My Best Bujo Tips To Make Journaling Easier
Looking for bujo hacks to get you started or to help you become a more efficient bullet journaler? Read our bullet journal tips and tricks below to improve your journaling.
Bullet journals have become very popular in recent years. A few reasons are that it is a fun and efficient way to organize your tasks as well as keep memories. Essentially a Bullet Journal can be used for anything that you need to take notes for and do, and set out in a way that is ideal for YOU!
Bullet journaling is a very cool blend of using a planner, a task list, and a diary. With the added bonus that it can also become great a creative outlet.
If you’re just starting your bullet journal, it is easy to get confused by all the different options, from pages to create to how to set out each spread.
Generally, there is a limitless amount of collections that you can include in your journal, and you can build the layout any way you want.
Even though this gives you lots of room for flexibility, it can also make it hard for you to decide where to start.
That is why I am here today to help you with some good bullet journal hacks to get you inspired and started in no time.
Read on to find tips for bullet journaling and planner hacks to kickstart your productive bullet journal journey. It is also worth reading even if you have been working with this type of journal for a while as these tips on how to journal can make your journaling practice more efficient and productive.
Top 12 Bullet Journal Tips and Tricks
1. Start Simple To Avoid Overwhelm
My first tip is the easiest of planner tricks.
Start with the basics!
If you came across bullet journalists while scrolling on Instagram or Pinterest you know that there are some talented people out there who put a lot of effort into making their bullet journals look like a masterpiece.
It is so important to remember that these complex, perfectly-decorated spreads you see simply don’t get created overnight.
Many of these bujo artists have years of experience as well as advanced skills in the technique they use to decorate their art journals. Let’s not mention that they probably also have tools and supplies that you have probably never heard about as a beginner.
Although these Bujo’s look amazing the important fact, is the bullet journal system’s objective is to simplify your life, not to make it harder!
You don’t have to learn a new drawing technique to use bullet journals! You may want to create the be-all and end-all of bullet journals, but it’s much better to start basic.
You run the risk of quitting bullet journal quickly if you get overwhelmed while just starting out.
So one of the easiest effective journaling tips is always to start with the main sections of a bullet journal: the index, the keys, a future log, the monthly logs, and the daily/weekly logs.
A bullet journal can be created entirely in pen with no fancy layouts or styles.
Then you can slowly add a couple of collections pages that are important to you and slowly add and build more into your Bujo as you gain confidence and develop a strong Journaling practice.
Once you have got used to filling those few pages out, then if you feel like it, you can add some color, washi decoration, or bullet journal doodles.
Bullet Journaling Tip: Concentrate on the information first rather than on the aesthetics. This way you will build a strong foundation habit for your bullet journal. This strong foundation means that using your Bullet Journal will make changes in your life, help you be more organized, and use your time more productively.
Need a little help? Check out our Beginners Bujo course that covers everything you need to know to start your Bullet Journal, including easy-to-follow action steps, printables, and more!
2. Make Journaling A Habit
One common thing that you see often with successful bullet journal lovers is that they use their bullet journals regularly.
When we start a new hobby or learn something new we all get excited and give it a lot of our time. But as time passes you can get uninspired and forget about it.
The same can happen with a bullet journal!
The key to success with bullet journaling is to keep at it! And the best thing is that this type of journaling generally requires less time commitment than other types because of the rapid logging technique.
Take your time to set up your main pages then make a habit or ritual of using your Bujo. A great place to start is by giving at least 5 minutes to journal every day.
Keep your journal in a central place in your home where you will not forget it. This will prevent you from procrastinating, which can eventually lead to you stopping bujoing entirely.
You can write your thoughts down as soon as you have it or you can take time in the day to catch up (lunch break, before bedtime, etc). Whatever you choose make sure that you do it on a daily basis.
In the first few weeks, it can be a great idea to set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to journal every day.
Bullet Journal Hack: Find a time of day for your bullet journal ritual. It can be any time of day that works best for you. Be sure to sit and fill in your bullet journal daily at this time.
3. Think About Your Bullet Journal Setup
Although a bullet journal is a flexible all-in-one organizing tool it doesn’t hurt to think about what setup you roughly want it to have.
Let’s borrow this set-up idea from pre-printable paper planner hacks and think about how the layout will look like.
Believe me, this little bit of preparation is more important than you think! It will also help you choose the best-sized journal for your personal needs.
Once you start writing in your journal you can’t go back to add more pages (one of the best Happy Planner hacks, right?).
If you are just starting out with your bullet journal, it’s likely that you will forget to add some important pages that will help you plan your life but you won’t have the room to move stuff around or add brand new pages later.
So, the best option is to make a lot of crucial decisions prior to adding anything to your journal.
A few things to decide are:
What collections to use?
Choosing the most important collections to you before you set up your journal will help you keep them organized.
You can, of course, add collection pages whenever you need them and think of them.
If you want to have all the collections in the same place or use some that recur each month, then selecting them in advance will help you space everything out evenly and leave enough pages in your journal for each topic.
The main sections of a bujo are:
Popular sections to add to your bujo:
Bullet journal habit trackers are also very popular pages for planner and bujo lovers but these can be added monthly with your other monthly spreads unless you use the ‘Year In Pixels’ approach.
Some monthly collection ideas include:
Questions to ask yourself before writing in your bullet journal:
As you can see, there are many pages you can add and a lot of different ways to approach a journal. To make it easier here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Do I want pages to look uniform? This will help you decide if you want to put all collections in one area or set them up as they are needed.
What things do I want to track in my bullet journal? This will help you choose which type of collections to add.
Do I need a lot of space for my task spreads? This will help you decide on weekly or daily spreads.
What signifiers am I going to use? This will help you describe tasks in a very simple way. It also makes journaling quicker and more effective.
Am I going to be creative with my journal? This will help you decide on layout spreads where you can practice your creativity.
Do I know for sure how much space a given spread will require? This will allow you to leave extra blank pages between spreads in case the collection grows too long.
Bullet Journal Tips and Tricks: Answer the above questions to help you select the main sections and logs of your journal. Then you can come up with a good order to put the pages in the journal and make sure you have space for everything. You can jot down a rough layout plan on a scrap piece of paper or even in the back of your Bujo.
4. Flip Out Key And Index Spreads
Signifiers are the symbols in your entries that offer visual categorization and also make rapid logging possible.
You can take a brief glance at your list and see exactly what type of jobs or reminders you have created.
This is a fantastic organizational system, but it can get challenging and messy if you use too many signifiers.
The purpose of bullet journal signifiers is to easily identify the task at hand or note, but if you have 15 different icons to keep note of, you will spend most of your time trying to decode it. This ends up being counterproductive!
You should always start out small with only a few signifiers. Then once you get familiar with them you may want to add more specific ones.
Try to gradually add them to avoid overwhelm and to make sure you really need them for your logging.
In the beginning, you may not remember exactly what symbols you are using. A simple flip-out spread with your symbols and signifiers will help you log your tasks even faster.
You can also use it for your index, allowing you to find your pages faster. Keep one fold-out spread on the cover and another on the back cover of the journal.
Bullet Journal Index Ideas: Use a flip-out page for your index so you can easily find the pages you need.
5. Get Creative With Your Supplies
When I first started reading posts with bullet journal ideas for beginners I knew I wanted to add a dash of creativity to my journal.
Maybe you don’t think of yourself as an artist and don’t want to turn your bullet journal into an art journal, and that is perfectly okay. If you want to be creative you can get artsy with craft supplies to make it simple yet fun.
As an added bonus, lots of creative Bujo supplies come in handy when you made a mistake on your bullet journal. You can simply cover up any mistake with stickers, washi tape, or a printable. Imagination goes a long way here.
6. Use Washi Tape To Make Tabs
You can use washi tape to decorate your bullet journal in so many ways but this hack here is all about organization!
After setting up your pages and index a great next step could be to add a little color coding.
This helps you to easily browse through your different sections and find the page you need quickly.
You can color-code every collection of your journal, by either lining the edge of the page with washi tape or making small washi tabs on the special pages.
Either way will help you visualize the different pages within your bullet journal. So for instance, monthly logs are all one color, daily logs are another color, and trackers are yet another, etc.
Some sections to consider color coding:
Monthly cover/theme pages
Tasks and goals
Too much washi tape to store? Check here my favorite washi tape storage ideas!
Bullet Journal Tips and Tricks: Use colorful washi to color-code each important section. This enables you to do the planning work without having to keep going back to the index.
Want to know where I get my gorgeous and unique Washi Tape? Click below to find out!
7. Use Sticky Notes For Temporary Information
With all the bullet journal collection ideas you have, some information will likely reoccur and change in a short amount of time. These are things such as a weekly meal planning spread, grocery list, fitness tracking, etc.
Instead of making new updated collections, you could better reuse the same collection by making notes on a post-it paper.
In another situation you can use sticky bullet journal notes for temporary reminders or small lists that you need to write down but don’t want to maintain in your journal forever.
Or perhaps you have some reminder tasks for future monthly logs that you haven’t created yet and don’t know where to write them, or even for a collection that you are thinking of adding in the future.
Well, post-its or sticky notes are the best bullet journal hacks for these situations.
Don’t make new pages or add irrelevant notes to your current log, just make temporary notes on a sticky or a post-it bullet journal note as a placeholder.
Hack: Use sticky notes creatively as placeholders and reminders for temporary tasks or collection items.
8. DIY Pen Holder
If you like to take your bullet journal with you all the time this little hack here is a great idea to make sure you always have a pen at hand.
With hot glue, a binder clip, and a piece of an elastic band, you can create this pen holder.
9. Take Your Washi With You
If you rely on your washi to help you set up your layouts then it is good to have it at hand for whenever you need it, right?
But some of us have far more washi than we need (although some readers may argue that that is not possible!)
The best way for me to take lots of washi tapes with me in a pencil pouch is to use a popsicle stick.
Simply re-tape a certain amount of washi side by side in a popsicle stick and there you go!
10. Use Printables!
Have a hard time drawing the charts and trackers for your bullet journal?
Get printables with designs already on the pages and just add them to your bujo. This can save you lots of time and effort. We love printables so much that we have a whole post on Bujo Printables, as well as stunning whole monthly spreads and more.
Bullet Journal Tips For Beginners: Add printable artistic elements or stickers to beautify your bullet journal if you don’t have the skills to draw or doodle them.
11. Get Artsy With Your Bullet Journal
When you become comfortable with how your bullet journal works and journaling has become a habit, you can start getting really creative if you want.
Making your bullet journal pretty is basically using art journaling for therapy. It is a great stress reliever activity plus it might give you a great feeling of satisfaction and pride.
You can find a huge number of inspirational bullet journal pictures online.
I suggest you start with a theme and work from there. Even if you don’t feel that artistic, just a little bit of color will make a huge difference.
Just pick a theme and start doodling and coloring. There are so many easy cute bullet journal doodles to try.
And as you get more confident, you can start practicing your cursive writing to spruce up your journal even more!
Eventually, you might end up with a journal that looks more like an art journal than anything else but only if that works for you! An easy way to restrain your creative self and keep it productive is to have specific pages to devote to the creative side of journaling.
12. Get Inspired But Don’t Compare
It is okay to look for inspiration but your journal should be a representation of you so your creativity is the most important part.
There are many Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube accounts that are brilliant to find inspiration for your bujo or you can read blog posts about bullet journal ideas.
Those beautifully crafted bullet journal examples will ignite your sense of creativity but don’t get caught up in the details.
The Bullet journal’s most appealing feature is that it is totally adjustable, so only include what’s important to you. Don’t create a journal to look the same way and include the same topics as other journals. This will make your journal less genuine and authentic to you.
You’ll also see some journals that look like professional pieces of artwork. As fun, as it can be to embellish your journal, the content matters more than the looks, and your content is unique to you.
Constantly looking for ways to improve your journal will prevent it from becoming just another job but if you compare it all the time you might lose your enthusiasm.
It should be a fun project that helps you stay focused and organized. If you concentrate on what really drives you to write, your bullet journal can become a lifelong project.
So tell me, what good bullet journal tips and tricks do you know to hack your journal? Or did I miss one of your favorite bullet journaling tips? Let me know in the comments below.
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