When I was younger, I tried again and again to keep a diary but could never keep up. I'd start one and scrap it the next day. College is an age to explore your interests, so why not give it another try? Diaries still seemed dull, but what about bullet journaling?
At first, this practice brought me consistency in three ways: lettering, spacing, and alignment. After eight months, I noticed some interesting lifestyle changes as well.
Because each page is spaced out in squares, I can have uniform sizing while maintaining my handwriting. Some prefer to develop fonts or have the god-given talent of having handwriting that looks typed. I am not one of those people. However, I keep my organic variation within reasonable boundaries.
No more cramming in the last few words into a short answer box! For someone who is as wordy as me, small spaces are a nightmare. Once I started bullet journaling, I'd analyze the space in front of me before starting. As general as that sounds, it eliminates the need for white out, pencils, and looks like all your notes are pre-planned.
To write in a straight line, my paper had to be at a 90-degree angle with my body twisted in the same manner. This created shoulder tension, neck problems, and lower-back issues over my long academic career. Albeit those could have come from sports or poor posture but sitting at a desk for a minimum of 6 hours a day doesn't help either. Using the squares in bullet journals as a guideline has helped me visualize those same squares on a blank paper. Sure, green books and binder paper have lines, but words somehow have a way of curving upwards. Not anymore!
I feel encouraged to express myself daily. In a modern world that hones our analytical self, we don't often get the chance to get creative. Why else has bullet journaling become such a hot trend? It's customizable nature lets the owner do whatever they want, however they want, whenever they want. Remember "Wreck This Journal"? Same thing. It creates a space where you can brain dump as messily or as organized as you want! Some days it will be a scribbled mess; others it will be a mini-masterpiece.
No, bullet journaling will not turn you into Regina George. What it can do is inspire people around you and have them value your time. My boss and I chat about everything under the sun but discussing our planner progress gets us excited about life. We suggest yoga studios and festivals to each other, share stickers and designs, and even introduce each other to new lifestyle habits. By seeing each other so regularly, we end up holding ourselves accountable to our goals and stay motivated. Having a gym buddy is great, but we all have that friend who flakes at the last minute, right? Keeping a bullet journal makes you respect your time and they value yours. It's proof that you aren't simply sitting around for them all of the time and are genuine when you say you can't make an event (but you shouldn't need proof if they're really your friend).
It's aesthetically pleasing. When I flip through the last eight months in my bullet journal, I feel so accomplished. Not only am I developing my life as a young adult, I'm seeing the fruits of my labor as well. Ten minutes on a Sunday night starts the week with something positive to look at each day. It has also taught me to see mistakes in a new way - a natural part of a grander picture. Perfection is unattainable. Mistakes should be praised as a key part of humanity.
7. As popular as bullet journaling is, it's still not for everyone.
It may take a few weeks to get into it. You may think it's so extra and not worth the effort. And all of that is perfectly fine. At its core, bullet journaling is a manifestation of you. It is born of your interests, efforts, and achievements. If you scrap it after a day, great! That's how I feel about it. Now that you've figured it out, you're one step closer to the best version of yourself.