’s easy to customize it to plan for every minute detail of your life. You can have pages dedicated to your work, life, and everything in between. I’ve been known to record everything from meals I want to try in my Dutch oven to outfits I want to bring on vacation over the summer. I even have miscellaneous pages meant for random inspirational quotes or fun city sights I want to remember to tell my mom about next time I call her.

Record your life

One of my favorite things about my bullet journal is that I am able to look back and see a record of what movies I saw and who I met with on any given day. I have a truly terrible memory, so I force myself to record more than the average person. This way I can not only reflect on how productive or social I was on certain days, but also remember my successes and pleasant meals shared with loved ones. I even have a special space where I force myself to write down what I did that week with my boyfriend so that I can keep better track of all the fun things we do together.

Find a creative outlet

A lot of people turn to bullet journals not just because of their function, but also their ability to serve as creative outlets. You’ve probably seen Instagrams or blogs dedicated to artsy drawings in journals or fancy layouts. No matter your skill level, using your right brain for this activity can help to inspire you or relax you while building out a more structured and organized life.

Visualize your goals

Utilizing your bullet journal to draw out a plan for how you are going to reach your goals, no matter how big or small, can be a huge revelation in your life. If your goal is to make that promotion next quarter, you can literally draw out a roadmap with the steps you’ll need to take to accomplish that goal. Writing your goals down and drawing out a plan will make that amorphous dream seem that much more attainable. You can stick in reminders every day to inspire and encourage you to make the most of each day and work towards your dreams. These reminders can be anything from an inspirational quote to tallies of how many people you reached out to at that networking conference.

Track your fitness and nutrition

One of the greatest tools that your bullet journal can serve as is a wellness tracker. You can do everything from record how much water you drank in a day, what vegetables you are going to buy from the farmer’s market, and what workout class you’re going to attend after work. Some people even use their bullet journals as gym journals and keep track of what they did in their workout each day. There are many ways to use your journal as a visual cue for living a healthier life. 

Hold yourself accountable

No matter what your plans are, it’s so much easier to stay true to your mission if you have something like a bullet journal to track your progress. It’s a visual reminder that you made plans with a friend for lunch or committed to drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Using your journal to record this data and see what you’ve promised yourself is a way to stay true to yourself and your vision for your life. Coming back to it on a regular basis forces you to face the truth about what you have and have not accomplished.

Sleep better at night

There’s something about writing everything down that helps me get a better night’s sleep. It’s nice to know that I have a home for all the random thoughts and plans that are always floating around my head. That way, I can close my eyes and not worry about remembering to bring in donuts to work the next day for my work wife’s birthday or to cancel my free trial of Hulu Plus — it’s in my bullet journal.