Planners vs. Bullet Journals

If there is anything that I’ve learned about bookish people in the past two and a half years, it’s that we LOVE journaling. And plannering. And coloring. Anything that allows us to express ourselves and be organized, and if we get to include books, all the better.

I’ve noticed that there are two camps. The bullet journal camp, and the planner camp. I’ve done both, and I am firmly in team planner. But I thought it might be fun to look at the pros and cons of each.

Bullet Journal

Pros

  • If you’re artistic, they are soooooo pretty
  • You get to have exactly what you want because you design every page!
  • Flexibility
  • Doesn’t have to be pricey
  • Pretty picture on Insta!
  • Improve your handwriting and calligraphy skills
  • Great online community

Cons

  • Time consuming
  • If you’re not artistic, you are looking at it in dismay wondering where you went wrong in life.
  • My pens bleed through the pages 😦
  • I feel like they’re too pretty to plan on, because if you have to change plans or something, you don’t want to ruin your layout.

Planners

Pros

  • Buy it ready to go
  • Somebody got paid a lot of money to make it look all cute and aesthetic so you don’t have to
  • If you’re into stickers, go wild
  • Get organized with yearly, monthly, and weekly pages
  • Lots of variety of layouts available
  • For people obsessed with fancy pens (me), enjoy nice, thick pages that are a dream to write on.

Cons

  • Less flexibility, and you might not get exactly what you want.
  • I feel like it’s not as nice of a keep-sake
  • Not easy to add pages if you want, say, a reading tracker
  • Okay, they’re kind of expensive if you have to buy them full price…

Man, even just writing this post has me itching to pull my Bullet Journal out and start trying again. Everyone’s are SO PRETTY!!! 😍😍😍 But I’ll just have to keep reminding myself that I’m taking three effing classes this summer and I don’t have time to try improve my penmanship for a pretty planner that I won’t keep up with. Sheesh.

So are you on Team Planner, or Team BuJo? What’s your favorite thing about journaling or plannering?

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35 thoughts on “Planners vs. Bullet Journals

    1. I love using my planner because it puts all my to-do lists in one place, but when I get crazy busy I also end up not using it a lot. Which is ironic, because that’s probably when I need it the most…

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  1. Well, I am really impressed with all of you for being so organized with your planners and so artistic with your bullet journals. (I have never heard that latter term and am wondering what is “bullet” about them.)

    But I gotta say … as for me, the thought of both these methods stresses me out! Seems like organizing and planning would become a task in itself, and then every time I do come up with a nice plan, it either doesn’t work out or I forget to follow it.

    I keep track of my blog with a very simple system of bunch of draft documents in Word and a few scribbled notes on the different days of my wall calendar.

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  2. I am TOTALLY team planner. It is like a mission for me to find the perfect one each year. In college I was totally on board with Lilly Pulitzer and it covered everything I needed. But now that I don’t need quite so much, I have been flipping around the last couple of years. This year I designed my own with Plum Paper and was able to add sections for both my wedding and blog! I think that if you have the time and patience to find the perfect one, planners can be just as perfect as bullet journals in terms of content.

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    1. I love my Happy Planner! And I think it’s cool that they come in so many different sizes and designs depending on what you need. I used to hand-draw my planner in a composition notebook, but I’ve been so much happier with just buying a nice one.

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  3. I have a digital planner, so I am not quite sure where I fall XD
    The planner has little doodle images and pretty pictures on it, but that way I don’t lose it and the spreadsheets are easy to manipulate to fit more or less content, plus I can link back to different articles or posts.
    Great post!
    -Emma 🙂

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    1. I have had schools require me to keep my calendar online, and I never like it as much because I can’t just see my whole week at once glance. I have to click on individual days in order to see what’s in them! I also have a hard time finding things if I’m not sure what day they’re on. Does that ever happen to you, or am I just an ePlanner dunce?

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      1. I used to have to use a certain planner provided by my school, but now I use either Schedul (no e, it is free but is supposed to be for salons? It works kind of for a planner, too) or I make a spreadsheet, and I can actually create my own weekly or monthly or even day by day spread to suit what I need.

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  4. I think I’m much the same. I’d really LOVE to be #teambujo, but I know it won’t last – I get frustrated at having to draw up the pages all the time. Plus, I tend to take most of my notes digitally now on OneNote. Also, I really love my reading planner from Little Inklings 😍

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  5. I’ve always been team planner when it comes to organizing my life… but I have never really considered using one for book stuff! What a great idea…. maybe 2020 will be the year I try a physical planner, right now I just use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my reading haha can you tell I’m an analytical mind more than creative?

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  6. I started out with a BuJo, but haven’t had the patience to do pretty designs so I switched up to a planner! Maybe next year I try a BuJo again, but honestly the planner is so practical…

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  7. Team Planner vs Team BuJo? What about my team, the famous Team Bought This Pretty Journal But Won’t Use It Because I’m Weird About Stationery?

    I own journals from 2014 that I still haven’t cracked open because they’re too pretty and I can’t write on them. 😭

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    1. Haha! I totally feel you, stationary is *so* lovely to look at! My absolute favorite thing about new journals is the first time you write in them, so I have an absurd number of composition notebooks and journals with only like, five pages written in, lol.

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  8. Team planner all the way! I like a good minimalist planner with monthly as well as weekly calendars. And lots of space for notes! I keep a small one in my car, and a bigger one on my desk and still use my phone calendar to boot! I especially like my Emily Ley planner from Target. I also like my simple Rae Dunn planner.
    There is no such thing as too organized! ✍

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