Bullet Journal · Craft

Beating perfectionism with a bullet journal

If you’re a perfectionist, you know what it’s like. You start a new project, you’re all excited, then three minutes in you make a mistake. What then?

For me, that often involved rage-quitting, though my rage is a quiet one. I have, for example, left many knitted items to languish for months or even years because of a mistake I cannot see by the time I pick it up again. This is a thing I do regularly.

However, it’s a thing I’m trying to avoid. I’m also doing my best to improve my productivity and time management, especially since I’m starting a Master of Education course in September, gulp. When I heard about bullet journaling I didn’t realise it would be for me, but I’m really glad I picked it up.

You can read a little about my bullet journal in my epic post from a while back. I talk about the fact it is for flexibility instead of perfection, and that’s exactly why I do it.

In a bullet journal, it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake. You either fix it or you move on. If you do something that doesn’t work for you for that month, you can switch it up next month, or right now (as I did!). It’s an unplanned space for your own brain to process, and it’s very freeing.

Oddly, the bullet journal method – or how I use it, anyway – has made my creativity spike. It’s not that I have more ideas; it’s that I’m not afraid to try any of them now. When I realised I had an old leather journal with no space left in it, I decided to cut out the binding and re-bind it myself with my own paper. THEN I ACTUALLY DID THE THING.

Knitter Nerd: Leather journal

Here is the difference: bullet journaling is helping me try new things with less panic about it going wrong.

It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good or useful.

I know this isn’t the only way to avoid perfectionism; there’s a lot of methods out there. The way I see it is anything that lets you rewrite that narrative on the importance of ‘perfect’ is great. Perfect might exist, but I sure as hell doubt many people will ever reach it.

Bullet journaling has helped me enjoy the process and witness my own growth as I move from month to month and spread to spread. It’s not perfect and never will be, but I’m getting much better at accepting that and being proud of myself despite it.

Since the bullet journal world has changed mine, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite YouTube videos and channels over the next few weeks to hopefully bring a few of you the kind of inspiration I feel from the whole method.

If you have any thoughts on either bullet journals or other ways out of perfectionism, I’d love to hear it!

Bookbinding · Craft · Inspiration

Book-Binding: My First Attempt

It occurred to me when trying to find a post on here for my recent obsession that I never shared my foray into book-binding. Shame on me. Shame.


Let me tell you about my morning at the Oshawa LivingRoom Community Arts Studio. This magical place is a ten-minute walk from my house and is filled with creative types and, even better, with all sorts of ways to express your creativity for free. You can of course donate, but there are plenty of resources even if you can’t afford it.

I’d walked past it a hundred times but never got up the nerve to go inside until one day I got a newsletter update from them telling me all about an upcoming Book-Binding class. It was even run by someone I knew (but had not seen for about three years). I emailed back to announce my intention to be there with bells on and three weeks later turned up and sat down.

The process is fiddly but fun. We picked all sorts of paper and cut it to size, arranged it into sections (I forget the technical word), then used stiff cardboard to make the covers. Coptic stitch gives the book a cute look and makes it sit flat when you open it which is my favourite style of notebook.

IPoon 279

It was amazing to see all the ways people made their notebooks unique to them, and it blew my mind how many possibilities there are. I thought about making felted covers which is something I’m still considering. For now, I pasted on a cut-out from a calendar filled with art, and lined the insides with paper that reminds me of BBC’s Sherlock.

The stitching took a while but I can imagine it being extremely quick when you’re used to it. You can do so many different varieties, too, as I’ve discovered on Pinterest. Coptic stitch is simple and effective and full of possibilities.

It took me a while to work out what to use the book for since it’s so fun to have something I made myself. I’m a total addict to notebooks and have many (man, so many), so it was a difficult decision. In the end I took it to England with my on my recent trip and began filling it with the very strange emotions I felt upon returning to my home-town after emigrating to an entirely new country.

The fact I had created the notebook made it all the more special, though I’m going to have to figure out how to make the covers more stable. I’ve already ripped part of the cover off and had to stick it back together. That won’t be a problem with felted covers, at least.

Have you ever tried book-binding? Would you?