Audio journaling vs bullet journaling

Journaling has a ton of medically-proven benefits. Elly wrote a post about the science behind keeping a diary that you should check out here:

When most people think about journaling, they think about exactly that: writing in a diary—Freeform, stream of consciousness, hand-written.

But that’s not all that journaling is.

Here I’m going to look at two very different journaling methods and compare the pros and cons of each.

Audio journaling or voice journaling is the process of journaling by speaking out loud. We like to call it “sounding off.”

I was curious about how it compared to other forms of traditional journaling… one of which is Bullet Journaling. If you haven’t heard of bullet journaling, here’s how the website describes it:

[Bullet journaling] is a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system. In his internationally best-selling book, Ryder Carroll, creator of the Bullet Journal, explores what it means to live an intentional life, one that’s both productive and meaningful.

In short, it’s a system of note-taking that groups all thoughts into tasks, events or notes. Each day, unfinished tasks are ‘fast-forwarded’ to the current day, ready to be picked up in the future. Additionally, the system involves indexing.

Let’s start by looking at bullet journaling:

Bullet journaling is well-structured. The system has a well-defined structure meaning that your notebook stays well-organised. Once you’ve understood the system, it’s easy to see what things mean at a glance.

Bullet journaling is indexed. The system involves keeping an index at the back of your notebook so that you can find sections easily.

Bullet journaling has a right way to do things. This may not appeal to everyone, but having a clear set of guidelines may make it easier to start the practice and know when you’re on the right lines.

Writing things out helps you see them in a new light. This applies to all forms of written journaling but is especially the case with bullet journaling structure. Writing things down helps you process and consider them in new ways.

Next, let’s look at audio journaling.

Audio journaling is easy to start. There’s no pre-requisite knowledge or system that you need to learn. You just start talking about what’s on your mind, as if you were talking to a friend.

Audio journaling has no right way to do things. At Sound Off, when testing our app, we found that some people like to start by talking about what they did, whereas others like to talk through more general themes of what’s been on their mind. Usually, people don’t have any structure: they talk freely, pausing and changing their train of thought at will.

Audio journaling can be done whenever. Unlike any physical journaling, there are no requirements for physical materials. You just need a quiet room and a device that can record your voice.

Vocalising helps you see things in a new light. Hearing yourself say things out loud makes you consider them in a new way. Some things that seemed important may be less of a big deal when you hear yourself talk about them.

So, which one is better? Audio journaling or bullet journaling?

Well, the answer is an unsatisfying "whichever one suits you best.” If the strict structure of bullet journaling sounds like the thing for you, give it a try. I find audio journaling to be greatly helpful, and it complements my regular mindfulness practice well.

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