Bullet Journals | My Rationale & Initial Thoughts

Yes folks, you saw that right – I started a bullet journal because I’m just one big cliche.

I’d previously half-heartedly tried it in squared notebooks and found it did help my productivity, for as long as I kept up with it. My main problem was that I didn’t keep up with it, or invest enough time in it, or make it enough of a priority for it to be the first thing I turned to when planning anything. I’m trying to change that, so at the beginning of the year I bought kind of an expensive notebook (a black leuchtturm1917 with dotted pages – yes I’m that much of a cliche) and I invested money as well as time because if I’ve spent £10+ on a notebook, I tend to at least want to see it through to the end, you know?

Using my bullet journal to help track progress during the 24 in 48 Readathon

Well, so far it has worked reasonably well and I’ve ended up utilising the journal for my reading/blogging purposes. As it came up to the end of January, I hadn’t completely forgotten about it, though it is far from integrated into my daily life as an instinct. However, this is progress (Rome wasn’t built in a day etc. etc) and I thought it might be fun to share with you my bullet journal and my progress with it so far this year. It will also be a good way for me to keep track of how I’m doing with my bullet journal and which areas of it I need to keep and which I can just ditch-

*record scratches*

No, I must be honest now. I drafted this post, fully intending to share with you my yearly spreads and monthly spreads and how I track things and my weekly layouts and all that jazz, but the truth of it is between starting to draft this post and finishing it, I accidentally didn’t bullet journal for a few weeks. ‘Why’ you ask?

Well, I’m beginning to question the entire rationale behind bullet journaling and if it is really for me.

You see, I work standard hours Monday to Friday and I can’t really use my bullet journal during work to scribble to-do lists because a lot of the student information I deal with is personal stuff I can’t then remove from work. I get the same train every morning/evening so travel isn’t something that needs planning. I don’t have a social life to speak of and the most wild my plans get is to go to the cinema or maybe to do a grocery shop. My blogging and social media use isn’t professional or regular enough to require a schedule. I’m not a freelancer who has a great online shop or lots of projects with different deadlines. But admittedly I have found a use for the trackers in bullet journals, especially tracking reading progress during readathons or to keep track of what books I’ve read in the year, and I enjoy using the monthly trackers to track habits such as going to the gym or doing laundry. It’s just the weekly log/daily to-do lists bit that I don’t really use to its full potential – more often than not, days are mainly full of a list of tasks I optimistically hoped to get done but inevitably end up ‘migrated’ to the next day and then the next day and so on and so forth…

An example of my monthly trackers

This is a classic case of ‘do I not use a bullet journal daily because I’m just not yet in the routine of using it?’ or ‘does not having a routine of blogging mean I don’t use a bullet journal daily now but it would improve my blogging if I did?’. Because, let’s face it, my productivity probably would improve if I kept a better track of what I get done in a day outside of work. In a way, it would guilt me into doing something because I’d want to do things so that I would be using my bullet journal to its full potential. Which is possibly not really what bullet journaling’s noble mission is but hey ho, we get to the same outcome, regardless of rationale.

I’m not really sure if this blog post about bullet journals has a point. Basically, I bought one, I used it quite well in January and then my use of it tailed off and I’m trying to identify why that happened. Is it me or is it the bullet journal? I’m not sure, but maybe we need to give each other another chance.

Do any of you lovely folks use a bullet journal regularly? Or have you tried and decided it’s not for you? Or maybe you haven’t ever tried it and don’t want to? Please do comment below because I’d really love to hear about your experiences with bullet journaling, regardless of whether they were positive or negative – maybe they will help me form my conclusions about the whole thing.


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5 thoughts on “Bullet Journals | My Rationale & Initial Thoughts

  1. readingsanctuaryblog 14/03/2017 / 07:55

    I stopped trying to do the daily side of bullet journaling after I realised that outside of work I rarely have anything which requires planning. Instead I just use several monthly pages because it works better for me. That’s the wonderful thing about a bullet jounaling, you can shape it to your needs and find what works best for you.

    • Emma 17/03/2017 / 20:04

      I’m the same! How do you do that, do you just have a whole page for a week so your entire task list isn’t separated by day or something else? I’m super curious how other people do it since most bullet journals I’ve seen use the daily method which really doesn’t work for me.

  2. Kate W 13/03/2017 / 22:44

    TBH, I don’t even really know what bullet-journals are… I love a list, to-do lists order my thoughts and motivate me to a certain extent but really, any bit of paper will do to write a list because the important thing is doing the stuff on the list, not spending time tinkering with the list… I get the sense from your post (my only source of info about bullet journals!) that it might be a fancy name for procrastinating!

    • Emma 17/03/2017 / 20:02

      I totally get that, the most important thing is the to-do list itself!

      Although I’m sure spending a lot of time making it pretty could be procrastinating if you let me, I know quite a lot of people use bullet journals to organise because they find the process of spending time on the list/journal to be calming. Now, I wouldn’t go that far for me personally but I do think there’s something to be said in my case for sitting down and thinking about how I want to organise my time. That being said, it’s a fine line for sure! :P

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