I have a love hate relationship with the bullet journaling and with that being said, have been trying for at least two years to make that perfect collection or layout. In the end I would just get frustrated and give up. I always felt inadequate because my handwriting wasn’t that neat or the fact that I could not drawl a straight line even with stencils. Somehow I always found a way to mess up my pages. I always tend to get inspired to just be disappointed when I mess up, especially when the journal was brand new.
I’ve always had this idea in my head that in order to make my bullet journal look flawless, I had to buy a new notebook, such as a Leuchtturm or Scribbles That Matter and start the process over. Just knowing the fact that half of my journal consisted of messed up pages would drive me insane. The crazy part, I am now on my 30th, maybe even more or less, notebook. Also let’s not even talk about the amount of money I wasted away over the years. I felt that in order to have that perfect bullet journal, I had to start over with a brand new notebook. However, I have finally come to terms with this and realized that the cycle would just repeat whether or not the notebook was brand new or partially used.
The beauty of the Bullet Journal is all about customization. So with that being said, you can use you journal along side your Erin Condren Life Planner, like I do or even just strictly use a bullet journal. More so, the bullet journal can be used to jot your todo lists then transferred to your planner. There are also many Etsy shops who sell layout stencils or layout stickers that stick on top of your pages to make your layouts more clean looking. The sky really is the limit when it comes to accessorizing!
Let’s get started. 5 Ways To Embrace Bullet Journaling, When You Feel Like Your Layouts Sucks
1. Be Proud Of Your Pages.
Most likely you have spent a whole lot of time trying to create the perfect habit tracker to include in your bullet journal, only to close your Leuchtturm and say screw it. It looks horrible. I’ve been there, honestly I still struggle with this. There are so many amazing collections, lettering and doodles out in the large universe of bullet journaling, it can really be intimidating and discouraging.
All though you may think it looks bad, someone else may think it looks amazing. So what I’m getting at is to share your pages, you will never know if you don’t try, right?!
2. Make Your Bullet Journal Match Your Personality.
I am guilty of this, especially seeing all the amazing layouts on Pinterest and Instagram. This is your journal, therefore it's your style. It’s ok to get ideas and make something similar, just make sure you do what you feel you can do. I personally love to use stamps In my journal then color in with Copic Markers.
I’ve also used colored pencils to color in my stamps, the copics tend to shadow unlike color pencils. All though the Copic Markers look more realistic, It’s all about what you are more comfortable using in your bullet journal. Personally I find that the Leuchtturm paper holds up the best against Copic or any other alcohol based marker.
3. Buy Yourself A Good Notebook And Some Pens.
This isn’t necessary but I do find it more helpful to get back into the game after buying a brand new Leuchtturm dot grid journal. Another tip is to buy some pens that will make your writing look nicer. A good pen will make all the difference. I love the Microperm being it’s permanent and can be traced over with Mildliners without smearing.
Mildliners are beautiful pastel double tipped highlighters that will give your pages a pop of color. I love the face that the double tip has not only the chisel side but a bullet side. I love the bullet tip because you can go over letters more precisely.
I wrote a blog post all about the different bullet journal notebooks and accessories I love. You can read that post if you like and get some ideas.
4. Practice Your Handwriting And Lettering Daily If Possible.
I have been trying to improve my handwriting and lettering skills longer then I’ve actually been trying to bullet journal. In fact my problem isn’t all just bad penmanship, anxiety contributes to my shaky hands, alongside with a bad habit of holding my pen wrong. I went to catholic school all through elementary and high school and still remember to this day how hard it was for me to learn cursive.
When I was in second grade we were to make a Mother’s Day book for our moms, we had to fill this book from front to back, in perfect cursive, the letters of the alphabet with sentences and paragraphs about why we loved our mothers next to the letter. I swear I must of had to erase and rewrite probably 1,000 times. It was brutal and I was only in second grade!
If you want to work on your handwriting, Llamas Love Lettering has some amazing practice sheets that are completely free for personal use. You could print them out at home and practice your handwriting and different lettering styles. Here is Llamas Love Lettering Website, also her YouTube videos are not only educational, she is hilarious.
5. Buy Or Use A Tool That Will Help You Hack Your Layouts.
What I mean here is if you are really struggling utilizie Stencils, Stamps and rulers to achieve a more precise layout, I do the same exact thing. Furthermore, you could use stickers and washi tape if that’s what your heart desires. Most importantly, use nothing at all if that’s what you prefer. Go freehand, it’s all about what makes YOU the most comfortable. If you decide to go the stencil route you need to check out MoxieDori and her layout stencils! If it’s layout stickers you prefer then Boho Berrie Paperi is your girl.
Wrapping this post up,
I wanted anyone out there who may struggle with bullet journaling to embrace your layouts, share your layouts and most importantly don’t compare yours to others.
I am positively sure you will rock your bujo.
Now onto you.
Do you struggle with bullet journal insecurities? Please comment below and let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions, I’m here to help.