Bullet journals (or diary, which I am going to refer to it as from now on because I’m too British to use the word “journal”) have been increasing in popularity over the past few months. So before returning to university to do my third, final and most stressful year I decided it would be best to invest in one in order to help organise my life more (or at least make it look like my life is organised).
However, there was one vital flaw in this plan of mine – I am not creative in the slightest. I gave up art at school as soon as I could, and although I like to think I can take an alright photo, it’s not quite the same as putting pen to paper and drawing something from scratch.
So for those of you who feel like starting a bullet diary but suffer the same lapse in artistic talent as I do – here’s how I managed to do it despite the odds!
Pinterest is your best friend
After figuring out which pages you want to include in your diary (e.g., A Finance Log, Books to Read in 2016 etc) then I’d suggest trawling through the bullet diary tag on Pinterest to have a look at how to lay it out, what designs to include and other useful bits of information.
Pinterest is full of creative individuals with so many unique ideas – and what contributes to something’s uniqueness by others taking the idea and using it for themselves?
Only draw things dot-to-dot
If like me your main problem is that you have a problem with drawing things freehand (for some reasons circles always end up as some weird shaky oval shape), then I’d suggest buying a dotted notepad and going for titles, doodles and other bits of design that can be created by using them as guidelines.
It’s basically like drawing shape
s when you were at primary school on grid paper – which was always the simplest part of maths and unluckily it’s still as easy now!
Keep it simple
When I first did research into bullet diaries when I first decided I was going to create one, I ended up down the black-hole of looking at the ones online where people had put a tonne of effort into them, and literally spent days creating each page. But if it takes arty people days to do that kind of stuff, then how long is it going to take a non-creative person?
So I made the executive decision to stop trying for stuff that is clearly well out of my reach and searched for simple designs and doodles to cover the blank spots in my diary with instead – including trees, suns, leaves, pumpkins and other cute little drawings that are super simple to get the hang of and you can literally pop them anywhere they’ll fit.
Draw with a pencil first
After picking a page design that you love, before going all in and trying to do your best I’d suggest drawing it really faintly with a pencil first. I often find that stuff looks a lot easier to draw than it actually is, so this is a good way of finding out whether it’s actually within your abilities to draw it or not.
Plus, normally good drawings take two or three attempts to get right, so being able to rub out faint pencil marks is a lot better than having to rip out a whole page because you did it with pen.
Don’t be a perfectionist
Everybody who’s made anything knows that when you look back at what you’ve done – you only see
the mistakes. So after you’ve made a page and think it looks shit, I’d suggest going on to the next one or putting your diary down for an hour before coming back to what you’ve done with fresh eyes. That way, you can figure out whether what you’ve done is worth redoing or if you had perhaps just stared at the page for too long.
At the end of the day, a bullet diary is YOUR thing to do in YOUR free time. They can be so much fun, and help you to really unwind at the end of the day when you want to switch your brain of and concentrate your time on something inconsequential. There’s no pressure for it to be amazing – despite what Pinterest tells you.