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Navigating the world of bullet journalling can be a tricky task. There are so many pages on the web with information about how to start bullet journalling and what layouts to use, plus a myriad of videos out there to delve into. I’m here to tell you the 5 things I wish I’d known before starting a bullet journal, and a lot of them link to one key point: just go for it!
It should be simple
Having seen so many elaborate page layouts and colour coding displays before I started my bullet journal, I kinda figured everyone had ditched simplicity in favour of creativity. To an extent I still think this, but I am increasingly finding that simple layouts are working better in my favour and my OTT creative layouts are few and far between. Plus, Ryder Carroll invented the bullet journal system as a simple alternative to journalling, so you’re missing out on it’s main draw if you’re always obsessing over complex pages!
It’s not all about the dotted Leuchtturm
I was gutted when my Leuchtturm 1917 turned up with squared pages rather than dotted, but now I love it! I’ve also seen so many people just using regular lined notebooks for their bullet journals and I almost wish I’d just used one of many spare notebooks instead (almost, not quite). You can start a bullet journal in whatever kind of notebook you wish, so don’t feel like you have to fork out £13 before you’ve even started. All you really need is a notebook and a pen.
Read more: How I actually use my bullet journal
It will never look as good as you hoped
Sorry to be a negative Nelly but unless you’ve got a keen eye for design and a steady hand, it won’t look like the journals you see on Pinterest. That said, I think the important thing to note is that it doesn’t matter. Bullet journalling is likely to take different forms for everyone and it shouldn’t be a competition to see who has the prettiest one. They’re for organisation after all!
There’s no harm in testing layouts/’ruining’ pages
Everyone seems to want to present the perfect bullet journal. I get that, and I suppose I’m a little guilty of it, but part of the fun of creating layouts yourself is messing up a little. This links with the above point, in that it’s never going to be perfect. Having a practice page in your bullet journal for hand lettering or starting afresh when layouts don’t go as you hoped isn’t the end of the world, and whilst it might seem like a waste of a page, it’s all a part of the process. You aren’t the only person that’s done it!
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Not every ‘must-have’ page is worth having
I’ve seen so many bullet journal layouts on Pinterest and across the blogosphere, and trying to narrow it down to ones I actually wanted was initially quite tricky as everyone’s must-have pages are different. Now I’ve had my bujo for a few months, I’ve discovered which pages I actually use and which are less important. My full-page habit tracker has disappeared; last month I incorporated it into my monthly log, this month I’m doing it slightly differently. I wish I’d done a bit of planning before I started to work out what I would actually find useful!
So there you have it. Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting bullet journalling? Or are you still waiting to take the plunge?