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From Planner to Bullet Journal: The Pros and Cons of Switching

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Picture of a bullet journal on the right with trackers. On the left is a graphic of a planner and has an arrow going to the bullet journal. Part of an article: From Planner to Bullet Journal: The Pros and Cons of Switching

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I switched from planner to bullet journal. But is it the right choice for you. Let’s see what YOU think.

Table of contents

From Planner to Bullet Journal – Introduction

Let me tell you about my personal journey switching from planner to bullet journal.

I have always loved planning, I love stationery and have always like to be organized and neat. I was from a small town though so there weren’t loads of options for me for planners. But whenever I bought one, I was always so determined this was going to make me the most organized person in the world. [Big ambitions, I know] But – it didn’t.

I would get frustrated, disappointed and stop using it. Fast forward many years – to the woman I am now living in Dublin, there are many options, but I still ended up making the switch to a bullet journal from a planner.


Picture if a planner and a picture of a bullet journal. The title reads: From Planner to Bullet Journal: The Pros and Cons of Switching

Let’s look at all the pros and cons and start the planner vs bullet journal battle, LOL.

The PROS of Switching to a Bullet Journal

A bullet journal has so many benefits, let’s look at some here.

Ultimate Customization

This was this big issue of why planners weren’t the best fit for me, they didn’t provide the level of customization that I needed to keep me organized.

With a bullet journal you can design the exact spreads you need to fit your needs and this means that there are no more wasted sections or unused pages of a planner. It can fit your exact needs.

This was ultimately the main reason why I made the switch from a planner to bullet journal.


A bullet journal comes on a journey with you. You change and adapt in life and your bujo is your changing and adapting companion.

A bullet journal comes on a journey with you.

I know for my journey I use to change my spread designs each and every month, I tinkered in my bullet journal, always changing and experimenting.

After a long time, I have settled to the spreads I know really serve me the best, but should I change my mind – I can.

Mindfulness and creativity

Setting up a bullet journal for some is the win. They may or may not use it, but they just love having that artistic outlet to create and make something beautiful.

It really appeals to those, like me who have a desire for a mix of function and aesthetic. A marriage of both is a perfect thing in my mind.

All in one solution

If you want to have a self-care page next to a business finance page, you can. You can have to-do lists, trackers or art, journal pages all next to each other, keeping your bullet journal your personal place of joy and organization.

Now lets dive into some of the cons..

The CONS of Switching to a Bullet Journal

Here are some of the potential things that could put you off the switch from a planner to bullet journal..

Time investment

Many have expressed that they struggle to find the time to create the bullet journal setups. Especially if you love art and want to have the decoration just right it can be time consuming.

This is one of the hot debates in planner vs bullet journal.

I have to say that I would struggle with it now too. I’m quite busy.

My solution is going digital. I have a digital bullet journal where you can very quickly turn a bit of art into a digital sticker and reuse it.

But if you are preferring paper – yes it is a time investment with bullet journaling.

Potential for overwhelm

It is a thing – that blank page anxiety.

It can be that for some this is too overwhelming. You could be so afraid of creating something rubbish that your fear will stop anything going on the page at all.

Many people have talked about this perfectionism with bullet journaling. Try reading this article about perfectionism.

Less Structure

For some they like that the prompts are already there in a planner. Trying to decide what to put in a bullet journal can be too loose – too many options.

So if you are a person who actually gets inspired by the structure already created for you in a planner, then a bullet journal planner may not be your jam. Of course, there are now a few options for buying pre made bullet journals, so that could be something you might like.

Picture of a hand filling out a daily planner that has many prompts. Part of an article: From Planner to Bullet Journal: The Pros and Cons of Switching


For a bullet journal to be effective it needs to be used. You actually might get more frustrated at an unused bullet journal than an unused planner.

So think about what time and attention you want to give to your planning routine before embarking on something that you just won’t keep up with.

Some FAQs


You can start a bullet journal at any time if using an analog system. If you want to create an artistic planner you might want to wait until the start of the next new month to create an aesthetically pleasing bullet journal.


Some planners do contain blank or dot grid pages which allow you to create your own bullet journal pages, but generally speaking a planner contains its own structured layouts and is designed for a specific use.


So will you be switching planners?

I hope I was able to show you enough pros and cons for you to decide if the switch from a planner to bullet journal is right for you.

Maybe looking at the key components of a bullet journal will also give you some more ideas.

Maybe consider some of these questions:

  • Do I enjoy the process of deciding what planning systems work for me?
  • Do I prefer time spent creating planner pages, or time spent on other things?
  • Do the aesthetic of a planner matter to me?

Thinking about these few things will help you on your journey.

With whatever you are using – Happy Planning!!


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