A bullet journal is a great tool to help you instill meditation in your day while also organizing your life. It can be a tool to take your life and your writing to the next level. When you track the right information, you can find patterns to enhance or eliminate to improve your life. However, there are some bad habits we can get into that will either get us in trouble or cause us to undermine the tool to the point it is useless.
1. Write Down Your Passwords
Remembering passwords is a pain. But putting all your passwords in your bullet journal can be a recipe for disaster. If you misplace your bullet journal in public, you could give someone every password to your social accounts. I’d recommend instead using a password manager or having the passwords written down and stored in a safe static place such as stored in your desk in your house you can lock.
2. Obsess About How It Looks
With Pinterest, Instagram and Reddit showing many people’s fantastic art, it’s easy to feel like your bullet journal isn’t pretty enough. While you can get printable or tablet based templates to help improve the look, obsessing about it will cause your journal to become a work of art which makes it harder to use it. You can make it pretty, but what you put in it is more important than how it looks.
3. Use a template or style that doesn’t work for you
This one is very common. I actually fell into this trap for a long while. I’m a minimalist and like to have as few things as possible. For a long time, I tried to make a digital bullet journal work. However, I’ve come to realize that a physical journal works better for me as I’m highly motivated by real stickers and I am more likely to remember to incorporate my bullet journal in my life if I see it staring at me rather than having it buried in an app on my iPad.
When you are building your bullet journal you need to pick the format and templates that work for you. If the traditional calendar does nothing for you, try the list format for the month. Experiment to see what works for you but if you know something isn’t working, cut it and move to the next experiment.
4. Overcomplicate What Spreads You Need
There are so many spreads you can add to your bullet journal. However, when you go after too many spreads, you end up either needing to put so much time into your bullet journal it isn’t sustainable or you resent certain spreads. While getting the spreads for the information you need is important, it’s also important to limit yourself to something you can do.
Some spreads are also overkill if you want to keep track of only certain trends but not others. If a spread is getting too complicated, don’t be afraid to edit. Ideas are great but if it bogs you down with execution, it will not pay off.
5. Forget to make it a priority
This is probably the easiest sin to commit. Many of us think we will pull it out periodically and that can lead to having your journal sit untouched for a long time. Make a time each day or a few times each day that are dedicated to checking in with it. I attempt to check in with it in the morning to set my goals and then again in the evening to see how the day went and how well I made progress towards them.