I Don't Want To Bullet Journal. Why?

Bullet Journal has been getting popular day by day. It has got lots of appreciation for being a flexible and cost effective planner. If you are a bullet journalist I am sure you are agreeing with me. But lately bullet journal has been attracting some wrong impressions.

The wrong impressions that it has pre-determined "right way" to start!


This is what Maria and Maya thinks. Maria and Maya represent those people who are stuck in some myths regarding bullet journal. They want to start or continue planning with their bullet journal but sadly they have fallen for some traps they see everywhere.

Let us see why Maria and Maya want to discontinue their bullet journal.


Maria says, "I can't draw cool headers and doodles and don't have beautiful handwriting. I am not an artist! My bullet journal looks awful."

Sounds similar?

Social media is filled with beautiful and artistic bullet journals. The writing, colors, doodling, calligraphy, washi tapes and many other things are attractive and everyone wants to have such beautiful journals too. Falling for the attraction we start making our journal pretty. Here some succeed some don't (like Maria). But does that mean bullet journal is not working for you?! No. It simply means you must try the art somewhere else and leave your bullet journal for planning your awesome days. Look beyond prettiness. There is more than just doodle or color code ideas in it.

I have a confession to make. I was also one of those who fell in the trap! I tried calligraphy but I can't do it. Here is the example :D


I ended up spending more time in making pretty drawings and spending less time in planning and working. I know I have average handwriting. For that matter, I write in both cursive and non-cursive at a time! But it is OK for me because I can understand what I have written even with average and cursive + non-cursive handwriting. And I am actually getting things done that were planned in bullet journal! I use my creativity in creating crafts and DIY projects and not in bullet journaling.

Good news is that lately many bullet journalists with no pretty handwriting/ drawing are posting their simple bujo pics on social media groups. And this is awesome. This will surely help those who deal with bad handwriting/ drawing belief. Good handwriting/ drawing don't help in getting things done. But yes it can be a way for some bullet journalist to come back and stick to their planning. So don't misinterpret those pretty bullet journals as the only way to do it. They are just the add-ons not compulsory.

Maria says, "I use only monthly log, daily log and have random notes and lists in my bullet journal. I don't have a future log, meal planning, mood tracker and habit tracker in it!"

One of the strongest myths around Bullet Journal is that it is not for the minimalist. Yes, there are many people who write many things in their bujo. But also there are others who like to have simple and minimal bullet journal. With only black pen to write on a simple notebook! And it's completely OK.

No need to add a coffee log, meal planning, books to read, monthly review and any other collections if that is not your need. And don't feel compulsive to have one. Everyone has particular needs which can find a place in their bullet journal. But if that is not your intention why to add it unnecessarily. I have my yearly + birthday calendar, monthly logs, weekly-cum-daily logs and few random lists and notes in my bullet journal. I don't use a future log that doesn't mean I am doing it the "wrong way". Well, that simply means I don't need it. So be comfortable if you have minimum things in your bullet journal. It is still a bullet journal!

Maya says, "My bullet journal is full of mistakes and scribbling! I can't share it with others."

If you think the inspirations you see on Pinterest and Instagram are without mistakes, then sorry but your thoughts are wrong. There can be no bullet journal without mistakes! Somewhere there is a spelling mistake and sometimes it is uneven spacing in monthly calendar blocks! Look below some of my mistake :D


Bullet journal groups are for sharing each other's ideas, getting inspiration and suggestions. No one is there to judge. And if someone did then probably it is their weakness, not yours. As long as your bullet journal is working for you, it is perfect. So don't feel ashamed or embarrassed to share your (with mistake) bullet journal ideas with others.

Maya says, "I have all types of logs and collections to help me. I try to use them all but can't get the desired result."

Bullet journal's flexibility gives amazing possibilities. You can find its reflection on many social media groups about bullet journaling. And it is easy to just copy and paste some interesting ideas/ collections. You copy one, and then two, and then three, and finally you find your bullet journal is full of collections and logs. Creating unnecessary noise.

I saw all the cool ideas for tracking expenses and created an expense log for every month. I hardly used it. Don't be compulsive that it has to work for you. If you really want to add a certain tracker or log in your journal but it is hardly working for you. Try making some changes to layouts keeping the main idea same. Maybe you want to try completely different approach towards the idea! So first decide what your bullet journal needs to accomplish and then design each element in your journal to fit those needs. Don't be afraid to use trial and error method. Like I did in my weekly spread evolution!

Maria says, "I don't have 'that' notebook, 'those' pens and other supplies that are needed for bullet journaling."

One more myth! You know there is only one rule in bullet journaling - you should have a notebook and a pen to start. Recollect. Bullet journal is about planning your beautiful days with a touch of flexibility to design your own layouts. So how can a particular notebook or some particular pens can change it's main idea? Which notebook and which pens really doesn't matter. You may start bullet journal in any book even a composition/ study notebook and get the same amount of success as with expensive notebooks. Maybe your bullet journal pages bleed by using fountain pen then substitute it with a regular pen. It will not change how you plan and get things done.

Yes, writing in a high-quality book with high-quality pens may make you happy. But if you really can't have it now don't force yourself to have one. Don't postpone starting a bullet journal just because of this reason. I personally use a spiral notebook with lined pages like a composition notebook. And though I like writing with felt tip pens I don't use them because it sometimes leaves ink marks on other pages.


Yes, it will look less pretty but that's OK. The point is your bullet journaling should not stop because you don't have 'that' notebook and 'those' pens! It is all matter of choice (and budget ;)).

Maya says, "I cannot review my bullet journal! It is so hard and time-consuming."

This is one thing without which no planner will work smoothly. Reviewing which simply means taking a close look at what is working and what is not, is a necessary step. It is not so hard or time-consuming. When you hear yourself thinking 'This is making me crazy' or 'Oh! I completely forgot about this list/ log'. Then it is time for the change. Look at the logs and collections regularly (on weekly or monthly basis) and ask yourself, "Is it working as I intended?" If the answer comes YES, cool keep it then. But if the answer is NO, adjust it or try something else. Or maybe you want to remove it! If something doesn’t work, don’t feel afraid to trash it.

I saw all cool monthly trackers and created one for me. While reviewing I found I never used it. So it got out of my bullet journal. Now I use weekly tracker in my weekly-cum-daily log.


Thrashing lists, collections, logs, and trackers that don't work for you may actually save your lovely notebook from finishing faster. So today review what is working and what is not working for you. And scrap all that aren't working with respect :)

I hope this will help you to clear out any misconceptions regarding bullet journal. If you like to discuss more on this topic, let's do the discussion in the comments below. 

Have you heard any other bullet journal myth? Tell me.

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  1. You spoke - or wrote - from my heart :)
    Many, many thanks.

    Regards from Germany

  2. I think u have nice handwriting.. I dont think anybody who has made mistakes post their bullet journal online unless u want feedback. To me, its ur own personal journal and the ones who post theirs show examples... Believe me i tried drawing, doodling, writing like others it doesnt work, just do what u want and forget how if urs come out wrong as long as u can read it and have memories for the future.