Many people search for bullet journaling tips but end up lost in the myriad of aesthetic and pretty washi tape and spreads. Here are some useful tips, we hope 🙂
ONE: Use the 3 section list
Use the 3 section list – working on, should work on and want to work on.
Ryder Carroll’s book The Bullet Journal Method outlines a way to clear your head of every single task to be done. This can be done on pen and paper, before you use the journal. These work like a ‘brain dump’ area or page to help you to verbalise or externalize everything that is in your head before making it easier to decide which list it should go into in your bullet journal dailies/monthlies. We also recommend doing it at the start of every month/week too!
TWO: Leave enough space
Bullet journal spreads or layouts do not have to be overcrowded spreads. Sometimes leaving more white space can help with the clarity of your thoughts allowing you the freedom to either doodle or just stick random post-its, stickers or even just leave it blank.
THREE: Personalize it
The bullet journal is about YOU and for YOU and how you spend YOUR day. Personalizing it gives you a sense of ownership, like how @mashaplans personalized her bullet journal by creating an about page.
FOUR: Not everything online is the ONLY way to go
Instagram is a lookbook NOT a guide – way too often we get intimidated by what we see online. There is a fine line between inspiration and envy. While we admire the beautiful spreads online, never forget that everyone started somewhere, on a blank page, with horrible handwriting. So start yours today!
FIVE: Be patient with yourself
Don’t get angry with bad handwriting and the lack of beautiful calligraphy. Coming from the previous point, many people are intimidated because they do not know how to write ‘nicely’. While it is of course practice that enables better handwriting, perhaps we should all be reminded once in a while that the bullet journal method is about how we can increase productivity, mindfulness and intentionality. If we can do those three things, regardless of the handwriting or the ‘poor calligraphy’, you are not any less capable of doing well at the bullet journal method than any other person who has wonderful handwriting.
SIX: Washi tape for decoration
Use washi tape to decorate so you worry less about drawing if you think you cannot draw. Washi tape is the answer to all mistakes and all fears or thoughts of ‘what to put into that white blank space’. So use it in whatever style you like. Browse the HUGE collection of washi tape we have to search for your perfect fit(s) to feed that washi tape addiction. Look at the insane way that these bullet journal enthusiasts use washi tape! @just.cheebs uses MT Tape to create a swatch spread while @birdybujo used washi tape for the whole border of a weekly spread
SEVEN: Use printables
Printables are graphics/stickers/pictures you find online that you can use (credit the artist of course, if you know who they are). If you want to draw that flower or house or clock you cant seem to put in, or you want more aesthetic, PRINT the pictures from Pinterest and paste them in. Problem solved.
EIGHT: Sticky Notes!
Use sticky notes to add in last minute to do lists, titles of songs you want to listen to, or places you have to be at
NINE: Choose your notebooks well
Have a healthy relationship with your notebook. Choose your notebook well – if you hate it you will ditch it. While it is true that you can use any notebook to bullet journal, we do recommend Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, Midoris and Traveler’s Company notebooks. Choose between dot, grid, lined and blank! @organisasian uses Leuchtturm1917 Dotgrid. Some notebooks have history behind it 😉 Check out our LT1917 Bauhaus post here!
TEN: Skip pages in your bullet journal
Skip pages if you feel like it you don’t have to fill in every page. Unnecessary stress is, unnecessary. If you just want to start a new day and forget the old, you can, literally, turn over a new leaf **winks**.
ELEVEN: Cover up mistakes
Mistakes will be made – use whiteout, correction tape or washi tape. Washi tape is really the answer to everything.
Next, use washi tape to tag the edge of your pages – that way you can find them better they are like tabs. Colour code the washi you use for the different pages or types of trackers or months you have/use.
Follow #bulletjournal on Instagram and bullet journal boards on Pinterest to get inspiration! If you need ideas, the hashtag is wildly popular with close to a few million posts and more everyday. If you do follow a spread, remember to credit the original poster!
Having said that, everyone has a style – don’t impose their style or their recommendations onto yours, use it for inspiration but don’t beat yourself up when your re-creation of their spread does not look like what you did. Feeling that way helps no one at all and spoils the whole fun of journaling. Ryder Carroll says, “A lot of people get very intimidated by the system when they see it on Instagram and Pinterest because we have these people who are incredibly gifted calligraphers putting together these pages and people think, ‘I can’t do that’”. But the point is to start with the basics and it will work itself out.
FIFTEEN (and lastly); Don’t worry about doing everything at once – start slow. Bullet journaling is first and foremost for you as an individual, so grow yourself!
We hope these bullet journaling tips are useful to you. Let us know via social media if you used any of our tips by tagging us or mentioning us in your story. Follow us @cityluxesg.