13 Ridiculously Useful Bullet Journal Tips For Beginners
If you’re looking to start your journal, you’re in the best place to learn about Bullet Journaling for beginners.
However, starting something new can be quite intimidating, and there is a chance you’ll make a lot of mistakes.
To help you avoid mistakes and make sure you start and enjoy the Bullet Journal method, I talked to 8 experts in the community and asked them for the best Bullet Journal tips for beginners, plus I added some of my own.
Starting something new is always scary, and it can be especially intimidating with Bullet Journaling since it varies so much in style and functionality.
You’ll probably face many misconceptions and make mistakes before you finally figure it out and create that one perfect 0planner for yourself.
But that’s ok! We all go through it; just remember that inner kid inside you. Remember the little you who wasn’t afraid of anything and would start a new hobby every week?! Tap into this energy.
Another thing you can do is to ask people who’ve already been through it, like myself and 8 other creators in this blog post.
We all are different people, we had different paths in Bullet Journaling, so of course, we all have our perspectives.
I’m sure among all these Bullet Journaling tips; you’ll find a few that will help you on your journey.
So let’s dive in!
And read until the end of the post, where I’m adding some useful links and freebies that will help you to get started.
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Megan, Page Flutter: Do It Your Way
Don’t try to force your Bullet Journal (or any planner, for that matter) into someone else’s mold.
If you are artsy, great! If you like things simple, great! It’s your notebook, your plans, and your life. Celebrate what makes it YOU!
Megan is a blogger at Page Flutter, and she even wrote a book about journaling.
Mark, Men Who Bullet: Pencil First
Use a pencil to lay out your grid and page before you start using a pen or marker.
It’s easier to erase and will help you on reducing mistakes.
Mark is Bullet Journals at Men Who Bullet. He simply has the best personality, so I love watching his YouTube videos not just for useful info, but also for his attitude.
And he did a guest blog on Masha Plans where he talked about Project Management In Your Bullet Journal.
Rachel, Planning Mindfully: No Shame To Not Use Your Pages
There is absolutely no shame in creating a spread and never using it. Remember the joy you had making it. How fun and relaxing it was to set up.
Sure – you didn’t use it. But for a moment in time, you were truly engaged in something that captivated your creativity.
Rachel is a blogger behind Planning Mindfully, a Bullet Journal blog that mostly concentrates on time management and productivity.
And she released a book about Bullet Journal habit trackers, which is actually a set of pre-made habit trackers.
Jess, Jashiicorrin: Self Compassion
Don’t be afraid to try “ALL THE THINGS!” when you’re just starting out, but make sure to approach it with self-compassion.
Not every layout will work well for you; sometimes we need to do layouts a few times to find the right method/style, sometimes it’s not the right time for that layout, and of course, some just won’t work for us in general. That’s okay.
Jess is a wonderful Bullet Journal creator, and I admire the page ideas and concepts she comes up with.
Check out her YouTube channel; she has a lot of interesting, useful, and creative Bullet Journal content.
Shannon, Wellella: Paper Quality Is Important
When I started my first Bullet Journal, I didn’t have any of the supplies, so I went to the store and bought a cheap dot-grid notebook and two markers. I quickly discovered the importance of paper quality when it comes to notebooks!
In the cheap notebook, the writing and drawing on one page would bleed or ghost through the paper, making the reverse side of the page unusable. Also, having only two markers to use was a bit limiting to my creativity.
Pss, if you’re looking for a good journal, check my post 13 Best Notebooks To Use As Your Next Bullet Journal.
I would strongly recommend anyone starting a new bullet journal to choose good paper quality and buy a multi-pack of markers.
My favorite markers are the Stabilo fineliner pens which come in various vibrant colors. I have a lot more fun with my bullet journal now that I can unleash my creativity in it!
If you are looking for more ideas on great pens, head straight to Best Pens For Bullet Journaling post.
Shanon is a blogger behind WellElla, and she has a very beautiful style of journaling. It’s kind of minimal and clean but still very colorful and happy looking.
Nicola, My Inner Creative: Get Messy
Make your first page a messy play page with stickers and mixed media to help you overcome your first-page fears.
Nicola blogs at My Inner Creative, and if you want to get a better feel of her style and personality, check out the live we did together, “Why We Think You Will Quit Bullet Journaling”.
Sheena, Sheena Of The Journal: Keep It Simple
I would advise beginners to keep it simple at first. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or overexcited by all the beautiful bujos out there. But habits take time to develop, and you don’t want to burn out too quickly.
So start with a daily to-do list and build up from there. The act of writing every day will spark new insights and creativity, and soon you’ll have a journal that you cherish!
Sheenah Of The Journal is one of the big Bullet Journal blogs. It seems like she is not that active anymore, but her content is great, and I think she’s wonderful and hand-lettering.
Erin, Erin Floto Designs: Start Small
Start small – you don’t need to track everything.
Start with the things you truly want to make habits or need to track in your life. You don’t need to track 30 habits at once when you first start.
Erin is very creative with how she uses her Bullet Journal, and she’s a great inspiration if you’re looking for ideas for a blackout or kraft journal.
Be sure to check out her website, where she sells physical and digital stickers and some amazing Bullet Journal stencils.
Jenniffer, Life Is Messy And Brilliant: Don’t Overthink
The most important tip I could give a Bullet Journal beginner is to not overthink what layouts to create; simply draw something on the blank pages of their planner.
You don’t need to create layouts that look like works of art, a simple layout is all you need to make a bullet journal work for you. If you don’t like the page you created, flip the page over and start again.
There are no rules when it comes to Bullet Journaling as long as the layouts you create help you stay productive throughout the day. Pinterest and Instagram are great places to find inspiration for future designs but don’t copy the layouts, try to give the layouts your own personal touch of creativity.
Jennifer has a fantastic blog Life Is Messy And Brilliant, and I’d recommend checking it out, especially if you’re into digital planning.
I think lately, this is more on an area she mainly writes about.
Nicole, @plansthatblossom: Figure Out What You Want
If you’re interested in starting a Bullet Journal, I think it’s important to ask yourself what you want from the hobby.
If you want to be artistic and organized, then think of ways to make your art functional. If you want your journal to be all about planning and organization, then start small and build upward to suit your needs.
Nicole is an amazing artist, and you can check out her work on her Instagram account.
I admire her unique and creative Bullet Joruanling style.
Ady, Plan With Ady: Focus On The Basics
Don’t pay too much attention to what you see on social media. A Bullet Journal is an organizing tool; it doesn’t have to be a piece of art.
Focus on the basics at first, and familiarize yourself with the method.
This is such an amazing Bullet Journal tip! Definitely, something I could use when I got started – I jumped too hard into the creative elements.
Ady is an artist and a blogger at Plan With Ady (in English and French). She also turns her amazing designs into stickers on her Etsy shop.
Claire, Minimal Plan: Do What Works For You
Close all your Internet tabs to start. Your notebook and your pen are all you need at the beginning.
Don’t try to copy other’s journals: stick to the basics of the Bullet Journal method and build a system that works for YOU!
Claire has a wonderful blog Minimal Plan, where she mostly writes about using your Bullet Journal to be productive and organized.
She has some amazing tips, so I definitely recommend checking it out.
Masha, Masha Plans: Find Your Why
The final tip is from your truly!
I made all the mistakes these wonderful ladies just warned us against, and a lot more to add. But all those mistakes lead me to discoveries and new knowledge. They made me grow as a person and as a bullet journalist.
That’s why my main advice would be – don’t be afraid. It’s ok if, at first, your journal doesn’t look as good as you want it to; it’s ok if your cover page turned out the wrong way; it’s ok if you didn’t use some pages you created.
Don’t be afraid to explore and try new things. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. This is how we learn; this is how you will know what YOU need from the system; this is how you discover YOUR style. Be daring!
I hope these Bullet Journal tips gave you that extra push and motivation to start on yours today!
More Tip For Bullet Journaling Beginners
I bet these tips were helpful and made some aspects of Bullet Journaling easier for you.
But I feel like there is always more to learn, so I wanted to link a few posts that will help you with your first-time Bullet Journalist.
11 Things To Know Before Starting A Bullet Journal
Bullet Journal Myths That Keep You From Starting
If you’re ready to dive in and start your first Bullet Journal, I welcome you to our FREE course for Bullet Journal beginners.
It has all the instructions and examples to walk you through the entire process of setting up your first journal.
As a bonus, you’ll also get access to the Resources Vault, where we already have 100+ free printables, and I always add new ones.
What do you struggle with in your journal? What holds you back?
Or maybe you’ve already been Bullet Journaling for a long time. Maybe you could share your wisdom and tell us your tips for Bullet Journaling beginners.
Looking forward to reading your comments below!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t be a Blob!