To Bullet Journal or Not To Bullet Journal?

Posted September 21, 2016 by Melissa in Discussion Post | 31 Comments

To Bullet Journal or not to Bullet Journal


…That is the Question….


OK, guys…I need some serious advice.


I keep seeing all these wonderful posts and beautiful photos on Instagram and I really have an itch to try to start a Bullet Journal.

[If you do not know what I am talking about…check it out – | Boho Berry | Buzzfeed article ]

But you know my reality…I barely have time to post here anymore…I went from posting daily (including lots of memes and blog tours) to being a lot more selective and trying for more unique content and ended up sporadically posting weekly or bi weekly. I come home from a long day at work and by the time all my real-life to-dos are accomplished – the blog (and to be honest even going to the gym) get postponed and postponed.

However, I really want to buy into the idea that there is something out there that can actually keep me organized, make me feel accomplished, and perhaps force me to write a little bit…even if it’s only a line a day to track gratitude etc. And for real – I like the idea of having a master list area and not having to rewrite my non-accomplished tasks on each new days to-do list. Although writing is a great way to focus yourself, isn’t it?


To be honest they are really just so darn cute!


Let’s get real though…I have a really bad habit of wanting to be crafty without the ability or follow through. I am so not creative. I can barely even write legibly. And I’ll let you all in on a little dirty secret…I have a whole closet full of crafting supplies that I have barely used including supplies for:

  • Scrapbooking
  • Quilting
  • Knitting
  • Cross Stitch
  • Candle making
  • Watercolors
  • Colored Pencils

I got frustrated at my lack of ability, lack of time etc. And yes I know that with practice, I’d probably be able to accomplish something…but at the end of a long day…do I want to drag out craft supplies and try to teach myself something…or get in a little reading time? Pssst – Reading wins every single darn time!

I even saw all of these posts and photos of Hand Lettering (and thinking ahead then about perhaps starting a bullet journal and wanting to at least be able to write legibly) I bought a book on hand lettering and those Tombow pens.


Guess what? It’s been months and I haven’t cracked either open yet.


I feel like a failure before even starting.


But anyway…enough negativity (Thanks for listening guys – HAHA)

I love the idea of being able to track multiple things all in one place. I don’t plan to use this for work but I would love to use the journal to keep all of my personal stuff together. I love excel and I use it all the time for lists and tracking and save everything in my google drive. I also love Goodreads.

I don’t see how I could ever replace them with a bullet journal but would this help me keep on task minute to minute, day to day even when not on a PC?

Is it really going to end up saving me time? Beacuse honestly – the thought of using a ruler and trying to create a calendar etc. in a notebook makes me think I should just use one of the 5 existing calendars in my house! lol

Things like:

  • Daily reflections/gratitude logs
  • Books Read
  • To Be Read Lists
  • To Be Reviewed Lists
  • Blog Tasks
  • TV Shows
  • Grocery Lists
  • Home Improvement Projects
  • Daily To-dos
  • Monthly Goals
  • Long Term Goals

So obviously you can’t tell me whether I’m likely to follow through…but I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences with Bullet Journals.

So Bullet Journals – Yay or Nay? And what have your experiences been?


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31 responses to “To Bullet Journal or Not To Bullet Journal?

  1. I had an idea of what it was, but just spent 20 mins reading the recommended links. I like the concept, in fact I use some of them for instance my little black book with all passwords, important info. I am anal and write things down in there immediately. I think you should do it, but tailor it to you. For example you mentioned rewriting tasks,- make a page with weekly, monthly tasks each month. We all stop and start will we ever find what works for us or find things we are passionate about without trying. So yes, go for it. Buy a cheap journal to start, commit to using it for 6 months..if it works and enhances your life..its a keeper.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Plum Deluxe Tea and Fall Reads the Perfect BlendMy Profile

  2. I think this is too organized for my brain. LOL He sort of lost me at all the prework you had to do (I don’t mind work but it was tedious to me). HOWEVER having said that, I’ve seen people who organize well and if this speaks to you, then GO FOR IT! You may find it is perfect for you, how to tweak it to suit you better, or even give you clues to what to look for in this kind of journaling. Not everything has to be an end point, but is sometimes a beginning.

    Speaking toward the creativity. I think you have the same problem as a lot of people. You want the masterpiece before you learn the basics. Learning the basics is just as easy as just doing it and making mistakes. You MUST allow yourself to make mistakes. You canNOT learn without them. I have been crafting a lot. I don’t always show my mistakes and I do make a lot of them. However, when I look back I see how much I’ve learned and I’m amazed. Just don’t look back until you get one marginally successful (trust me it is more than marginally but we are all harder on ourselves than we need to be) project done. You will be amazed at what you learned. Be a adventurous beginner in all things. 😀
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…On My Wishlist: Yesternight by Cat WintersMy Profile

    • Melissa

      That’s what worries me…it seems like a lot of work! And I think you are spot on about wanting the masterpiece before the basics. I think a lot of us are super critical of ourselves and that really holds us back.

      This is the best comment ever 🙂

  3. I bought a journal that I thought I could copy recipes down in but it ended up not working very well so I thought well I’ll use this for a bullet journal. That was MONTHS ago and I’ve yet to even open it. I do have a notebook I keep track of top ten lists for books using the topics from The Broke and the Bookish and I do use that a bit. I don’t think my brain works in a way that I can just free from a bullet journal and really have it work for me. Good luck to figuring out how you want to do this. Definitely go for it but don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t work.
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…The Bookshop on the Corner – Blog Tour ReviewMy Profile

    • Melissa

      Yeah…I’m worried that I won’t have the patience either…or I will be so disappointed when mine doesn’t look like all the pretty ones since I can’t draw or letter. Hmmm…

  4. I have never heard of the bullet journal idea… sounds very intriguing though. I can see why you would want to try it out. I have been trying to think of a way that I could keep a journal but I would rather pick up a book any day of the week especially when I don’t have that much spare time in the day. 🙂 I am interested to see how this bullet journal idea goes for you.
    Lover Of Romance recently posted…ARC Book Review-Leopard’s Fury by Christine FeehanMy Profile

  5. That’s a big ol nope for me. It’s way too much effort with all the little symbols and I hate having to erase things to change the status of it. Would drive me crazy. lol I just keep a regular planner with sections for each day. One column for house/me, one column for blog/work. As they’re finished I highlight them in orange. Easy. Done. lol This method I could see trying it but can’t imagine I’d stick with it past a week.

    If something big happens–like a pet passing away or getting a new pet, or whatever I’ll add a quick note to that day.
    anna @ herding cats & burning soup recently posted…4 stars– Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona AndrewsMy Profile

  6. I’ve never had a bullet journal. They can be cute and fun to look at, but I prefer keeping track of things on computers where I won’t lose it, where I can delete and change and move and edit things without them becoming a mess, etc. And bullet journals just seem really confusing and like a lot of work to me :-/

  7. I have never heard of this before. I looked at the page you linked to. For me, it is entirely too much work. I’ve seen people who’ve done the day planners, similar to this, but they are more structured. They are actual calendar pages. They’ve used stickers and other things on the pages too. While I think those are neat, as is this bullet journal, they just aren’t for me.

    As for the starting things and not finishing them, I think it is pretty common. I know a lot of people who do that. I for one and a person who chooses reading over many other things.
    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted…Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews (@ilona_andrews, @AceRocBooks)My Profile

  8. I think simplicity in life is best. I too have been caught up in the rat race. I had a whole closet of crafts too, and yes I did teach myself to make jewlery, cross stitch, candles etc, but then I had kids and crafting went out the window. I have found, especially in the last few months after losing my mom, to take time to do the things you love. Don’t get caught up in the rat race of social media and the internet. Put it down and just enjoy life. I have spent time cross stitching again and I am loving. I don’t need one more thing to suck up my time. So if you can do it and make it quick and easy, go for it, but if it is going to be one more thing to keep up with, one more thing to suck up your time, forget it. That is why I won’t do instagram or any of that, it is such a time suck.
    Heidi recently posted…Review: Like a River Glorious(Gold Seer #2) by Rae CarsonMy Profile

  9. I am so with you! I bought a planner that has blank calendar pages and ruled pages in the thoughts of doing just this, but I have yet to even attempt it. The pics on Instagram are gorgeous and they really make me want to try, but honestly I will not produce anything nearly that beautiful. So maybe if we set our expectations to just be a journal that works for us and not try to strive to be what others are, then we cannot fail.?!?

    I think next week I might sit down to figure out what I want the bullet journal to mean tome, how I want it to help me and layout ideas before I start anything. 😉 I hope you’ll try too, but tailor it to your life!
    Chrystal recently posted…Task It Tuesday: Updating Old PostsMy Profile

  10. I wish I could get into bullet journaling but I feel like it’s too rigid and regimented! I have a paper planner and I like that and I hand write an ARC list for every month. I make a lot of lists both for work and organization and I am happy — it would be nice to transition all of these into a bullet journal but the label scares me haha

    They are so pretty though!!
    Eva @ All Books Considered recently posted…So, You Want to Go to . . . Seattle!My Profile

  11. Personally, I had to try it to know it wasn’t for me. I did take some of the bullet journal tricks with me though to use in my planner. For example, I really liked the idea of writing out everything I accomplished in a day so I am way more detailed in my planner so that I can look back and have that feeling. I also have a habit tracker that I did on a piece of graph paper, because I think those are neat. Otherwise, I just use my regular planner. My biggest problem with the bullet journal was that as a perfectionist, I have a hard time with things like drawing my own lines, not being able to erase, etc. It just felt like a huge disappointing timesuck. I love looking at them, but they are not for me. Lord knows that won’t stop me from trying again in a few months lol!

  12. I started my bullet journal at the beginning of the year and have been experimenting with different formats and layouts. What works best for me is using it as a tracker and for lists. The beauty of the system is that you can make it as simple or as complicated as you like. I also joined a couple of bullet journal groups on Facebook for ideas. I’m not crafty or artistic at all, but you don’t have to be! Give it a try and see if it works for you. I’m using a notebook I already had, just invested in some colored pencils for my trackers. Cheap is always good when you’re trying out new things! 🙂
    Terri @ Alexia’s Books and Such recently posted…Bloggiesta Fall 2016My Profile

  13. Holy cats, Melissa! I had no idea what bullet journaling was but I just spent 15 minutes learning by reading the articles you linked to and watching youtube videos! LOL I created my own calendar/planner last year and I’ve enjoyed using it. I do actually have bullets for each day but it’s not bullet journaling. I like this idea but I don’t know that I’d be good at it. Like you, I also have supplies out the wazoo for scrapbooking, card making, and knitting. But when I have free time, books win every time. 😉 If you do choose to bullet journal, I hope you’ll share it here. I’d like to see how you make it your own. 😀
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Blog Ahead Challenge 2016 ~ Sign Up Post ~ I’m *SO* InMy Profile

  14. Do it!! I’m TERRIBLE at sticking with things…I’ve tried journaling for years and years and nothing has worked. What I love about this system is that you can make it whatever you want. Most weeks for me it’s just a simple to do list (weekly, NOT daily…who has time to make a list every day!). I have a lot of the collections you’ve mentioned above plus stuff for my crafty endeavors (sounds like we have a lot of hobbies in common! I have a whole room devoted to crafting/quilting, etc). Anyway, I started my bujo in February and it is still always always with me. It’s the longest I’ve ever held onto a planner/journal. 🙂 ps–I came via Literary Feline’s website and I hate to leave links on new to me blogs…but if you’re interested in seeing my system you can find it on the sidebar under Most Popular Posts. 😉
    Trish recently posted…Assigned Kiddo Reading TimeMy Profile

  15. I fully understand you! I also want to be crafty, but I lack ability. My forays into things such as sewing and scrapbooking were very short lived. I really want to try the bullet journals since I’m so forgetful and I would love to be more organized. However, I wonder if I would forget to add things to the journal and if it would take too much time that I don’t have. Sorry I don’t have an answer to your to bullet journal or not to bullet journal question. Let me know what you decide though because I’m super curious if you do how it goes! 😀 Great discussion post.

  16. I went to I think this is actually worth investigating and starting, at least the basics. Then, if it fits into your world, with the things that you keep on your computers, then you can spend more time on making it pretty. It should just then be easy to find the time to fit it in. Know what I mean??? 🙂 Good luck!!!

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