A bullet journal is an analog system where you’re supposed to rapid log and keep everything organised, and yet, it still seems a little daunting at first.
I bought a notebook last year and eventually landed on the decision to use it as a bullet journal, but it took me a good couple of months before I started bullet journalling. Maybe I was scared? Insecure of all the pretty layouts I saw on Pinterest? Or maybe something else? Heaven knows, but I’m glad I started it a few months before 2018.
See, the trick is to just start. Everything you can do in this life starts with the decision to just do it, right now. I wish someone had told me this when I first got my notebook, because the bullet journal system changed the way I see my every day life.
In this blog, I’m going to share with you a couple of my Bullet Journal Dos and Don’ts that I am personally following, which makes my bullet journalling journey fun, insecure-free, and most importantly, effective and efficient!
1. DO prioritise function over form.
We all see these flatlay photos of pretty bullet journal layouts on different social media sites. They look so beautiful, their handwriting is so neat, and their spreads are magazine-like. We get jealous, and say to ourselves, “I want my BuJo to look like that!”
While there is nothing wrong to want our BuJos to look like theirs, the issue lies within our expectations that just because a page is beautiful and the system worked for them, it will work for us.
Just like body expectations, where we shouldn’t be jealous of models on magazines and be content with our own bodies, we should be happy with how we make our BuJos. They are reflections of our personality, and they must be able to help us with our daily lives. If we keep fussing about decorating and designing our BuJo and it’s already stressing us out, then that defeats the purpose of the BuJo system.
Function over form, remember that always.
2. DON’T stress yourself when you don’t feel like writing on your BuJo.
Let’s be honest with ourselves. There will be days when you don’t even want to move or get out of bed. There will be times you have nothing to do, so there will be nothing to put on your daily tasks. So we panic and think, I should write something on it or it will be empty!
There is nothing wrong with empty days, or empty pages. Don’t get stressed out! You don’t have to fill every page, and you don’t have to write imaginary tasks that could have easily been done without writing them down.
What I do with empty spaces is just leave them as they are, and in the future, if I needed an extra space to write something, or if I’m feeling generally artsy, I decorate them and stick photos or just write in some motivational quotes in brush calligraphy.
3. DO carry your BuJo everywhere!
You can maximize the utility of your BuJo’s when you have them whenever you need them. They don’t have to be out in the open all the time, they just have to be in your bag!
And when you’re at home, make sure they’re out of your bag and placed somewhere you can see them. I find that putting my bullet journal on my table in my room is effective in reminding me that I have to check it if I have tasks to complete. It’s also extremely helpful to have it out when you’re at home, because it’s usually the time when you are relaxed, and you can think more clearly, giving you the opportunity to write down all the things you have in mind.
4. DON’T track useless things.
I have seen this problem with most bullet journalists. This doesn’t look like a problem in hindsight, because yes, it’s super fun to keep track of things and fill your habits collection. We all get satisfied when a spread is filled, or when we get to colour in boxes to indicate we’ve finished our routinary tasks.
However, there are things that we’re better off not tracking, and will not help nor improve the effectiveness of our bujos. One of the many examples is the bujo tracker. There is definitely no need to track the days when you’ve logged on to your bujo! It is completely useless, and just takes up time you could have been using for other more important things.
Make sure you formulate your trackers based on your lifestyle. The things you track should be like a record for future reference. Personally, I keep track of my water intake (basic!), days I’ve blogged (so I can see in overview how frequent I blog), days I’ve cared for my skin (because I have skin care routines that are only done once a week), and a couple more things related to health. These trackers perfectly align my lifestyle as a blogger and, well, as a girl who tries to improve her well-being.
5. DO have fun!
Don’t be afraid to open up a new collection every time you think of one. Don’t phase back and forth, overthinking what the next week’s layout should be. Don’t be careful, just have fun!
It’s just papers bound in two thick boards. It’s a journal. It’s not meant to be perfect, it’s meant to be a shadow of YOU. Do whatever you want with it, and don’t hold yourself back from doing what you want. You want to be able to look back on it in the future, and see your beautiful mess of a moment in time.
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