I have always been the type to buy a brand-new planner when the new year is just around the corner. I’ll say to myself “This year… this year it’ll be different”. Nevertheless, two months later (if I even make it that long), the planner is long forgotten and collecting dust somewhere in the house. Towards the middle of the year, I’ll pass by stationary shops and see new journals during the “Back-to-school” season. Yet again, I find myself purchasing a new planner, this time I’ll think to myself “I’ll buy a better one.. though a bit more expensive, this one will for sure last. I mean.. If I’m spending this much on a notebook, then might as well stick through it right?”. Wrong, because this cycle has been continuing for years and years.
This year, I got a cheap planner from the dollar store since I figured it’ll probably be forgotten anyway, which it was. Though, towards the end of February, I was browsing around and decided to do some further research on the bullet journal system and give that a go. So, I picked up an empty notebook that we had lying around the house and finally start bullet journaling. Now I’m sure most of you know what that is, but in case you don’t, it’s basically an all in one journal or planner that you design and create the way you want to. It’s basically all customisable but you can have a look on their website to see how they do it to get you started.
Knowing myself and how I am towards journaling, I’m pretty proud to say that I’m still going strong with the bullet journal and use it daily. With today the day that I start my 6th month, I thought it might be time to share with you, my 5 thoughts after a successful 5 months of journaling.
1. It doesn’t have to be perfect
If you’ve seen Youtube videos or pictures on Pinterest or Instagram of people that showcase their bullet journals, it’s so incredibly neat and beautiful. It’s very inspirational, but let’s be real not everyone is a great drawer and I don’t really have the time to learn calligraphy at the moment, though it is on my to do list. So, yes, I’ve learned that to make a bullet journal work, it doesn’t have to be perfect. The fact that I can make quick, messy notes in it, helps me be more productive. Sure my monthly cover page looks alright but when it comes to any of my other pages, they look like a hot (but organised!) mess.
2. Adapt the pages and spread based on your needs
The first month of bullet journaling, I listed down so many things that I wanted to track monthly. I also designed my weekly spreads all in one go. I figured after that month, I didn’t need and want to track that many things and that I needed to spread out my weekly page. The beauty of bullet journaling is that you can just simply adjust these things the following month. Find out what works and what needs to be changed. Even until this month, I keep changing my layouts to find what works the best for me and what may work one month may not work the next.
3. Endless customisation is the key factor that keeps me going
The fact that nothing is permanent with the bullet journal is for me one of the biggest advantages and probably the reason why I still use it today. You have endless pages and can really write anything you want in it. From daily to do lists to a monthly blogging schedule, movies to watch, finance tracker, literally there are no rules or limits. This allows me to adapt it to how much I will use it that week or month without feeling that I’m not using properly.
4. It has become a necessity
I start realising when something becomes a necessity once I start to travel with that item. I honestly need my bullet journal and wouldn’t know what to do if I ever lost it. My life is in that journal and I store everything in there. This includes all of my passwords because, in today’s day and age, you need so many different online accounts with special passwords and I mean who has the time to remember all these things. So my life is quite literally in that journal.
5. It’s my me-time
Starting a new month wasn’t really exciting to me until I started bullet journaling. A new month means monthly reflections, a new cover page, new goals, basically new everything. If I am busy, I don’t really look forward to sitting down and create my spreads but honestly every time I do it, I’m in my happy place. I get to switch the technology off for a little while and just write and doodle, like back in the day. It’s truly such a great feeling.
So these are my thoughts, I’m overall very happy that I have started bullet journaling, organised my life and wouldn’t go back to a regular planner you can buy in stores. I will want to switch to the actual bullet journal notebook next year though as this will give me more flexibility compared to the ruled Moleskin notebook I’m currently using.
Do you guys journal and have you tried the bullet journal method? I’m always curious to know if bullet journaling helps other out as much as it helped me! Cheers, Sam