Why bullet journaling is not working (for me)

Time management doesn’t work

Before we get into the idea of bullet journal, let’s establish one thing first. Contrary to what you may think or hear from phony life-coaches most of the time management solutions don’t work.  Bullet journals don’t work. To-do lists don’t work. Buying a new app or tool doesn’t work either.  Holding meetings is even worse.

There is a lot of research behind these claims but I won’t get into details about time management in corporations – this blog is not about that. The point is, for me bullet journal as a time management solution is useless.

Spending your time “getting organized”

Every time when I see bullet journals on Instagram I am amazed. They are more about art than reality. How come these people have enough time to create such beautiful journals and how come they always take photos in independent coffee shops? I am so busy that I don’t even have time to visit coffee shops, sit there and take photos. I prepare coffee myself every morning to save time and money.

Then, so many bullet journals are full of colors, sophisticated coding, and indexing. Usually, bullet journals are accompanied with many gadgets and an expensive fountain pen.  I tried and I failed. I am not able to bring all those things with me every day. I am not able to play with colors during meetings. I always take handwritten notes, though.

Keeping a bullet journal as a time management tool, something to organize my busy life, has been a big failure for me. Why should I even waste my time on drawing tables for each day when I can just buy a Hobonichi Techo? This way all is ready and I can just fill in all my appointments if I need to.  I like simplicity. If I have an idea that I need to write down or if I need to take notes, then I go with the Traveler’s Notebook or just a “normal” notebook.

I am also not comfortable with bringing a real journal with me everywhere.  In case I lose it I don’t want random people to know what’s happening in my life.  Call me paranoid, but your daily schedule together with your address and other private data ( if they happen to be inside)  might be a great source of info for burglars.

So, what is working for me?

Because of the reasons mentioned above I won’t write about bullet journals, but I will post some reviews of notebooks.  I use notebooks a lot and I always bring my Traveler’s Notebook with me.  I just don’t turn them into fancy bullet journals.

DISCLAIMER:  I do not want to offend anyone who is into bullet journaling. It’s not working for me but it doesn’t mean it’s not working for everyone else. I appreciate the artistic side of beautiful bullet journaling. I really do!  Also, I wrote this post from a perspective of a manager who is sometimes working for 12 hours per day. Your mileage may vary.