When I think about my introduction to bullet journalling, all I can remember is seeing these beautiful artistic creations all over Instagram and thinking ‘I can’t do that. I’m not good enough to do that. I have no talent at all to do this’. Even when I tried it, I remember getting frustrated and annoyed with myself no understanding why my bullet journal could be as beautiful as those on Instagram. I was just about to head off to university and thought that having this beautiful journal that I created would help massively. But I am my own worst critic and because it wasn’t perfect then I just stopped and gave up refusing bitterly to allow myself to try. Instead, I spent my first year a disorganised mess and bitterly scrolling through Instagram wondering why I couldn’t be as good or talented as those on Instagram.
It wasn’t until my second year and commuting that I realised I needed this type of journal to help keep me organised and I had to not be so critical and understand that it wasn’t going to be the perfect first time. I needed to go minimalist and build on that, but really I needed to accept my artistic talent is limited and it would only grow if I actually practised. This was something which hit me finally, it’s something I now use in my everyday life and try not to be as critical and just practice – same with my writing and this blog. I needed to stop getting frustrated that I wasn’t perfect the first time but instead accept that I needed to grow and to do that I had to stop giving up.
Which leads me onto today’s blog post. A few days ago I uploaded a post surrounding my May Bullet Journal set up (a set up which is by far my favourite) but I was sad to see many people comment that they felt they weren’t good enough to use a bullet journal. Despite it being a great system to keep yourself organised so thought I would write this post and show you all how different my set up looks like from when I first started. I’ve been journaling for over a year now and just looking back makes me so proud to see how I’ve grown and how my use of my bullet journal has changed. Why I love bullet journalling is because it is unique to the person and it is certainly about choosing what works for you and customising it to suit your own needs. There is no right or wrong way to bullet journal!
On the left, we have my bullet journal from May 2018 and on the right the cover page of my May 2019 monthly spread. For me, I can already tell a huge difference between the two cover pages. With my Star Wars theme being a cutout picture of R2D2 and on the right has been just my own work. In over a year of bullet journalling, I already feel like I have improved on my creativity and love being able to use my bullet journal as a place to doodle.
The monthly spread has certainly taken a turn, I think I used to have my monthly spread very small and cluttered so I could barely include any of the information I needed there. I use to also have monthly goals and social media trackers but have since discarded and dispensed from using them in my calendar spread simply because I just never used it or referred to it at all during the month. Again, I think my new calendar spread style is bigger so I can include more information I need for the month ahead and lets me get a bit more creative too!
One spread which has been consistent in my bullet journal monthly spreads are my reading trackers. I think it’s just a great way to track what books I’ve read in a month and how much time I typically spend reading different books. As you can see how I use a variety of colours (I try to match each colour to the colour of the books cover now) and I took off the TBR sections. Now I love how my reading trackers include my month’s theme but it’s still able to keep my reading tracked in a clear and less cluttered way.
Finally onto my weekly spreads which have changed massively since beginning my bullet journal in March 2018! I’ve always strived to change and alter when necessary and make it how I need for a specific week. I’ve tried single page plans, I’ve used double-paged spreads, dutch door spreads and even just tried to get creative with them too. I love that I don’t have to keep every single week the same and have the flexibility to decide how much space I need for a specific week.
Here are some of my examples of spreads which I used last year and how I designed them. At first, I started extremely minimalist and then started to grow and add some colour and even attempt different styles to maximise the space I needed for different weeks. I especially love my weekly spread for this week which fits perfectly with my bee theme!
Anyway, I hope this post showed how you don’t have to be perfect when starting a bullet journal and that you can grow and change how you design it. No, it isn’t going to be perfect straight away and there will be a lot of trial and error but that’s what is great about the Bujo method of organisation. It gives you the flexibility to grow and change it to however you need.
Please check out my Bullet Journal Insta page too: Wonderland_Journals
Do you bullet journal? Has your process of journalling changed or stayed the same?