Gaining control over busy schedules through a bullet journal


Bailey Lai

Bullet Journal was founded by Ryder Carroll and its journals feature a new variation to the planner. The Sidekick Staff Writer Anika Arutla talks about how the method has impacted her and the its benefits on her life.

Anika Arutla, Staff Writer

It is no secret that the life of a Coppell High School student is anything but stress-free. From the moment we wake up, we are constantly running around, trying to get a grasp on the abundance of activities that shape our everyday lives.


A good solution to this problem is maintaining a bullet journal.


The company Bullet Journal was founded by digital product designer Ryder Carroll and centers around a blank journal with uniform dots. With dots being the only restriction, the opportunities are endless.


Bailey Lai
Bullet journals have multiple benefits including being a creativity outlet and an organizer. Bullet journals also allow for the creator to have complete control over how they decide to approach and decorate them.

Even though dots define a bullet journal, many people use normal journals with lines and other variations which allow for diversity and different approaches to the concept.


“For anybody, the one major stressor in our life is the fact that we don’t feel like we don’t have control over our lives,” CHS AP psychology teacher Kristia Leyendecker said. “And the more tasks that we have to do and the more areas in our lives that have things that we have to do, the more stress that we get. A bullet journal enables people to organize their lives and keep track and maintain those tracks which lowers a person’s stress level.”


The idea was introduced to me when some of my friends made one and kept telling me about its benefits. In addition, I liked the way it looked. Since, I have not gone a single day without looking at it.


The journal can have multiple options including a creativity outlet and an organizer. At its most basic form, it can be a list of simple tasks which the user can check off. In its complex form, it can be turned into something much more with colorful and eye-catching designs and spreads, which are the layouts of the journal.


Bailey Lai
Bullet journals can include a variation of trackers and methods pertaining to your interests and what you plan on gaining from it. The bullet journal can track multiple things including moods and habits through many platforms and designs.


Many bullet journals feature yearly and monthly calendars which help organize thoughts and ideas.


“In a way, it’s a little bit therapeutic,” Leyendecker said. “Because it’s supposed to internalize the things you have to do, your goals, or the things that are bothering you or even internalizing your creativity. You have the ability to put [these things] in an organized fashion in a book that really is represented of you but also kind of demonstrates your history.”


It differs from a planner in many ways since it gives you complete freedom. You have the option to make it as decorative or as minimalist as possible. It all depends on the amount of time you have and how much you want to invest into building your journal.


Planners are pre-planned and in a way restricting, offering methods that are not needed and vice versa. They are also not personalized, while the bullet journal is completely your own since you are starting on a blank slate.


“At first I thought this is a waste of time, [I thought], ‘why would anyone want to do this?”  CHS junior Karvi Bhatnagar said. “But I keep seeing pictures [of bullet journals] on Pinterest and Instagram and got inspired. I got the materials and I started doing it and I realized that keeping everything in one little booklet seemed a lot more helpful than taking up a premade planner that already tells you how you should organize your life. I had planners in the past but I didn’t feel the same sense of freedom.”


Bailey Lai
Many bullet journals contain monthly and yearly planners which can help maintain your goals. Examples include movie and book trackers.


However, the process to begin one can be overwhelming, since you are literally beginning from no direction and building your way up. It is recommended to first sort out your interests and goals so you can center the bullet journal around what you plan on gaining from it.


You can put anything in it, from tracking your mood to your water intake. The spreads you create can depend on the season and can motivate you to complete your tasks since you put in the effort to make it; someone else did not make it for you.


Although the purpose of a bullet journal is different for everyone, it provides us a strong basis to help plan and organize our lives.

Follow @anikaarutla