The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.


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Journaling and the Peace & Joy it Gives Me

Journaling and the Peace & Joy it Gives Me - TSM

[Start of Transcript]

I think somewhere along with my episodes here on the pod, I’ve mentioned that one of my many hobbies is keeping a bullet journal. And so I thought for this episode, I’ll talk about that.

Hey everyone, this is Alexis. Welcome to the Single Millennial Podcast. A podcast where I talk about books, movies, music, and general life lessons that a single millennial - aka me - has gone through. In this episode, I am going to talk all about my bullet journaling experience. When I started, how I got started, how I’ve fit it into my life, and how it gives me peace, joy, and a sense of control.


I have been keeping a diary slash journal ever since I was in high school. I think the fascination with documenting your life came to me when I saw The Princess Diaries, as far as I can remember. It made me want to also keep a record of what happened to me every day, my thoughts and whatnot. And so, in my second year of high school, I got a notebook dedicated solely to being my diary. I loved that notebook and I religiously filled it with my deepest, darkest thoughts every single day and I think I managed to fill it up in a year. I would love to reminisce back to its entries but sadly I don’t have the said notebook anymore. In between so many moves I had from one place to another, I think I lost that diary.

From then on, I would always have a separate notebook just to write down my feelings and thoughts. I didn’t know back then that what I was doing was journaling. When I came across the term bullet journaling in 2016, I was fascinated. For me, it was a new system of documenting your life on paper. A Bullet Journal is an all-in-one journal, meaning you could write down your tasks, your to-do lists, your events, and your thoughts for the day. It’s a notebook where you can also track your habits, your expenses, and your savings. You can also decorate it all you want or keep it simple and minimal. It’s a notebook that you can customize in whatever way that fits your need. And it was just life-changing for me.

I got myself a blank notebook in 2016, I think it was September or October? I watched a lot of videos about setting up your bullet journal on YouTube and I admit that at first, I was a little bit intimidated because what I saw were beautifully doodled pages and very crafty bullet journals and I didn’t know if I could do it like that.

One Bullet Journal Youtuber that I adore until this day is Amanda Rach Lee and it was through her that I overcame that fear of making mistakes. One advice that every bullet journalist would tell a newbie is to JUST START. Don’t let your fear consume you, JUST START. And so I did and I have been bullet journaling since.

I started with trial and error. When you get into bullet journaling, there is a system you have to learn. There’s this term called “key” that’s basically the signifiers of your bullet journal entries. You develop your KEY over the years and alter it into what works best for you. As for me, mine consists of a hollow circle denoting every task and then I fill the circle in when I finish that task. When I fail to do that task, I draw a line, crashing out the circle. When I did the task but did not finish it, I just fill the circle in half. Those are my KEYs, but you can create any signifier that will work for your system.

When you begin a new bullet journal, there are certain spreads that will be helpful when you have them at the beginning of your notebook. The typical spreads are the table of contents or the index and the future log where there’s an overview of the whole year. You can then add in your other spreads. In mine, I have the gratitude page, a goals-for-the-year page, and a movies-I-watched and books-I-read for the year page. And after that comes the monthly spreads and the weekly spreads. Some even have daily logs, but I don’t do that. In the monthly spread, I have a calendar of the month, a habit tracker, a goals for the month, and also expenses and income for the month.

Basically, I have everything in my bullet journal. I have my daily tasks in it, I have journal entries whenever I wanted to write down my thoughts for the day. I have a brain dump page. I have a page for jotting down my ideas for this podcast and also my ideas for work. I use my bullet journal for everything and it has really given me a sense of control over my life because it’s something that keeps me together. Does that make sense?

I’ve been bullet journaling since 2016 but there was a time - I think it spanned months when I didn’t write in my bullet journal. It was a time when things were difficult for me and I lost motivation of all kinds. I lived on autopilot and it was a time I wouldn’t want to go back to. What I felt at that time was chaos. I was feeling so many feelings and I had no outlet whatsoever. I didn’t write in my notebook, I didn’t write on my blog, I didn’t write anywhere. And writing was my release. I felt so lost and troubled.

When I slowly got out of that hole, I went back to my bullet journal and began writing in it again. That’s when I learned that I needed a system to keep me together. And that system was bullet journaling. It’s a tool that lets me make sense of my life. And I don’t know how else to explain it but all cliches aside, bullet journaling has in one way or another saved me from insanity.

In our digital age today, maybe you’d ask me why I didn’t go digital with my journaling. Well, I’m an analog kind of girl because when I tried going digital, I just couldn’t grasp it. I needed something tangible. I longed to hold a pen and write. Because the act of writing itself was therapeutic for me.

I have friends who also tried to get into bullet journaling and I was excited for them. But it didn’t work for them. And maybe I was just wired differently. Because they didn’t have the connection that I had with my bullet journal.

Bullet journaling is amazing, at least for me. And if you want to start one, there are a lot of helpful videos on YouTube that you can watch to guide you. I highly recommend AmandaRachLee. I also sometimes watch Hedda from Mochibujo, her spreads are so cute and her videos are relaxing to watch. There are also a ton of inspirations on Pinterest and Instagram. These days, bullet journaling has become so popular that there’s no shortage of content about it.

So yes, that was a pretty long time to just talk about bullet journaling and I think I have to stop now.


Bullet journaling has made such a change in my life and I wouldn’t really be where I am today mentally if it wasn’t for my bullet journal. And so if you are interested in bullet journaling, I highly recommend you just start and try it out if it would work for you.

This would be all for this podcast episode, thank you so much if you are still listening until right now. I highly appreciate you. Thank you for listening to me babble about this hobby of mine. And I hope that you would visit me again on my next one.

Until then, stay healthy, wealthy, and happy. bye~

[End of transcript]



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