What I’ve learned after a year of bulletjournaling

On the last day of September I was very pleased to find a new order of brush pens and washitape in my mailbox. They came just in time for me to prep my bujo pages for October. While mostly my bujo prepping might take hours, I’ve lately been able to do it in way less than that, savin’g myself a lot of anxiety. I’ve been using a bujo for over a year now, and here’s some of my experiences and thoughts on it.

Bulletjournaling is a continuous process. I’ve already made it to my third bulletjournal, and looking back it’s so great to see how I’ve evolved and how my bujo’s have chenged.

A bit of color here, a bit of tape there

In the beginning I started with the most basic dotted notebook and pen kit from my local book store. I’d done a little basic research on spreads and had figured out which trackers and collections I wanted. I drew my spreads with just a black felt-tip pen, with about one color to accentuate. Needless to say, they looked a little plain, even grimm. I was frustrated, and I easily critique my own work. I don’t think I’m too much of an artist, and I kept hoping that I’d get better.

After a few months, I tried a theme for my monthly spreads for the first time, with more doodles (I surprised even myself with how well they worked out), and towards the end of the first half-year (and my first bujo) I’d already ordered my first Tombow-brushpens. Skipping ahead to the present, I still rarely do any extensive themes or drawings. My doodles are minimal, and I make use of quotes, colors and washitape in my themes. One of my favorite tape patterns is one with pictures of trees in different times of year. It gave the perfect amount of color for my future log. Along the way, I’ve also upgraded my notebook to a Leuchtturm1917, which is of a better quality and has more pages than my previous notebooks.

Change it up with layouts

In addition to color and tapes, I like to play around with the layout of my spreads. This has allowed me to find out the layouts that work for me the best. For example, my future logs use a combination of Ryder’s method with mini calendars and the Alastair method. I’ve found the latter works especially well when I need to keep track of and events for my hobbies and update them for their respective websites.

Every now and then I also change up how I do my dailies, or daily spreads. I’ve had both a full weekly spread with space for each day, and I’ve had spreads where I add the dailies as I go. I’ve found that both work, and that there really is no need to stick to one way of doing things. Different layouts work at different times and I really enjoy looking for inspiration on Pinterest.

All in all, my bulletjournaling is still a work in progress. And that’s exactly how it should be. I really don’t expect to not evolve anymore, on the contrary, I’m looking forward to seeing how it changes over time.

Three thoughts on bulletjournaling

Don’t rush into it. Bulletjournaling is a process, so take time to learn and to find out what works best for you. And continue evolving.

Different things work at different times. Your life won’t look the same forever, so why should your bujo. Different times in your life need different spreads. And if you don’t want to track anything for some time, that’s ok too. Don’t feel obliged to do everything you’ve been doing so far.

Make it look like you. A bujo doesn’t necessarily need to be artsy and a lot of work. Others like a more minimalistic bujo, and that is ok. If you want a little color, use colourful pens, tape or stickers to brighten it up.

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