I only started my bullet journal in April 2018, but it soon became the MOST important thing I’d done. Yes, I’m being serious. My bullet journal has everything I could ever want or need in it, so here are a few things you ought to know before starting a bullet journal of your own.
1. You will spend more time researching themes than you will creating them
Yes, I said it. I cannot tell you how much time I’ve spent on Pinterest looking at monthly themes for my bullet journal, to only think “nah I’m not artistic enough to do that…” and moving on to another page. I’m pretty sure my next spare page is going to consist of theme ideas because there are so many amazing ones that I’ll never get to do them all. Plus I psyche myself out of tackling the ones that I think are just too difficult… Which leads me to my next point.
2. You are more creative than you give yourself credit for
I am not known as the creative one in the family, in fact, I’m pretty sure people are baffled that I write a blog. Ahem, I have a degree in English and Creative Writing… I’m good with words, but I digress.
Yes, I’m good with words, not quite so great with a pencil! But once I sat down with a pencil and some eyeshadow, I realised that I could make it look exactly how I wanted it to look by just sitting down and focussing. I have to consciously stop my brain from thinking that I’m rubbish, and remind myself that I can do whatever I want with this journal.
3. You don’t need fancy pens
When I first started, I thought that I should buy ALL the pens and my bujo would be rubbish if I didn’t… But I was so wrong.
Most of my journal has been coloured with cheap eyeshadows and the BIC 4-colour pens* that cost about £3! I also used some cheap fine liner pens from Asda and an old ruler from my school days.
I have to admit that I splashed out and bought some Crayola Super Tips* but I haven’t used them much. They’re beautiful and I love them but I just haven’t got round to using them properly.
4. A bullet journal is for making mistakes
You will make a lot of them. A lot. And you will probably hate it, but that’s the good thing about a bujo. You can make it to be exactly what you want. This means trial and error.
I started with a mental health tracker and habit trackers and everything else that people said I needed, but I never used them. They just sat empty, so I didn’t put them in the next month. I actually didn’t have a mental health tracker for 2 months because I never got round to filling it in (probably an indication that I needed it…) but I’ve put it in ready for August and I’m determined to use it this time, even if I feel nothing out of the ordinary.
I’ve also made weeklies for the annoying end-of-month/start-of-month weeks and decided that I actually wanted them in the next month. To fix this, I just got a glue stick and stick the pages together. Magic. Problem fixed.
5. It really can be everything you need it to be
I started a bujo because an ordinary diary just wasn’t working for me. I wanted something that I could carry around with me and pour my heart out, and challenge myself, and track everything I’ve ever done.
This is why a bujo is a perfect solution for me. I use it like a normal diary, putting in my events and things to remember (like when my bills are due), and I also have Fuck It pages, where I sit and let my mind spill out onto the page. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad or all jumbled up, sometimes I just need to get my thoughts down on paper. When I start therapy (fingers crossed that it’s soon), I’ll be able to show this to my therapist and they’ll have an insight into my problems without me having to remember how I felt on a certain day.
A world of infinite possibilities can be scary, but a bujo is the perfect place for you to discover what you need yourself. It can be professional, personal, or both! Just go for it. You can always rip the page out!