Thank you to Helen from Dotted Pages for writing this post on imperfect bullet journals and why bullet journals don’t have to be perfect!
There’s a lot of pressure to get things right the first time. Perfect lives captured in perfect Instagram moments. In a world where we are what we share, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that anything we produce has to be perfect.
That’s not true.
The fact that we’ve tried something, put in the effort to better ourselves or help others, is just as important as the polished result.
This is true for many things, but I think journaling, and bullet journaling, in particular, is somewhere where perfection can start to overshadow the intended purpose.
What Is A Bullet Journal For?
A bullet journal is at heart an organisational tool. Its purpose is to help us get our lives planned while giving us space to reflect on what’s happening around us.
This combination of organisation and reflection is very powerful, especially when contained within a bullet journal’s modular design. I think, however, that the potential power of this tool can be neglected in the race for aesthetics and likes.
I’ll admit that I’m guilty of ‘prettying’ up my Bullet Journal, but I do so for a reason. I find that opening my journal to a colourful, well-constructed layout boosts both my mood and my productivity.
That’s the key here. Productivity. It doesn’t matter what your bullet journal looks like, as long as you find it useful. You can have an imperfect bullet journal that is still very productive!
I’d like to stress here that I love amazing bullet journal spreads. They can be stunning displays of creativity and order that we feel a desire to emulate.
If you find the effort of pouring your love into your bullet journal worthwhile, absolutely go for it! But remember imperfect bullet journals are just as useful.
What Works For You?
The issue with the above is the word emulate. While platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest are a great place to find inspiration, we shouldn’t feel the need to always live up to what we see online.
You don’t see many imperfect bullet journals on these platforms but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
A bullet journal is a personal tool and should be treated as such. We all will have a unique approach to how we assemble and arrange our spreads and that is a beautiful thing.
While my bullet journal has become a creative experience as well as an organisational tool, it has been a gradual change over time.
I didn’t start a bullet journal with the belief that it had to look as stunning. It’s a tool first, creative space second.
We need space to grow and discover new things for ourselves before having the expectations of perfection thrust upon us.
If a single pen, minimalist approach is what works for you in your bullet journal, that’s amazing. If you want to spread your wings a little, go for it.
An Imperfect Bullet Journal Works: Practical, Not Perfect
All I’d ask is that you remember what a bullet journal stands for. Don’t neglect the amazing organisational abilities of this tool because you’re concerned it should look perfect.
Plans change, things get cancelled. That’s ok. That’s what life is, changes and cancellations, and mess. If your bullet journal reflects your life, it’s allowed to be a mess too.
Part of the joy of a bullet journal is that you create it as needed, but that, of course, brings its own challenges.
Knowing what to add or leave out is a puzzle, one that is only intensified by the wealth of examples online.
At the end of the day, starting and maintaining an effective bullet journal comes down to a few essential points:
- Only do what you can manage – too many bullet journals are abandoned because the bar was set too high. Start simple and make it a routine before complicating matters.
- Live with your mistakes – cross things out, use corrective tape, and move on. Life is too short for perfectionism.
- Use it every day – regular use not only makes bullet journaling part of your routine, but it also is a great opportunity to catch your breath in a busy world.
- Go back to basics – if you’re super busy, it’s ok to ditch the fancy aspects of your bullet journal. The change in the style of a bullet journal tells its own story.
- Experiment and enjoy – while a bullet journal is a tool, it’s fully customisable. When you’re comfortable with the basic aspects, try something new. You can always decide it didn’t work.
- It’s YOUR Bullet Journal – what works for you is what matters, regardless of what other people do or say.
YOUR Bullet Journal
The bullet journaling community is an amazing place. For inspiration or ideas, it’s a great place to look for some guidance.
Don’t forget though, that what works for the creator of an awesome layout may not work for you. Experiment and shake things up, but never forget who your primary audience is: YOU!
Not all of us are blessed with amazing artistic skills or the time to complete detailed logs and layouts, and that’s fine.
An imperfect bullet journal with smudges and stuff-ups crossed out events and scribbles is a fantastic reflection on what life actually is; imperfect.
Check out some of my other posts at DottedPages.com:
- My no-fuss, minimal effort guide to starting a Bullet Journal
- My handy glossary of Bullet Journal terms
- My seasonal post on Christmas spreads for your Bullet Journal
Thank you to Helen from Dotted Pages for writing this post on imperfect bullet journals and why bullet journals don’t have to be perfect! You can connect with Helen on her socials below!
Thank you for reading,