When you key in the term, ‘Bullet Journal’ on Instagram or Pinterest, you will be bombarded with beautiful drawings and aesthetic pages made with expensive stationeries that make your jaw drop.
Questions such as, “Am I able to create that?” or “How long will that take?” will pop into mind.
It does seem rather tedious for you to draw and decorate all these pages especially if you work 40 hours a week. Plus, to repeat them every week, that instantly turn this supposedly relaxing activity into a task.
However, do you know that the original Bullet Journal was not supposed to look like the current Bullet Journal pages you see everywhere?
Bullet Journal Origins
The system of the Bullet Journal was created by a New York-based designer, Ryder Carrol. As he was diagnosed with learning disabilities earlier in life, he was forced to figure out alternate ways to be focused and productive.
In his medium article, he described, “Having ADHD is like trying to catch the rain.”
Eventually, he came up with the Bullet Journal Method as a way to catch the rain. His Bullet Journal method involves rapid-logging, which is just your daily brain dump of all the things you want to get done or remember for today and the creation of a monthly log.
In 2007, a frantic bride sparked his idea of developing the bullet journal system for the world after he explained to her his planning system.
She told him, “You have to share this with people.”
That sentence only resurfaced in 2013 after he ended his long and frustrating contract and was looking for a fun personal project. That year, he launched Bullet Journal.
The original idea of Bullet Journaling is a way for busy people to be able to keep track of their schedules with intention. A flexible framework to capture your ideas.
Bullet Journal Evolved
Currently, the Bullet Journal Community is filled with many different designs of aesthetically pleasing Bullet Journals.
From Brush Lettering to the use of ‘branded’ stationeries, there’ lots of techniques and cash it takes to create an ‘Instagram-worthy’ Bujo spread.
Although these do look beautiful on your page and Instagram page, it does take a lot of time. When I started my Bullet Journal series, it took me 8 hours in total to create 5 different aesthetic spreads. Of course, that did not include the planning stage.
One would argue that I was only doing it for the gram, to create content. I would not go against that but at the same time, I was also doing it to try out what does it feel like to create beautiful spreads every week.
And honestly, it felt stressful.
Pressure from Social Media
I feel that, with social media, you can’t help but focus on the visual aspect of Bullet Journal instead of the practical side of it. I mean how often do you even see a messy, plain Bullet Journal page online? But that’s the practical side of Bullet Journal, isn’t it?
It’s supposed to help you track your life, it’s supposed to declutter your mind but all these unseen expectations you put on yourself and time wasted to beautify these pages were a huge waste of time.
Bujo is not for everyone
The fact is, Bullet Journaling is not for everyone. After trying out Bullet Journaling for a week, it was definitely not for me.
I do still encourage people to journal their thoughts and not care about creating the ‘perfect’ journal page for that will ruin the fun in journaling as it did for me.
The author is an avid junk and mixed media journaler on @ijournalusee and IreviewUread. The article is written based solely on her experience with Bullet Journaling. This is not a reflection of the whole journaling community.