1. Think about what you want to get out of it.
“First start with some notes to yourself about why you want to try this. Be more mindful about your day? Do better at remembering due dates? Tired of 28 sticky notes on your monitor? Developing a new workout or healthy eating habit? If you know what is motivating you. It is easier to decide what to include.”
Submitted by judithf46009c74f.
2. And if you’re not sure, try using your bullet journal for everything initially.
“Use it for everything at first, then you will adapt it as it fits for you. Write all the reminders, song titles, directions, phone numbers, websites, paint colours, and to-dos in there. Don’t write lists elsewhere or keep five different notebooks. It defeats the purpose.”
Submitted by n45eef7a66.
3. Plan in advance.
“Plan your layouts (daily or weekly) on Sunday nights. That way, you have a clear vision of your upcoming week and have plenty of time to add things you might have forgotten before.”
Submitted by mcartercats.
4. Try a habit tracker.
“When I first started, it was the thing that ensured I used my bullet journal every day, because I wanted credit for the good things I did. I would fill in my habits, and then sometimes end up making a journal entry, and then thinking about a to-do list, and then my bullet journal just became a companion.”
Submitted by rrclinger.
5. Don’t feel you have to use it when you don’t need to.
“Don’t get overwhelmed or feel like you need to track everything, or make a weekly spread for a week you don’t have much going on. Use it when you need it and only use the features you find are actually helpful to you.”
Submitted by emt082097.
6. Start off small and work from there.
“Ease into things! If you are not normally a journal/planner person, start slow and add more as you develop the habit of journaling. Overloading yourself with 20 daily trackers and 12 collections and fully illustrated weather reports will lead you to abandon the whole thing within a week.”
Submitted by Katelyn Elizabeth, Facebook.
7. Add a “brain dump” page.
“Create a ‘Brain Dump’ page, or reserve a spot at the end of each Daily page for it. I take the Bullet Journal up to bed and empty all my thoughts into that section and put the book on my nightstand. I can fall asleep knowing that I “locked in” all the random and won’t forget. It’s great to do on long commutes too.”
Submitted by n45eef7a66.
8. Set some goals.
“Setting up little goals for your journal in your head, such as “I want to be half way through my journal by October 1st”, or “I want to try and write/draw/plan in at least four pages today” is also a good way to help prompt you to start journaling more. For me personally it helps to give me motivation to write down my thoughts and ideas. ”
Submitted by s4e73eaf2e.
9. Consider using stencils if you aren’t confident with your design skills.
“Stencils are your best friend, you can find a ton on Etsy.”
Submitted by meganbalchw.
10. Look online for ideas to get inspired…
“Write down things from those inspirational blog posts/pins/ articles that you like. It could be a particular layout, a list idea, or just the way somebody does something in particular in their own journal.”
Submitted by https://www.buzzfeed.com/laurens4f8620e1d.
11. …but ultimately do what works for you, regardless of whether it’s Instagram-worthy.
“The Instagram stuff is beautiful, yes, and if that’s what makes you feel good, then by all means do it, but if what you really need is to just jot down what you’re going to do today in the five minutes you have between breakfast and catching the bus— or writing down what you DID do today to unwind before bed— then do that.”
Submitted by Ruby Lucero, Facebook.
12. And remember that it doesn’t matter if you’re not especially artistic.
“Not good at calligraphy? It’s alright. Not a drawer? Just fine. Doesn’t know how to make colours agree to save your life? It’s all good, baby. Look at your journal, think “well, fuck it, I’m gonna do my thing” and thank yourself later.”
Submitted by laisan.
14. Take your time filling it up.
“Don’t try to fill the whole thing in in one day. It has to slowly, organically happen so that it perfectly fits you. That takes time.”
Submitted by babsb2.
15. If you’re a perfectionist, try erasable pens.
“Erasable pens are worth it. I second the notion that you should always make sure it’s functional over beautiful, but if you’re like me (artistically inclined and demand a combination of both beautiful AND functional), an erasable pen takes the pressure off. It’s meant to help you above all else so don’t stress!”
Submitted by b4566d0b97.
16. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
“My advice is to try something new every week and piece together to find what fits you and your priorities. And even when you figure it out, change it up and add something new - who knows, you may like it even more. For example, tracking my habits, water intake, and workouts are all very important to me, so that is what I incorporated into my weekly layout. Then I set monthly goals for those as well.”
Submitted by erinf40247430d.
17. And if something doesn’t work, ditch it.
“Bullet Journaling is so customisable that you can change it up month to month, week to week, or even day to day. It takes time to find out what you like and what works for you.”
Submitted by Megan Marie, Facebook.
18. Some nice supplies could help motivate you to use it…
“Invest in nice things, especially the notebook. Get exactly what you want- color, size, pen holder, paper feel, aura, bookmarks, smell, whatever. Just like buying a nice pair of running shoes, spending some money means you’ll be more invested and you’ll have the tools to really enjoy what you’re doing.”
19. …but definitely aren’t necessary.
“Don’t feel like you have to buy some expensive, leather bound notebook and supplies. I bought a $2 grid paper notebook that I decorated with a piece of wrapping paper to look cute, and all my pens are from Muji.”
Submitted by Dannie Higginbotham, Facebook.
20. Have a second notebook to try ideas in.
“Get a bullshit bullet journal to practice in! Test out borders, handwriting styles and pictures.”
Submitted by Eduarda De Souza Queiroz, Facebook.
21. And finally, remember to include fun stuff!
“Life isn’t all work so make sure you include fun things you’re doing in your monthly overview or weekly spreads. Writing down memories like concert dates, outings with friends, and important events will make it even sweeter to look back on. ”
Submitted by Lauren Thomas, Facebook.