This is the complete list of bullet journal tips for beginners, intermediate bujo lovers, and advanced bullet journalists.
So if you’re:
- looking for help getting started with a bullet journal
- dreaming of a successful bullet journal
- thinking that the bullet journal system is confusing
Then this post will help you learn how to make bullet journals work for you.
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Tips for Bullet Journaling (Not Only) for Beginners
Undoubtedly, the most frequently asked question I got during the back-to-school season was about bullet journal tips for newbies.
Moreover, I bet I start to receive “how to start a bullet journal” type of questions again – yep, the holiday season is just around the corner.
Obviously, you want to get your life better in the new year.
Definitely, a bullet journal system is a great way to set your goals, achieve your dreams, and stay on track.
In fact, after over a year of bullet journaling, I wrote down all of the bullet journal tips I wish I knew before starting a bullet journal.
Ask Yourself What You Use Journals For
Undoubtedly, it’s a little bit funny when someone tries to define what is a bullet journal.
As a rule, you’ve already read that a bullet journal is a rapid logging system that helps you to track daily tasks and events and organize your entire life.
However, there is no one way to bullet journal.
As well as that, you can use a bullet journal as a:
- smash book
- art journal
- idea catcher
Before you just even start seeking bullet journal inspiration and getting the best bullet journal pens and notebooks, it’s so crucial to find you why.
Indeed, let’s think about why you should have a bullet journal. What’s the point of bullet journaling in your case?
Definitely, it’s time worth thinking about your purpose of starting a bullet journal. Don’t overlook this stage.
First and foremost, it’ll save you a lot of energy and frustration.
In other words, sometimes a bullet journal doesn’t work for you just because you use it in a way you don’t really need.
Secondly, you won’t spend a lot of money on tools you don’t use.
Let’s stop here for a second and think:
Assume that you want to start a bullet journal to be more productive and level up your time management skills.
Do you really need fancy washi tapes, expensive watercolors, or brush pens to be successful?
Learn the Bullet Journal Basics First
Obviously, if you choose to use a bullet journal as a sketchbook, art journal, or diary, you can easily skip this part.
However, successful planning with a bullet journal rapid logging requires learning how bujo works.
First and foremost, get familiar with setting up a bullet journal key, index, future log, monthly spreads, weekly layouts, and daily logs.
Test the Bullet Journal System [with Cheap Supplies]
Now, that you know why you want to start a bullet journal and how to set up your first bujo, you may be tempted to invest a good amount of money in fancy bullet journal products.
Especially, if you’re a stationery freak.
Unquestionably, It’s so tempting to buy these amazing notebooks, pens, brush pens, etc.
However, before you buy this freakin’ awesome notebook for $20, go to Target and get the most ordinary one for $1.
Even better: check your home office first.
Definitely, you’ll find a basic notebook, pencil, rubber, pen and maybe some highlighters.
Bonus tip: go to your kid’s room and borrow Crayola markers (they’re simply the best!)
To be honest, that’s all you need to start a bullet journal.
To demonstrate it, you can see my first bullet journal below.
The paper was so bad.
Smudges, ghostings, bleeds – yes, it was an issue.
But it allowed me to ensure that bujo is my thing without spending a lot of money.
Start a Bullet Journal Right Now!
What day is it today? Tuesday? Maybe on Thursday? It really doesn’t matter.
Start a bujo any time of the year, month, or even day.
Who said that your bullet journal weekly spread should always start at the beginning of the week?
Please, don’t wait until next week, month, or the new year.
Indeed, it’s such a waste of time.
Start Slow and Build Up Steadily
Now, when you have your basic supplies, it’s time to create your first spread.
Most of the bullet journal newbies hit the wall and start to feel completely overwhelmed.
Because they run before can walk.
For instance, they start a bullet journal with a lot of collections.
For this reason, they have a hard time keeping up with the system.
As a result, they think it’s difficult and their bullet journal notebooks are empty.
But the truth is that the basic idea of bullet journaling is easy but most newbies tend to overcomplicate it.
The whole beauty of a bullet journal is that it’s fully customizable and gives freedom.
But at the same time, you can feel lost.
It’s quite possible that you can feel that way.
You scroll through the Instagram feed and just don’t know which spread to choose.
With this in mind, I suggest starting a bullet journal with basic two-three spreads.
In other words, create an intuitive (for you) bullet journal key, an index plus a monthly and/or weekly layout.
After you get used to planning with rapid logging, you can build up your bujo by adding bullet journal collections.
Create a Bullet Journal Habit and Make It Stick
Maybe you’re wondering why some beginners have failed at bullet journaling.
Although they tried to keep a bullet journal, it didn’t work.
Besides creating too many distracting spreads at the same time, there is one more thing that can make it likely to fail.
Firstly, you’re excited and motivated with a new project.
You spend ages searching for the perfect notebook (side note: please, don’t do this), planning out the bullet journal layouts.
However, your enthusiasm slows down over time.
And this is a great moment to think about how to create a bullet journal habit and make it stick.
How to Make the Bullet Journal Habit Stick?
- always keep your bullet journal handy throughout the day
- set aside 5-10 minutes every evening to plan the next day out
- commit to writing in it every single day (for example include it in your morning routine)
- track your bullet journal habit in a habit tracker
Bullet Journal Tips for Intermediate BuJo Addicts
Now, that you know all bullet journal basics, it’s time to develop your very own bullet journal style.
Without a doubt, it’s a long journey with a lot of trial-and-error attempts.
Here are a few bullet journal tips and tricks to level up your bujo.
Plan a Bullet Journal Set Up in Advance
Mapping out your bullet journal ahead can really help you to:
- organize the spreads
- keep away from mistakes
- avoid ripping out the pages
- include everything you want to have in your planner
You can plan your bujo pages with sticky notes or just write down all your bullet journal page ideas.
In addition, I’d highly recommend using a pencil first.
It makes it easier to plan out bullet journal headers, titles, layouts, etc without risking mistakes (you can erase them) or losing pages.
Create a Monthly Review Page
Before creating spreads for next month, it’s so crucial for a successful bullet journal to analyze what works and what doesn’t.
Ask yourself if:
- your bullet journal is well-organized and easy to use
- you use it regularly
- the bujo layout works for you
- all of the trackers and other bullet journal collections were used and filled out
- current monthly, weekly, or daily spreads were convenient to use for you
Then take notes and don’t be afraid to switch things up.
Choose a Bullet Journal Supplies You Like
After giving a bullet journal a trial period, you’re more aware of how you use it.
Now it’s a great time to invest in some fancier bullet journal products.
First and foremost, choose bujo products that work for you.
It’ll be easier to keep a bullet journal on a regular basis, using tools you really love.
If you want to save time, feel free to get bullet journal stencils or stamps to customize your notebook fast and easily.
Here’s what I’ve been using for my bullet journal.
- The A5 MEDIUM notebooks are the perfect size with a wide range of colors making them...
- Thread-bound to open flat which helps make reading the contents easy and adds...
- Features 80g/m² acid-free paper with high ink compatibility to help prevent bleed...
- The Go-To Tool for Art, Work & Play: Black pens create precise marks that stand the...
- Assorted Point Sizes: Contains 1 of each Micron pen: 005, 01, 02, 03, 05, 08
- Archival Quality: Sakura Micron Pen ink is waterproof, fade resistant, bleed free,...
- Ideal for fine art, brush lettering, faux calligraphy, illustrations, water color...
- Set of 9 colors and 1 blender pen, with flexible brush tip and fine tip in one marker
- BRUSH TIP: Durable and flexible nylon fiber brush tip, creates medium or bold strokes...
- One 50-ct pack of Crayola Super Tips Washable Markers
- Super Tip Markers make thick or thin lines for a variety of coloring techniques
- Washable marker set easily washes from skin and most washable clothing
Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Learn How to Fix Bullet Journal Mistakes
No matter how careful you are, there is always a (pretty good) chance to make a mistake.
Misspellings, drawing lines in the wrong raw or column, making a wrong square size- yes, we’ve all been there.
Luckily, there are plenty of easy and funny ways to fix bullet journal mistakes.
Bullet Journal Tricks for Advanced BuJo Fans with an Artistic Soul
Generally, there are two categories of bullet journalists: one with artistic souls and one who doesn’t care.
This part is all about getting artsy. So if you don’t feel that way, feel free to skip it and see another bullet journal tips and tricks.
Learn How to Doodle
One of the cutest ways ever to spruce up your bullet journal and make it more instagrammable is to add some doodles.
You can find many tutorials on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube. If you want to dive into the drawing area even deeper, Skillshare is a great place to do it.
If you haven’t heard about Skillshare, it’s a large platform with thousands of online courses on drawing, doodling, bullet journaling, photography, and so many others.
Improve Your Hand Lettering
Another way to bring your bujo spreads to another level, is getting better handwriting.
Again, check out Instagram and YouTube for tutorials and inspiration.
Upgrade Bullet Journal Supplies
Now you can absolutely justify buying some fancy bujo tools.
Without a doubt, getting started with a bullet journal doesn’t require it.
However, if you want to level up aka decorating the spreads, you may need some funny supplies like:
- washi tapes
- set of brush pens
- Dimensions: 6 Sizes in one set (100 Rolls), 2m per roll, 5mmX20 Rolls, 8mmX10 Rolls,...
- Premium Material: Made from high quality washi paper with an adhesive that sticks...
- No Residue: The washi tape easy to torn by hand, stick and remove from paper surface...
- What You Get - You will get 30 rolls of different pastel washi tape, the wide of...
- Rainbow Color Design - 30 rolls includes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and...
- School Supplies for Kids - This rainbow washi tape set is an essential tool for art &...
- Ultimate XXL Sticker Pack with 1500+ stickers (33 sheets) you’ll have a wide...
- Boost your productivity with the amazing productivity planner stickers; Set goals &...
- Happy Planning - Stay on top of things with your new calendar stickers; 100%...
Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Bullet Journal Hacks for Every BuJo Lover
No matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced bullet journal enthusiast, there are a few bullet journal tips worth remembering.
Make Bullet Journal Work For You
Remember, “nothing will work unless you do”.
I started with a horizontal monthly spread and discovered that a vertical monthly layout worked better for me.
My second spread was a mood tracker.
After not completing it two months in a row, I gave up.
You don’t have to use all of the bullet journal pages when in reality you don’t need them.
Firstly, don’t be afraid to experiment.
Secondly, there is no right or wrong answer.
Thirdly, you can’t start a bullet journal in the wrong way.
Shut Up Your Inner Perfectionist
Being a perfectionist is a nightmare.
I know what I’m writing.
Can you guess how long I was able to create a single bullet journal page?
A couple of hours.
Nobody has time to do that.
I’ve decided to have done with it.
Bullet journaling is a great thing but it can’t make you feel stressed.
Create bujo spreads to have a better life, not for Insta fam.
Let it go.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Have you ever heard that “comparison is theft of joy”?
It’s insane how talented artists I “meet” every day on Instagram or Pinterest.
Sometimes a little voice in my head appears and says “your bujo sucks”, “you’re not good enough” or “I wish I drew like her”.
Do you want to know how I deal with it?
Instead of scrolling through my Instagram feed, getting more and more frustrated, I log off IG and start to doodle, improve bullet journal lettering, or learn drawing.
Indeed, stop comparing yourself to others and start comparing yourself with yourself.
Instead of it, think about what can you do to improve your bullet journal.
Get inspired but don’t compare.
Just don’t do it.
Bullet Journal Tips – Final Thoughts
So this is it. I hope you find these bullet journal tips useful.
For example, personally, a bullet journal is a great tool to be more focused and productive.
And yes, while I really admire beautiful bullet journal spreads with elegant lettering and cute drawing, in the beginning, I’d rather focus on how to make this system work.
So if you have an issue with time management, productivity, and procrastination, then even the most customized and fancy planner or bullet journal won’t help you.
What’s Next? I Bet You Want To Read Other Bullet Journal Inspiration Posts:
Free Bullet Journal Printables 2023 Update
Bullet Journal Hacks To Get It Ready For 2023