It can be nerve wracking to put pen to paper in your bullet journal if you're afraid of screwing it up. Almost every bullet journalist has this fear at some point or another. With a little perspective, accepting your bullet journal mistakes can be tons easier. Messing up can be frustrating, but the fear of messing up shouldn't hold you back from doing what's most important - planning.

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11 Comments

  1. I love this post! I cannot tell you how many times I have ripped out pages and started ALL over again over a stupid bad doodle or misspelled word. My resolution this year is to try and STOP THAT!

  2. hi! I was seeing bullet journal makers for two years. I was enthusiastic about this hobby. Also, I read about commonplace book lately. It came to me more tempting. Meanwhile, I take drawing lessons. Finally I realized i can do something like bullet journal or commonplace book!! what i mean, i can design, i can draw. And i started to make one. It is my first journal so i don’t push myself so hard. I try to make -not fantastic- but a nice book. thanks for inspiring me and sharing your experiences 🙂 Love from Turkey! <3

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      So glad to hear you’ve been inspired and have started your own journal, Saide!

  3. Another great Bujo post, Shelby. You are one of the bloggers who inspired me to start my own bullet journal 8 months ago, and I will always be grateful to you! Regarding mistakes, I keep “Bic Wite Out Tape” right along side all my pretty pens and pencils. Talk about a quick painless way to quickly cover small mistakes! Its awesome. Second is I never view days when I don’t habit track as a mistake or failure. If I don’t habit track there is a reason – maybe overtime at work has left me exhausted, maybe I am on vacation, maybe I am just feeling sad and forgot or didn’t care for a few days. I box those columns off, decorate inside the box and label it with the reason I missed. I now have a quick reference of when some super happy events happened (i.e.- the columns for the week I was on a cruise are covered over with palm trees and tropical flowers!) as well as proof that when I get off kilter a bit, I will get back on track. Life happens, emotions happen, exhaustion happens. Missed days in my habit tracker are friendly reminders that I am human, and provide an excuse to decorate a column, or two, or a weeks worth, with something fun and record what was going on that day. It’s like a mini diary.

    1. Thanks so much, Sandra! And what great insight. I love your approach to missed days in your tracker. That’s a fantastically positive way to handle it! Rock on! 😀

  4. I don’t know if someone already mentioned it, but you can avoid having problems with glue if you simply put a parchment paper between the pages (one before and another after the page you are gluing). The parchment paper will absorb all the water and everything should be fine. 🙂

  5. This post really comforts me, because I’m such a perfectionist and it’s so hard for me to make mistakes. I just started my bullet journal literally a couple hours ago, and it was going good. But then I messed up my Habit Tracker, and had several little mess-ups and things like that. I was so mad at myself, and literally felt like throwing the book away and buying a new one.
    But I decided that on each mistake, I would scribble it out and write something under it, such as “Mistakes are Okay.” I then decided to make my own page about Things I’m Learning…mostly that mistakes happen, that they’re okay, and that my next month will be much better, and the the ones after that.

    Thanks again, Shelby. 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you didn’t give up on it, Grace! The first few pages right when you begin are so so hard. When I was a bit younger, I’d feel such pressure to figure out the exact way I wanted to lay out my page because that’s how I had to do it for the rest of the notebook (or so I thought). This was so stressful for me! I’m so glad I can edit my layouts and structure with each new page in my bullet journal. The little mistakes don’t go away, no matter how experienced you are. But your approach of simply acknowledging them and moving on is the perfect way to handle these little oopsies. I hope you enjoy taking on each page and learn to embrace your mistakes more and more as you continue on. It gives you so much power! Good luck and thanks for commenting!

  6. This post is simply brilliant. I’m just starting my bujo journey and I have already felt the stirrings of perfectionistic hesitation. This is something I decided to try to serve MY needs – no need to perfect! Thanks for the great thoughts.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Cherie! It’s so easy to get all caught up in the perfectionist tendencies, but combating them has led to some serious breakthroughs personally. I hope you continue to push against those hesitations and break through as well!

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