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  • Writer's pictureLelia

Bullet Journal, love it but not for me

The bullet journal phenomenon. I don’t know about you but for a while, everywhere I turned there were ideas on how to create your bullet journal. I would read tips on how to make it work and above all else make it beautiful. And like many, I fell for it and I loved it.

Hand opening notebook

I truly enjoyed creating my pages. I would spend hours designing and planning them, it was a true combination of two of my favorite things. However, I was soon to find that there is a downside to having a bullet journal. I was not happy and still, I wondered how to make it work for me. Fortunately, I had an idea that works and may work for you too.

The Good

Bullet journals for those who don’t know are a method to organize your life in one notebook that you customize to your needs. It was developed by designer Ryder Carroll and the possibilities are endless. You can use any notebook you have but there are notebooks made specifically for the bullet journal. Their pages can be lined, plain, or dotted. You then create pages that apply to your life. You can break it down by year, months, and days and use your personalized key to mark tasks completed, in progress, or to copy them to a new date. You can also create pages for goals, reminders, and lists, and who doesn’t love a list?

This was the bullet journal's biggest appeal for me, the design aspect. You can create pages to track habits, birthdays, or lists and they can be designed in whichever way you want. These pages are highly personalized because they are designed by you to fit your needs. Whether you make them elaborate or minimal you have the control over how they will look. You also can devote to them as much space as you need rather than having to fit it all in whatever space your planner gives you. 

Like I said before the possibilities are endless. A quick search and you will see how to create pages for just about anything you may want. And if you think of something that you need but cannot find, you can just create it yourself. 

notebooks spread out

The Bad

But then it happened, the end of the year came and here I had a beautiful notebook but no further use for it. I must admit I still wanted to continue so the second year I did the same and bought another bullet journal. I enjoy creating the pages and making them very simplistic and minimal, but beautifully designed if I say so myself. However, at the end of the second year, I had the same issue, another notebook that I now had no use for.

This is an issue for me because I am trying to reduce the amount of stuff I have. I did not want to bin it. I had put so much work into it and it had so much of my life written in it. But I will be honest I am not the type to go back and read it again. I also did not want to keep storing it. I try to own as little as I can or feel comfortable with and I could not justify to myself keeping these notebooks. I mean one or two could be okay, but what about in ten years? 

If you use a notebook a year, it will add up, and eventually, you have a collection of notebooks that you have no use for. I also found that as a planner it was not working for me. I would either have a few days that I would have nothing exciting to write but felt the need to put something down or the opposite would happen. My planned days would change and I would have to cross and rewrite things over and over again. I was somewhat conflicted. I want my creative pages. I want to design them and have some of that information handy, but a notebook every year is too much.

Stacked notebooks

The solution

It then occurred to me that by its very nature the bullet journal is meant to work for you. You are to create a notebook that fits your needs and helps you organize your life. There are no rules to abide by and you can use it as you please. 

The following year I got my bullet journal but designed it differently. I created pages for the things that are important to me and that will be relevant long term. However, I no longer use it as a planner for my monthly or daily tasks and appointments. I use my cellphone calendar and as of recently Google calendar to schedule things. This helps also with engagements that change. If you put them on paper you have to cross them out. But by keeping it digital, you can just quickly delete the entry, and you are done. You can also have your Google calendar synced to your phone and it is with you at all times. 

As for my beloved bullet journal, I now use it for only those lovely pages that I can design, and that will matter in the long run. I have listed below some of the pages I still have in my bullet journal and it works. I can keep it for several years and it can be an important part of my life organization without a yearly limit. I must say that I am enjoying it now more than I did before. 

If you have been in a similar situation and have found that journals or planners do not work for you try this idea. There are no rules to follow so you can, like me, create a journal that fits your needs and use a digital calendar to keep your life organized.

Page ideas



Travel bucket list

Packing essentials

Book/ movie lists

Ideas/ Inspiration notes

Restaurants to try



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