The Benefits Of Bullet Journaling You Should Know About, According To Our Neuropsychologist

In an increasingly digital world, it's refreshing to see many people returning to handwritten journals to keep track of their busy lives. In particular, bullet journaling has picked up steam in recent years, with people across the globe putting pen to paper to help them organize their days and feelings. Traditional journaling typically involves jotting one's experiences and emotions down. In contrast, bullet journaling combines mental health and precious memory components with organizational needs, goal-setting, and more. A bullet journal can be whatever you need it to be. What that entails — whether it's a mood tracker, to-do list organizer, meal planner, or anything else — is entirely up to you.


Although some mass-manufactured organizers and journals can get pricey, bullet journaling involves only a blank or lined notebook or journal and a pen or two (no-bleed pens and a dot grid notebook will get you up and running). Of course, artsy people may include pens of various colors, extras (like stickers), and other design elements, but at its most basic, bullet journaling is pretty cost-efficient. Intrigued but not quite sure why you should jump on board? Miami-based expert neuropsychologist Dr. Aldrich Chan gave Glam exclusive details about why bullet journaling is so beneficial.

Better mental health

Knowing you've accomplished a lot in a day is a wonderful sensation, the opposite of feeling overwhelmed and unhappy. Bullet journaling may put things in stark perspective better than hours of internal moaning can. "Bullet journaling can improve overall mental well-being," neuropsychologist Dr. Aldrich Chan exclusively tells Glam. "Engaging in the practice of bullet journaling can help remind individuals of the importance of self-care and self-reflection."


According to bullet journaling expert Ryder Carroll, practicing morning and evening reflection in a bullet journal is ultra-beneficial. "Reward yourself by checking all the stuff you've gotten done, and log things you forgot to earlier etc." Carroll writes on the Bullet Journal blog, adding that doing this helps the brain wind down at the end of a chaotic day. "The point of reflection is to make sure that the things you're pursuing continue to matter to you even as life changes around you. It will help you focus on the why rather than the what."

In terms of self-care, adding those goals to a bullet journal is a tangible step toward making things happen. Jot down your meal plan for the day and stick to it, or add your step count every evening to see if you're hitting wellness goals. This is the ideal place to note other important to-do items that significantly improve quality of life. Once jotted down, you're less likely to forget them.


Lower stress levels

Stress can be highly damaging to both the mind and the body. For example, it can cause everything from headaches and stomach upset to full-blown depression and anxiety, per the Mayo Clinic. This is why so many experts recommend meditation and mindfulness practices to help keep stress in check. As it turns out, bullet journaling is a similar tool in the fight against stress. "Taking a few minutes each day to engage in bullet journaling can help reduce stress," Dr. Chan exclusively tells Glam. "The practice of focused concentration and bringing oneself back to the present moment through bullet journaling can have a positive impact on stress levels."


So, the next time you're frustrated at work or in a relationship, jot down your stress level and what's causing it in the bullet journal. Some stressors are one-off experiences, but it's probably time to address the situation if something in particular pops up regularly. Then, there's the tangible evidence that being prepared and getting things done fosters a sense of control, which should also benefit your stress level. 

Improved organizational skills

Many brilliant people, like Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Thomas Edison, were disorganized. While they were able to get away with it and achieve great things, society, by and large, values people who show up to appointments on time and turn in their work as scheduled. Keeping a bullet journal can help disorganized people better manage their time at home, play, and professionally because it offers a one-stop shop to-do list. 


Neuropsychologist Dr. Aldrich Chan tells Glam exclusively that "one of the biggest benefits" of bullet journaling is that it encourages better organizational skills. "Using a bullet journal allows individuals to effectively plan and track their tasks, appointments, and goals, leading to a sense of control and reduced mental clutter," Dr. Chan explained. Some people need to see tasks in black and white to keep track of everything that needs to be done. Is anything more fulfilling than checking something off or crossing it out completely? We think not.

Increase in gratitude and general attitude

It's so easy to get bogged down in the things that have gone wrong that people often lose sight of what's going right. This is where writing in a bullet journal can be helpful, neuropsychologist Dr. Aldrich Chan exclusively shares with Glam. "By incorporating gratitude prompts and reflections into a bullet journal, individuals can cultivate a positive mindset and focus on the positive aspects of their lives," Dr. Chan explains.


Gratitude practice doesn't have to be super specific or in-depth, either. Ryder Carroll says on the Bullet Journal blog that it can simply entail writing a few notes down about things that you're grateful for every morning and evening. "No matter how long or painful your day may have been, take a few minutes to reflect," Carroll says. This doesn't have to be anything earth-shattering, either. Perhaps it's simply that you're having a good hair day or found a dollar bill on the sidewalk. "It allows us to spend just a little more time with the good things in our life," Carroll notes. Everyone knows it's always better to end on a good note, right?

The ability to address and release emotions

Everyone will get angry or sad or have an upsetting experience occasionally. Instead of publicly raging or crying, turn to a bullet journal to legitimize your feelings in a healthy manner. "Your bullet journal can serve as a safe space for emotional expression," Dr. Aldrich Chan exclusively tells us. "Whether through written entries, doodles, or color-coding, the act of journaling allows you to process and release emotions."


Writing things down can help people better understand the situation and put it in context, per the University of Rochester Medical Center. Sometimes, this release is all a person needs to move on from or better handle an upsetting situation, avoiding potential trouble or conflict down the line. To reap these all-important benefits, keep your bullet journal and preferred pen accessible at the very least in the morning and at night. Others may want to carry it around during the day so that it's readily available when needed.