I’m sure we all kept notebooks or diaries at one point or another as we were getting through our tween to early adolescent years. For a lot of us, those were just filled with thought dumps, doodles, and terrible songs we attempted to write. Admittedly, I lost a bit of creativity in that sense once I got more and more entangled into high school. Instead of spending more time writing leisurely, I was writing purely for academics and research. From then on, the creative writing side of myself seemed almost lost. With this being said, what if I told you there was a way we could put creativity and productivity into one journal?

Over recent years, bullet journaling has been a growing journal format trend that entails a method of organizing yourself and your thoughts into a journal that aims to be both artsy and productive. Its inventor, Ryder Caroll, was forced to create a personal system that would help him become a more productive individual because of his difficulties with his learning disabilities. Through the bullet journal method, Caroll aims to promote “the art of intentional living”.

The bullet journal method may have been created by one man, but trust me when I say that each person can come up with their very own bullet journal style. Each individual should be allowed to find out what kind of journaling method will cater to their own organizational needs while still allowing them to show off their own creative flair. From checklists to diary entries, timetables to illustrated diagrams–whatever way to get you organized will work, as long as it works for especially for you. Furthermore, owning a bullet journal means creating every notebook spread from scratch. In other words, there will be no manufactured planner layout spreads needed, since you will be making the format on your own. Besides its ability to boost productivity, there is an outlet for your creative side as well! Each spread, layout, color, and motif for each page will be according to your liking. Let your imagination run freely! As previously mentioned, you just have to do whatever will work for you.

Each month begins with a title page
I write and doodle a bunch of thoughts and lessons once the month is over
I use a mood and diet tracker to keep tabs on how I feel and
how my eating habits are each day
One day = one bullet; I summarize what happens in a day +
add tickets or pictures for remembrance

Personally, keeping a bullet journal (BuJo) really helped me in high school, especially in my senior year. Because it’s very personalized, creating each spread felt very therapeutic, and it really forced me to take some time out of my day to actually sit down and write in my journal. Through this, I was subconsciously giving myself my daily “me time”. My own twist on the journal was that I would write things down only after they happened, so it wasn’t really a planner-type of BuJo for me (because I have a separate planner to write down my agendas). This way, I’d be able to reflect and remember everything that happened that day when I write them all down. Those spreads could go from stating what event transpired up until what I was thinking to myself when it happened. When everything felt hectic and stressful, it was nice to just write it down in my bullet journal so that I could have a good release without needing to publicize it so much. It really allowed me to stay in touch with both my emotions and my daily productivity, and it did so as well for other friends that I know kept their own BuJos. For them, it helped to keep their journals as planners and have recommended keeping one as well, for it helped them gain more control of their personal agendas.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a notebook now! Let your imagination run freely. It’s time to get yourself get inspired (and organized)!

For more on the bullet journal method, check out:

NOTE: The images used are from the author’s own personal bullet journal.