Why I Stopped Using a Bullet Journal

by - October 13, 2018

Do you wonder why I stopped using a bullet journal? Sometimes, keeping up with a bullet journal can seem overwhelming. Like your bullet journal is taking up more time than it is helping you save. Are you thinking of giving up on your bullet journal? Today, I'll be sharing why I stopped using a bullet journal, and then ultimately picking my bullet journal back up again!

Why I Stopped Using a Bullet Journal


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Update - I am now using a bullet journal again! I figured out I was trying to track too many things in my bullet journal. I made some changes to my bullet journal system and now it is working for me again! :) If you want to see what my new bullet journal looks like, you can go here.


Back in 2018, I made my first bullet journal. (I'm updating this post in 2021.) Three months after setting up that bullet journal, I started using a planner again because my bullet journal became too much to keep up with. My bullet journal stopped working for me. :(

Today, I'll be outlining my journey to finding a planner system that worked for me. Over the years, my planner system has definitely evolved, and I hope that this will inspire you to keep on trying to find a planner system that works for you. Your life changes, and so will your planning needs.

It's okay if a planning system stops working for you and then you come back to it later. That's okay! Let's get right into the post!


Why I Stopped Using a Bullet Journal

As I said up above, I started my first bullet journal in 2018. I used the bullet journal system for roughly three months, and then I stopped using it. There are multiple reasons why I stopped using my bullet journal, but after a few years, I started using the bullet journal system again. It just took a while.

There is a lot I wish I had known when I started bullet journaling, and I hope that if you are a beginner bullet journalist, that you will be able to learn from my journey.

Once I stopped using my first bullet journal, I went back to using a planner.

Don't get me wrong! I loved bullet journaling and still do, but keeping up with it just became too complicated. Do any of you feel like this? Like your bullet journal isn't helping you to be more productive?

My bullet journal spreads started to get simpler and simpler. I started dreading opening my bullet journal, knowing how far behind I was on all of my trackers and spreads and how many days I would have to try to remember to try to catch it all up.

To say it simply, bullet journaling was making my life harder instead of easier.

What was I doing wrong?

Why I Stopped Using a Bullet Journal

1. Not Using My Bullet Journal

This probably seems obvious to you, that the bullet journal system isn't going to work for you if you don't use it! But, I did use my bullet journal every couple of days.

It was just that whenever I opened up my bullet journal, I had to play catch up on all of the trackers and collections I was forcing myself to use.

Did I need to track my sleep, when I woke up and went to bed at almost the same time every night? Obviously not!

2. Trying to Keep up With Trackers + Collections

Back then, I thought that if I made a page, I had to fill it in. So I made myself fill in that bullet journal layout, even if it wasn't working for me. I was afraid of wasting pages in my bullet journal, and I wanted everything to be PERFECT. This is totally not necessary!

Now, if I find a bullet journal layout that doesn't work for me, I simply stop using it, and it's okay. I don't try to keep up with every tracker and collection layout I make. You know, it's okay if you make a bullet journal layout and never use it.

3. Not Having My Bullet Journal When I Needed It

Whenever I thought of something I needed to write in my bullet journal, I wouldn't have it. Then whenever I sat down to write in my bullet journal, I would end up having a blank mind, and not remembering what I wanted to write in my journal.

Now, I always keep my bullet journal on my desk, and I try to write in it around twice a day, but if I don't, I don't stress about it. I can always try again tomorrow. I also have a mini backpack with the specific purpose of holding my bullet journal just in case I want to take it anywhere!

4. Not Having the Right Trackers + Collections

I can't stress this enough. If you are starting a bullet journal, please keep it simple, and don't do very much research. I thought I had to read every. article. out. there. before I started setting up my bullet journal because it had to be "perfect".

I ended up going way over my head because I thought I had to track everything, which is so not true. It's better just to do you. Start out slow, and find what works for you. Nothing else matters!

5. The Wrong Supplies

I started out my bullet journal in a composition notebook. It was tough. I wanted to make amazing bullet journal layouts, but then because the layouts weren't dotted, I had to measure each page.

If you want to use a composition notebook for your first bullet journal and you are going to make simple layouts, then I say to go for it! But I dreaded using my bullet journal because I knew how much time it would suck out of my day just setting up one new layout.

6. Trying to Be Perfect

Last of all, I tried to make my bullet journal perfect, which lead to perfectionism paralysis. It took me so long to create even one layout that it wasn't fun anymore.

Leave perfectionism behind. If you make a mistake, it doesn't matter. In a year will matter to you that you made a mistake? In two years? Three? I don't think so.

Let go of perfectionism, and just have fun bullet journaling! Plus please don't compare your bullet journal to anyone else's. You are probably comparing your first bullet journal to their third, fourth, or even fifth bullet journal. That isn't fair to you!

Why I Stopped Using a Bullet Journal


The System I Used After the Bullet Journal


How did I fix all of this?

Okay, let's backtrack a little bit so I can start this all from the beginning.

I used a planner before I started bullet journaling and I felt like I couldn't add enough creativity to it. After a few months of that planner, I didn't use anything.

Then I found the idea of a bullet journal on Pinterest (Feel free to follow me! I would love it if you would. :) ). I started pinning all of the bullet journal ideas I found. I created my bullet journal and added a ton of collections and trackers. In my opinion, the more bullet journal trackers I used, the better it would be, and I obsessed over finding perfect bullet journal designs.

It really wasn't worth it! I struggled to use this bullet journal for around four months and then I dropped it. 

Now for the moment, you have been waiting for! 

How did I fix it and what organization system do I use now???


It has just the right amount of creativity and structure I need. It is a binder so I can add and remove pages whenever I want. I like to think about my new planner as a bullet journal and a planner combined because I make all of my own planner pages online and then I print them out. 

So that is it! I now use the Rose Gold Recollections Planner and I add my own pages. I combined a bullet journal with a planner.

After using a planner for a while, I started making bullet journal layouts in my planner because I wanted to be more creative with my planner. This type of planner system is a mix of a bullet journal and a planner.


Eventually, things came full circle, and I started using a bullet journal again! As of 2021, I've been using the bullet journal system for more than a year and a half. Of course, as my life changes, I might need to adapt my planning system again! You can see what my bullet journal layouts look like now, here.

Why I Stopped Using a Bullet Journal


Why I Stopped Using a Bullet Journal

Those are the reasons I stopped using a bullet journal. In 2020, I started using a bullet journal again because I figured out how to solve all those problems! I hope you are able to figure out what planning system works for you so you can have the productive life you deserve! :)

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Do you use a bullet journal or a planner? Have you ever stopped using your bullet journal?
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Why I Stopped Using a Bullet Journal

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