Since I wrote my primer on bullet journaling over a year ago, I’ve been approached by many friends who were interested in bullet journaling but a little afraid of the bullet journals they saw on Insta or Youtube. First, I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone. I am super creative and even I get overwhelmed by the intricate things people draw and stamp on their journals. While it’s very cute, I suggest you start small and build so you create a sustainable habit instead of another random pile of half filled notebooks (looking at me lol).
On to some pro tips shall we?
Don’t be afraid to have multiple bullet journals.
When it comes to my to-dos, I don’t like mixing personal and work life. For one, it makes your to-do list very long and scary. I also like being able to leave work at work and take special caution to practice work-life balance while I’m still young and without familial obligations.
Use your daily logs to inform your future tasks.
For example, if you put five things down every day and only get to 3 consistently, guess what? You know you’re only about to get 3 things done everyday. So save yourself some forward arrows and be mindful of your limits. If you have to do laundry today, add some light tasks to offset your big task for the day and make sure you still get stuff done.
Choose what kind of notebook you want.
I would boil it down to two basic types of notebooks that fledgling bullet journalists use. There is the typical lined notebook, great for the person who wants to get started right away with bullet journaling and skip the fancy illustrated layouts. Then there is the dot grid or grid notebook. If you want to illustrate your layouts (especially with boxes), this allows you to count out and center your content as needed. Which leads me to next point….
The pencil is your friend.
Especially when you’re trying to illustrate everything from a monthly calendar to weekly logs with habit trackers. For me, I’m also demonstrably bad at counting, so I would create layout guides for myself on a torn out sheet so it is easier to recreate for the next month. Once you have everything planned out like you’d like, you can then go back and go over with a pen/marker whatever.
Spruce up your bujo with pretty headers.
No need to draw immaculate layouts to begin with. Just practice with different headers and a Crayola marker in your weekly logs. It’s pretty at glance and doesn’t create a whole lot of angst for my less creative friends. If you’re looking for header inspiration (and general layout inspo) you can definitely check out my Bullet Journaling Pinterest board.
And of course, K.I.S.S.
Don’t turn bullet journaling into a chore. It’s such a great way to use your love of list making to get your life together once and for all. Make it fun, follow some bullet journaling accounts and be sure to ask me if you have any other questions.