Why I Do Not Use A Bullet Journal And I Probably Never Will

Start a bullet journal they said. All you need is a notebook and a pen, they promised. It will be easy. Yeah right. They failed to tell me I’d have to have to master the art of penmanship, purchase a bunch of art supplies, and spend hours of my day figuring out the bullet journal system. No thank you. I think I’ll just stick to using my iPad and whatever scrap paper I find lying around.

Bullet Journal

This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure for more info.

What the heck is a bullet journal?

In case you somehow missed all the hype, a bullet journal is actually a variety of things all contained in a single notebook. A bullet journal can be used for to-do lists, a day planner, diary, art book, a place for inspiration and more. I encourage you to browse Pinterest, YouTube as well as Instagram for all the information you’ll ever need about bullet journals. Really, on Instagram alone, there are over 500,000 #bulletjournal posts. There are thousands of ways you can customize pages in a bullet journal. You can have pages for monthly budgets, grocery lists, errands to run, goals to achieve, favorite Bible verses, inspirational quotes, bucket lists, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Why I have been unable to convince myself to use a bullet journal

The main reason I haven’t hopped on the bullet journal express is because of the fact that I am a minimalist. While I am sure there are many minimalists who use bullet journals, I cannot be one of them. You see, one of the reasons I turned to minimalism is because of my personality. I am an all or nothing kind of person. If I am going to do something, I am going to do it right. Which means a simple notebook and pen will not do. Oh no, I would need to purchase every art supply known to man before I even attempted to start a bullet journal. I’d buy a multitude of markers, highlighters, gel pens, watercolor paints, stamping supplies, stickers, as well as notebooks. In case I messed up the first one.

The cost of these items alone would be enough to send my budget of a financial cliff. Just thinking about how much I spend on school supplies each year is enough to bring a tear to my eye. Imagine if I had to have $200 worth of supplies in order to create my very own bullet journal.

Also, the fact that I am a minimalist prevents me from wanting to fill my home with clutter. Clutter stresses me out. Say I went ahead and purchased everything I (thought) I would need for my journal. Then, I would have to find somewhere in my small home to put it all. More than likely I would have to acquire some storage containers so I could keep everything all neat and tidy.

My heart is starting to race just thinking about it.

Why I Do Not Use A Bullet Journal (And I Probably Never Will)

There are only so many hours in a day

Another reason I do not use a bullet journal is that (again because of my personality), I would end up spending hours upon hours each day trying to make it absolutely perfect. I just know I would waste hours of my precious time scanning Pinterest for ideas on what pages to include in my journal, which colors I should use, and how other people use their planners.

As a result, I would waste all of my time “planning” and would have little time left over for “doing”.

Between homeschooling, blogging, cooking, cleaning, and everything else that comes with being a wife and mom, I simply do not have the time for a bullet journal. And I am not interested in it enough to want to make time for it.

I’m organized, but not THAT organized

I consider myself to be a rather organized person. I try to stay on top of the things that need to be done (to the best of my ability). In fact, I know where everything is in my home. (I really do). I’ve watched more than my fair share of YouTube videos on how to properly utilize a bullet journal. And, oh my goodness! It’s stinking complicated!

There are special symbols you need to use to represent whether you’ve completed a task, moved it to another day, or otherwise altered it in some way. You’ll need to create an index, as well as daily, monthly, and yearly log pages. And there’s more. So much more.

When I have something I need to get done, I write it on the dry-erase calendar on my refrigerator. When I have finished the task, I erase it. Sometimes, I use the “notes” feature on my iPhone or iPad. I use bits and pieces of scrap paper to jot down my groceries list as well as errands that need to be run. Then, I toss them in the trash when I am done. When I am feeling really lazy, I’ll say, “Hey, Siri remind me to…”

Why I Do Not Use a Bullet Journal (And I Probably Never Will)

 My handwriting stinks

The final reason I cannot use a bullet journal is because my art skills are lacking and I have really ugly handwriting. Honestly, I am not just saying that. When I was in elementary school (the prime time for perfecting one’s handwriting), I was hospitalized for an extended period of time. No big deal, right? I could have just done my schoolwork while I was in the hospital. Except for the fact that the nurse put the obtrusive IV in my right arm. AND I am right-handed. I begged her to put it in my left arm, but she apparently liked the veins in my dominate hand better.

Upon my release from the hospital and subsequent recovery, I fell way behind in my handwriting practice. Eventually, I was able to make-up all of my schoolwork, but the damage to my penmanship was already done.

It’s not surprising, then, that I now prefer the keyboard over the pencil.

If you like to use bullet journals, I support you

If you absolutely love bullet journals and you feel you would be lost without yours, I fully support your decision to use one. I actually enjoy seeing other people flex their “creative” muscles. In fact, I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to all things bullet journal.

I just don’t see myself purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of art supplies, spending hours of my time, or endeavoring to make my handwriting legible enough so that I can even read it. At least, not anytime soon.


I'm so glad I read this! Now I don't feel so bad about not wanting to use a bullet journal!

I'm so glad I read this! Now I don't feel so bad about not wanting to use a bullet journal!

Join our free newsletter

You'll receive weekly updates, personalized simple living challenges, money-saving tips, exclusive offers, as well as access to our (ever-growing) library of decluttering resources.

Powered by ConvertKit

About Cheryl Lemily

A wife, mom of 3 boys & 2 dogs. A minimalist raising a minimalist(ish) family. Living a small, slow, simple life. Helping others declutter & simplify.

11 comments on “Why I Do Not Use A Bullet Journal And I Probably Never Will

  1. I so completely agree! I got swept away with all the Pin-candy. I bought papers and stamps and leather covers, even a special stapler to make journals. Then I realized……I hated it! I don’t like my handwriting, I don’t like to tote around stuff, when I am home I don’t want to sit down and write. I like my phone, I can capture a note or picture and it syncs online so I can access it everywhere. Why would I want to lug around a journal, and pretty pens and stickers and who knows what else I might need? So anyone want to
    buy a stapler?

  2. I feel ya! I’ve been thinking about starting a bullet journal but, like you, would have to buy TONS of supplies for it. I wouldn’t settle for just a pen and notebook. And time is something I don’t have with a 6 month old, 3 year old and trying to develop the blog I started in February. My head is spinning already. But they’re so PRETTY. Pinterest & Instagram have tried it’s best to suck me into the bullet journal world…this mama ain’t got time fo’ that. Maybe someday. For now I’m content with admiring everyone else’s 🙂

  3. I have tried the bullet journal off and on for more than a year. It just doesn’t work for me. I’m not good with to-do lists. I’m better at jotting down quick notes here and there. A lot of bullet journals also include trackers. I get the purpose in theory but they do nothing for me personally. Overall I would just rather do stuff and complete tasks than sit down and carefully doodle those tasks.

  4. To start, just have a mini notebook, forget all the frills and foes. All you do is date the page and put a box beside each To do item. When it’s done, tick it. All the rest are add ons, not needed, just to help organise those pages better, provided you have time to spare.

    Forget what other people are doing (colouring) and stick to the basics.

  5. You missed the point of bullet journaling lol. All these post on Instagram and Pinterest, are modified forms, they are more scrap booking rather than bullet journals. Really, all you need is a notebook and pen. If you google bullet journal, the original format by the genius who invented the system (a very minimalistic guy) should come up first (if I’m not mistaken its bulletjournal.com). Hand writing don’t matter, no one else but YOU will be looking at it.

    It’s an excellent system, have another look before completely dismissing it 🙂 it helped me stay organised and saved my purse from heaps of loose and forgotten post it notes.

    • I guess I just don’t see what all the fuss is about. ? I do carry a (small) notebook & pen to jot things down as I need to and I use a whiteboard at home for my (simple) to-do lists.
      I use my phone a lot and love that I can just delet the notes on it without adding to the landfill.
      I should mention, not only do I dislike my own handwriting, I also don’t like the act of handwriting itself. My hands cramp and go numb when I write for too long.

  6. haha! Love it! I totally feel you on this but I actually have a bullet journal and it keeps me in line. Like you, I just didn’t want to do it because the more I looked into it the more money I thought i would have to spend. Then I thought I am going to do this and do it my own way. The bullet journal itself was high priced but then I bought the cheapest markers, pens, and colored pencils I could find. My handwriting is crazy but I love it because it’s me. In school I always got in trouble over my handwriting because it slanted the wrong way so now i only write print and I privately think about my English teacher (that always gave me “C” because it wasn’t up to standard) and I feel like a rebel! So TAKE THAT 7th grade English Teacher! Oh and I can’t draw either, even my stick people are leaning to a weird side 🙂

    • Jayci,
      Way to rock what works for you! ? I have a hard time reading my own handwriting, so I’m glad typing is a thing. I homeschool my 3 boys and have decided not to force cursive writing on them. As long as they can read it, that’s good enough for me! BTW, did you know that some of the most intelligent people have messy handwriting? It’s true!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge