My Bullet Journal: Tips & Tricks


This is one post in a series of posts about My Bullet Journal Journey. I’ve sequenced the posts so that they chronicle my journey and are step-by-step guides for those of you considering starting your own. 

Ready for back to school season? Do you have your handy dandy fresh new calendar ready to mark up with appointments and tasks? I always love this time of year, and I fully admit that I am in love with office supplies. This now puts me in seven solid months of bullet journaling, and I’ve learned some tips that are helping me out with making my own better.

Tips & Tricks


Finding Inspiration

This is sometimes my biggest struggle. I have a small allotment of creative juices, and once they run out I am like a little bird looking for Mama to give me the worm. So I have become an Instagram stalker. I look up a couple of the most popular bullet journal topics and I will scrounge for an hour, looking for inspiration for layout design, artistic work, coloring options and new things to do. This is an amazing list to use to find things you are looking for. I get so many ideas from looking at other people’s bullet journal work. I’ve started screen shotting things on my phone to keep a record of what it is and who posted it so I can give credit for my inspiration – and I can find it again!


Sketches and Drawings

I can do OK with replicating something someone has drawn or drawing free-hand from another image…as long as it is not too complex. I’m not too good with 3D, and I am very particular about symmetry and imperfections, so I struggle with adding sketches, doodles, and small drawings (let alone big ones) into my bullet journal. This is why I have purchased a boat load of stencils for lettering and for artwork. Recently I purchased a nice number of stencils from OopsaDaisyUK via Etsy and a few from Journal This Now. I already drew up a cartful of additional stencils from JTN as well. They are moving away from Etsy to their own online store, where there are WAY more stencils available. Some of the stencils are very seasonal, like the Christmas ones, but most are versatile and can be used on a variety of spreads. So far I am loving the stencil support!

Colored Pencils and Blending

I took one art class in sixth grade. I loved it and was kind of good at it, but my mother refused to let me take art again. I feel like my creativity died a little, and I never learned how to do certain artistic things, like portrait drawing or even shading. I fell in love with the beautiful designs from Journal This Now and wanted to be able to create the same high-quality designs in my bullet journal using their stencils. I discovered Janae made this great video about shading and how she creates their artwork. Unlike Janae, I have Coloré colored pencils. I didn’t really know there was any difference, but I learned that my wax-based colored pencils don’t layer as well as her oil-based ones. There are also a variety of other videos that provide tips on blending.

This was my best blending. It was also my first one. What I learned was it is very important to pick the right three or four shades that you are going to use. Perhaps try a practice blend on scratch paper first to see if the shades you’ve selected work well the way you want them. If you’re not sure you like the blend of the colors you selected, pick one or two other shades and try those out and choose the best result for your page.

What tips or tricks have you learned to help you out? 

I’m excited to share my August and September layouts next time! 

8 thoughts on “My Bullet Journal: Tips & Tricks

  1. I just got my bullet journal and figure I’ll experiment until i find a system that works for me. We’ll see how we go.

  2. I love your bullet journal posts! I’m planning to explore stencils, and switch over to a dot-grid notebook when I finish my lined one. I still have my Prismacolor pencils from college, which I use on the rare occasions when I color in my coloring book. I hadn’t thought of using them for my bujo. I’m only just starting to try out colored markers (along with the colored Staedtler ballpoints I’ve been using), because I’m worried about the markers bleeding or showing through.

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