What I learned from Bullet Journaling

12:56 PM

A lot of people are super into Bullet Journaling right now and anyone with a Pinterest can see how creative and cute people can get with it. As a pretty avid journaler and planner, I thought this was the perfect thing for me. I am not as artsy as some, but I love doodling with letters. In my old journals, I included many designs, doodles, lists, plans, and even taped things in when I really wanted to save something but didn't have a good place for it. I'm not a scrapbooker - this is as close as I get.

Anyway, I bought a new journal for 2017 and decided I was going to be more deliberate about my planning and my creativity. I pinned like a million different spreads on Pinterest, followed several Instagram accounts and began brainstorming ideas like a crazy person.

It was a lot of fun! I spent every Sunday creating my weekly spreads and writing my goals. I implemented all of my planning and goal-setting skills from my missionary days and became a more effective person because of it! My to-do lists grew, and I felt more organized by getting a handle on my planning.

This lasted for a solid 2 and a half months until we went on a 10-day road trip.

I really wanted to write about the trip and then get back to bullet journaling, but honestly I was so out of practice for writing in my journal that it just never got done. Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and suddenly it was the middle of June and I still hadn't finished writing about that road trip from March. I also hadn't been planning as much. I began to realize that maybe bullet journaling was a little bit more work than I was able to chew.

Here are some awesome things about bullet journaling:

The monthly spread

I sincerely loved doing this and I plan on keeping up with it! I love the habit tracker - it's been the best thing for me to develop and maintain habits. If I'm writing it down, I'm much more likely to do it. Plus it's fun and cute and colorful and is a great separator for the months. So I'm definitely keeping this.

Specific spreads
I think it's great to have a space where you can plan out parties, create a budget, write a chore list or a list of your favorite TV shows. This is totally up my ally because I love lists, I love planning, and I love making the page look cute with fun fonts and colors. I also made a spread in my journal for Matt's monthly updates. Yes, I know it's all on Instagram but this way I could keep the cute sticker and have all the updates in one place.

Things that were hard:

Weekly spreads
I was a bit of an overachiever sometimes adding a water and step tracker and setting more goals for the week. Don't get my wrong I LOVE goals. But I had a tendency to set too many goals during the week that would steer away from my monthly goals and I'd just get too ahead of myself. I think in the future I will focus on smaller, more achievable goals that are ~actually broken down from my monthly ones.

Also, while I liked the way they looked and functioned, it was just a lot of work. It took me a few hours on Sunday to create my new spread for the following week and honestly that's just a lot of time to devote to drawing boxes? Sometimes that's super fun and therapeutic, but I didn't like it being an obligatory part of my planning.

A lack of journaling.

I left myself about a half page to journal for the week. I mean, that's better than nothing. But when I look back at times of my life where I wrote every day, this gave me opportunities to really open up and write about things that matter. It became a personal and even spiritual thing and I felt the lack of that. I missed having a space where I ~could write every day if I wanted to. I knew that I wanted it back again.

In the end, I learned a lot. And if you love bullet journaling then by all means go for it! I think it's a great creative way to be more effective, plan out your life, and keep track of everything. For me, I definitely found elements I love but am ultimately following a different path which I'll blog about another time.

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