We’ve all been there. One day, you’ve decided to start the habit of bullet journaling without any idea that you’ll reach a point of giving up the practice. Then it hits you—should I continue bullet journaling or quit the habit altogether?
It’s like a perfect scene from a heartbreak movie. But yes, the love-hate episodes also happen to personal organization techniques. I, too, am guilty of almost giving up bullet journaling due to the expectations I used to have for myself in connection to my productivity and well-being. Still, with some positive self-talk, I overcame my hesitancy. I even reignited my bujo passion.
Are you on the verge of giving up bullet journaling? Let me convince you that there’s actually more to it than just pretty stationery supplies and swoon-worthy spreads.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- Reasons why people often give up bullet journaling
- Tips for reigniting your passion for your bujo
- things you can do to eliminate monotony when bullet journaling
Reasons Why People Give Up on Bullet Journaling
I could name at least two common reasons why journalers often find themselves giving up bullet journaling. And it almost always happens during the most crucial stages of their productivity and personal development.
1. Feeling pressured to create ‘gram-worthy journal spreads
With the surplus of bullet journal inspirations from Pinterest, Instagram, and Tiktok, it’s indeed easy to be intimidated by the aesthetics of other people’s spreads and collections. Those envy-inducing stationery supplies and seamless calligraphy skills you see online are surefire ways to lose passion for your own bujo.
You have likely thought to yourself, “Oh, they’ve got prettier headers and handwriting,” and then you’ll feel like it’s going to be a competition of who does it best. If this seems familiar to you, you’ve got the wrong idea about bullet journaling because it’s more of a personal journey than a collective pursuit.
2. Having a notion that bullet journaling is time-consuming
It’s common for people to start enthusiastically about something and end up feeling burned out halfway down the habit formation. It is the same with bullet journaling, although you’ll feel this way if you set out with the wrong mindset and have stopped being intentional about bullet journaling.
Tips on How Not to Give Up the Habit of Bullet Journaling
Whether you’re losing your motivation or feeling overwhelmed by the presence of curated journal spreads, I’m here to share with you some tips to keep up with the habit of bullet journaling.
1. Remind Yourself of the Reasons Why You Started Bullet Journaling
Ask yourself why you decided to start bullet journaling in the first place. What are you aiming to get from it? If that reason is what sparked your joy and enthusiasm in the beginning, you just need to remind yourself of it to keep you going.
For instance, you just want to do bullet journaling to organize your study schedule and reach your academic goals. You need to focus on those things instead of complicating your bujo approach with unnecessary spreads like a travel bucket list, beverage, and budget trackers. Not that they’re useless, but they can overwhelm you with prioritizing your goals.
2. Don’t Sweat the Design Stuff
If there’s something you should quit about bullet journaling, that should be your high expectations for the design that you want to adopt for your journal spreads. The ones you see online are almost always overrated and are intentionally made to look perfect for the ‘gram. In reality, those journal spreads may not be all that fancy or necessary for your own use.
Stick with the basics if you find yourself overwhelmed with layout options. The more crowded the pages, the more likely you’ll feel obligated to keep producing those spreads.
3. Identify What Works For You and What Doesn’t
Ditch the spread suggestions that distract you from the real deal. So you’re planning to watch your water intake? Then you don’t probably need other trackers except those that directly affect your well-being and lifestyle habits.
This way, you can free yourself from the extra accountability that often drags you about bullet journaling. Choose the collections and logs that really work for you and your objectives.
4. Let Your Creativity Flow Naturally
Don’t force it if you can’t mimic the same calligraphy or design as those images you pinned as inspirations. Not only does it limit your imagination, but it can also make you feel inferior as a creative individual.
Stop comparing your layouts and collections with others. Remember the saying, “Comparison is a thief of joy.” Every bullet journal is a work in progress, and who knows, you might strike that lucky creative juice with constant practice. Consistency is the key.
5. Create a Routine
Do your bullet journaling as a routine, and it will stop looking like a chore. In my case, I combine my bullet journaling with my morning rituals consisting of meditation and a quiet time between sips of hot coffee. I find it easier to get into the zone when everything is still picking up the pace for the day and not being hurried by the daily grind.
Perhaps the reason why bullet journaling doesn’t seem to work for you is that you treat it as an afterthought or a least priority during your school or work day. If you find daytime journaling to be more demanding, try changing your routine to nighttime, when everything is starting to slow down for a good night’s rest.
6. Network with Other Journalers
You can join an online community of bullet journal fans with whom you can share tips and sentiments. This way, you’ll keep your passion for journaling while similarly being an inspiration for others to continue with the practice. Like-minded people will always be ready to answer your questions regarding journaling challenges commonly shared among the group.
Plus, they may even inspire you to try new ways to maximize your bullet journaling habit through group discussions and contests.
7. Use Journal Prompts
Start using journal prompts for a bit of long-form writing that is similarly reflective and more personal. I often use these prompts to set the mood for my daily recaps and reflections, so I stay accountable to my bullet journal practice.
It doesn’t matter if you can only write a line or two as answers to the journal prompts. The more you become used to it, the more second nature it will seem to you in the long run that you’ll eventually forget about quitting bullet journaling.
8. Make Bullet Journaling Your Only Organizational Tool
I used to have a separate task manager app on my phone, and it took me a while to realize that it’s getting in the way of bullet journaling being an efficient productivity tool. Hence, I decided to stick with my journal notebook for organizing my life, from my lifestyle habits to the scheduling of client appointments.
This is not to say that you should disregard productivity apps on your phone. It’s probably best to use them in sync with your bullet journaling in such a way that they can maximize your productivity and goal progress.
I hope this article has helped you reignite your passion for bullet journaling and keep you from quitting the habit. Today, you have learned the reasons that could be triggering you to stop bullet journaling, as well as the remedies that you can try to bring back the same enthusiasm as you had the first time you crafted your bujo spreads.
Do you have more ideas to add to this list? Let me know in the comments!