Why a Bullet Journal Didn’t Work for Me

I’ve been trying to make time for the things that I used to enjoy– reading, writing, yoga, learning new languages… but I learned that I don’t have a lot of self control when it comes to certain things. If I want to sit on my laptop all night, I will, even though I told myself I would get off of the sofa and do something else. I knew I had to find a system that worked for me so that I could get back on track.

I had seen bullet journals all over Pinterest and other blogs. I looked at all sort of spreads and designs that other people had created in order to fit their lifestyle. Needless to say, I was inspired. I started to think of what layouts I would create for my own bullet journal. I even created a Pinterest board dedicated to bullet journal spreads. I love how some are very systematic and regimented, while others are a little more freeform and whimsical. But, I couldn’t get it to work for me.

I was excited when I had ordered my notebook and bought micron pens from a craft store. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted my bullet journal to be and how I could go about creating it.

It was my first night sitting down and drawing out my spreads when realized that I am too much of a perfectionist to create a bullet journal. My plan was to create a little quote page before the start of every month. I had chosen a quote, and wanted to draw a border around it, and then draw flowers outside of the border. I grabbed a ruler to draw the border, when I moved the slightest bit and messed up my straight line. I was using a pen. There was no way to erase it. I knew I was particular about certain things, but as I looked at the page with the slightest imperfection of a straight line gone awry, I realized I was more than particular. I tried to figure out a way to take that page out of my journal so that it wouldn’t ruin the entire look once it was completed. The pages were sewn into the spine, so my only choice was to cut the page out.

This happened three more times that night. I would work on a new spread, mess up, and then feel the need to cut out the page so that the whole journal would look perfect. But, why? Why did I feel like my bullet journal couldn’t have imperfections? I was doing this for me; it wasn’t like anyone else was going to see it. I tried to not let those few missing pages stop me. I created my pages for June, since that was the following month, and I set aside my journal for a couple of days.

It wasn’t only setting up the bullet journal that wasn’t working in my favor. I apparently also have an issue with keeping up with one. Three of the things I wanted to include in my bullet journal were a daily spread to write down good things that happened every day, a habit tracker to keep me in line with my goals, and a sleep tracker to hopefully change my sleep schedule. The first week or so was easy. But, after that, I would forget to write in it until the day after. And after a while, I forgot to use it entirely.  I only lasted eighteen days.

I thought that if I wrote down a reward for myself if I completed 70% of my habits in June that it would motivate me to complete it. (The reward in question was a new tattoo that I have been thinking about for a couple of years). But, that was only going to work if my heart was in it. I found that the things I put in my bullet journal weren’t really things that I needed to keep track of on paper. If I had used my bullet journal more as a planner, then I could see it as beneficial, but let’s be real here… my bullet journal would be pretty blank if I used it in that way.

I still find bullet journals extremely cool, and maybe at some point in the future I’ll pick it up again. But, for right now, I think I’ll keep it to the side and admire all of the people who can actually keep up with something like that.

Do you keep a bullet journal?


  1. My experience with bullet journals was exactly the same! I love the idea of them and all the inspirational pictures on Pinterest, but in reality it just didn’t work for me. Maybe someday I’ll have the patience for it!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: