I started my first bullet journal last year, during the first lockdown in France (March-May 2020). I had been curious about it for months (or should I say years ?), following creative accounts on Instagram, but I thought I would never be good enough to create such things.
In the end, with the lockdown and plenty of free time available, plus my mental health was declining pretty fast, I thought it might be a good idea to at least try. I was hoping it would make me a little bit happier.
I started on random papers, a few brush pens and crayons, here and there, whenever I felt like it. I was mainly practicing using brush pens and writing down sentences I heard and loved. Here’s the little notebook where I gathered all these pieces of paper :
I enjoyed putting it together, finally using the washi tapes I had collected over the years that I usually used only to close envelopes for birthday cards (so a few times a year, barely). It was a time of my life where I didn’t find much joy in anything, but crafting this… it made me feel so happy and proud of myself ! I felt like I was finally doing something concrete. It sparked my creativity, sparked my willingness to write again.
So I ordered a real bullet journal, more pens and washi tapes, and started copying what I would see on Instagram. I had no idea how to create a theme or even doodles, so I started by trying to replicate what I saw on Instagram… I still do it, actually. This is not professional work, I’m not going to use this, or sell it, it’s only for me so… I just try to do pretty things. The most important thing here is to do things. I’ve been passive for so long, creating all this felt amazing. And in the end, it’s never perfect, but it’s perfect to me. I used to be so afraid of not being perfect, and not doing things perfectly. Creating this bullet journal helped to let go of that part of me.
All my life I’ve been afraid of failure because I felt like people had such high expectations of me… and it only took a bullet journal to help me see how imperfection was a liberating and beautiful thing. Better than therapy.
And the contents of a bullet journal, are also part of this process. There are standard pages, but you can just decide whatever you want to create in your journal. A calendar, monthly schedule, weekly schedule, sleep tracker, habits tracker, mood tracker, brain dump, diary pages, goals, expenses… anything. You can do whatever you want. Whatever makes you feel better. As for me, the trackers helped me a lot. It helped me to define what I wanted to improve in my life, and hold me accountable for what I wanted to achieve. And it’s the little things really, like following a skincare routine, or sleeping more, or keeping track of the days where I write… god, it had such a big impact on my life. Slowly but surely, I take better care of my body, my spirit… I do more things, I work better on reaching my goals, making my dreams come true…
I was reluctant to start this bullet journal, but oh, what a wonderful journey of introspection and empowerment it is. I feel myself blooming, just like the flowers I draw, just like the quotes I pen… And whenever I go through this journal, it puts a smile on my face. This is one of my most tangible proof that I didn’t give up. I didn’t give up on life.
What about you ? Do you have a bullet journal ? Tell me about it !
I wish you all a lovely day, and see you next Wednesday.
PS : More details about my notebook and bullet journal’s content in the video below !