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The Importance of Failure, with the Practice Pad

What if there was a way to make mistakes, try new things and fail or watch your experiments go wrong, without anyone noticing? Or even better, without messing up your pristine bullet journal?

That was the question we asked ourselves when designing the bullet journal practice pad. A powerful new product that celebrates the importance of failure, whilst giving you the tools to get creative, even if you’re not quite “there” yet.

Bullet Journal Practice Pad with grid guide on orange background

What’s a bullet journal practice pad?

The concept of the practice pad is simple. It’s a space for you to practice before bringing your pen into your bullet journal.

So you can keep that space looking beautiful, whilst still getting as creative as you like. Safe in the comfort that your trials and errors don’t ever have to see the light of day, if you don’t want them to.

Yop & Tom Dot Grid Practice Pad

It’s intentionally designed to match the interior design of your dot grid journal perfectly.

Your designs, spreads and illustrations instantly become so much easier to replicate. Because the practice pad layout is exactly the same as your journal. And yes, you can even tear out pages and slot them inside your bullet journal to re-use later. They’re the perfect fit.

The importance of failure (because it’s not really failing at all)

Failure is a good thing. Failure is a good thing. We’ll say it one more time for the sceptics at the back… failure is a good thing.

Failure means that you’re stepping outside your comfort zone. You’re trying new things. You’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

You’re getting ready to discover a new part of yourself.

Small or big, failure is a sign that you’re moving in the right direction. It might not always feel like it at the time, but failure will either eliminate or illuminate a new path for you to follow. Giving you a different direction to explore.

If you read through the story of any successful person, you’ll find a long list of failures behind them. Walt Disney was told he had no imagination. Stephen King threw some of his early manuscripts in the bin. Elvis Presley was told to go back to driving a truck. Katy Perry’s first album sold just 200 copies (no, that isn’t a typo).

Failure is essential if you’re going to develop as a person. Whether that’s creatively, emotionally, mentally, or whatever else you’re working on right now. Failure is an essential part of it.

Dot Grid Practice Pad with sheet ripped out on orange background

Why have a dedicated space to “fail”?

They say, “dance like nobody’s watching”. We say, “fail like nobody’s watching”.

When you have a dedicated space where you know you can fail, you’re far more likely to allow yourself to take risks. To experiment and try things where you know that failure is a possibility.

It’s a safe space. Where you can explore and experiment, without any judgement. And not only that, but that physical space is a reminder to try new things. To test out those different styles, those new methods and those different ways of doing things, just to see what happens.

Bonus: when you get used to “failing” in your safe space, real-world failures might not seem so scary anymore…

So do it all like nobody’s watching. Because they aren’t. They’re too busy focusing on their own failures instead.

An open bullet journal with pencil case, stationery and Practice Pad

How to use your bullet journal practice pad

Just like your bullet journal, your practice pad can be used any way you choose. It’s there to be adapted to your needs, your interests and your unique process.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Experiment with new bullet journal fonts to hone your technique before trying the real thing
  • Get those doodles out of your head, whilst keeping the pages of your bullet journal looking pristine
  • Practise your illustrations before choosing your favourite to add to your spread
  • Trial new ways of doing your weekly spread, to find your new favourite layout
  • Test your new pens to get a feel for them, somewhere it doesn’t matter if things go wrong
  • Try out different templates to get used to using them
  • Change up your bullet journal layouts, try different mood trackers or habit trackers to find a way that works for you
  • Write out any lists that you don’t want to add to your actual journal
  • Draft your goals before refining them and adding the finalised versions to your journal
  • Write out Morning Pages that you might not want to keep
  • Test a different style of journaling before making it your thing
  • …and explore any other techniques you want to experiment with!

Give yourself a space to fail

…what will you discover?