How To Fix Common Bullet Journal Mistakes

I know we all have a little bit of perfectionism when it comes to our bullet journals. There are small things that annoy us. These things include spelling mistakes, smudges, and pooling from marker ink.

As an artist I’m going to tell you something you don’t really want to hear. Art is rarely perfect. Art in a bullet journal will never be perfect. Perfection in art is an opinion held by the creator of the art. Most of us will see a bullet journal spread and think it looks great.

As a bullet journaler with perfectionist tendencies I’m here to offer some solutions to the most common mistakes made. Because I understand the need for near perfection.

Before we dive in, there is one thing you will need to know. Once a mistake is made in most pens, markers, and art supplies it’s almost impossible to fix back to original state. You can get close but you have to accept a certain level of fixing and just be ok with it.

The truth is I highly doubt any one of us is really going to care about a smudge or misspelling in 20 years when we finally look back on our journals. We are just going to be happy to have the memories.

Table Of Contents

For returning visitors or if you are looking for something in specific here is an easy jump to table of contents for you. Just click the link and jump to the part in the post you want to view most. To come back there is a link after ever section to send you back to this table of contents.

  • Fixing Spelling and Date Mistakes
  • Fixing Smudges
  • Fixing The Pool Of Ink In Marker Usage
  • Using Washi To Cover Mistakes
  • Fixing Spelling and Date Mistakes

    It happens to the best of us, we get into a grove to write a word and a letter is missing. It’s the biggest complaint that I see.

    Loads of us bullet journalers usually have a good sense of humor and just demand that henceforth we all adhere to the new way of spelling “Saturday.” Still the glaring spelling mistake can eat at us.

    I recommend a white gel pen to fix this mistake. It takes a bit of time for it to dry due to the gel nature of the pen – so be prepared for that.

    Simply wipe off the tip of your pen and then draw over the mistake. Let that first layer dry and then repeat the step.

    Then once the gel is completely dry you should be able to go over the section that you messed up.

    how to fix a misspelling in your bullet journal

    For instance, in the picture above you can see that I have a misspelling of Saturday. I’m missing the T. I simply used the white gel pen to remove the “u” and the “r” and let it dry completely. Then I went back in to add the “t,” the “u,” and the “r.”

    fixed misspelling in bullet journals

    When looking closely, you can absolutely tell that there is a white out. However, from a normal distance and at a glance the mistake pretty much disappears.

    covering ink in bullet journals

    In this next picture you can see the pink dot. If you look hard enough you can probably see another dot next to it. That dot was the same as the first one and covered up with the white gel pen.

    If you make a mistake in a calendar on your dates just go ahead and draw small circles in the white over the date and then wait for it to dry. Cover again if necessary and wait a second time for it to dry. Then correct with the right dates.

    It usually takes two coats to cover a mistake with this pen and you will need to wipe the tip after each coat as the pen tip will sometimes absorb some of the color you are covering.

    Go back to table of contents.

    Fixing Smudges

    I have a bit of a pro tip here that you may want to know. If you use the Pigma Micron Fineliner pens I have some great news for you. The majority of a smudge will actually erase away with one of these pink erasers.

    It’s actually part of the reason why I love and use the Pigma Micron Fineliner pens. While they dry fairly quickly in my Scribbles That Matter journal every now and then I’ll get an accidental smudge. I was pleased when I found I could just erase the majority of the smudge away.

    fixing smudges or too long lines in bullet journals 1

    Outside of erasing the smudge you have two options. You can use the white gel pen I recommend to cover the smudges in the same way we fix spelling errors. Like in the image below I have covered what was left of the smudge after erasing as much as I could.

    fixing smudges or too long lines in bullet journals 2

    The other way is to try to erase most of the smudge and then add an artistic flare to cover anything left. As you can see in the pictures below I have used both a filled in shadow and a stripe shadow to draw attention away from the smudge.

    adding a shadow box to cover up smudges 2 types of shadow box styles to fix smudges

    Go back to table of contents.

    Fixing Pooling Ink from Markers

    This problem is more prevalent in markers like Crayola Super Tips and Zebra Mildliners. You draw a line and at the end of the line there is a darker spot. There are two ways that you can avoid that darker spot.

    First, you can use a post it note at the end of where that line would end and continue to draw onto the post it note. This will leave the pool of ink on the post it note instead of on your journal.

    My preferred way to handle this pool is to dab it out though. Below you can see the three markers I use most and how dabbing leaves you with much less of a dark pool spot.

    Dab the ink pool away for a more blended look

    To dab it out simply draw your line and then press one finger to the spot and lift up the finger. You can do it again with another finger to blend out that pool even more if needed.

    The thing to remember is never dab with the same finger twice in a row or you may end up with a bigger smudge next to your line.

    I prefer this method because it’s easier to me and doesn’t waste my already precious collection of useful post it notes.

    Go back to table of contents.

    Using Washi To Cover Mistakes

    If you are a big washi tape user this is a great method for fixing mistakes or deciding to add extra flair to your journal. I typically don’t use washi tape and am planning on trying it out for the first time in my journal this year.

    However, the washi tape to cover a mistake is a favorite among bullet journalers. I did find a neat trick to doing and actually getting your mistake covered completely.

    In this first picture you see that I have a flowered washi tape with a dark pink washi tape as an accent. We will start to pull away at this washi tape.

    covering mistakes in bullet journal with washi tape 3 covering mistakes in bullet journal with washi tape 2

    Now you see I have two pieces of a pale pink washi tape covering the word hello.

    covering mistakes in bullet journal with washi tape 1

    By adding the pale pink washi tape before the patterned washi tape I am washing out the word and providing a solid background for the patterned pink washi tape. Adding that third layer of a darker pink draws attention away from anything behind the other washi tape.

    It’s a great way to add a bit of flair to your journal while covering up a mistake you just don’t want to see. This is by far the easiest and least time consuming way to fix a mistake.

    There is no waiting for gel ink to dry, there is no artistic flare or extra drawing that needs to take place either. It’s just cover and go.

    Go back to table of contents.

    Fixing Mistakes In A Bullet Journal

    We all want our bullet journals to be perfect but when you are dealing with hand lettering, art, and art supplies it’s actually pretty rare for a bullet journal to remain perfect. It’s ok though. With these easy fixes you’ll be able to at least make the mistakes less glaring.

    What are some of the ways you fix mistakes in your bullet journal? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite bullet journal boards.

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