Book Review of The Bullet Journal for Beginners by Karen Lancaster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
If you didn’t know what Bullet Journalling was and decided to pick up this book, it serves as an ok introduction to the productivity craze. The first few pages of the book start with a few basics, including definitions of jargon that more seasoned BuJo (short for Bullet Journal) aficionados already understand and have incorporated into their regular vocabulary. It then immediately jumps into full-page examples of hand-drawn layouts with some scattered explanations that can be confusing.
Variety Good, Design Meh
The variety of layouts is excellent, but don’t expect Pinterest-perfect handwriting or ruler-straight lines. I get that a lot of BuJo layouts featured on the internet can be anxiety-inducing in their flawless precision, but after flipping through a few layouts, frankly, I wanted more inspiring designs. The lack of color (all interior pages of the book are black-and-white) worked against this book – especially since some of her layouts include washi tape and stickers that are apparently in color in real-life. A big reason why I love to use this planning system over others is that I can get creative inspiration from color.
On the other hand, I enjoyed the content of the layouts. Many popular Bullet Journal books, blog posts, tutorials, videos, and frankly, a LOT of other productivity stuff I’ve seen is written from the perspective of either a. men (the inventor of the Bullet Journal system is one Ryder Carroll) or b. Young women or teens without kids. This leads to a lot of BuJo layouts or examples I can’t connect with (all work-related, no housekeeping tasks, nothing related to kid’s activities, etc.). Thank goodness not all of Karen Lancaster’s examples are related to kids and babies; nevertheless, I appreciated the fact that she included a majority of content I found much more relevant.
If you’re starting out and want to understand and learn more about Bullet Journalling, this book should give you enough ideas to help you get started without triggering your envy. If you’ve been using a BuJo for at least a few months now, you might find a new way to configure a layout or record content you hadn’t thought to write down previously.
What do you think of my book review?
Do you agree? Disagree? Did you find other parts of the book more interesting? Was there anything missing? I'd love to know your thoughts - leave a comment below!