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Is There A Wrong Way To Bullet Journal?

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Picture of a bullet journal on a desk near a computer. There is a big circle and X over the bullet journal, questioning - is there a wrong way to bullet journal?

Is there a wrong way to bullet journal? The short answer is: No!!

But let’s dive into why I say this.

Why people say there is a wrong way to bullet journal

Many, many times I hear comments from people that go something like this: ‘I’ve tried bullet journaling but it doesn’t work for me’, or ‘I don’t have time to bullet journal, I can’t keep up with it’. Is this something you have said? Or, is it something you have heard and somewhat relate to, or wonder about?

First, I would like to say that I completely understand the comments, I see what you are saying and where you are coming from. So, really, I wanted to make it clear that this is not a judgmental article in any way.

What can possibly go wrong?

Now, I would like to share the big picture of bullet journaling..it is paper with dots on! There I said it!! 

READ: What Is A BUJO? Discover The Magic With This Ultimate Guide

I think the issues that arise with people’s thoughts on bullet journaling stem from expectations of what it should be or what it should look like. This triggers fear, and can lead to thinking of a right vs wrong way to bullet journal.

Picture of 3 different shocked women. The middle section has a heading - is there a wrong way to bullet journal?

That being said, I must answer the question: What are the disadvantages of bullet journaling?

The disadvantages of bullet journaling are few in my opinion, but some can be:

  • The pressure to do a perfect job of your bullet journal
  • The desire to spend more time than you have setting it up
  • Feeling disappointed if something hasn’t worked as you wanted

So, is BuJo a waste of time?

While it can take a lot of time to create your own bullet journal set up, it doesn’t have to. In my opinion it’s more important to get the function working first then think about adding any decoration you want.

If you can create a planner that sets you up for success – consider – is that really a waste of your time?

Let’s get back to the point.

Right vs Wrong way to bullet journal

I remember myself, opening to the first page on my first bullet journal, thinking ‘everything I put in here has to be perfect’. It is a natural thinking process, because we really value the amount of money that has been spent, we love the pictures we have seen of beautiful bullet journal pages and we have these strong desires to have this journal be the most wonderful tool we have ever used. 

On the other hand there are those that feel that all the art is unnecessary, they hold firmly to the original Ryder Carroll’s system, and sometimes I have seen them get annoyed that people view bullet journaling as an art project.

So, as you can see, there are expectations put out into the world of what a bullet journal should be. But, really, is it possible that paper with dots doesn’t work for someone? Is it possible that you don’t have time to use paper with dots? I really want to challenge any limiting beliefs about bullet journaling. 

No wrong way!

There isn’t a ‘should’ or don’t’. There isn’t a bad spread, or terrible art. I have seen bullet journals used as weapons against ourselves and it isn’t kind or helpful.

I understand the fear triggers, but, maybe, we can challenge those inner voices, and channel our voices into creative process instead.

For example, if a system isn’t working for us…we can say ‘Bullet journaling isn’t working for me…YET! What will I try differently for the next week or month?’ Or if we are struggling with the time to spend on it, we could say: I choose to spend my time on other things, but I could still use this for something simple, what would be helpful for me?

Even times where you feel that you are messing up your bullet journal may not really be that – it might be just that you are learning the process, or are figuring out things as you go. Lots of things can be learned from bullet journal fails.

Picture of a napkin that has been written on with a pen. It says ‘it’s ok to make mistakes’

If you have issues to keep up with bullet journaling this article might be what you need.

Encouragement

Rather than think we are doing something wrong, or that someone else is doing it wrong, let’s be encouraging with our bullet journaling.

When you see someone doing bullet journaling a different way, rather than thinking that is the wrong way to bullet journal, acknowledge that it is just different.

Let’s explore how it helps us personally, and if we find something, why not share it, because it might help someone else too. Let’s learn and grow and experiment.

Thanks so much for being here today.

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