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What I Learned After a Month of Bullet Journaling

What I Learned After a Month of Bullet Journaling

By: Katie Hovde

Cover Photo: Unicorn Inspired Bullet Journal Doodles

Have you seen this bullet journal trend going around the internet lately?

Photo by Estee Janssens

Photo by Estee Janssens

Bullet journals are notebooks that contain pages with a bunch of dots in columns and rows that allow you to draw templates of all kinds to help you track the parts of your life. I tried it for a month in the effort of getting my shit together, and I learned that there are definitely goods and bads to this method of personal organization.

GOODS

  •      Flexibility: There are endless possibilities for utilizing a bullet journal to the fullest. Search ‘bullet journal’ on Pinterest and you’ll see what I mean. For everything you want to keep track of in your life, there’s a template for it. Not to mention, you can always create customized templates that work for you. I made an anxiety tracker, weekly planners, some wedding planning sheets, and a few other organizers that really helped me stay on track with my goals.
  •     Creative outlet: One of the best parts about bullet journaling are the opportunities for creative expression. The bullet journal format offers page after page of blank canvas and generates a constant realization of creative expression. Use fun colors or silly stickers; use ribbon and post-it notes to texturize. The possibilities are endless.
    •     Tactile: There is an app for everything, it’s true. But we need to collectively get off our damned phones and do something real every now and again (she says as she writes this on her phone). The bullet journal accomplishes that. Yes, you could get apps that help you organize all the intricacies of your life, but there is something so much more connective and human about taking the time to put pen to paper.

BADS

  •       Commitment: Maybe this is just me, but I have found it pretty difficult to keep up with my bullet journal. Many of the things I use my bullet journal for are daily trackers. While it’s good for me to work on my consistency in this way, it’s just not always the easiest thing to find the time to bullet journal in my packed days.
  •        Can be defeating: I consider myself to be an artistic person in nearly every way except visually. So I have found that it’s easy for me to get self-conscious or frustrated with myself when my templates come out looking like a toddler with Parkinson’s Disease drew them.

All things considered, the bullet journal is an extremely useful tool. When I was all wonky trying to adjust to my new medication dosage, it helped me track where my mood was headed and what kinds of feelings I was experiencing, and allowed me to give my doctor an accurate look at how I really, truly was doing. (Side note: everything is fine now. Changing doses is never the easiest process in the world). And honestly, even the “bads” I mentioned can be used as an exercise in patience and dedication. And with that contradiction of myself, I leave you with my recommendation to give this sucker a whirl.

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