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I am objectively bad at bullet journaling. I am bad at doing it regularly, which I feel is a fundamental part of journaling. But mainly, I am bad at the artistic part of it– and let’s be honest that is the other main bit.
If you don’t know what bullet journaling is, it is essentially buying a book with dotted paper and making your own templates to plan your life… or basically anything. People who bullet journal tend to be very artistic, and really good at calligraphy for some reason – I have literally no idea where you learn calligraphy. The point of a bullet journal is that you can do whatever you want with it. You can include personal habit trackers that wouldn’t be found in a store-bought journal. You can use it more like a scrapbook and add in some textured paper or ticket stubs (do you guys remember the ye olden days when we could go to the cinema?). Now you’ve got a picture of what a bullet journal should look like; I want you to shred it, pour coffee on it and try to reassemble it, cause that’s what my bullet journal looks like.
What I produce is absolutely nothing like what people show in their Instagram photos, YouTube videos or TikTok videos (I assume). My bullet journaling is essentially the ugly child that gets excluded from the family photo. There’s a reason that this article does not include a photo of my bullet journal – it’s really unphotogenic. My bullet journaling might not be pretty, but I am proud of it. And the reason I am proud of it is because it is bad.
My bullet journal is not a vanity project, it is something fun for me to do. I don’t know why but the combination of drawing lines, colouring-in and pretending I have my life together really helps me relax. Bullet journaling is fun! And because it is easy to do while watching TV or listening to a podcast, it is basically how to boss relaxing.
As I said earlier the point of a bullet journal is to do whatever you want to do with it, and I have chosen to unapologetically let mine be bad. Don’t get me wrong I am putting effort into it, I am not actively trying to make it look like garbage. But I am not allowing myself to put all my energy into making it replicate an Instagram photo. I know if I focused on the aesthetics, I could literally spend hours and hours trying to make sure a line was perfectly straight. Instead, I am embracing my wonky lines, bad penmanship and wasted space (life advice don’t draw a template before you know what is going to fill in that space).
My bullet journal might not be pretty, but I am proud that I am allowing myself to be bad at something. You’ve got to start somewhere and maybe with practise I will get better. But if I don’t that’s fine… at the very least starting to bullet journal was an excuse to buy myself some nice new pens. The nice new pens are definitely an added bonus.