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First question I receive a lot when people see my bullet journal:
Why don’t you just buy a ready-made planner? The time you invest in writing everything down could be used productively!
I think that’s a very good and legitimate question. There are planners in any way possible. Weekly overview, monthly overviews, whole pages for days, with or without time ladders, empty pages for notes, holiday overviews, and so on and so on. But unfortunately those planners are all built the same: either daily spreads for the whole year or just limited space with weekly spreads. The pages are ready-made and can’t be adjusted.
And that’s the problem. Same layout for every week or every day. But who’s life looks the same every single day? Every day the same stressful events or the same to dos? Definitely not my life.
Some weeks, especially in my exam phase, are very stressful. On those days it’s super hard to coordinate all tasks, like my jobs and household duties, next to all the studying. But there are also days, for example during my internship, which look more or less the same. Work, exercise, eat, watch series, sleep. There haven’t been a lot of to dos and the weekends need more space in my bullet journal layout than the weekdays.
If you’ve read my post Bullet journaling for students you know that I was an organizational failure before I started using my bullet journal.
I tried and used all these planners but never longer than 3 or 4 weeks. I just didn’t like it that some pages stayed blank while others were cramped with to dos and stuff I should remember.
At the start of my 4th semester I searched the internet for THE perfect planner. On Pinterest I ran across some posts about bullet journals. I instantly liked all those creative ideas and thought: “I want to do that, too!”
To keep it rolling I instantly bought a Leuchtturm1917 notebook. I knew if I’d start in a cheap school exercise book or something similar I’d lose interest in it very very soon. I work better with something thats pretty to look at – and I quickly fell in love with Leuchtturm notebooks 😍
BUT – and that’s the most important part! – for bullet journaling it’s not important, if you are a rather creative one or just want to write down your daily to do lists. It doesn’t matter if you use 10 different brush pens and highlighters, or if you just use your blue pen! Regardless of whether you have a creative vein and want to build a book full of your artwork, or you just want it as clear and neat as possible – a bullet journal can be YOUR THING.
A lot develops over time and you’ll learn with which pages you’ll be most effective. If you need it beautiful to be productive (as I do) or just simple.
And that’s the great thing with bullet journaling:
it can be everything you want it to be and everything you need in exactly that moment.
To come back to the question above: yes, it takes time to write it all down and draw everything. Yes, sometimes it takes A LOT of time. But drawing was always a hobby of mine. I neglected it for the longest time because I just didn’t know what to do with all the drawings.
In my bullet journal my creative vein found its place (and can be stored super easily 😁). I love to look back on my first pages and see how much my drawing skills have developed. It’s almost like a journal for me (even tough I’ve never really journalized) at which you can look back in years.
On some stressful days or weeks, when I really don’t have any time for a great piece of art in my bujo, I just use an easy layout. I can adapt my bullet journal to my needs!
Don’t let yourself be intimidated by all the perfect pages you find on instagram or pinterest. Just do your own thing.
Make it your bullet journal!