Bullet journalling: The mindfulness trend that really works

·Lifestyle Editor
·4 min read

There’s something about putting pen to paper. More and more people are rediscovering the joys of making scratches on paper, creating permanent marks (never mind the mistakes) in the form of bullet journalling (BUJO). In fact, there is an entire BUJO community on the Internet that is more than willing to share ideas, inspiration and tips. 

Solitude with yourself. PHOTO: Getty Images
Solitude with yourself. PHOTO: Getty Images

What is BUJO?

Bullet journalilng is touted as “the mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system.” The Bullet Journal Method was devised by New York-based digital product designer Ryder Carroll. Simply put, a bullet journal is a system to help you get organised and stay productive.

The bullet journal methodology is meant "to help you track the past, organise the present, and plan for the future."Ryder Carroll

Methinks, the new year is a good time to start practising mindfulness through journalling.

Quiet your mind and start journalling. PHOTO: Getty Images
Quiet your mind and start journaling. PHOTO: Getty Images

Why BUJO

How does bullet journalling differ from the usual planners? A BUJO affords you the flexibility and creative space to put whatever you wish in your planner. Beyond birthdays, anniversaries and daily to-do lists, you can also add in your habit, mood, allergy or sleep trackers; use it as a brain dump, food log, gratitude journal; your reading, music and movie lists and more.

Bullet Journal, Habit Tracker. PHOTO: Getty images
Bullet Journal, Habit Tracker. PHOTO: Getty images

Benefits of bullet journalling

Beyond improving your handwriting, its psychological benefits include enhancing your memory and staying focused. Besides, there’s nothing like tracking your progress and achievements and feeling that sense of accomplishment at the end of the week/month/year when reviewing your journal.

How to get started

The fun part of BUJO? You get to do the set-up yourself and plan exactly how your journal looks. All you need to get started is a notebook and a pen. It can be blank, dot grid, or lined.

Do you want the week to spread over one page or a double-page spread? Do you want to combine Saturday and Sunday? Do you wish to work on a theme, draw and paint or stick to simple, no-nonsense boxes? Would you prefer to hand draw or use a ruler? Go with a monotone or pastel colour scheme?

A simple online check for "bullet journalling” will set your inspiration on fire.

Pro-tip 1: Start with simple set-ups if you are new to the BUJO game. As the months' progress, try referencing the set-ups or themes you prefer. Over time, you will learn which sort of set-ups work for your lifestyle.

And the best part? You get to choose how simple or creative you wish to be, based on how packed your schedule is or how you are feeling while planning your month's journal set-up.

Pro-tip 2: A bullet journal is meant to be a fun and effective way to get organised, so don't give yourself additional pressure to make it perfect. Making mistakes is part of the learning process.

Pro-tip 3: Washi tapes, stickers and the good-old liquid paper are your best friends to cover up mistakes. 

Pro-tip 4: After all, it is your BUJO, and you do not have to account for anyone but yourself.

In 2022, why not consider a novel way of exploring mindfulness in the form of bullet journalling? Read on to see how you can get started.

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Learn all about BUJO

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future. PHOTO: Amazon
The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future. PHOTO: Amazon

Leuchtturm – the mother of all BUJO

Leuchtturm Softcover Composition B5 Dotted Notebook, S$40.76

Leuchtturm Softcover Composition B5 Dotted Notebook. PHOTO: Amazon
Leuchtturm Softcover Composition B5 Dotted Notebook. PHOTO: Amazon

Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook - Dotted, S$39.90

Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook - Dotted. PHOTO: Amazon
Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook - Dotted. PHOTO: Amazon

Moleskine – the classic journal of all time

Moleskine Classic Notebook, Soft Cover, Large (5" x 8.25") Dotted, S$20.78

Moleskine Classic Notebook, Soft Cover, Large (5
Moleskine Classic Notebook, Soft Cover, Large (5" x 8.25") Dotted. PHOTO: Amazon

For those who love to write, draw and paint

Bullet Grid Journal Moon and Stars, Extra Thick Paper 160gsm, S$36.61

Bullet Grid Journal Moon and Stars, Extra Thick Paper 160gsm. PHOTO: Amazon
Bullet Grid Journal Moon and Stars, Extra Thick Paper 160gsm. PHOTO: Amazon

Premium Hard Cover Journal, Dotted Grid, 122 pages, 120gsm, Classic 5" x 8.3", S$16.38

Premium Hard Cover Journal, Dotted Grid, 122 pages, 120gsm, Classic 5
Premium Hard Cover Journal, Dotted Grid, 122 pages, 120gsm, Classic 5" x 8.3". PHOTO: Amazon

Stationery to accompany your BUJO journey

Washi tape

Mildliner

Tombow brush pens

Tombow fudenosuke brush pen

Sakura Pigma Micron Fineliners

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