Getting Over the Bullet Journal Slump with Ashlyn of Nittany Bujo
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We’ve all been there – the dreaded bullet journal slump. You feel like you’re stuck in a rut, unmotivated, and it’s hard to so much as pick up your journal, let alone use it! It’s a frustrating place to be, but it’s totally fixable. Ashlyn from Nittany Bujo walks through her recent bullet journal slump and how you can come out the other side, too! -Shelby
The Bullet Journal Slump – A Taboo Phrase Crushed
The “bullet journal slump”. A phrase you may have heard thrown around the bullet journal community that no one really talks about. I’m here to fix that and to tell you that if you’re feeling stuck and not up for journaling, then you are not alone. From my experience, a bullet journal slump can manifest in a few forms that may include:
- Having zero motivation to put pen to paper
- Feeling stuck in a journal that bores you
- Being too stressed and overwhelmed with life to plan everything out
- Having too little going on to bother planning
While these are just a few ways I’ve personally experienced the slump, there are other ways it may show up in your life and that is really okay. The slump doesn’t need to be a taboo phrase. For me it has been a natural, and needed, part of my bullet journaling experience.
My Personal Slump
So let’s say you follow my Instagram account and notice that I stopped posting for a while. I’m almost up to three months without a post. This is just the public side of my slump, and it has happened a couple of times since I started journaling in April 2016. My first rough patch occurred this past fall and I felt stuck, bored, and had too little going on at that moment. I didn’t have the motivation to plan my mundane life. The new year and a new journal inspired me to design and write again.
But then, the dreaded Master’s thesis and the end of my college career came creeping up on me. Life got hectic. Overwhelmed and stressed, I felt that I couldn’t take the 20 minutes to sit down, draw out my weekly spread, and plan. I lost motivation and inspiration. I avoided my journal and Instagram because I felt so guilty for not writing. But now I am back and hopefully, if the bujo gods allow, I am here to stay.
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My 5 Tips for Beating the Bullet Journal Slump
I found my way back to my journal, and I hope I can help you find your path back, too. Here are my 5 tips for getting back to the paper (or iPad screen, whatever floats your boat):
#1. Take time away from your journal
This may sound counterproductive, but trust me. Forcing your way back before you’re truly ready may just land you right where you started. Close the journal. Live your life. Do what you need to do to make yourself feel ready to journal again.
#2. Take time away from social media
Social media. The place where inspiration can be found. It is also unfortunately the place you can easily go to compare yourself to others. I found myself doing this way too often and it became very unhealthy. My journal didn’t seem pretty or good enough anymore. Give yourself some space to be happy with your own journal.
#3. Reflect on why you began and enjoyed journaling
I still remember the day I learned about the bullet journal. The sky opened up and I found a hobby that I could finally stick with. The bullet journal was everything I wanted and more. Remember the days when you were so excited to start that you spent hours on end researching the best journal and the best pens? Look back through your journal and realize how far you’ve come on your journaling journey. Doing this really did help me find my way back.
#4. Find inspiration
Contradictory to tip #2, go back to social media. Find those people who inspired you to start your journal. Making “Collections” on Instagram for weeklies, monthlies, and other pages helped me get inspired. The bullet journaling community is great because people are so willing to share their ideas and designs. Use that generosity to your advantage, and find inspiration to make your own designs.
#5. Remember: your journal is for you and you alone
The only way to do a bullet journal right is to make it for you and your needs. At the end of the day, the number of likes and followers doesn’t matter. An imperfect, messy journal is just as great as a beautiful, clean journal. Make your journal an imperfect, beautiful mess that matches your imperfect, beautiful life. Be proud of what you make and change it up when it doesn’t suit you any longer.
Go One Step at a Time
If you’re in a slump, do not be embarrassed.
Embrace it, learn from it, and then beat it.
I hope these tips can help you move past your bullet journal slump. Your journey is what you make it. As your life progresses and grows, I hope your journal does too. Let your journal mold to your life and you will always find your way back.
If you’re still feeling a bit stuck, this guide will really help you get back to the basics.
I guess this is why I like bullet journaling so much. It’s no big deal if you go for a few days/weeks/months without using it. You just flip to a new page and start from there.
I always found too much “guilt” with normal diaries/planners because of this reason.
I’ve also found “Accepting the Ugly” as a good step as well. Don’t bother making it pretty and stylish. Just accept that it’s not “pleasing to the eye” and move on.