Three don'ts for using your bullet journal

3 Don'ts For Your Bullet Journal

Nice of you to come and read the second part of this diptych. The first part, the three do's, you can read here Before I continue writing about what better not to do when using a bullet journal, I am very curious about what you would have liked to know before you started using your bullet journal. What is your advice to others? Let us know in the comments below!

The 3 do's reviewed before we dive into the 3 don'ts

  • Begin
  • Create collections in a separate booklet
  • Don't use your bullet journal

What not to do

1: Buy expensive bullet journal booklets and pens

When you go online on Instagram, Pinterest etc. you'll come across all kinds of things which can be very overwhelming.

That is not the essence of a bullet journal. It has to be a notebook that works effectively and efficiently for you and that can be done with a notebook of the Dollar Store and a simple pen. Don't invest in expensive pens, markers, bullet journals or anything else.

First figure out what you like and gradually add your supplies that you know you're going to use. I sometimes find it remarkable to read that someone has bought something and then asks in a Facebook group how it should be used and if they are allowed to see examples. Then in my opinion you have bought something that you don't know if it is for you and that is a waste of your money. Or is this a too cheap Dutch thought?

Experience by trying and learning what you like and then make targeted purchases. So you can enjoy more of what you bought, instead of ending up with 200 rolls of washi tape from Ali Express that you will never use. Recognizable?

Don't Buy Lots Of Stuff For Your Bullet Journal

2: Compare

This is tricky, I know. It is human nature to compare ourselves to others and especially to think the negative thought that is moving to your side. Not to the other one, because that one is always better, right?

If you do compare, try to bend your mind to something positive. So you can look at a nice spread and see if you can do something with the essence of the page. I will give you an example from my own experience.

As I wrote earlier in the article about the '3 Do's For Your Bullet Journal', I used mood trackers because everyone else did. Then another beautifully finished tracker came along and there I went again. A new moodtracker in my bullet journal, because this time I was going to keep up with it.

Ask yourself questions

By wondering for myself what such a mood tracker would contribute to improving my lifestyle, I discovered that it has no added value at all for me.

I liked the tracker idea and keeping track of your feelings, but not for my 'mood'. For me, for example, an energy tracker works much better. When my energy level is high, I have a more pleasant day than when my energy level is low. So I used an example setup of a tracker for my own interpretation.

Instead of letting the negative thought root, 'I can't finish such a beautiful tracker' or 'I don't keep track of it consistently, while those finished trackers look so beautiful'. I have chosen a tracker that applies to my life, which gives me a nice completed tracker in my journal that is very effective for me.

Don't Compare Your Planner to Others

3: A bullet journal is not a to-do

I can be very brief about this. When it becomes a burden for you to keep your bullet journal up to date, you'd better take a step back and take a look at what you're doing. It is exactly the opposite of what a journal is for.

It must relieve stress and support you. When your planner is a to-do that you have to tick off for yourself, you are on the wrong path. Read item 3 of the do's again. You can ignore your journal or go back to basics for a while. It happens to all of us, you're really not the only one. I wrote earlier about 'planner stress', because I see it regularly on social media.

A Bullet Journal Is Not A To Do


Like I in my first part of this diptych wrote, a bullet journal can help you.

It can help you to structure the part of your life in which you need it, to process emotions, to remember important things. It can be a creative outlet, a to-do or Getting Things Done list. You can shape it according to what is important to you.

  • Don't buy stuff until you've sorted things out you want to apply.
  • Don't compare your work or journal to someone else's. Every person, life and therefore the journal is different.
  • A bullet journal should not feel like an obligation.

Are you afraid to make mistakes or to start, read my articles Planner Stress and I'm Too Busy For Using A Planner . Those articles are definitely going to help you.

By trying things out, you learn what works and what doesn't. Enjoy the process in which you find out that something does not work for you. It's also very important for your growth to know what you don't want! I hope you get as much out of it as you need. And if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below or send me a email. I'm happy to help you.

A warm creative salute,

Esther Verdonk | Beautifulgreymouse

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