21 Bullet Journal Myths That Keep You From Starting

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Do you want to start a Bullet Journal? You’re in the right place because Masha Plans is all about Bullet Journaling for beginners.

But maybe you’re not quite sure if it might not be a good thing for you. Especially with all those things you heard about it… 

Well, let’s talk about that!

Bullet Journaling is everywhere now. If you open Instagram or Pinterest, you’ll see so many pretty and creative pages everywhere!

Hopefully, this inspires you and makes you think – hey! maybe I should start a journal as well! it seems to be such a fun and productive idea!

But then you start overthinking, and suddenly all those nasty doubts start showing up, uninvited- “I’m not really that creative”, “I don’t think I have the time for it”, “I don’t have all the right supplies”, stuff like that…

Well, I’m here today to help you out with that! most of the things that cause your doubts are actually myths and misconceptions and completely untrue!

Let’s talk about every single myth I’ve heard so far and let me assure you I’ll be debunking them to the best of my ability!

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You Have To Be Creative

This is probably the first thing that’ll come to your mind – I’m not that creative. But the truth is – you don’t have to be!

Instagram and Pinterest will always show you some of the best Bullet Journal artworks and artists out there, but that is not the way usual journals look.

Rydel Carroll, the inventor of the Bullet Journal system, is not an artistic person at all, his notebooks are simple and functional.

Or my minimalist weekly spread like this one.

11 Easy Minimalist Bullet Journal Weekly Spreads for Busy People, spread by @mashaplans | Masha Plans

And hey, that doesn’t mean yours need to be that too! All the creative things you see in your feed are there because people chose to decorate their journals that way.

I spend hours decorating my journal because that’s what I love to do.

Sushi Bullet Journal Theme Inspirations - monthly log | Masha Plans

But it’s not a must-have, it’s just one of the many ways to Bullet Journal.

Plus, there are always things like printables, stickers, and very useful stationery that can and will help you create pretty pages without a special artistic talent.

You Need To Be Good At Lettering

Another skill that seems to be a must is lettering – all the pages online have such beautiful lettering headers and handwriting! It’s a great skill to have! 

But it’s really not necessary.

Your journal can look however you want; having good handwriting and lettering skills is just a sweet plus, not a must.

If you do want to have pretty letters or better handwriting – you can develop this skill with time and practice, but it shouldn’t be something that stops you from getting started.

When I started my very first Bullet Journal I had no creative skills whatsoever, and I had a doctor’s handwriting – sometimes, I couldn’t even understand my own scribbles!

But the more I wrote and practiced, the better I became and now I can even do some lettering. It’s all a matter of practice and what better way to start practicing than starting your Bullet Journal!

If you wanna learn to letter, I have a Beginner’s Guide To Brush Lettering, so be sure to check that out.

For improving your handwriting be sure to check my post 9 Simple Tricks To Improve Your Handwriting.

Bullet Journaling Takes A Lot Of Time

“You have to create your own planner page by page, that’s much much more time than I have.”

Well, it actually isn’t! If you don’t spend hours drawing on your spreads, you can set it up in just about 5-10 minutes! Seriously!

Check out pages from Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal and you’ll see here that it really takes a minimum amount of time to turn an empty page into a useful spread.

If you still want to end up with something prettier yet simple to make – here are a few options you can go with.

First of all, you can choose a minimalist style for your spreads. This requires almost no work on doodling and drawing. But creates very aesthetic pages that also give you tons of space for planning.

Check my post with Stunning Minimalist Bullet Journal Page Ideas.

Another way is by using printables – pre-designed Bullet Journal spreads. The cool thing is this will allow you to try a lot of different formats and styles without actually worrying about how to create pages yourself.

You can find tons of printables in our free Resources Vault – to get access simply use the signup form at the end of the post.

I also create printables on my Patreon – complete monthly setups, and new weekly spreads every month. You could give it a look and check out all the rewards we have there.

Finally, be sure to check my post with 55+ Free Bullet Journal Printables.

Bullet Journaling Is Expensive

It might really seem that way, with $30 pens and $50 notebooks – I mean, who can afford to spend so much on a planner! Right?

However, this is also just another myth; to start your Bullet Journal, you just need a pen and a notebook. Nothing fancy is required.

Plus, there are always budget alternatives to expensive Bullet Journal supplies, so no need to break your bank!

Speaking of supplies….

You Need Tons Of Bullet Journal Supplies

You really don’t need ALL the supplies! Like I mentioned before – a pen and a notebook are really all you need to get started with your Bullet Journal.

For some complete essentials check my post with 5 Must-Have Bullet Journal Supplies For Beginners.

The point is – you don’t need it all. You’ll probably end up not using half of what you buy (writing from experience here, while I feel the cold, disapproving stare of my husband from across the room!).

So! Don’t feel the pressure to catch up with your favorite Instagram account and their stationery collections.

You Need A Fancy Journal

Ok, time to be honest: You don’t need a fancy journal!

The idea behind the Bullet Journal is that you can start it in any type of notebook – check what you have left from your school years and feel free to start your journal there right away.

Bullet Journal Review: Archer and Olive Dot Grid Notebook | Masha Plans

In fact, I actually recommend starting from a pretty cheap notebook since as a beginner, you probably aren’t sure yet what exactly you want from your journal, so it’s good to experiment with something simple.

That being said, I do think it’s easier to Bullet Journal in a dot grid notebook, so if you’re buying one – that’s the grid I would recommend.

Check my post with 13 Best Notebooks To Use For Your Bullet Journal if you need recommendations on a good and affordable journal.

You Have To Love Stickers And All Stationery

While it’s true that a lot of us in the Bullet Journal community are stationery addicts, you don’t really have to be one to start your journal.

Don’t love stickers? Don’t use them! Not into washi tape? No problem! 

In fact, if all you want to use is one black fineliner that’s totally fine! You don’t need to be addicted to stationery to get the most out of your Bullet Journal.

You Have To Use Your Bullet Journal As A Planner

“I don’t really have any plans so I don’t know what I’d write in my Bullet Journal.”

Giiiirl, there are so many other ways of using your Bullet Journal! It’s the whole beauty of the system! You can create there anything you want!

25 Monthly Bullet Journal Page Ideas, evening routine | Masha Plans

You can use your Bullet Journal for so many other things – mental health, self-care, habit tracking, health and fitness, and more!

Check out my list with 300+ Bullet Journal Page Ideas if you’re looking for some other ways to use it.

You Need To Be Consistent

“It sounds like too much commitment, I’m not sure I can keep a journal all the time.”

You don’t have to! It’s not a premade planner where if you skip a week or two, you lose the pages, and they stay there, empty and mocking you.

In Bullet Journal, you create pages as you go and if you need a break – just take it! 

Stop your journaling for a while and go back to it and start working from the first empty page.

I took quite a few breaks where I’d skip a week or an entire month. We all need breaks and sometimes, journaling isn’t just something we can do.

You Need To Create All Pages At Once

This sounds so time-consuming and difficult, no wonder this myth keeps you from starting a Bullet Journal!

It’s absolutely not true though. The thing is – you are always changing and growing, and you will have different needs from your journal.

So the opposite is true – you shouldn’t create all pages at once, because things might change and you might not need these pages in the future. 

Plus, if you create them all at once, wouldn’t it just turn your Bullet Journal into a premade planner? (see previous point!)

I’m not saying you can’t set up all your monthly spreads at once; you totally can do whatever you want. Just don’t set up your entire year in advance because by the time you get to the month you might find that you don’t like this setup anymore.

It Has To Be Perfect

Perfection is not required. What your Bullet Journal has to be is a source of joy and help. Whether it looks perfect or has a perfect structure, it doesn’t really matter.

The thing is, your Bullet Journal is alive, just like you. It always evolves and changes with you and your needs. It’s a constant work in progress.

So don’t hunt for perfection, enjoy the journey, and learn and improve as you go.

Mistakes Ruin Everything

Mistakes happen to us all, but they don’t necessarily ruin your Bullet Journal!

Actually, mistakes give your journal more character, they make it more live and more yours. Plus every mistake is a lesson!

How To Start A Bullet Journal In The Middle of The Years: 2019-2020 Plan With Me, Future Log | Masha Plans
This black washi tape is covering up a horrible mistake.

Most of all – you can fix most of your mistakes! And I discovered a while ago that mistakes help you develop creativity since you need to work around them and come up with unique solutions how to make them unnoticeable.

Check my post with 11 Creative Ways To Fix Your Bullet Journal Mistakes and you’ll see how mistakes can be a good thing and not an utter tragedy.

There Is Only One Right Way To Bullet Journal

Wrooooong!!!! This couldn’t be further from the truth!

The whole idea of a Bullet Journal is to create something unique that works for you, so by definition, there should be a type of BuJo for each person that needs one. And that, my friends, is A LOT of people!

There are certain main concepts that were created, true, but guidelines are meant to be ignored.

You can do anything you want in your Bullet Journal and don’t EVER think that maybe the way you are doing something is wrong. As long as it works for you – you’re doing it right.

You Have To Be Good At Doodling / Drawing

A lot of people (me included!) decorate their journals with doodles and drawings, and sometimes, it might feel that if you don’t know how to draw, and use stickers and washi instead you’re cheating.

May Bullet Journal Setup - Photography Theme - habit tracker | Masha Plans

But that’s silly! You don’t have to be an incredible doodler (is this a word?! It is now!) to start a Bullet Journal. If you want to stick to stickers and washi instead – it’s all good!

I use stickers and washi all the time on my memory pages, and later on my planning pages as well. It’s fun, saves a lot of time, and it’s a different style from using doodles.

25 Monthly Bullet Journal Page Ideas, memories page | Masha Plans

In case you want to learn how to doodle, though, be sure to check my post Learn To Doodle: Beginner’s Guide To Bullet Journal Doodles.

Bullet Journal Makes You Less Productive

“You have to spend time creating all the spreads, it takes away from productivity!”

First of all, the time you spend on your Bullet Journal can be a very important self-care time, like it’s for me. I find calm and inner peace in decorating and designing my spreads.

Secondly – you always have an option to set up something simple or use a printable, so it’s really just 15 minutes.

How To Add Printables To Your Bullet Journal | Masha Plans

In 15 minutes you create something that is completely customized and suited for your productivity needs, so afterward, it’ll help you to do more and do it better.

Be sure to check the Resources Vault for some printables that will help you with that. If you don’t have access yet, just sign up in the form at the end of the post.

In pre-made planners though, you’d have to adjust to a new already created planning system, that’ll take you much more time.

Check my post Time Management Strategies To Rock Your Productivity to learn some ideas on how Bullet Journal can actually help you find more time and be productive.

You Have To Start On January 1st

This is a very common misconception, and that’s the one that can hurt the most.

You can and should start your journal whenever you want and as soon as possible! I started my first trial journal mid-December and my first real Bullet Journal in February.

This is the beauty of the Bullet Journal system – you create your own pages, so you can really start at any time. 

I started my last Bullet Journal from June, and this year I’ll probably be starting it around November.

No time like now, just go for it!

You Need To Use It Every day

I love using my journal every day. I wake up, have my morning cup of coffee, and enjoy opening my journal and going through my day.

At the end of the day, I check up on what happened, fill out my habit tracker and plan for tomorrow. That’s my routine, and that’s how I enjoy journaling.

25 Monthly Bullet Journal Page Ideas, morning routine | Masha Plans

But it doesn’t have to be that way for you! You can use your journal as often or as little as you want to.

Maybe you just have some collection pages with lists of movies to watch and books to read so you’d open it only when you need to.

Maybe you use it for memory keeping, and you open it up just when you’re ready to add more happiness to your pages.

There is no pressure to follow other people’s routines and journaling habits, find the way that works for you.

You Need To Be In The Tribe

Bullet Journaling sometimes seems like a whole separate community with their own language terms and worries.

But it really doesn’t mean that if you aren’t in the community, you can’t start a Bullet Journal.

I started mine completely by myself, without knowing anyone who did journaling or being a part of any journaling group.

I think being in a group would’ve helped, but I managed all by myself just fine. 

All the terminology and hot topics in the niche you can learn as you go, or as you face these issues yourself. 

So don’t feel pressured to be a part of the tribe or be on the trend. You follow your journey!

In case you do want to be a part of the community – I created a Facebook Group for Bullet Journal enthusiasts like yourself, and I would love to see you there. We have lots of people new to Bullet Journaling there, so I bet you’ll get a lot of support.

Too Busy To Bullet Journal

You might have the skills and the desire to be creative, but you just can’t find the time and that stops you from even getting started.

Well, I have a solution for you – you don’t actually have to create your spreads in one sitting.

Let’s say creating a weekly spread you want would take you 2 hours. You have a week to do it.

Just do it bit by bit, 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there, and you’ll be all set by Sunday!

Flatlay | Masha Plans

If you’re looking for more ways to make Bullet Journal work for your busy schedule, check my post How To Bullet Journal When You Don’t Have Time.

You Have To Post Pictures Of Your Bullet Journal

When you end up seeing soooooo many Bullet Journal images online, it seems like everyone is sharing their work. And this can be pretty intimidating.

But actually, nobody has to see your Bullet Journal. It’s your own private place and you don’t have to share it with anyone unless, of course, you want to.

If you want to share it, be sure to use hashtag #mashaplansfeature so I could see your work! ;)

Bullet Journal Won’t Make Life Better

This is true in a way; it won’t make your life better. But it will help you to make it better.

Bullet Journal is a hobby that helped me to discover my creativity, it’s my safe place and my little calming corner. It helped me to become happier and more satisfied.

It also provided me with tools to set goals and achieve them, basically. I am where I am right now in life because of my Bullet Journal, and I’m so much happier and fulfilled than I’ve ever been.

Simply check my post on How Bullet Journal Changed My Life In One Year to follow my transformation.

Start Now!

Hopefully, I managed to convince you that all those myths are untrue and Bullet Journal is definitely worth trying.

It might not be your thing, I admit, but it’s good to try and see than never knowing, right? 

Plus! if it’s not going to work for you, it’s still going to be a good lesson and bring you one step closer to figuring out what it is exactly you need.

And be sure to sign up in the form below to get free printables to help you on your planning journey.

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Are you convinced to give a try to Bullet Journaling? Which of these was stopping you from getting started? Share with us in the comments!

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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be A Blob.

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