All The Money I Spent on My Beautiful Bullet Journal

Rest in peace, my friend.

There are at least five pages in this thing that look like this. I use this for grocery lists now.

Sometime over the spring, I noticed that I had stopped using my bullet journal with the slavish devotion I had previously been accustomed to.

Organize Your Way To A Better You With A Bullet Journal

I’m not sure why or how this happened, but most likely, it’s because my schedule over the past few months has sort of evened out. I have a very specific set of things that I do each day; I don’t juggle many deadlines and I do the same thing every day. That kind of monotony is soothing for me work-wise, but it also doesn’t require the kind of planning I’d relied on in the past. The journal is now half-full and I no longer see the necessity of writing the same three things for each day over and over again, week in and week out.

Part of the thrill of starting this was because of my insatiable love of office products; I also had higher expectations for my artistic inclinations. Dive deep enough into the bullet journal community and you’ll find intricate hand-drawn pages full of watercolors and calligraphy and washi tape. If you’re going to take the steps to make your own planner, you might as well make it look nice. The bullet journal community is full of beautifully drawn spreads and trackers, all meant to document every single aspect of one’s life. Very inspiring stuff. All stuff that I was never going to do, but tried to consider, sort of, along the way.

It was good while it lasted, but it wasn’t that cheap. Here’s what it cost me.

  1. This Leuchtturm1917 notebook, heartily recommended by the Bullet Journal community as the gold standard for that #bujo lifestyle: $19.95.
  2. A Moleskine notebook purchased under duress at a stationary store, because the Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook wasn’t floppy enough and also felt too small: $21.
  3. This two-pack of smaller, more portable(?) Moleskine notebooks because halfway through this Bullet Journal experiment, I realized I hated lugging around my actual notebook and wanted something travel-friendly, which is patently ridiculous because where on earth am I really going?: $11
  4. These very specific pens that I discovered after a benevolent office manager at a job like, five years ago, ordered them by accident. They are nice pens. I really only needed one; instead I bought a box of 12 and promptly lost half of them: $12.03
  5. Another pen because the very nice thin pens were not nice enough for writing the dates at the top of my pages every week and I needed something more substantial, I guess?: $3, purchased at the bookstore across the street from my house that is open just late enough to indulge stationary runs.
  6. Colored pencils that I used for about a week with an adult coloring book that my roommate brought home from work before isolating the three colors I liked to color over the dates at the top of the page: $10
  7. A three-pack of highlighters that I thought I’d use for…something, plus a package of those little plastic flags you stick in book pages to mark important passages that I used to mark months: $9.24 and $5.18 respectively.
  8. A ruler because I am incapable of drawing straight lines: $9

Total: $100.40

A friend of mine who politely asked that I refer to her as my “planner pal” has spent roughly the same amount of money, plus a set of very nice Staedtler markers that I have deleted from my Amazon cart because I will never have the time or the artistic skills to draw a border of potted cacti and succulents on a piece of paper that will eventually hold a list of tasks that I do every single week.

I am considering another planner because to exist without one on paper makes me feel unmoored and restless, like I will forget everything I have to do, even though most of it is quite simple. I shouldn’t buy one because I’ll never use it to the end. Given what I know about myself, though, I probably will.

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