Wednesday, February 14, 2018

PSA: Planner vs. Bullet Journal vs. Normal Journaling

PSA: Planner vs. Bullet Journal vs. Normal Journaling // Our Journey in Journals

Something I see that confuses both people who do and people who don't is the difference between a planner, a bullet journal, and just a normal journal. A little egotistically, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert on all three, so in today's installment of my "PSA" series, I'll be explaining each one of these words and how they relate to each other.


"Planner" is a fairly general term, and it refers to really any sort of system that helps you keep track of events, record tasks, and plan out your schedule--typically a paper product. This encompasses a wide variety of things like a Hobonichi, the Happy Planner, something your school may give out, an app, an inexpensive one you can buy at a supermarket, etc.

Bullet Journal

A bullet journal is a specific planner system where you start out with a blank notebook and create your own planning spreads along with any other sort of thing that you would want to have written down in a notebook. Bullet journals can have collections like daily to do lists, monthly calendars/logs, grocery lists, habit trackers, mood trackers, or really anything; one of the primary characteristics of a bullet journal is that it's a planner, but you can stick any sort of writing into the same notebook.

Again, I would like to reiterate that a bullet journal is just another type of planner. A phrase that irks me at times is when people say "a planner or a bullet journal" as if they are presenting two separate items when they are simply giving a category of objects and a more specific object that fits into that category. It's almost like asking someone, "Do you play an instrument or piano?" or stating, "This is a Ford Focus, not a car."

A bullet journal is a system that fits under the overarching umbrella of the term "planner."

Normal Journaling

"Journaling" is by far the vaguest word of the three; it indicates a large assortment of activities involving writing things down in a mindful way, typically emoting one's feelings or expressing one's creativity. This can include keeping a diary of daily thoughts, art journaling (combining words with visual art), keeping track of one's travels, and much, much more.

The difference between normal journaling and bullet journaling is that the former is a broader term; bullet journaling strides the space between a planner and a journal in that incorporates the planning/shceduling capabilities of the former, but it also involves various other collections that you can include in a bullet journal, such as long-form entries or recording daily events, that are aspects of normal journaling.

I hope this little guide in helping to explain the difference between a planner, a bullet journal, and normal journaling. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any further questions!
~Mae-Mae Han

What other topics about stationery, bullet journaling, or calligraphy would you explained? Make sure to comment them down below!

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