19 Bullet Journaling Myths that Will Surprise You
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Are any of these 19 bullet journal myths clouding your mind and preventing you from getting started with bullet journaling?
Sneaky Bullet Journal Myths
You are all snuggled up on the couch on a Saturday morning scrolling past a beautiful photo of a bullet journal page your friend just created on Instagram. You love it and you know you need some of that in your life! As you race to a local store to buy a bullet journal, your self-doubt starts to creep in. Are you wondering whether this hobby is too expensive? Maybe you are concerned that you just aren’t creative enough? If these thoughts are preventing you from starting a bullet journal, maybe it’s because of one of the following bullet journal myths.
1. You have to be creative
So you want to start a bullet journal, but you don’t know if you are creative enough. No problem. There are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you look like a pro even if you don’t have a single creative bone in your body. Here are some hacks that can make your bullet journal look amazing without a lot of work.
2. Bullet journaling is expensive
In all reality, the only thing you need to join the bullet journal hype is a writing utensil that works well and a journal. I could be wrong, but you probably have both of these items lying around your house. Nothing fancy required. If you are unsure of what you need to get started, here are some great bullet journal supplies you can grab for less than $5.
3. You need great penmanship
I know you have seen the fancy letters and the beautiful handwriting. It’s disheartening for those of us who have handwriting that is barely legible. Here are two words that will solve this problem for you: stencils & stickers. You can also print words and letters using the computer and a printer. But if you are really wanting to add some fancy lettering, you may want to give faux calligraphy a try.
4. You must be skilled at drawing
Have you seen those short videos where a person draws out an incredible floral display? If not check out the hashtag #bujovideos and you will see what I mean. These people have mad drawing skills, but you do not need to be an artist to create awesome bullet journal pages. There are tons of ways that you can create beautiful spreads without drawing. Try printing off a picture of your favorite flower or use a ruler to draw out your monthly calendar.
Here are four ways to create a beautiful bullet journal without knowing how to draw.
5. You have to buy tons of supplies
The idea that you need tons of washi tape, stickers, fancy pencils, and watercolor markers is not true at all. You only have to buy the supplies that you need and love to be successful at bullet journaling. However, experimenting with new tools is a special treat if you want to get fancy.
6. You need a lot of time
Bullet journal myth busted! This hobby does not have to suck up all of your time. As a bullet journaler myself I generally try to block out a couple of hours one Saturday per month to create my pages for the month ahead. Taking time out of your busy schedule to get in a place of flow and do some creative stuff is good for the soul.
7. Consistency is required
Here is one myth that might come as a real surprise. Bullet journaling does not have to be consistent! When I was creating my bullet journal, I did not use it for planning or as a calendar. Instead, I recorded special moments and sweet sentiments. No consistency required. I only used it when I felt like it, and I’m so glad that I did.
8. You have to use it as a planner
Some people think that a bullet journal has to be your monthly calendar. It can certainly be your daily, weekly, or monthly paper planner, but it doesn’t have to be. Bullet journals can be used to document a journey, a journal for your mental health, daily gratitude tracking, habit tracking, or just for doodling. The magic is that you get to decide what you want to use it for and change course as you see fit.
9. It has to be beautiful
The bullet journals that you see out in social media land are all very lovely, but yours doesn’t have to look picture perfect. Some people subscribe to the minimalist bullet journaling philosophy. These wise humans write down what they need to in their journals and nothing more. These bullet journals are not as pretty, but they are functional — and for some people, that’s all that matters. The most important thing is to create the bullet journal you want and not to worry about how other people think your bullet journal should look.
10. You need to buy a fancy journal
Most bullet journal enthusiasts have a favorite journal brand. My personal favorite is the Lechturm1917. Fortunately, I didn’t start out using a high-quality journal. I started with one my grandmother bought me from the dollar store, and I’m glad I did. My first bullet journal was a disaster, so I’m thankful I didn’t waste any expensive paper. A cheaper journal can take the pressure off when you’re starting out.
11. You have to love stickers
I personally love stickers, but you don’t have to. Stickers can be kinda pricy, and sometimes they seem like a wasteful purchase because I am so picky about which stickers I actually decide to use. If you don’t like buying stickers or you think they look weird in bullet journals, then you don’t need any.
12. You have to be skilled at photography
Have you seen bullet journal spreads that encompass a beautiful collage? Spoiler alert! These photos were generally not taken by the bullet journaler themselves. Stock photos are available for free and can be printed and used in your journal to spice things up. Try a site like unsplash.com
13. It has to be perfect
Every time I enter a bullet journal group on Facebook, I see someone share that they are too scared to get started. I will admit that it is a daunting task. You have seen a lot of amazing spreads, and you want yours to be just as perfect. It won’t be no matter how much you try. But good news: mistakes are a good thing! Please don’t let that prevent you from starting. The only way to get better is to try and try again, mistakes and all.
14. You have to post pictures of your work
No one ever has to see your bullet journal. It does not have to be picture perfect for it to be perfectly functional. Therefore, when you start bullet journaling, you should focus on enjoying the creative journey instead of creating a picture-perfect spread. However, if you do create something amazing and you want to share, we want to see it! Tag @little_coffee_fox because we would love to see your journal!
15. You have to be part of a bullet journal community
When I started bullet journaling, I thought I was all alone in my community. For that reason, I delayed getting started. I live in a rural Iowa town, and most of the people around here are not very trendy. I didn’t have a community when I started, and I was perfectly fine with that. On the other hand, if you want to share with other like-minded people, there are lots of groups on Facebook.
16. There is only one right method
Minimalist Bullet Journaling. Minute Bullet Journaling. The Productivity Method. Artsy Bullet Journaling. All of these philosophies suggest that you should subscribe to a certain bullet journal method. I once met a bullet journaler who believed you had to have a table of contents or it wasn’t considered a real bullet journal. Not true! You can use your bullet journal as a planner or strictly for making to-do lists. Find a way that works for you.
17. It is a daily commitment
Above all, one of my favorite aspects of bullet journaling is daily trackers. Personally, I love data. I think it’s really fun to go back through my journals and see how I was feeling ten days ago or see how much water I drank throughout a given week. Not everyone loves data, and not everyone loves tracking their daily behavior. You do not have to use your bullet journal every day like I do. You can use it only when you need some creative time, which will be different for everyone. It’s totally up to you.
18. Watercolor expertise is a must
Here is another bullet journal myth that shocked me after I got started. I loved the watercolor spreads that I saw. So I thought that I would excel at making watercolor letters if I bought watercolor markers. I was wrong. Unfortunately, using watercolors markers in a bullet journal didn’t help me improve my skills. Hopefully, if I stick with it, my technique will improve. So if you feel like you must start messing with watercolors to have a perfect bullet journal, know that it isn’t so!
19. It won’t make you happier
Finally, bullet journaling will make you happier. It is such a fun hobby that allows you to express yourself using fun tools that you love. Bullet journaling allows for a safe space to experiment and try new things. Using my creative energy always seems to brighten my day. I bet it will brighten your day too.
More Bullet Journal Myths?
It is certainly easy to let fear creep in and stop you from starting something new. Maybe you think bullet journaling will cost too much or you think you won’t be any good at it and because of these thoughts. Don’t give in and believe myths about bullet journaling. Try to set your fears and insecurities aside and give bullet journaling a shot. Are there other myths that didn’t make it on the list? Which myth prevented you from getting started on your bullet journal journey? Share with us in the comments!
I got a myth not listed here:
bullet journal is a female task.
Oh, good addition!
Lately I’ve been doubting my bullet journal method but this made me realise its OK! The pages I horribly fail at get an inspirational quote 😂😂
That’s the spirit 😀
That’s the beauty of bullet journaling….it’s so flexible. You can have a minimal bare-bones layout or decorate it as much as you like with doodles, stickers, washi, and lettering. There are literally hundreds of page ideas and layouts to get inspiration and ideas from the BuJo community. Not only planning, one can even create a separate journal for work, school, hobbies, pets, etc.
100% agreed! 🙂
That was a really good post to read. It reminded me of all the silly ideas that pop into my head sometimes about bullet journaling.
I’m glad you found this post helpful!
I’m a writer and have adapted my bullet journal for what I do. It is wonderful way to keep myself creative and my thoughts organized for each of my works in progress. I love this article because it encourages individuality and making your bullet journal work for you. Thanks! Great blog!
This post has such good advice! I have a medical issue that leaves me stuck on my couch 20 hours a day. I was attracted to the bullet journal idea because I love paper, pens, stationery and writing. But I didn’t really see how it would be useful to me. I have no schedule, no work, no social engagements to track.
Was I wrong! I keep one journal I titled “Oh Happy Day”. In it, each evening, I write down the good things that have happened. Each entry starts with “cuddled with pets”! Sometimes I write about watching the birds play in my yard, a call from a friend, or a neighbor surprising me with some dinner. There are so many things every day. Knowing you have the “assignment” to fill in your journal puts your focus on the positive events.
I also keep a journal I called “Done”. Sometimes, when you are ill and stuck at home, you feel useless and discouraged. So I write down all of the things I accomplish each day. They are small, routine tasks like laundry or washing dishes. But when I see them them written there, I know what a huge effort they represent for me.
In between each day’s entry, I put quotes that encourage me.