Bullet journal hacks that actually work. Increase your productivity and creativity this year with these simple tips!
I LOVE my bullet journal. I love getting the opportunity to document my days, get creative AND organize my life. Without my bullet journal, I would be a disaster, never knowing when I was supposed to do anything, always having my thoughts twirling around in my mind going no where. That being said, learning to use the bullet journal had a bit of a learning curve to it. Thankfully, over time, I started to get the hang of it and even developed a few hacks to be more efficient in my bullet journal. This list of bullet journal hacks is primarily focused on the creative aspect of bullet journalling.
If you are new to Bullet Journaling go to my guide on How to Start a Bullet Journal and then come back to this page after you’ve got the basics down!
If you would like to read some other hacks posts, I have a written a few at this point!
I hope you enjoy!
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TOOLS TO GET STARTED BULLET JOURNALING:
Before we get started, I wanted to share some of the best and most affordable tools available for bullet journalling.
This notebook which is almost identical to the cult favorite and has raving reviews for a fraction of the cost!
This pen that won’t bleed through the page and is great for inputting your dailies
This Pen for art work and faux calligraphy
These Markers for decorating and color coding your journal
These stencils for making layouts quicker
Obviously the only things that you need to get started is a notebook and pen and you will use them the most. However, the markers are useful for color coding your journal and the stencils will save you time in creating beautiful layouts!
Bullet Journal Hacks!
Attach a routine card to your bullet journal. In this photo, @my.life.in.a.bullet is using the routine card to remind herself of bullet journal specific tasks.
Daily : Check monthly log, check master to do list, fill habit tracker, etc. Weekly : Plan for new week, budget review, fill health tracker, etc.
The great thing about this idea is that you can do this monthly for your to do lists. It is a beautiful way of reminding yourself of what your goals are. Daily : 15 mins reading, 2 L of water, tidy kitchen, etc. Weekly : Yoga twice, call mom, vacuum floors, etc.
Why waste time rewriting tasks that you do daily or weekly when you could write it out once and just pop it out for reference each day!
Trace Photos From Your iPad
Depending on the thickness of your pages, this might not work but it will work for most standard bullet journals.
Turn on the accessibility settings on your iPad to hold an image still while you touch it. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, do a quick Google search. This is also a parenting hack if you have kids. You’re welcome during your next diaper change!)
Put the iPad under the page and line it up with there you want the drawing to go. The light of the iPad will help you see through the page better and you will be able to trace a cute doodle or letting style. With your iPad, you can even adjust the size of the doodle (zoom in or out) to get it the perfect size.
Polaroids are almost hack by themselves. Make a giant mistake? No big deal, just add a polaroid!
I love adding polaroids to my bullet journal because personally, I use my bullet journal more as a scrapbook/journal than as a day planner. I love using my journal to record the moments but I HATE carrying around a polaroid and accidentally wasting prints on poor photos.
Enter this polaroid printer It is an absolute game changer!
I take photos on my phone and then via Bluetooth, send the photos that I like to the printer. GAME CHANGER!!
Cannot recommend this printer enough. We even have a wall decorated solely by the photos printed by this printer. Do yourself a favour and pick it up!
Add Reference Pages To The LEFT page so its easier to flip back to it.
On that note, add reference pages to either the front of your notebook or the back of your notebook (so they are easier to find). if the reference page is at the front of your book, then add it to the left page. If the reference page is at the back of the book, add it to the right page.
Trust me, it will make your life so much better and save so much frustration. It really is the simple things is life that make all of the difference!
Add A Lettering Cheat Sheet
I’m not sure if you can relate but I get stuck using the same font over and over again because I forget that others exist. Adding a reference font page that I can flip to has been a creative life saver. Now when I’m feeling blah, I just flip over to a font page and pick one to recreate.
Add a Doodle Reference page.
Similar to the font reference page, add a doodle reference page for quick inspiration when you need it. Also check out this amazing doodle inspiration post!
Grid Cheat Sheet
Speed up your spread making by at least 10x with a grid cheat sheet. This one is the easiest to follow at a glance. How many columns do you want? Find the row that looks good, grab the numbers and ba-da bing ba-da boom. Presto your spread is complete.
Use Post It Notes!
On spreads that you can resuse over and over again, save yourself time and use post it notes.
This is a photo of my weekly workout schedule and meal plan.
For my workout schedule, I have a list of two things that I could do each day. I put down some washi tape on the squares at the beginning of each week so I can check off the stuff that I do each day. At the end of the week, I take off the washi tape, and add new.
For the meal plan, I have listed some food ideas in each box. Since some days are busier for me than others (gymnastics on Monday and so on) I know what meals take a little longer and what meals I can prepare quickly. I put a post it note over each box at the beginning of each week and write down what I will be making each day. At the end of the week, I just recycle those post it notes and add new ones. So simple and I only had to make this spread once.
Find Pages Quickly With Washi Tape Bookmarks.
Certain pages need to be referenced often (such as my meal panning spread above). To make that easier on myself, I just add a border of washi tape to the side of the page and cut off whatever excess.
Sleep, Mood, Stress Tracker
If you only add one tracker to your bullet journal, add this one.
Mood and stress get rated from 1-10, sleep gets scored by how many hours of sleep you got each night. These three things are intimately connected and will bring you so many insights to your life.
This becomes extra interesting if you track a few other things such as exercise, food eaten, period and if anything particularly stressful happened each day. This information will change your life.
Add Water Color To Your Bullet Journal The Non Wrinkly Way
Add water color to your bullet journal without warping the pages or taping thick water color pages in.
This is an idea that I saw jenny journals do on YouTube. She paints the water color scene, scans them onto procreate, adds the title and calendar THEN prints it off onto regular paper. Mind Blown!
If you have an iPad already, this is a great hack. An alternative to an iPad, would be a regular printer scanner and your favourite photo editor of choice.
Ombre sunset effect with markers
Adding this one mostly to remind myself to try this. It looks so pretty!
What About You?
What is your favorite bullet journal hack / tip? Share them in the comments so we can all get new inspiration!