I was excited about the BuJo when I first discovered it. As I started using it, however, I became somewhat skeptical that it was for me. I’ve been perfectly happy using Google Calendar to keep track of appointments and I wasn’t sure I really needed to do much planning above and beyond that. These days, the thing I call my BuJo is really about for keeping a record of what happens to me each day more so than planning anything.
After playing around with the BuJo system for more than a year now, I wanted to share some thoughts about it and maybe we can discuss.
- I think one of the greatest assets to the BuJo is it’s flexibility. I can literally be anything you want or need it to be. I also think this can be one of the system’s greatest weaknesses. Yes, it’s great that I can make my own spreads look however I want them to. But there are some days, weeks, or months where making my own spreads just isn’t in the cards for me. Either I’m too tired, too busy, too unmotivated, or some combination thereof. And just because I find myself in this situation doesn’t mean I don’t have things that need planning.
- I object to the artistic/sloppy dichotomy. If you look around sites like Instagram or Pinterest, you’ll find some beautifully drawn BuJo spreads. You’ll also find some very sloppy ones. And I feel that some of the conversations I’ve seen surrounding BuJos strongly imply (if not outright state) that all BuJos are either one or the other. If your BuJo doesn’t fit some narrow definition of artfully done (whatever that means), then it must be sloppy. First of all, this line of thinking ignores the fact that it’s possibly to find both beautifully done and sloppy spreads within the same BuJo. Second of all, where are my basic, minimalist, yet still neat BuJo-ers at? Third of all, I think it’s great that some folks spend a lot of time creating beautifully drawn BuJo spreads. Truly, I think it’s amazing that some folks have those skills and I’ll feel jealous every time I look at pictures of their spreads. However, who cares what you BuJo looks like to other people? It just has to make sense to you. And just because it looks “sloppy” to other people doesn’t mean it can’t be helpful to you.
- It doesn’t have to be BuJo vs. all other planners. I’ve seen some discussion of various brands of planners turn into a discussion of that planner vs. BuJo. It seems that some of the folks who like to talk about how flexible the BuJo can be also occasionally forget that very fact. In other words, if someone has an affinity for one particular brand of planner, there’s no reason they couldn’t incorporate some BuJo techniques into that planner. It doesn’t have to be an either or thing.
Bonus: I’m throwing a bonus in here because I think this applies to planners in general and not necessarily just BuJos. Can we talk about how super helpful it can be to write down your goals? I’ve found having a simple to-do list keeps me focused on what I need to do. I have a tendency to sit down in front of the computer, for example, with the intent of accomplishing a very specific task. Before I know it, I’ll realize hours have passed and instead of finishing the task I initially set out to do, I’ll have several partially done tasks in front of me. Having a to-do list tends to help keep me focused on the tasks that are most important.
So feel free to talk to me about BuJos in the comments. Do you agree with me? Disagree? Why?