bullet journal, lifestyle

2017 Bullet Journal Review

Woah, is 2017 *actually* almost over?! It seems like everyone is saying this lately, but it’s true!

Bullet journaling has really gained popularity over the last few years, so I joined in on the fun. I wanted to share with my bullet journal review from this year, since it’s the first time I tried it. I’ll be going over what worked for me, what didn’t, and what I’d like to do more of for the upcoming year.

I used an old grid notebook from Pantone I had laying around. I can’t remember if I got this particular one from Barnes & Noble or from Sephora as a gift with purchase (it’s rare that they have non-beauty things as gwp!). Usually people use something a little more… fancy? But since this was my first bullet journal, I didn’t know if I’d keep up with it and didn’t want to spend $20 on a brand new Leuchtturm or Moleskine. I figured something I already had laying around would work. And it did – that’s the beauty of a bullet journal. You don’t need new supplies or the fanciest things – what you own will work!

The cover is a bit of a mess, if you can’t tell already. I wanted something to… I dunno, spark it up? So I haphazardly placed a few stickers on it. There’s also a nail polish swatch on the upper right corner because I didn’t have anything to swatch it on, but wait a minute! My bullet journal is right here!

This one in particular had empty spaces on the bottom that I didn’t use often.

I kept track of my months with little tabs, which were just kinda meh. I made them out of washi tape, so they’re pretty flimsy. For my next bullet journal, I’m planning on taping the edge of the page to mark the start of a new month.

These are some of the things that didn’t work for me in this bullet journal. A lot of people like doing habit trackers, and I think they can be super helpful in, well, keeping track of shit you have to keep up with. I always had the tendency to forget to plug them in whenever I did though. I also tried a mini weekly plan within my weekly plan (lol). It could be helpful to highlight the important things, but I didn’t use it much since my life is pretty boring. Something I’d like to try more of is actual journaling, which I was good at doing in the beginning because I was excited. It kind of fell off when March rolled around. I don’t want it to be as intense as it used to be, but I think it’d be fun to document little things here and there.

Lastly, here are some of my favorite spreads. Some of them are incomplete but hey, that’s okay too! As a creative though, I wouldn’t recommend finding images off Pinterest or Tumblr like I did (I only did it in the first two months or so and stopped afterwards, and all the square ones with the white border around them were taken by me). You never know if it was a commission or if whoever made it sells it. It just sits weirdly with me to print a picture of someone else’s work to use as your own, even if it isn’t for commercial purposes.

I’ve been meaning to share my bullet journal often, but 1) this one was mostly ugly imo, and 2) I forgot. I’ll be doing December’s pages in a new journal – I’ll be in Toronto from December to early January, and I didn’t want to carry an extra journal with me. I want to start being more creative with it!

Do you use a bullet journal? What do you use to keep yourself organized?

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  • Love how personal and well loved your bullet journal looks!

    Vanessa x | http://www.springlilies.com

  • Nope, never been a diary or journal girl. LOL! I depend on my Apply Calendar for all my appointments and blogging schedule and just set a few reminders to alert me. I have never been one who love writing with pen, funny eh?

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

    • haha! i used to depend on my phone’s calendar too (it’s so useful having alarms!) but i get so much more satisfaction from physically checking off something on my to do list. everyone works in different ways and that’s okay!

  • Ohmygosh, your bullet journal skills are amazing! I keep wanting to do this, but it seems like so much work! Is it worth it? Is it a lot of work to keep one up?

    -Emily http://www.coatandcoffee.com

    • that’s another beauty of the bullet journal! if you don’t feel like journaling or if it’s too much to keep up, you can simplify it or just not write in it for the week(s) you don’t want to. i think a lot of the ~artsy~ and colorful journals are from people who genuinely enjoy making it look pretty and things like that, but if you don’t want to you absolutely don’t have to!

  • Sam

    I looove looking at other people’s bullet journals, but for the love of me can’t seem to stick with one for myself. Most of the time I forget to write it out, and I always associated bullet journals with artists, because I always see the artsy, detailed ones! I know that’s not necessarily the case, but it’s just made me ‘eh’ about potentially starting my own. Although I love writing things out occasionally, I use apps to write down to-dos and all that jazz. I find it much easier on myself!

    Sam / My Beauty Cloud

    • i used to use apps often (the alarms are so useful!) but i ended up forgetting that i’d written something down on my phone a lot of the time. i guess it’s because phones are really distracting with all the other apps and texts and things! i don’t feel like the ~artsiest~ bullet journalist (is that a term? lol) out there but i’m trying to make mine look at least somewhat visually appealing, haha.

  • I love bullet journaling but it hasn’t been something I was able to keep up! I love reading through bullet journal posts though 🙂 It looks like you kept yourself totally organized with it – are you going to write a post about your process?

    Stephanie | theFantasia.com

    • that’s a great idea for a post, thank you! i’ve been thinking of doing a small bullet journal series about my supplies and how to start, and i think a process post is a good idea too. i think that’s one of the nice things about having a bullet journal, you don’t always have to keep up with it!

  • I love bullet journals! I’ve never tried it myself, but I watch a lot of people of YouTube who do them and I swear I could sit and watch videos all day on people doing their monthly spreads for them!! Yours looks great and I hope you’ll share your new one when you start it!

    • haha, same here! i love looking through the more creative ones with drawings and things, but i don’t think it’s something i can really do with a bullet journal since i already have a sketchbook and i associate drawings with that. i will – i’m hoping to do a monthly overview for every month (if it’s creative enough, that is…)

  • It may sound so cliché to say but its true. Time flies faster than before. Apart from its adorable concept, it is nice to have a guide.

    StyleSprinter Blog by Katya Bychkova

    • haha, i’m glad this year is over though – it’s a nice reminder that time flies fast and i can’t be lagging behind!

  • i like the look of your journal and what you did to the cover! those stickers are cute! i mean a sugarpill sticker?! idk why it’s cool in my eyes hahaha i’d love something like that but for colourpop (just because colourpop is quickly becoming my fave ♥)

    i want to jump into bullet journaling but idk, i feel like it’s a big deal of a commitment hahaha i overthink stuff. also, i don’t want to fuck my journal up. i’m still waiting for the day i’m ready to jump into the bandwagon LOL

    • oooh, colourpop stickers would be fun! i like how handwritten their logo is, at first it kinda turned me off but it’s grown onto me haha. it’s not the biggest commitment once you’re used to it i think – i scribble things out constantly and sometimes i wasn’t the most consistent with it but that’s okay, since you can pick it up right where you left off 😀

      • haha same, their logo turned me off. it still irks me now but not as bad as it used to be ^^;;

  • I love the look and idea of bullet journalling, and have watched quite a few videos on it as well but I feel like I’m short on time as it is already with blogging and work and having a social life and whatever else, that starting a new project like a bullet journal didn’t seem feasible to me at the start of this year and doesn’t now either, unfortunately. I write lists all the time for stuff I need to do or buy, etc. but I feel like I’d get so sidetracked with the doodling and decorating that I’d be less productive than I am without a journal to keep track of everything, haha. In saying that, I still love seeing bullet journal content because I think it’s really fun and I love seeing all the creative ways people decorate them and how they schedule their weeks/months.


    • yeah, sometimes i feel like i have so much i want to do but so little time! bullet journals don’t have to be something complicated or pretty. i just love how much or little you can put into it and in the end of the day, it’s still something that works either way (i’m a poet hehe). at least that’s how i see it – it seems like a lot of people *think* you need to make it look pretty and doodle in it (i certainly did). if something basic works for you, it works for you!

  • HAHA don’t worry! my handwriting is pretty awful imo too. so is my boyfriend’s – when we’re both writing at a normal pace it’s pretty much indistinguishable whose handwriting is whose. maybe i’m kind of old school, but i save those pretty spreads into my hard drive LOL i think it’s much easier to look through!

  • I would love to start bullet journalling next year. I think I’m gonna binge watch youtube videos and blogposts about it and maybe have a go!

    x Annabelle

  • I am OBSESSED with your bullet journal! I tried bullet journaling once and I just didn’t have the patience for it.

    Perfect Shade of Mauve

  • I would love to use bullet journal. I have tried couple of times actually, but it’s just not for me. I love how beautiful they look and usually messy and organized at the same time, but I just can’t figure my style to do it. So, I use planners like Kikki K. Works for me!

    Heidi ✨ | Heidi’s Planner