What I learnt from Bullet Journaling for a year

This time last year I was thinking about starting a Bullet Journal, they had become quite popular online and I thought they were really similar to what I was already doing to I thought I’d give it a go to. I had dreams of Pinterst-worthy pages, filled with beautiful calligraphy and super organised pages but I soon realised that my calligraphy isn’t great, I haven’t got the same patience as the people on Pinterest and I’m not that orgnaised and here’s what else I learnt…

Sometimes pen & paper is better than the digital version
I’m forever stuck in the predicament as to whether I want to digitize my life or if pen and paper is okay but I simply can’t find a way that works for me on my phone or laptop; I can’t find a nice way to store things and I like the freedom you have to draw with a pen and paper.

A dotted diary is very versatile
When I first heard that I needed a dotted diary I thought it was a little unnecessary, why not lined or plain white? The dots allow you to write the same way as you would on lined paper but really help when drawing, especially for graphs and tables. I guess squared would also be useful but would look as nice and delicate as dotted does. The Leuchttrum1917 A5 Dotted are the standard ones people use and are really nice quality.

Decorating the pages is too much for me
When I first started I thought every page would be beautifully decorated and still I love the idea of it but I just don’t have the time or patience for it. The whole point of me having a bullet journal is to be more productive and decorating a page would just be another way to procrastinate. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I use some washi tape or coloured pens (fancy right?) but I need the decor element to be quick and easy.

Simplicity is key
Bullet Journals work differently from person to person, I love the idea of water trackers on each page but I just don’t think it’s a priority for me. I don’t do fancy keys and tick boxes which are pretty standard in the Bullet Journal Community as I find it too tricky and find a simple tick works just as well.

It’s a working progress & making it work for me
Last year I had a go at listing every single restaurant I went to but really didn’t get very far and ditched that idea for 2017. It’s great to learn from last year or the month before to find different things that work for me. I also work back to front in the notebook for all my paid work and it works really well too.

Crossing out is hard, even if my journal was less than perfect
To call my Bujo less than perfect is an understatement, it’s basically a mess but even I find it hard to cross something out and sometimes simply move onto the next page but I suspect it’s a feeling a lot of people have. I actually always skip the first few pages as the pressure of filling them with the right thing is a little too much for me.

I still need a diary, a small one but I need one none the less
I use to have two diaries and a notebook but have since switched to a small light one for my handbag and my Bujo. I use to love the A5 one day view diaries which I could fill with lists, plans and ideas but now don’t think I need a big one. I do still keep a small diary as I don’t plan my Bujo very far in advance so need a diary to kep track of dates but not much more. I think I will sooner or later take my diary digital but for now this is working for me. (Also, worth noting I do have other diaries which were recently sent to me, I love them, they’re beautiful but I don’t currently have much of a use for them but photograph them lots as they look beautiful- more on those soon)

They’re great for future reference 
I just sat and looked through my 2016 Bujo and there was a weird sense of achievement. As I’ve said it’s not pretty but it’s something I worked at for the last year and it’s a stream of my thoughts. I know lots of people throw them away but I keep all my old notebooks as they’re a great way to come back to a certain time in your life or revisit old ideas.

It’s quite a private place
I wanted to dig in and show you my bullet journal but as I was taking these photos I became quite secretive and self-conscious. My boyfriend says I write like a child (and he’s right) so I don’t really like showing my handwriting but more than that inside I have lots of my ideas, dreams and aspirations which I don’t currently want to share on here. I think that’s okay, as it’s my interpretation of a Bullet Journal to fill with whatever I want and I’m very much looking forward to filling up another one this year.

So inclusion, it’s 2017 and I’m starting Bullet Journal number two. They require a tiny bit more work but I love mine. If you’re interested then have a look on Pinterest, YouTube and this Facebook Page for some more inspiration.

What’s your favourite way or organise yourself?


  1. 5th January 2017 / 4:23 pm

    I just started a bullet journal for 2017. I dont use calligraphy or fancy drawings. I have kept it clean and simple. I like that its so flexible.

  2. Katie
    5th January 2017 / 7:16 pm

    This is such a great post! I just started bullet journaling and I’m already realizing some of these, although I would like to add more color and decoration over time.


  3. 6th January 2017 / 6:15 am

    This sounds wonderful! I like the simple approach to journals too which is why I haven’t go onto the bullet journal trend yet because I’m not sure I’d be able to create aesthetic pages with tons of stickers on the daily. The dotted journal sounds perfect x


  4. 6th January 2017 / 9:58 am

    I don’t think it’s for me. But for those who enjoy it, sure, why not!

  5. 6th January 2017 / 12:13 pm

    I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on bullet journals recently and I really want to start one this year! I’m not really a creative person so I love how you said simplicity is key for you and sometimes people can procrastinate trying to make it look all pretty!

    Cloe X http://clxelouise.blogspot.com

  6. Erin
    6th January 2017 / 8:00 pm

    I have one and love it. I use it to plan my goals and working towards them, I did a post on the graphs I use to track stats etc, I really enjoy mine!


  7. 9th January 2017 / 12:38 am

    Never heard of bullet journaling before. I think it would just be too much of an opportunity to procrastinate for me though!

  8. 14th January 2017 / 4:15 pm

    I love the idea of a bullet journal! Never heard of the term until now but I think it’s a great idea. I had a journal for Christmas and was just going to use it for work stuff, but now I might try this 🙂

    Madame Raptor | http://madameraptor.com x

  9. 14th January 2017 / 5:24 pm

    BULLET JOURNALING is the way forward! I couldn’t be without mine, I find pinterest is a great place for learning new techniques. Thanks for sharing, great blog!

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