As a self-confessed stationery fan, I have tried plenty of trendy alternatives to bullet journaling. Don’t get me wrong, I love my bujo spreads and how they help me stay organized and productive. However, bullet journaling is an ever-evolving practice that can take many forms.
Not everyone is cut out for the good old journal notebook, and that’s completely fine. As the saying goes, to each their own. But if you don’t wish to stray far from the trackers, to-do lists, and other bujo mainstays, then this article on digital and analog logging alternatives would be your ultimate guide.
In this article, you will find:
- Digital alternatives to bullet journaling that mimic the standard bujo experience
- Analog counterparts of bullet journals with interesting features
- Tips for maximizing your bujo alternatives
Bullet Journal Alternatives You Can Try
1. Evernote / One Note 💻
If you’re constantly glued to your desktop or Mac more than you do with your mobile phone, you should try an online note-taking software like Evernote. Popular among Windows and Mac users, this software is a handy tool to help you stay organized in and beyond your work or study life.
Think of it as a digital version of loose-leaf notes that you can compile into categories called “notebooks”. When I started using Evernote, I had like five notebooks, each dedicated to a particular course I was taking. I used each notebook to write my college lectures and research papers.
What’s interesting about Evernote is that it allows you to upload images to go with your notes and lets you arrange your to-dos according to their order of priority. It also lets you keep a digital version of your documents for safekeeping and easier retrieval.
In case you don’t find Evernote plans suited to your budget, you can try One Note from the MS Office suite. It’s your old-school note-taking software that just got cooler with a stylus or fingertip drawing functionality for when you feel like doodling or annotating your notes. It also allows you to clip images from the web to boost your visual recall of important notes.
2. Mobile Apps 📱
These days, there are a lot of productivity apps that also double-duty as digital journals. If you’re more of a tablet-and-phone journaler, then the best route is to digitize your journaling experience.
Many Tiktok videos and IG reels have been dedicated to iPad digital planners so keep your eyes peeled. From Procreate and GoodNotes to free planner templates and PDFs, the choices are endless. Check out the App store for up-and-coming planners and productivity tools that suit your aesthetics and organizational needs.
Personally, I love using my iPad for digital planning because it lets me scribble my thoughts in a paperless manner. Let’s admit it: sometimes, it helps that you can erase your entry without worrying about ruining the whole page. This is what appeals to me about digital planning apps. The fact that I’m using a stylus also adds to my creativity flow.
Meanwhile, Android users can also have digital planner apps installed on their phones. The good thing about these apps is that you can sync them with your Google calendar across all your accounts whether desktop or mobile.
3. Filofax 📒
Some days, you’ll feel like bringing your notes with you. This is especially true if you’re treating them as an extension of yourself to a point where you refuse to leave the house without them. Luckily, you have the option to use a Filofax.
Filofax is a modern-day organizer that resembles a wallet. It is more structured than an ordinary journal notebook with its ring binder system that lets you refill paper inserts and discard pages you no longer need. It also features pockets for your business cards and IDs.
What I particularly like about the Filofax I used before is the inclusion of cardboard dividers and top-opening clear envelopes. As a budget-conscious journaler, I find these useful for monitoring my expenses and stashing away my money for specific purposes.
I’ve heard that more high-end Filofaxes even include a mini calculator and a ruler to help in budgeting. But some original templates have been retained such as yearly planners, dailies, and phone directory templates.
You also have the option to choose among the popular leather finishes you want for your Filofax to suit your taste. Some are in basic colors, while other modern takes include floral patterns and marbled designs. This way, they won’t look out of place wherever you go.
4. Analog Planners ✍🏻
Finally, you can just switch up your journal notebook for a planner that has a pre-made calendar system where you can simply input important notes next to the dates. Dated pages help a lot when you don’t feel like redoing the whole monthly calendar spread repeatedly over the 12 month-cycle.
These days, planner layouts get more and more creative. Some inclusions to new designs are hourly spreads, an appointment system, weekly notes, and goal-setting pages.
The only downside of this option is that there’s not much flexibility as to how you lay out your spreads. Still, analog planners are great for those who prefer straightforward documentation as opposed to more creativity-boosting journal spreads.
5. Kanban ✔️
If neither notebooks nor digital apps appeal to you at the moment, try Kanban. It is inspired by the Japanese system of work management that can help you track your to-dos.
All you have to do is move (or migrate) the cards containing your to-dos across the categories of Current, Pending, and Finished posted on a board. Think of it as a physical version of the digital Trello boards, where you can drag and drop items into categories similar to Kanban.
There are a lot of digital and analog alternatives to bullet journaling for every need and preference. They don’t need to be too complicated to put you off journaling altogether. You can use the system that works for your productivity, organization, and well-being.
In this article, you have learned the different bujo alternatives such as digital and analog systems, as well as how you can maximize their utility to suit your needs and logging habits.
So how do you prefer to organize your life and work? Are you an analog fan or digital-savvy? Let me know your thoughts!