How Do You Deal with Ghosting in a Bullet Journal?

If you are using a bullet journal, you probably already love planning and stationeries and enjoy writing aesthetically. Also, you must have heard of journal or notebook ghosting and bleeding. Ghosting is when what you are writing on one page shows up or “bleeds” through onto the next page.

Dealing with ghosting in a bullet journal requires perfect control of your paper, ink and pen. Practical strategies for dealing with ghosting in a bullet journal are:

Also, bullet journal stickers help cover up the ghosting.

Ghosting or bleeding in a bullet journal is a pretty common experience among most users. However, there are simple yet creative ways and some tips and tricks to mask these seemingly ugly situations and transform them into beautiful cover-ups. So, in this article, let’s get started on how to deal with ghosting in a bullet journal. 


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Solutions To Ghosting in a Bullet Journal.

When dealing with ghosting in a bullet journal, one size does not fit all. In other words, there isn’t a universal solution for bullet journal ghosting. Instead, it requires careful manipulation of the essential factors involved in using a bullet journal. These factors include

  • Your journal paper quality.
  • Your ink type or quality.
  • Your pen or marker.

Here are some practical solutions for dealing with ghosting in a bullet journal.

By Controlling the Paper Element of Your Bullet Journal.

The quickest way to deal with ghosting in a bullet journal is to control the paper element. Some journals are made of much superior quality compared to others. Essentially, if your bullet journal has very soft and thin pages, you will likely be dealing with ghosting. The easiest way out will be to purchase bullet journals with stronger pages that will reduce the risk of ghosting.

Alternatively, you can place a sheet of paper under your writing page to act as an adsorbent. That way, when you write in your journal, the ghosting only happens on the adsorbent sheet and preserves the subsequent page from ghosting. It is essential to hold the adsorbent sheet with adhesive tapes or clips to keep it from being displaced by your writing motion.

If you buy bullet journals with tougher pages, here are three bullet journal types, their features, and pros and cons to help you decide. 

Bullet JournalsFeaturesProsCons
The Leuchtturm 1917.145×210mm dimension.
Ink-proof and acid-free paper.
Elastic closure band.  
Blank table of contents.
Double pacemakers.  
Labeling stickers.
Durable hardcover.
It comes with several color options.
The elastic band protects the journal from external damage.    
The pages are not as white.
There can be slight ghosting depending on the ink.    
The Lemome eco-friendly natural cork dot notebook.Measures 8.4×5.7.
Cork fabric cover.  
120g acid-free paper.
Expandable pocket.    
Slight or no ghosting due to heavy pages.
It is eco-friendly as the cover is made from renewable resources.
Available in various colors.    
The perforated pages easily rip off.    
The Wordsworth planner.Measures 5.25 ×8.25 inches.
Paper weighs 100g
Manufactured from eco-friendly materials.
It has a very durable hardcover.
It is ideal for goal setting and personal organization.
It has a detailed interior.
It comes with a sticker-containing pouch.
Some users may not like the pre-created layouts.
The monthly and weekly layouts are somewhat random.    

By Using Paper Concealers.

The practice of concealing bullet journal ghosting with stickers or a washi tape remains among the easiest ways to deal with ghosting. However, this solution is only effective if the ghosting doesn’t cover a significant surface area of your bullet journal.

The essence is to avoid making a huge mess on your bullet journal. Using stickers for coverage requires creativity to make them appear like designs and less noticeable bullet journal ghosting.

Additionally, if you use a washi tape for concealing, you must ensure that it matches your theme. Also, you must ensure you run the tape as intentionally as possible, making it clear as a divider or border. This way, it looks like a makeshift margin.

White Gel Pen Coverage

The white gel pen coverage is adequate for areas with minor ghosting on your bullet journal. The white gel pen is a less obvious yet precise method of concealing ghosting on bullet journals.

If your bullet journal has white pages, the white gel pen may blend in, but if you have off-white pages, this may not be an excellent solution for your bullet journal ghosting problem. However, it may be better than using white strips.

Moreover, you can quickly write over the white ink as it functions like a correction pen.

By Overwriting

The essence of overwriting is to reduce the tendency to overstress concerning your bullet journal ghosting but to engage your creativity to handle the situation. Essentially, this solution allows you to engage your imagination in drawing directly over the ghosting. The essence is to create a significant distraction to make the ghosting less obvious.

This solution is all about disguising the ghosting. It is notable for allowing users to accept their journals’ imperfections without stressing over them. The reason is that several factors can cause ghosting in your bullet journal, and regardless of what precautions you employ, a slight chance of this occurrence is out of your control.

Environmental factors like temperature, relative humidity, and storage can increase your chances of experiencing ghosting in a bullet journal. So instead of feeling dissatisfied and frustrated, you can accept it and make the best of the situation.

Essential Things To Know When Dealing With Ghosting.

Ghosting in a bullet journal is a pretty subtle situation. As a result, learning about some essential associated concepts is vital to enable you to choose the solution that best fits your situation. You will be better equipped to prevent ghosting from occurring or at least minimize its occurrence.

What Is Ghosting in a Bullet Journal?

Although ghosting on paper almost has a universal meaning, there is a slight difference in a bullet journal.

Ghosting in a bullet journal or notebook refers to a situation where the ink of what you have written on a previous page becomes visible on the next new page that flows.

However, the ink doesn’t pass through to be imprinted on the opposite page. It instead appears like a ghost on the other page, hence the name. This writing phenomenon is fundamentally a paper and ink problem.

Here is what we mean.

If your journal paper is too light or soft, you will experience ghosting.

Similarly, if your ink or pen is excessive or heavy (where the ink releases more grams of ink per square inch of the bullet journal paper), you will also experience the same situation.

In other words, ghosting in a bullet journal rests on a delicate balance of ink and paper. While ghosting on a bullet journal is not the end of the world, it can be pretty frustrating, especially if you love writing aesthetically.

Additionally, ghosting can make your bullet journal not last as long and create confusion in your entries when you come to review them. Imagine taking some notes and not being able to recognize your own writing—That is the effect of ghosting in a bullet journal.

Is Ghosting in a Bullet Journal the Same As Bleeding?

Ghosting and bleeding are common ink-to-paper issues. However, they are not the same. Also, the perceived similarity between ghosting and bleeding creates significant confusion among bullet journal users.

As a result, it is essential to carefully differentiate between these journaling problems to enable users to easily identify them and take proactive measures to deal with them.

Bleeding is a little bit similar to ghosting, but the significant difference is in the ink’s ability to soak through the paper onto the next page and create unpleasant spots, patches or blotches.

So while ghosting appears like a shadow of the writing on the initial page, bleeding is an actual imprint from the previous page. Essentially, bleeding occurs due to an imbalance between the moisture content of the ink or pen and the bullet journal paper.

You can test for the possibility of ghosting or bleeding before using a new bullet journal or ink (pen). The test strategy is to take out a portion of the bullet journal and write on a page to see if it ghosts or bleeds.

Remember to test severally before settling for a choice. It would be best if you also took note of bullet journals and pens that exhibit little or no ghosting and bleeding signs for subsequent purchases.

How to Prevent Ghosting in a Bullet Journal

We all know the saying “prevention is better than cure”. One of the easiest ways to deal with ghosting in your bullet journal is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips.

  • Ensure you are choosing a journal with good quality paper. To ensure a ghost free experience at a minimum go with 120gsm paper but to ensure the best quality there are journals available with 140 and even 160 gsm.
  • Your pens and markers matter. Thick markers and pens with a lot of ink will be more likely to ghost (and bleed) than ones that release less ink. This one is a bit of trail and error but you want to find pens and markers that produce enough ink to give a nice color on the page, but not too much that your page ends up slightly wet from ink – this is a sure fire way to get ghosting.
  • Don’t press to hard on the page. Pressing hard on a page will both lead to imprints on the other side and can also lead to having too much ink on the page (see point above). If you have a good quality pen you should be able to glide across the page and still get the ink coverage you want without having to press down hard.
  • Don’t go over the same area too many times. Every time you go over a spot on the page you add more ink, leading to more likelihood of ghosting.

Preventing ghosting on your bullet journal page generally comes down to the quality of your paper and markers. If you are finding you are needing to go over your details on the page more than once, or your pen is leaving the page wet, it might be time to upgrade.

If you have a favorite juicy pen you don’t want to part with, then look for a journal with a high gsm paper.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Ghosting in Bullet Journaling?

Ghosting in bullet journaling occurs when you can see the reflection of your writing from one side of the paper on the other side of it. However, it doesn’t mean the ink slipped through the pages.

What Makes Ink Ghosting Unattractive?

The reflection of already written material on the opposite page, looking like a ghost, makes your writing on the new page messy due to ink interference. Ink ghosting is a term used to describe the visibility of written ink from one side of a page on the opposite side.

Why Do Some Pens Bleed on Paper?

Some pens bleed on paper when you add excess ink to the paper’s surface, causing the ink to flow off the marker and saturate the paper.

Final Thoughts

There are no rules for dealing with ghosting in bullet journaling. Although it can be challenging to deal with spots on your clear pages, this article has provided you with some appropriate ways to deal with ghosting in a bullet journal.

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