25 Bullet Journal Hacks To Try Right Away
Today I gathered for you 23 amazing Bullet Journal hacks that will bring your journal to the next level. This could work for Bullet Journal beginners but also for anyone who’s been journaling for a while already.
These journal hacks will help you create a planner that works for you, and you’ll feel sorry you haven’t done those before. Let’s dive in!
Bullet Journal is an amazing way to plan since it’s completely customizable and can do anything you want it to do.
But this also kind of brings a problem – what exactly should you do? What kind of things can help with your planning?
I faced all those issues myself and I had to figure things out by trial and error. This is kind of the way things go with Bullet Journaling – you have to try different things to see what world for you.
My job here is to provide you with different options of things to try, and that’s what today’s post is about. I gathered tons of hacks and tips that can help you with your Bullet Journal.
Here they are, in no particular order.
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Use A Travel Notebook
What?! Travel Journal?! But what about my book-bound one, the type everyone in the Bullet Journal community uses?
There are no rules in Bullet Journaling, so you can use any notebook you want!
Using a travel journal is such a great hack because you can use your main book bind journal, but also add to it other inserts for things like collections or everyday journaling.
You can even use different types of grids. Plus you can carry them all with you, or leave some at home when necessary.
The best part is if you move some parts of your planning to these travel inserts, your journal will probably last you longer.
I don’t use this method since I spend most of my time in my home office and I love all my separate journals. I enjoy shelves and shelves of journals, even if I am running out of space.
But this might be a nifty trick for you, especially if you want to have everything with you all the time and not to worry about where to put your collections.
Flip Out Key
If you’re starting your first Bullet Journal chances are, you’ll have to look back at your key spread all the time to make sure you use the correct symbols.
A cool hack to make it easier on yourself is to create a flip-out key spread so you can easily consult it while planning.
Bullet Journal Index Hack
The index spread is a guide to your journal, a map if you will. Here is a little hack on how to make it a little bit easier to work with.
Divide your index into two parts; use one side to index your planning pages and another for all lists and collections.
This will really help you to find any page you need much easier.
Bullet Journal Threading
Here is a cool trick to make sure you know where things are in your journal.
Let’s say you started a collection and then kept on planning on the next page. And one day – BANG! You need more space for ALL the books you read, but this collection spread has no more space.
Well, easy! Just continue it on the next empty page, but thread it. This means that at the bottom of your previous collection just add where to look for the next page.
It’s an easy and convenient way to keep all your collections connected.
Post It Notes
These are honestly so multifunctional that you definitely have to add it to your Bullet Journal arsenal.
First, of course, they’re great to add some quick notes or non-confirmed tasks to your Bullet Journal.
They can also be a great help if you haven’t set up your weekly spread yet and need to add these something right away – just stick a post-it note.
Finally, you can also use your post-it notes as a design element or as a way to fix mistakes. There are tons of pretty post-it notes, just stick them to your journal page, and there is it – your daily boxes are ready.
Oh! I forgot one more final idea for post-it notes! You can use them in meal planning. That way you just need one spread, and you can use the post-it notes to keep planning your meals and writing shopping lists over and over again.
Plus it will be pretty easy to take these post-it notes with you to the grocery store.
This is such a terrific way to make your notes more visual and make it easier to scroll through your journal.
Idea number one: Color code your key, so different types of tasks have different colors. Like one color for work stuff, one color for personal.
Or maybe, if you have a big family, you can use different colors for different family members. I bet this one is great for moms who need to plan their kid’s activities and such!
Then simply add color coding to your key and keep using it as you plan.
Idea number two-color code your index. Assign different colors to different types of pages, like one color for collections, another for weekly spreads, a different one for monthly trackers, and so on.
Then add color to your pages, so when the journal is closed, you can easily see what page has what color. For an even better effect – add these colors to your index as well.
Tadam! scrolling through your journal and looking for pages just became easier!
Create A Grid Guide
When you are setting up your pages, you’ll eventually see how often you do the same things: divide the page by half, or by 6 or 4 parts.
It gets pretty daunting to count and measure every time, and that’s where your grid guide comes to the rescue.
The idea here is to count all the combinations you need in advance, so next time you set up a page you just need to look back at your grid guide, and you’ll know how to divide it.
My recommendation is also to create your guide on the left side of the spread, so it’s easier to reference it in the future.
Be sure to check my post with Everything You Need To Know About Grid Spacing Guide.
Use Washi Tape
There are tons of amazing ways to use washi tape, but here are a few I really love.
First of all, it’s a cute way to decorate your Bullet Journal pages. Trust me, just a little strip of washi will bring so much spark to your pages!
Another thing: it’s a great way to hide your mistakes. Just stick some washi on top of it, and nobody will ever know that something was wrong there.
If you use monotone colored washi tape, like black one – you can easily use a white pen to write on top. And just like that, it became a stylish header, not a mistake you needed to fix.
Have you ever tried using a dutch door in your Bullet Journal? You absolutely should, it’s fun and very useful.
Dutch door technique means that you cut your journal page (believe me it’s not as scary as it sounds) and use the flop to add more space to your spread.
Basically, that way, you can see both the right and left sides of your spread with a little extra space in the flop.
Dutch doors are very popular for weekly spreads but can be used on other pages as well, like a monthly log, future log, and yearly goals – the limit is your imagination.
Printables are so functional and can help in so many ways.
First – it’s a great time savior. All you need is to print it out and stick it in your journal. Just like that, your spread is ready – fast and easy.
It’s also a great way to experiment with your journal. There are many printables with different styles and different pages. It’s a great way to try new styles and new page ideas to figure out what works for you.
Finally, it’s also a great way to cover up a mistake in your journal. If you screwed up royally and your spread is beyond saving – just stick a printable on top. It will hide your mistake and still will be a functional spread.
There are tons of free and paid printables out there, all with different styles and purposes so you surely will be able to find something that fits your tastes.
For more printables, you can also check my post 50+ Free Bullet Journal Printables.
A great way to find free printables, for example, is the Masha Plans Resources Vault with tons of Bullet Journal printables and other goodies!
If you’re not part of Planning Mashers yet, be sure to join us and get access to the Resources Vault. Simply sign up in the form below.
Strap For Pen
Here is an easy trick to create a pen holder in your Bullet Journal – just wrap your strap around the journal, and it will make sure your pen stays put.
With this BuJo hack, you never need to worry if your journal has a pen loop or not.
Mark Special Pages With Washi Tape
Use washi tape to mark special pages in your journal. Something important or maybe something that you come back to often.
That way, when your journal is closed, you’ll still see these pages, and if needed, it’ll be pretty easy to open them.
Use Thermal Printer
There are many on the market and they are pretty affordable (and super cute!).
I have a Phomemo one and love it.
There are so many ways this printer can help you:
- The paper you print on is sticker paper, so you can easily print our decorations and headers, cut them, and stick them straight to your Bullet Journal
- You can also use it to print out daily boxes, to-do lists, or maybe habit trackers. It’s so much easier than drawing all those lines over and over again
- I love using my Bullet Journal for memory keeping, and of course, it’s awesome to add photos to your memory pages. You can use your Phomemo to print out photos and add them to your journal
- It’s also great to use your printer to print some inspirational quotes for your vision board
- Finally, this printer is super useful when you’re working on your study notes. Instead of drawing difficult pictures and graphs, simply print them out and stick them to your notes
Your “Why” Page
It happens to all of us, sometimes, we go through a slam and forget all about our journals. We love motivation to the journal, and sometimes this can lead to completely abandoning the system.
But the thing is, if you abandon it you will lose all the benefits with it, and this is no good.
What usually helps me to keep going and stick to my journal even in the moments like that is knowing my why.
I was all over the place and needed something to get my shit together, the Bullet Journal system is what helped me to do so and to achieve all the things I have now. So when I feel like dropping it all, I remind myself why I started and how it helped me.
So this could be a cool page idea to add to your journal – your “why”. It will keep you motivated and help you stick to your journal.
Have Fun With Headers
Headers are a fun and very simple way to add a bit of spark to your pages, so really, just give it a try and experiment.
It’s also a great way to keep your pages looking consistent – stick to the same header type during the month, and it will make your theme look even more united.
And speaking of headers, check my post with 90+ Creative and Easy Bullet Journal Headers To Try Right Away.
Do A Pen Test
Pen tests will help you so much to avoid heartbreaking incidents like bleeding or ghosting.
It all depends on what kind of paper your journal has, so it’s always a good idea before you use a pen to open the end of your journal and test it out.
Once you know if it bleeds or ghosts, if it smudges and how long it takes to dry, your journal pages will definitely look much better.
Plus, the color of the ink differs depending on the color of the paper, so it’s also a fun way to see what the color will look like in your journal.
We all want beautiful lettering to decorate our Bullet Journal pages, but the lettering is all about practice and it takes a while to make it look perfect.
Be sure to check my post Learn To Letter: The Ultimate Guide To Brush Lettering.
Meanwhile, a great trick is to use faux calligraphy!
Start by writing your word and make sure you leave some space between your letters because you’ll be adding thickness to some lines.
Now think which strokes were downward and thicken those by adding an extra line next to it.
Finally, you can color in the space, use a different color, keep them empty or add a pattern inside – it’s all up to you! Whatever you choose, it will look fun and creative.
Create A Routine
Ok starting something new is not easy; making it a habit is even harder. So if you want to make your Bullet Journal a part of your life – be sure to create a routine around it, or better yet add it to your existing routine.
Let’s say you wake up and go to the patio to enjoy your morning cup of coffee (if only I actually had time for that! Or a patio). That’s your morning routine.
Well, just be sure you start going to your patio with coffee and your Bullet Journal, so you can enjoy the morning and plan your day at the same time.
Once Bullet Journaling becomes a part of your routine – it will stay with you for good.
If this is something you’re struggling with, check my post How To Make Your Bullet Journal Habit Stick.
Add An Envelope
A fun little hack to create more storage to keep some stickers, or maybe secret notes in your journal.
Get a pretty envelope and stick it to your journal with washi tape or maybe some adhesive tape.
You can add it to your journal pages like I did to keep something related to a certain month, or maybe add it to your Bullet Journal cover and use it as an extra pocket.
Washi Tape Tabs
I know usually, journals have bookmarks to easily navigate between the pages you’re currently using.
But! Some journals don’t have bookmarks. And sometimes you might want to quickly jump from month to month.
Well, I have an easy solution for you – just use washi tape to create page tabs. Super easy and fun solution.
White Gel Pen As Whiteout
Here is my best secret on how to fix your smaller Bullet Journal mistakes – use a white gel pen to carefully correct it.
It’s much more precise than a whiteout and is significantly less noticeable. My favorite white pen is Sakura Gelly Roll – it’s really the smoothest gel pen I’ve ever used.
- Sakura Gelly Roll Pens: These pens don’t bleed through paper and make a lasting mark
- Bright, Opaque White Ink: Gel pens have vibrant white ink that flow creamy smooth onto paper
- Bold Point Size: This white pen pack contains 6 bold-tip pens
Be careful if your paper is ivory color though, the pen’s white ink may stand out a bit so better do a little pen test first.
For more tips on how to fix your mistakes check my post 11 Creative Ways To Fix Your Bullet Journal Mistakes.
Add A Pocket
Use washi tape or an adhesive to add a piece of paper to your journal and band – you got yourself a pocket.
It can be a fun decorative element for your weekly spread or a way to store more stickers and other supplies.
It can also be a fun way to have a grocery list – that way, you can easily take it with you shopping, without taking the entire journal.
Stencils are so fun and useful!
You can use them to decorate your pages; you can use them to easily draw your daily boxes or trackers, you can use them to measure your pages – there is really no limit on what you can do with stencils.
My favorite thing about stencils is how easily they allow you to create circle trackers and logs, which have always been my unspoken love!
There are stencils for any occasion, and they can help you to create your pages faster and make them prettier in less time.
This is probably the best trick in the book, which will easily allow you to create beautiful doodles and lettering without any previous experience.
For this, you’ll need a tracing board, or you can use your iPad or even phone, just be very careful when you do it.
The idea is simple – find the image with text or doodle you want to copy, put your journal page on top of your phone/tablet/computer that displays the image, and simply trace it with a pencil.
Well, that’s all I got for today.
What tricks and hacks do you use in your Bullet Journal? Share with us in the comments!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be A Blob.