Home "Shady Talk" Misadventures in Bullet Journaling #1

Misadventures in Bullet Journaling #1

by Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

Misadventures in bullet journaling graphic


After long deliberating over the title of this series, I’ve decided on Misadventures rather than Adventures in Bullet Journaling.

Top 5 Reasons it’s Misadventures
  1. I have come to realize that I’m NOT artistic
  2. Bullet Journaling is a trial and error process
  3. It’s an expensive hobby
  4. Spending hours looking up ideas
  5. No matter what reasons I give ^^, I still want to do it. Because I’m not a quitter–yet.


The Endless Options in Journals

After researching far and wide for what makes a perfect bujo I first narrowed it down to Scribbles That Matter, an A5 journal. An A5 is just the term for the size of the notebook which is 5.7″ x 8.3″. It had a cute cover and rave reviews. When I bought it, I wasn’t sure what size was good for me, but decided to do it anyway.

bullet journals

Pictured: Left-Scribbles That Matter, Right-A generic Dot Grid Journal

One thing to look out for when considering a bujo is the gsm of the paper, which basically means the grams per square meter or how thick the paper is. The thicker the better. However, at 100 gsm, Scribbles That Matter still has bleed through even when using sharpie pens and highlighters. (Note: I have still not found a dot grid journal that doesn’t bleed through.)



Example of bleed thru 1 Ohuhu markers


example of bleed thru 2 Ohuhu Markers













Okay, so one lesson learned. I was using Ohuhu brand art markers. While the colors are really pretty, I’m not sure they work out to well with intense coloring on thinner paper.

The Neverending Supplies

My media of choice are Sharpie fine point markers, Prismacolor pencil crayons, and stencils. Stencils y’all, it’s a GOOD thing trust me. Remember the not so artistic side of me? Well this takes care of that for sure. (P.S. I have more stencils than actually pictured). The only thing negative that I can say about stencils, is that most are flimsily made so make sure to keep hold of them as you trace.

bullet journaling supplies

Β 5 Things I’ve Learned
  1. Use a pencil first! If you make a mistake in marker or a non erasable media, you will curse like a sailor.
  2. There’s no shame in using stencils
  3. I’m still looking for the perfect bujo
  4. If a style of bujo spread doesn’t work for you, make it your own!
  5. Practice makes perfect

Well, that’s it for now! Tune in next time for the second installment where I’ll talk about the large dot journal that is pictured above.


Here is a list of all of the supplies that I use.

Amazon doesn’t have the purple Scribbles That Matter in stock right now but here is a link to another color.

Stencils and some more stencils πŸ™‚

Sharpie Markers

Ohuhu Art Markers

Prismacolor Colored Pencils–These are also great for coloring books too.


Do you bullet journal? What are some of your tips? If not, tell me why. πŸ™‚


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Aleen @ Lampshade ReaderGayathriVellum Voyagesherding catsTanya @ Girl Plus Books Recent comment authors

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I am not artistic as well. I thought I would start a nonsense, minimal buJo and yet I have been hoarding a truck load of sharpies and stencils. I am not buying tapes and stickers yet. At least I make journaling a habit.

P.S I never knew I can curse like that until I spilled water on one of my pages.

herding cats

I think when you start out it seems really expensive but as you figure it out it’s really cheap. Mine literally cost me $14 for the journal and then I use a pack of colored pencils, blending stub and the occasional washi. So my set up/up keep is maybe $30 for the year. Look on Pinterest for tutorials for art. There are a lot that take you step by step for creating banners or images and it makes it super easy even if you aren’t artistically inclined. I don’t use sharpies in mine but rarely have bleed through with regular… Read more »

Vellum Voyages

Oooh I like these tips! Thanks!

Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

Great post, Aleen! Perfect for those who are totally new to journaling (bullet or otherwise) and need an introduction to the basics, like books and supplies. As much as I love the idea of bullet journaling, I know me… and I would NOT stick with it. I’ve tried, especially with planners, but it’s not not for me. I had to come to terms with the fact that I enjoyed buying all the pretty supplies way more than actually using them. LOL


I really really really want to do this…I am so not artistic though and I have horrible handwriting…hence not giving it a go yet.

Vellum Voyages

I’m the same! Mine looks like I had verbal diarrhoea all over the pages….no even remotely neat! Just go for it πŸ™‚

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I love looking at what everyone comes up with these journals. I am not at all artistic and I just don’t think it is my thing. I can see the appeal and have seen a few layouts online that are both useful and beautiful. It seems like you are enjoying it and it looks good to me.


I don’t think I’m the Bujo type, but I do follow a lot of Bujo peeps on Instagram! I love seeing how they do their journaling and I like to scour for tips even though I don’t do bullet journaling. I like notebooks A LOT, in fact I have lots of them but I don’t use them as much as I want to. I keep a fitness journal (I try to, anyway), use a notebook for my current #100daysproject project (short poems for 100 days), and I have one notebook for to-do’s and lists and what not (I started using… Read more »

Amanda @ To Read or Not To Read?

I LOVE the stencil idea? How have I never thought of this?! I was going to start bullet journaling but when I started looking into it on Pinterest I realized it wasn’t for me. Firstly because I’m also not artistic and it would drive me nuts, either attempting to be artistic and winding up hating it, or not having it artistic at all. Secondly, I realized most bullet journals take a LOT of work and I don’t want to put that much effort into my day-to-day planner. So I just bought a planner. But all my research DID make me… Read more »

Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

I love the title for this series. I fit the same mold: I’m not that artistic (visually, anyway), but I don’t want to give up, either. I’ve been doing basic bullet journaling for about a year and a half now, on and off. No fancy lettering or doodles, just the basics the way it was originally envisioned. I’d like to try being more artistic with it, but it takes a lot of time! I did buy some stencils, but many are so small I can’t get a pen or pencil thin enough to use them. I just bought the Leuchtturm… Read more »

Vellum Voyages

Omg hahaha this post made me laugh so hard because this is the exact inner battle I was facing! To Bujo or not to Bujo? I saw it first over at Anna’s blog Herding Cats and I was like what’s this pretty journal thingy!? It’s like high school all over again I get to be arty and doodle! Little did I know how much thought and effort went into this Bujo thing…I started looking into it and it stressed me out haha…and I was like hmmmm no I don’t think I want to spend my time TRYING to draw although… Read more »


I love to write things down (mostly lists) and not the traditional journaling. My husband thinks it’s funny that I do that instead of keeping it all on computer. I keep a little book of books read for the month or purchased, I have never thought about making it more mine until I started seeing posts on bullet journals. Great post.


It does look fun and creative! And why does everything fun have to be expensive lol?

Have a great weekend. πŸ™‚

Lover Of Romance

It is definitely a pretty expensive hobby to have, although I do love doing it. But its very time consumming and I started with it last year but kinda gave up on it. Mostly because I just don’t have the time for it right now. But I can see why so many people love doing it. I think I want to go back and just use it for keeping my blogging and reading organized though. It was so good for that especially.

Lily B

yes it is def an expensive hobby. I did love looking up bullet journal borders ideas and stuff like that because people will post some online and it’s awesome

Mary Kirkland

I’ve never done any sort of journaling. I love to see what others do but it’s just not my thing.


I really liked this post! Coincidentally, I was just looking into bullet journaling earlier this week. I thought that I could start a bullet journal for my reading challenges and such. I write things down anyway because I am the list-making type, so why not make it more of a keepsake and way prettier than just writing it down. =P And thank you for mentioning stencils! When I was researching I didn’t come across any at all, so I imagined that everyone that bullet journaled was just artsy-inclined. It didn’t even occur to me to use stencils! =P

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