So, let’s talk bullet journals. More specifically, why your bullet journal isn’t working for you.
I’ve seen people in the bullet journal community complain about the same problems over and over and over. So instead of responding to every problem individually, I thought I’d compile all 12 of the most common bullet journal problems – and their solutions – in one thorough, well-researched post.
So, you wanna know why you REALLY suck at bullet journaling?
Please read the following scenarios to see which one applies to you:
You show your bullet journal to your significant other. Or your mom. In any case, the only reaction you get is, “Oh nice honey.”
You suck at bullet journaling. You DON’T suck at bullet journaling. As long as you’re proud of what you did, that’s what matters. So just keep on creating things for yourself, and don’t worry about what anyone else says. You’re doing great!
You checked out the latest bullet journal post for inspiration and… gosh, seems like everyone online is making so many gorgeous bullet journal spreads and you can hardly even draw a straight line, let alone do any of that crazy calligraphy stuff…. might as well throw away the whole notebook…
You suck at bullet journaling. You don’t suck at bullet journaling. Making bullet journal doodles should be fun if it’s to be done at all. If you make a mistake, relax. It happens! If you want to improve your drawing skills, the only way is to practice.
You don’t understand the crazy bullet journal words. And like seriously what’s the difference between a planner and a bullet journal?
You suck at bullet journaling. You don’t suck at bullet journaling. If you don’t understand some of the words or the purpose of some of the bullet journal things, read more about them so that you can truly understand before moving forward. Heck, maybe you don’t even need to include all the things in your bujo! Just give yourself time to learn more before diving in if you feel confused. You’ll figure it out!
So you just bought yourself a pretty new hardcover dotted journal in your fave color, yaysies!!! And you also went ahead and got those cute macaron-color markers everyone else seems to be using… But what’s this? Why is it so hard to make a mark on these sleek empty pages? What if you mess it up? What if you totally RUIN the whole thing and it was all a waste??!?!
You suck at bullet journaling. You DON’T suck at bullet journaling. First page fear is a real thing that many bullet journalers face when starting out. But it’s a bridge that must be crossed, in the name of progress. So what if you make a mistake or you’re not happy with your first few (few dozen?) pages? Making mistakes is how you grow.
Pro tip – use erasable materials like these pens or these markers in the beginning (or maybe always). They look amazing and they erase beautifully, so you don’t have to be afraid of ruining a single page.
It happened again. You just wanted to hang out with your best friend, maybe talk about what movies you watched recently, or have a friendly debate (again) about which foods are okay/not okay to put on a pizza. BUT ALL YOUR PAL TALKS/THINKS ABOUT lately is her fancy schmancy bullet journal…. She asks you if you’ve been using the one she gave you three weeks ago and you quickly try to remember where you put it in case she wants to see your spreads…..
You suck at bullet journaling. You DON’T suck at bullet journaling. But let’s face it. It’s not for everyone. If all your friends seem to be jumping on the bujo bandwagon, but you’re just not into it, that’s okay. Don’t feel like you need to be doing it just because anyone else likes it.
When I first heard about bullet journaling, my gut reaction was a bit negative and it wasn’t until I had stuck with it for a few weeks that I really started “getting” and liking it. It’s fun for me, but I can totally see how it might look like “more work” to some!
So, finally your amazing bullet journal is set up… everything’s looking perfect, or sort of okayish at least, and you’re ready for the week ahead. Go you! Fast forward to Friday, and you barely glanced at it even once. Might as well give up….
You suck at bullet journaling. You DON’T suck at bullet journaling. But a bullet journal (or any kind of life organization tool) isn’t gonna work unless you remember to USE it. If you’re having a hard time remembering to check your bujo or you just can’t be bothered, why not try adding it as a part of your morning or evening routine? If you can get in the habit of looking at it and using it just once a day, in the morning or evening, even that can make a big difference in your daily life.
This pen’s dry, that one’s broken, and that one fell into a toilet once and you’re not sure why you still have it….. oh dear. No wonder this bullet journaling thing isn’t going the way you thought it would.
You suck at bullet journaling. You DON’T suck at bullet journaling. You just need the right tools for the job! Check out my amazing guide to bullet journal supplies here for my recommendations. Cool supplies (such as that adorable pug & bone pen holder which you can find HERE) make using your bullet journal more pleasant and joyful.
You spent all Sunday morning planning and rough-drafting, and all Sunday afternoon *meticulously* creating the most perfect bullet journal weekly spread. One of your finest – a true work of art! You’ve gone to great lengths to set yourself apart as a master in the artistic bullet journal community.
But by Thursday, you’re already getting stressed out about what to make for your next theme. It’s so hard to think of new things every week, so much so that you don’t even want to look at your bullet journal anymore. #thankunext
You suck at bullet journaling. You DON’T suck at bullet journaling. But maybe you’re not getting what you really NEED out of it by focusing too much on the aesthetics of your bullet journal?
Try spending a week just focusing on the basic bullet journal method – maybe even read Ryder’s book on it – or limit your decorating to just one 2″x2″ square (that’s about 5cm x 5cm for you metric folks).
I’m a firm believer that it shouldn’t take you more time setting up your bujo than it takes you to use it, and that’s why I actually started using printed planner inserts. All the structure is ready-to-go, so I don’t need to worry about design and still be as artistically creative as I want. #winwinftw
You made a pretty good healthy eating tracker for your bullet journal and told yourself “here we go, time to get healthy!” But, month after month, you hardly make any progress, and the line on that habit tracker is just not moving. Urgghhhh
You suck at bullet journaling. You DON’T suck at bullet journaling. But, not all the different systems and bullet journal trackers people have come up with work for everyone. It’s important to review your bullet journal at the end of every month and identify which parts of it have been working really well for you and which parts you could maybe forgo for the next month.
If it works, work it! Keep trying new things and changing things up to find your ideal mix of trackers, planning, and logging.
No matter how much you want to like your bullet journal, there’s just something about the way it clutters up your desk that annoys you. Yet another lot of paper mess you have to look at, another thing you have to carry around in your purse (heLLO! don’t even CARRY a purse m’KAY?). Yep, I think I know what’s going on here….
You suck at bullet journaling. You DON’T suck at bullet journaling. Hey, maybe you’re just not a paper kind of person? More of a less-is-more type? I’m so with ya.
If you don’t want to have notebooks and pens around you at all times, but you need a little help staying productive, I recommend using Google Calendar. Honestly, I use it for SO. Much. Stuff. (stuff my bullet journal will never be able to replace).
Other productivity apps I use and love include Microsoft OneNote (and it’s very easy to implement the bullet journal method within that app), Asana for projects, and Be Focused Pro for work.
You got a fantastic notebook (love the look of it at least!) and started working on some bullet journal spreads. But lo and behold, all your pretty markers BLED THROUGH the paper, making only one side of the page usable. Now it’s useless, right?
You suck at bullet journaling. You DON’T suck at bullet journaling. Even I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect bullet journal notebook… It’s not always easy to find something that fits your needs though. If you don’t want to go the trial and error route, read up on the notebook reviews, check out YouTube, and don’t give up! The perfect notebook is out there.
Well, you made it through the whole post…. congratulations!
But, wait. You’re still reading this? Even after reading through this goldmine of bujo informations, you’re STILL not sure where to start?
Hmmm…. I got it!
You suck at bullet journaling because….
you’re a dog! Oh well, can’t blame ya…
*no pugs were harmed in the making of this post.