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Bullet Journal Misconceptions – 6 lies that can stop you from starting a bujo

Bullet journaling mistruths that will prevent you from starting

Don’t let these myths and mistruths prevent you from starting a bullet journal. Learn how these common bullet journal misconceptions are just plain wrong!

Bullet journal has become quite trendy and many people are now interested in getting more organized with the help of a bujo.

However I can see that some people are concerned about starting a bullet journal because they have misconceptions about the method and how to best use it.

We have a comprehensive guide on how to setup a bullet journal but I have never addressed these misconceptions before so I am today to shed a light in case you have any doubts.

The bullet journal method is a personalized way to get organized and it will become whatever you need it to become, to fit the purpose you need it to, so you never have to worry about messing it up because you just can’t, by definition.

I will discuss some of these myths, lies and misconceptions I hear most from beginners regarding bullet journal and I hope that it can help you understand a bit more what you can do with your bujo.

If you want a full introduction to the method you should read my guide on starting a bullet journal.


6 Myths about the bullet journal method


Misconception #1. You have to be creative

This is the number one misconception in my opinion.

No. You do not have to be creative to use a bullet journal. Neither do you need to want to have creative decorations in your bujo. Let’s put it straight.

If you check the bullet journal videos from Ryder Carroll, the creator of bullet journal, then you know that he has absolutely no creative stuff around his journal.

It is plain simple, just a notebook with his daily spreads, notes and collections.

No color, no washi tape, no lettering, nothing!

It is true that you see amazing artists on Instagram whose journals look like a piece of art that should be hung on an art exhibition somewhere.

And why is that? Because, as I mentioned before, the bullet journal is designed to be whatever you need it to be and these artists need it to be an artistic outlet too.

And that is absolutely fine. But it doesn’t mean that you have to do it.

So no, you can be a total minimalist journalist if you want and do just fine!


Misconception#2: Bullet journal is too much work and time consuming

Not necessarily true.

I know that depending on the style and setup ideas you chose your bullet journal will take longer than others to be  ready for the month.

But that is personal.

I have done both the very artistic monthly pages which might have taken me a couple of hours to set up.

But I also have done very quick and minimalist layouts, using little to no decoration, when life got too busy. Those took me no time at all!

And for sake of using the method to get organized both style works so I know you can do the some quick spread set ups and be ready to rock a productive life.

So no time to make a fancy spread? No worries! You can just do nothing and get organized anyways! Yeay for bullet journal efficiency!


Misconception #3. It is too expensive

I hear it sometimes specially in relation to some of the pens that are more expensive than the general pens.

First I want to say that indeed some brush pen brands have a much higher price than the average pen, and while their price might be out of some people’s budget, these pens are worth the investment.

Some pens and markers are better for bullet journals as they have less chance to bleed through your pages. And they are also excellent for coloring, decorating, hand lettering and so on.

However, they are not obligatory supplies to have.

You can start a bullet journal with nothing else but a journal and a pencil! And the journal doesn’t even need to be a dotted one. Grab a lined notebook and start with whatever you have available if your budget is tight. You can apply the method easily with any kind of supplies.

A word of warning though is that once you start and try a few new pens chances are that you will love it and start your own pen collection (like many of us do!). But to start you bullet journal journey you don’t need to make any expensive investment.

In this post here you can find the best notebooks for bullet journaling from all price ranges.


Misconception #4. You cannot make mistakes

That is the craziest one.

What do you mean you can’t make mistake? I would dare to say that all bullet journalistas make mistake, it is bound to happen when you go analog!

And we make the most silly mistakes you can possibly imagine, just join a few bullet journal group in facebook and you see how many mistakes people make.

Not going to lie here though, making mistakes is never fun! Eventually you will learn to just laugh about it and carry on.

It might take a while though to get used to mistakes in your page (especially when you took your time to make it look nice, colorful, beautiful and organized) but mistakes happen so just get used to it.

I share here some of my favorite ways to fix bullet journal mistakes because I make a lot of mistakes. Check it out for some ideas for yourself.


Misconception #5. It has to look pretty

This is another very common misconception about bullet journals.

I know that you will have probably seen many absolutely gorgeous flip through that make you wonder, how did they get it so organized and pretty?

Apparently, some people can do it (they have video proof!). But I can tell you that mine only look pretty before the pen (when it does!), after the pen is it a big mash of all things (which not normally go well together).

And I am not remotely concerned because even though I love the creative part of journaling, my bujo is primarily here to help me stay organized and on track of all stuff around me. That is my priority!

Sometimes, when I am trying to add some stuff quickly before I forget and my child is calling I just write it down as fast as possible on my journal and my scribbles will be anything but pretty (goodness, sometimes I even can’t understand what I wrote).

My bullet journal serves a purpose to me and that is not to look pretty (all the time!). For some people it might be important but definitely not something you have got to do.

My advice is to learn how to correct little mistakes and embrace your bullet journal fail when they happen. I promise in no time you will have forgotten about the ugly part and be happy you did so, because I am sure you have more important things to concentrate your energy and time!


Misconception #6. Bullet journal doesn’t work me

I have a little free e-course where I offer a guided set up structure for people that are new to bullet journaling or learning the ropes still.

People can join my facebook and ask questions and I know that some of them feel overwhelmed and start doubting if learning about bullet journaling was a waste of time.

The method can feel overwhelming at times, especially when you know nothing and only see the creative spreads on Instagram, but I promise you that if you persevere and give yourself a little time to find you own journaling style you will find out that having a bullet journal and getting things done walk hand in hand and everyone can find success with it.

But it is true that it might not happen overnight.

My biggest advice for newbies is starting small to avoid the overwhelm. I even advice to delay the creative side of it until you have tried the method alone for a while.




So these are a few of the misconceptions that I have heard about bullet journals. Do you have something to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below.

If you need help with journaling, setup, collections please check my bullet journal topic page or see if we answer your Bujo questions here. You can also click on the posts below to help you understand more about bujo and get started!

And happy journaling!



Don't believe in these bullet journal myths. 6 totally wrong misconceptions about bullet journaling that you should ignore. If you are on a fence about bullet journaling and feel like you are not "creative enough" or "don't have enough time" or "I wouldn't even know where to start this post is going to clear all of your doubts. #bulletjournal #bujo #bulletjournalnewbie #bulletjournaltips #bujotips

Read this post about bullet journal lies if you are new to bullet journaling! Don’t let these myths stop you from starting a bujo. #bulletjournal #bujo #bulletjournalnewbie #bulletjournaltips #bujotips

6 most common myths about bullet journaling and why you should ignore them! #bulletjournal #bujo #bulletjournalnewbie #bulletjournaltips #bujotips

6 lies about bullet journaling

About Diary of a Journal Planner

We are lovers of all things journaling that have serious pen and washi tape addictions. Lifelong doodlers who love to keep life organized. Want to keep a bullet journal? We share lots of bujo, calligraphy and doodle ideas to get you started.

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