(Read more about the original Bullet Journal here.)
I am not locked into predetermined box sizes. My daily task list can be a full page or a fifth of a page. My month can span four pages or two. I can have fifteen pages of notes between today’s log and tomorrow’s, if I need them.
My journal can be pretty or plain (which is its own sort of pretty, I think). It can be colorful or monotone. It can be flowery or patterned. And all of that can change from month to month, even day to day. I can doodle a birthday cake on one page and the tree in the backyard on the next. I can use highlighters and markers and bright neon gel pens, or just a pencil.
This is variable, of course. Someone may choose to spend $50 on a leather-bound dot-grid bound notebook with archival-quality paper and a fountain pen. Or a lined hard-bound notebook from Walmart. Or, cheaper yet, a graph paper Composition book (less than $2 at Walmart; the lined Composition books are $0.97 right now).
This system is task/list-based, not event-based. If you make to-do lists, you may like this system.
Everything is in one place. Calendars, to-do lists, packing lists, meal plans, cleaning routines, you name it. All of it in one book.
I thought I would not like having everything jumbled together. I thought it would bother me to have my meal plan mixed right into the middle of my daily logs. Surprisingly… it doesn’t bother me at all. I can find things easily without (many) tabs or sections. I don’t have to wonder in which section a note or idea belongs.
Most BuJo notebooks are small. Many boutique/special-order planners are very large. Binders are big. Small planners are easy to find… but then the boxes inside are tiny! (see “Customizable” above)
There are a few (okay, two) downfalls to the Bullet Journal system, that I have noticed.
There is a greater time investment in this system. At the beginning of each month, the “monthly spread” must be prepared. At the beginning of a new notebook/new year, some data must be transferred from the old journal.
This time investment can be mitigated slightly by using a very simple layout. The less artistic, the less time is required.
I am not very artistic. Therefore, I have to settle for a plain-looking planner with only the occasional crude doodle or colorful verse in cursive handwriting. I don’t mind. I could customize the covers with fabric, if I wanted to invest the time. It hasn’t really bothered me, though.