By: Diane Nicole Go
And newsflash: they’re not as difficult as you think!
Been wanting to start a bullet journal, but not sure how? By the time you read this, I hope you give it another shot.
Everyone’s seen the videos: people filling blank notebooks with fancy calligraphy headers, little calendars, lists, mood tracker, bucket lists, and boxes to tick off the finished tasks. Seems easy, until you start overthinking it. Or at least that’s how it went for me.
But think about it this way. A bullet journal reflects who you are. You can add memories and little keepsakes in it, and even customize it however way you want to. This gives you reason to hoard as much pens and scrapbooking materials as you can keep. And you get a picturesque spread in the end!
The thing with bullet journals is that the sky’s the limit. You start off with a blank canvas that you can write or draw anything on. It’s personalizing on a whole new level. From creating a tracker for food to a budget planner, a list of your goals and more, the important thing to remember is that a bullet journal is supposed to organize and track things (or goals!) in your life.
1. It's A Way for You to be Productive
Aside from writing down your goals, a bullet journal doubles as your very own planner. You can use it for tracking deadlines, tests or events. It’s so versatile that you can even use it to track your mood, the food you eat, or even your monthly period! Plus, keeping a bullet journal is a great way to keep busy, to destress, and unleash your creative side.
2. It Can Capture the Mundane too!
One of the reasons why many quit midway is because they think that their lives are too boring—hardly worth listing down on a journal. But it’s high time to change that mindset. Life will not always be fun, unless you yourself find fun in the day-to-day. It’s all in the mind.
But how, you might wonder. One thing I learned was to treat each task, no matter how “mundane” as accomplishments. Instead of stressing about that day you left blank two days after, look back at what you did! Walked the dog or submitted that paper to your professor? Write it down!
And remember, having a bullet journal doesn’t necessarily mean filling up each day with tasks. Sometimes, resting and relaxing is important too.
3. It’s Okay to Make Mistakes
Mistakes are unavoidable. You could forget the r in February or write the wrong date for Monday. And if you ripped off every page with a mistake or thrown aside a notebook without finishing it, you would never complete your bullet journal.
There are many ways to cover up your mistakes without wasting paper—some of which include covering it up with stickers, washi tape or even keepsakes like an old movie ticket. These add a charm to your journal, and no one would even notice.
4. It Can be Done Any Way You Want it to Be
A bullet journal reflects who you are. And while it is #goals to keep the same format all-year round, it’s not something everyone can do, unless they’re a perfectionist or very, very disciplined.
And often, the change of heart is what either discourages or makes people give up on bullet journaling. But don’t!
If you decide mid-month that you want a different way to track your meals or a different color scheme and font all together, embrace it. Don’t be worried about not being consistent for the whole year because a bullet journal is a blank slate that evolves with you and reflects your mood and interest during the time you created that spread. It’s a great way to mix things up!
There is no right or wrong way to create a bullet journal. Don’t overthink it.
5. It’s All About You!
Whether it’s to jot down ideas, organize your life or document the good, bad and the mundane, a bullet journal is your modern-day diary that you can customize and decorate in any way you want. It’s your intimate, personal space where you can freely express yourself through the style, colors and theme. Even the notebook you choose fits your taste, and no one can tell you otherwise. No bullet journal is the same, just like how no two people are the same.
Don’t let yourself be bound by standards of what a perfect bullet journal should look like. The important thing is that it serves its purpose. Those videos with bullet journals? Treat them as tips or pegs where you can get inspiration from, but don’t force yourself to follow it.
Once you shake off those pre-bullet journal jitters, you will find that it’s a fun activity that lets you get in touch with yourself. Experiment and learn what system best fits you through trial and error, and as you do it more often, you’ll get the hang of it. Not only that, but your past bullet journals will also chronicle how you evolved as a person. How awesome is that?