Bullet Journaling Is The New Artistic Way To Get Your Life Together

by Sara Raffensperger

We've all seen those insane bullet journal Instagram posts that are basically just fancy calligraphy and art. They're really intimidating, especially to someone like me who doesn't have any artistic ability.

To be honest, it probably scares off most people from even attempting a bullet journal. Instagram makes it seem like you have to have calligraphy skills and a million different colored pens in order to even have a bullet journal. I'm here to disprove that.

1. It's simpler than keeping a diary.

When I started bullet journaling I knew that if I made it complicated right away, I would never keep up with it.

I started keeping a diary when I was 13. (Note: never read your old diaries/journals. I was in love with five boys simultaneously and I only knew three of their names. It's my not-so-secret, secret shame.) But as I got older, I didn't have the motivation to write down my every thought and feeling.

I wanted to have a written record though, which is how I came around to bullet journals. I keep a bulleted list of the things I did that day, maybe include a side note or a few extra details, and that's it. It's simple, to the point and it doesn't take a long time to do each night.

Sara Raffensperger

2. You can design it however you want.

I know a lot of people who keep a detailed planner, but the reason I didn't go that route was because I wanted to design something that fit my needs best. I wanted a to-do list, combined with brief journal-esque entries, that I could add anything I wanted to -- like a daily gratitude page for the month.

I also write down recipes I've tried with notes about what I'd do differently next time, and I keep a running list of the books I've read, movies and shows I've seen and projects I want to make.

There are plenty of ways to keep a bullet journal: you can keep a habit tracker to keep track of how often you exercise, save money, how much water you drink, how often or how many words you write each day, etc.

3. It's good to keep track of what you do on a daily basis.

It helps me keep my to-do lists straight and I like looking back on what I've done and feelings accomplished. I think written records are romantic, which is probably why 13-year-old me started keeping diaries in the first place. But, it can also reveal your habits and maybe you'll find that something you do isn't healthy or the cause of your stress.

I find it relaxing to get everything out of my brain and onto a page. It's become such a routine that my body is instantly more relaxed after I write in my bullet journal before bed.

If you decide to start bullet journaling, look at the fancy pictures on Instagram for inspiration, but don't think that they're the perfect example. Your journal doesn't have to look artistic and fancy if that's not how you live your life.

Have fun figuring out what you need in your bullet journal and don't beat yourself up because it's not flawless.