I’ve always had an artistic inclination, but I was never the most talented artist. My will to create kept diminishing as I grew up because my definition of “art” was restricted to a more traditional one. Bullet journaling changed my perspective on art. It taught me that art was anything I created to express myself and that art was not something that could be defined.
I was first introduced to bullet journaling in early 2018 through YouTuber and artist ‘AmandaRachLee.’ I was already dipping my feet into lettering, and bullet journaling fit right into it. I remember being in awe watching artists and YouTubers creating the most beautiful yet functional layouts in their journals. I had never imagined that I could turn my habit of planning everything down to the last detail into a form of art.
After watching—more like binge-watching—multiple videos, I purchased my very first dotted journal along with some other art supplies in the summer before my junior year in high school. I still remember the excitement I felt as I lettered my name onto the first page of the journal. Ever since then, I have never let go of bullet journaling.
The first month of bullet journaling was all about experimenting for me. I think what really drew me to bullet journaling was the lack of any rigid guidelines. Yes, the bullet journal system itself does have certain basic principles that help in more effective planning, but as an art form, bullet journaling can be anything that you make of it.
The bullet journal system was initially designed as an organizational method to help with the planning of daily tasks and activities, but it eventually developed into a blend of creative journaling and planning.
The basic structure of a common bullet journal consists of creating yearly, monthly, weekly and daily spreads that help in planning ahead and keeping track of important dates and tasks. The artistic aspect of bullet journaling involves adding creative elements that make the journal more visually interesting. These elements could be anything from washi tapes to stickers to quotes—anything that helps you express yourself.
My bullet journal has been my safe space and creative outlet for over two years now. I’ve already filled up two journals, and I’m currently on my third one. While my journal does not feature a whole lot of fancy art anymore, I do use it as a creative outlet if I am looking to wind down or relax my mind. What started as an experimental art form I used to express myself turned into something I have come to depend on for my day-to-day activities.
Bullet journaling has become a part of my daily routine now. I cannot go about my day without my journal. It has helped me rediscover my artistic side while also helping me stay on top of everything. Not to mention I tend to grow emotionally attached to every new journal I use.
The journals I have filled have become a time capsule of my life since 2018; a reflection of what I was thinking and what I felt at a certain time. I often find myself flipping through my journal, admiring my own art and feeling satisfied and encouraged.
As someone who was losing touch with my artistic side, bullet journaling helped rekindle the artist in me. It changed my life in more ways than I can ever imagine. Once I started bullet journaling regularly, I felt encouraged to try a more diverse array of art forms; I found that I really wanted to create art regardless of what form it took. It has been two years since I started my very first bullet journal, and today my art account on Instagram features everything from lettering to journaling to digital fanart.
Bullet journaling impacted my life in a positive way. I developed confidence in what I created while also becoming a more organized person in the process. Two years into bullet journaling, I think it’s fair to say my journal has become part of who I am; a small but very important aspect of my life.