So I decided to try my hand at bullet journaling for the upcoming new year.
Look around Pinterest and you’ll find people who have an amazing talent for drawing up a whole planner from scratch. However, the main essence of bullet journaling is not the addictive swirls of lettering or intricate doodles, but rapid logging. Rapid logging, as the term suggests, is to log in your tasks, events, and notes in bulleted short sentences. You can learn more about how bullet journaling works from this website. I never knew bullet journaling was such an interesting system and is technically a whole language by itself.
Because I neither have the time nor the artistic talent (some might argue though that the latter is not an important consideration), I cheated a little and bought a 2018 planner from Muji. This way, I already have my monthly calendars and weekly pages drawn up.
Since I had the essential blueprint ready, I focused my time on trackers. Everyday activities or long-term goals that you want to track can be drawn up in boxes and coloured off once you have achieved them. I have decided on a water intake tracker, a habit tracker, a period tracker, and a weight loss tracker.
It’s only my first day at it but this is what I have learnt so far:
Being the perfectionist that I am, lines have to be drawn with rulers, words need to be strung in a straight line, and strike-throughs are considered a felony. The first thing I noticed when I started on my bullet journal was how hesitant I was to place my pen on a fresh page for fear I’d ruin its clean look. I started out shaky but found myself letting go a little more with each tracker I drew in. Soon enough, I drew and wrote more freely and was trying out new things like adding color to my headers and drawing arrows and leaves in an attempt to make my trackers look more appealing.
2.Planning is key
Whether you’re organized or more of a freestyler, you need to start with a legend to know what your bullets and signifiers stand for. You need to paginate and have an overall idea of what you’ll be using each set of pages for. Because I’m using the Muji planner, I didn’t need to paginate or designate my pages. Instead, I worked out a legend for the symbols I’d be using, counted the boxes on my scheduler, and marked out the start and ends with a pencil. Mess frustrates me and making sure my trackers are neat and centered are what motivates me. Afterall, failure to plan is planning to fail.
3.It always looks better in your head
I had a perfect picture of what my new bullet journal would look like with the perfect lettering and the beautiful doodles. Sometimes I forget that I’m no artist. Pinterest works against me at times like this because I think I am able to replicate the amazing ideas I’ve pinned on my board. This made me realize that I was wasting time fussing about the aesthetics when I have no control over it considering my severe lack of artistic talent. And what a timely reminder it is to remember that things don’t always work out the way you imagine them to. But that’s okay.
Like everything else in life and to my utter dismay, mistakes happen. Your ink will smudge, you might have a bump on your ruler so your lines are not straight, and your headings will not be centered. But when life gives you lemons, you make lemon vodka! Amazing tips I’ve learnt from Pinterest include the use of washi tape. I haven’t purchased washi tape but I used stickers from my 2015 Kikki K planner to cover up a mistake I made with my Shopping List heading. I also have some masking stickers I bought in 2016 and these make for some pretty cover ups as well!
Perhaps with this (sort of) bullet journal, I might be able to pick up something new, like lettering perhaps. Excited to see how all this turns out and perhaps once I get the hang of it, I’ll start on a real bullet jounal next year? Who knows!