Journaling can be a form of expressing creativity, organizing ideas, planning daily agendas, documenting memories or venting about thoughts. A bullet journal can be all of these things rolled into one.
Kaitlyn Merced, junior Christian studies major, has been using a bullet journal for three years. By combining inspiration from YouTube videos with her own ideas, she was able to create a journal that fit her perfectly.
“The biggest benefit to using the bullet journal method is that you can customize it to your own needs. Sometimes I need to write a grocery list in it, other days I just need to jot down a couple tasks. I absolutely love how flexible it is,” Merced said.
The most important thing about keeping a bullet journal is making sure it is personalized. It is also helpful to correlate pages in the journal with one specific theme.
Themes can represent stages of time or sections of a journal. For example, themes can correlate with each month or each week, or they can correlate with topics in a journal, such as planning, thoughts, ideas, interests, reminders and more.
Michelle Zarate, sophomore psychology major, said she enjoys keeping a bullet journal because it is a source of creativity for her. In her journal, she creates yearly outlooks that are an overall reflection of her year. Additionally, she records her change in music tastes, significant quotes and taped-in souvenirs.
“My bullet journal has helped me make sense of my thoughts by putting them on paper, and keep events and assignments all in one customized place that’s catered to me because I built my bullet journal for that purpose,” Zarate said.
Bullet journals can be intimidating because Pinterest and other sites have set high artistic expectations for bullet journals. However, this should be no reason to refrain from starting one.
Starting a bullet journal may require a significant amount of trial-and-error in order to find personal preferences, but once journaling becomes a habit, it becomes simple.
“Tips that I would give to those thinking of starting a bullet journal are not being so caught up in it looking ‘aesthetically pleasing’ because at the end of the day, this journal is yours — made by you, for you and no one else,” Zarate said.
Bullet journaling can be a source of therapy for some, and an agenda for others. Even for those who do not enjoy writing, journaling can be important because it allows internal feelings to be processed in an external way.
Dr. Berniece Alspach, associate professor of English, has been keeping a journal since she first started college. She said she recognizes that journaling looks differently for everyone, but it always has the same benefits.
“Journals help identify emotions and seek out healthy ways to articulate and address them. There are other ways to journal that don’t include words. Perhaps for you, illustrations might take the place of words. We all need to learn to express ourselves well according to our own interests. Journaling is a great way to practice communicating with others,” Alspach said.
The thought of creating a bullet journal can be overwhelming since there are multiple options to explore and many things to potentially incorporate, but do not fret.
However, it is easier than one would initially think because bullet journals have few universal requirements. It can be anything anyone wants it to be. Bullet journals can express creative interests, agendas, favorites and more.