The year is approaching its end and I know a lot of people are getting ready to start their Bullet Journal soon. I know from my own experience that starting something new can be quite intimidating because it was like that for me and my Bullet Journal. I also made a lot of mistakes I wish I could avoid now.
To prevent you from committing these very same mistakes and make sure you start and enjoy planning with Bullet Journal, I talked to 8 experts in the Bullet Journal community and asked them for the best advice they can give to beginners.
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My Bullet Journal has been an interesting journey, full of mistakes, yes, but also full of knowledge and new discoveries! For me, the Bullet Journal world is something full of wonder and possibilities, a magical place that makes me happier and productive.
I think what helped me the most to stick with it, was a clear understanding of why I wanted to have one. I knew that I needed a system to plan my life and to start moving towards my dreams. So before you decide to give it a try, think on your own personal “why”. Here are some posts about bullet journaling for beginners I wrote in the past to help to orient you:
Ready to dive in? Like with everything new, this will take some time to figure out, but don’t worry. These valuable tips from experienced Bullet Journalists will keep you on the right track and make the journey fun and full of discoveries.
Megan, Page Flutter
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!
Rachel, Planning Mindfully
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.
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.
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 a variety of vibrant colors. I have a lot more fun with my bullet journal now that I can really unleash my creativity in it!
Sheena, Sheena Of The Journal
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!
Jenniffer, Life Is Messy And Brilliant
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.
If you’re interested in starting a Bullet Journal, I think it’s important to ask yourself what you want out of 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.
Ady, Plan With Ady
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, familiarize yourself with the method.
Claire, Minimal Plan
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!
I actually made all the mistakes these wonderful ladies just warned us against, and a lot more to add. But all those mistakes lead me to new 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 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, 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! What do you struggle with your journal? What holds you back?
Or maybe you’ve already been Bullet Journaling for a long time. Maybe you could share your own wisdom, and tell us your tips for beginners?
Looking forward to reading your comments below!
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