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April 11, 2019

6 Ways A Dot Journal Can Help

Sometimes even the simplest of things can make a big difference.

There are many instances where we are too busy to notice that we've already clogged up our lives up. And we can no longer be as productive as we wish to be. This is why dot journaling was created.

Dot journals, at its core, are notebooks meant for journaling in a bulleted form. It's a planning method which is also a life hack in its simplicity and execution. The promise is to allow the planning process to be as free of structure as possible which makes it more versatile and customized to the user. It follows the creator in every aspect.

It aims to simplify planning by using a tried and tested bulleted listing system. It's more organized, easy to do and you basically make it as long and as short as you want. There's no strict form to it.

But its simple method does not take away the benefits of using a dot journal to do your life's planning (as an alternative to using a planner). Here are the major benefits of listing by dot journals:

Personalizing With Creativity
Dot journals are flexible and do not adhere to a strict structure. This feature makes it a good platform to customize according to your taste. In fact, it can certainly become an outlet for your creative genius. This means you can either keep the basic form or have the option to add decorations, to draw, paint or color in order to keep the journal interesting.

monthly planner


Personalizing is a streamlined process because it forces you to think of ways to show your creativity. That takes time, talent and resources. However, there's a benefit to keeping your own dot journals customized.

For one thing, it would be a reflection of you on every page. Second, the creative process itself is an important cognitive exercise. Being creative keeps the brain active and calm allowing you to do other things with less stress or pressure.

Building Lists Is Good for The brain
Keeping a dotted journal allows you to write things down immediately and be able to free up your brain from overloaded information. The act of writing, by itself, is already beneficial. Science can prove that the act of writing information down on paper helps us to recall and incorporate it into memory much more quickly.

schedule planner


This exercise is called a “brain dump”. When you frequently do this, you are helping the brain free up space and take in more information as needed. And almost by instinct, the way we do the “dumping" down of information is by way of a list, using only a few words that we can recall instantly and associate the information with (in case it is too long).

In the case of using dot journals, building a list is essential. It is one of the easiest things to create. Lists are effective at keeping any information organized. And visually, the brain can recognize the information quite easily. In a practical sense, writing lists such as to-dos are faster and frankly, necessary.

A dot journal is popular for hosting many kinds of lists. It was built for it. Even without the embellishments, a dot journal can be useful with just writing down lists along. (any type of list you can think of). The pages are dotted to accommodate however long or short you want this list to be. The choice is yours.

Simplifies the Planning Process
Dot journals are productivity tools. Unlike a planner, the planning process here is more dependent on your time and resources. And almost always, the way you set up a layout is the product of your interest in dabbling with your creativity. But that's not really a strict rule.

What has to be done is the actual planning itself. And this relies so much of what you are capable of doing because you get to decide what system to use and how to manifest it on the journal. The fastest way to plan using a dot journal is to start off with a checklist.

dot journal planner

Making a TO-DO list- that's as simple as planning can get. All you need to get started is to prioritize a list of tasks to accomplish for a daily. Then write those down in a bulleted format. Once you get to accomplish a task, check it off the list. Then proceed with another.

Anyone can do it. The important thing is to be consistent with this. You can fill out an entire dot journal around this “Daily Routine” alone. However, you are also free to incorporate any type of planning you want such as creating trackers for your goals and habits, lists for anything you want and even keep a diary all within one journal.

Setting Up is A Breeze
When it comes to setting up your dot journals, anyone can do it. You don't need to be artistically gifted to create one. The setup is usually so easy to learn because there are no formats to follow or use up. Open a blank spread and the freedom to create and plan is yours.

daily planner

The beauty of starting off your planning on a blank page is that you can imagine how you will lay everything out. It's in front view and ready to be used at any point. Every space is yours for the taking (no pressure, remember?). The most basic components of an effective dot journal spread are the tasks, the dates and other targets. The rest you can can make up along the way.

It helps if you can make it as clean as possible. You can even do a basic setup in less than 15 minutes a day. Of course, you have the freedom to create more complicated setups or layouts but you don't have to. What's more important is that you gave yourself time to focus on a plan and a way to manage your time.

Track Everything
You can tell for sure if you're making progress with those goals or not. The way a tracker on dot journals works is to give you one full view for all of your ups and downs. It's a progress meter which you can update easily.

to do list planner

Creating trackers is also a way of helping to form habits and routines you can benefit largely from such as, but not limited to:
  • budget/ expense trackers
  • health trackers - examples are workout trackers, calorie intake, water intake, etc.
  • habit trackers - examples are sleeping patterns, mood trackers
  • gratitude logs - regular records of what you're thankful for
Trackers are essential for making positive changes because it helps motivate you when you see progress clearly and tangibly on a page.

More Enjoyable Planning
There is absolutely no pressure to be perfect when using a dot journal. And perhaps this is one of its strongest appeals. There's no need to plan everything out, ahead of time. You can just plan as you go.

With no system, no format and no rigid rules to follow, you can be as open as you want about how you plan. This flexibility makes the process more fun and enjoyable because there's no pressure to be formal, structured and planning within the lines. You are allowed to create with more flexibility.

Dot journals are proof that even the simplest of things can inspire progress with a BIG difference.

“Spontaneity is one of the joys of existence, especially if you prepare for it in advance.”
Alan Dean Foster, Nor Crystal Tears