I Tried Bullet Journaling for a Year and Now I’m Hooked

I began bullet journaling in 2020 and I'm proud to say I stuck with it throughout the entire year, even with all of the craziness going on in the world. Come 2021, I decided to continue with bullet journaling as it did help me to feel in control during a time where most things felt out of control. If you're looking for tips on starting out, I recommend reading my article, "How I Set Up My First Ever Bullet Journal: Essential Pages and Supplies You'll Actually Use" for the ins and outs of bullet journaling.

 

Bullet journal supplies and spreads Julia Irminger

My Take

The creative aspects of bullet journaling is what pulled me in, and still hasn't let me go. Having always been a fan of using planners and making art, I had a relatively natural transition into bullet journaling. Still, it was daunting at first. Bullet journaling is all about creating spread designs from scratch, even the seemingly straightforward calendar or weekly pages. That's what makes it special. In essence, planning your year in a bullet journal is a hell of a lot more work than using a premade planner, but it is at the same time more convenient because you get to design the planner to cater to your personal needs without compromising. 

 

Woman in bed surrounded by laptop and books Photo by Windows from Unsplash

What I Learned

There is no right or wrong way to create a bullet journal. You created an entire planner from scratch, you deserve applause. The purpose of a bullet journal is to cater to the one creating it. If you want to fill your journal with elaborate spread designs and mixed-media art, go for it! If your ideal bullet journal consists of the cut-and-dry sequence of yearly, monthly and weekly logs then that's acceptable, too! It's also fine to abandon consistency and do a mix of both, that's what I did.

People commonly start a bullet journal with the intent of carrying out beautiful decorations on each page and a tracker for almost everything that could possibly be tracked, but then they feel guilty for not sustaining it. I'm here to say there's no shame in that! That's part of the process of learning what works best for you in a bullet journal. 

 

bullet journal with two gold pillar candles Photo by Estée Janssens from Unsplash

The Beauty of It

Like I said, the things that can be most demanding about making a bullet journal are also the things that make it rewarding. After putting the time and effort into something that is personalized completely for you, by you, the fulfillment you get is totally worth it. Because you poured yourself into this journal that was originally just another way to get organized, you now have a time capsule to reflect on your personal aesthetics, feelings, and milestones that were going on in this era of your life. Still, it may be just a fancy planner, but to me it's just as precious as a scrapbook. Since it is made by you, for you, it is the most honest representation of yourself you can have.