Do bullet journals make you feel inadequate?

February 15, 2022

bullelt-journalOk, try not to laugh. I wrote this post about the bullet journal fad originally in 2018. And, thankfully, the craze seems to have significantly died down. But I thought I’d share this today because it’s interesting to see how fads come and go. So here’s the post I wrote a few years ago and forgot to post:

Ok, so I’m insecure

You’d have to be living in a cave to not have heard about the latest craze in planners: the bullet journal. Or BuJo, if you will:  an elaborate cross between a planner, to-do list, bucket list, and crafting.

They make me feel inadequate.

Bullet journal fans create them from scratch, including drawing in their own calendars, to do lists and other organizational tools. Many use elaborate calligraphy, drawings, quotes, colors, stickers and stamps. Then there are symbols for tasks accomplished, those moved to one category or another, places to record your goals, your dreams, book lists, movies, inspirations–my head spins with it all.

I am not a crafter so the thought of spending time drawing and then actually ILLUSTRATING my own calendars and planners stresses me out. Doesn’t it take way more time to do all that than it would to actually accomplish the task? Isn’t it a waste of time? A distraction from actually doing something?

Because I find doing all that detailed work difficult, it looks like a time suck to me.

My friend, Mai, has a beautiful bullet journal.  Mai was once my virtual assistant (VA) and lives in the Philippines. We’ve never met in person. Her bullet journal is gorgeous, so I a few years back, I thought I’d ask her about it.

bullet-journalHow is a bullet journal different than a regular planner?

It’s something that you make and customize to fit your own style. You can make your own pages and decide on the size, the design, and make a weekly spread that works for you. Like me, I have a spread that allows me to list all my tasks for the day and a separate space to actually write about my day. You can’t do that in most planners. To make it simple, it’s like designing your own planner, that’s a crossover with a journal.

How does it help you?

I love making lists and keeping things organized. I am just a very organized and thorough person. My BuJo is where everything is, from my daily tasks, to my medicine tracker. I have different trackers that I plan to add as well, like my sleep and my eating habits. It helps me in more ways that I have ever imagined, it’s like therapy too.

How much time did it take to create?

For my bullet journaling, I usually work on it in sections. I also have a full time job so I have to finish all of that before I can work on my bullet journal. You can usually finish it in a few minutes or an hour but since I work, I finish it in a day or two. Depending on the design, etc.
There are those who finish an entire month’s spread but I do mine as the week starts because I like trying out different styles.

What happens if you get behind?

I have never experienced this, but others would say to start with the date now unless you want to go back and record the days that you missed. So it really depends on what you prefer to do.

Does it take more time than its worth?

For me, no. It’s my stress reliever. Whenever I get stressed with work or with life, I open up my journal and write or work on another spread and just draw.

What do you like about it?

I like the fact that I get to design my own pages, express myself through drawings and sketches. And on top of that, I also have a space to share memories, to write my thoughts. To have something to look back to whenever I want.

Did you take calligraphy?

Initially, I was interested in attending a few calligraphy classes, so I researched and bought the pens recommended by other people who does calligraphy. I practiced at home with the help of YouTube videos and realized I could probably do it without the classes. I just kept on practicing.

Are you artistic?

I would say yes, I got it from my father who got it from his father.  We are both lefties so I guess that also says something. It was a struggle when I was younger because I was also a perfectionist. I had to convince myself that art takes time and that it won’t just magically be perfect, you need to keep working on it until you’re happy with how it looks.

What about the downside?

The spending. You have to buy pens, stamps, tapes, stickers. Well, you don’t HAVE to buy them. I just got carried away with the cuteness. But to be honest, I just use calligraphy, drawing pens and highlighters for my spreads. I have never used the stickers and the stamps.

There you have it. What do you think?

Oh and also:
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10 comments on “Do bullet journals make you feel inadequate?
  1. Tracy says:

    So much work but the results are beautiful. I’m OCD, so I’d probably spend all my time working to perfect my Bujo rather than working. I can hear my husband now, “Honey, your journal is beautiful but will you ever go grocery shopping again?”

  2. I took a calligraphy class but don’t do journals. I did do memory books for the boys, though.

  3. Beth Havey says:

    I enjoy looking at your pages. It in some ways reminds me of scrapbooking which I never did. My solid contribution is buying scrapbooks to insert and label family photos. I did that for years. Now we store photos on our computers. It’s not the same. I write novels. My goal is to hold my novel in my hand.

  4. Laurie Stone says:

    I like the look of them, they’re pretty with all those colors and pictures. But I have a separate journal and a separate calendar I carry everywhere. I wouldn’t know how to combine them, but looks like an interesting experiment!

  5. My daughter had a custom planner created for me for Christmas with only the pages that I would actually use and lot of spaces for notes. Having pics of the grandkids and mom on the front and back make it even more special! I love it.

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