Bullet Journal Supplies - Tips To Keep Using Your Bullet Journal and Making It A Habit

Bullet journaling is an amazing hobby to have. Not only does it give you creative freedom over your planner but it can be whatever you want it to be. Plan out every aspect of your life or do creative journaling. Turn it into a scrap book or keep it super simple. Your bullet journal is yours and meant to give you exactly what you need to be organized.

As with any hobby though it can be a bit time consuming and with a busy schedule can make you feel overwhelmed. I have some big tips that will help you stop the bullet journal overwhelm and help you to keep using your bullet journal.

Bullet Journals Are Time Consuming

Bullet journals are time consuming. As a hobby they can be relaxing but when life gets busy they can seem like a burden.

Drawing, doodling, and hand lettering takes time that we don’t always have. You may not have time to fill out your habit tracker, mood tracker, record your finances, fill out your meal planning, and check off all your tasks. This happens a lot. It could be busy schedule or just forgetting to do it.

The problem isn’t really these two things though. It’s that using your bullet journal isn’t a habit for you yet. I struggled with the daily use of my bullet journal for about 6 months and even after that there were times that I just didn’t get into my bullet journal like I wanted to.

The trick is to make time, just a few minutes everyday, to get into your bullet journal. Do it first thing in the morning with your coffee. Or last thing at night before bed. Do it during your afternoon slump to motivate you to finish out the day strong.

Creativity Relieves Stress

Being creative with spreads, lettering, doodles, and quote pages takes time too. So when you are running short on time your creativity often takes a backseat.

Woman writing in bullet journal in a cafe

Story time. Once upon a time I used to host paint and sip events where I would step by step teach people how to paint a painting. These events were more like parties. I would turn on some great music, give them instruction, laugh with them, and give them encouragement.

At every single one of these parties there would be at least 5 people who came in looking stressed to hell. About 45 minutes in we’d start working on the small details of the painting and I would watch these 5 people closely. They would go silent, their face would relax, their shoulders would relax, and they became peaceful.

Soon everyone in the room would be silent as they worked on the tiny details of their paintings and everyone relaxed. As a sip and paint party host this would be my most favorite part of the event. Everyone in the room was in what we called “The Zone.” They weren’t thinking about their kids, their jobs, their fight with their significant other, or their bills. For those last 15 minutes of the event they were completely stress free because all of their brain energy was focused painting the small details.

When you take time to draw and doodle in your bullet journal you are forcing yourself to go into “The Zone.” You’re also doing it in a smaller amount of time than you would be like at a my paint and sip events.

Turn on some music, grab your favorite drink, and get into your bullet journal every single day. Get into “The Zone” and enjoy that release from the stress of your life.

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Creativity Needs To Be Nurtured

Creativity is not something that you naturally have an abundance of. Creativity is like a muscle. The more you use it, the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.

At my paint and sip events newbies would often tell me how they just aren’t creative people. I would tell them what I just told you and told them if they want to be creative they need to keep creating.

Many of those people became regular attendees of our events and over time their paintings got better and they started getting more creative.

Here’s the thing that really surprised them. Regularly building that creative muscle they actually started to notice changes in their daily lives. They solved problems at work faster, they were able to handle projects better, they even noticed how they reacted to situations in their home life was different.

You see creativity forces your brain to think differently, outside of the box if you will. Exercising your creativity trains your brain to look for more creative solutions to your problems. Solutions that may solve your problems or fix situations faster than you normally would.

If you don’t exercise your creativity, you will lose it. So keep working with your creativity and keep getting creative.

Ways To Keep Using Your Bullet Journal

After taking a break from my own bullet journal I have found a few ways to make it easier and less time consuming. So the next time life gets super busy and you find you lack the time to invest into your journal, follow these four tips.

Go Minimalist In Design

Keep the design minimalist in your monthly, weekly, or daily spreads. Consider using a plain minimalist look for your collections or any additional spreads as well.

It takes far less time to create a minimal spread than it does a more complex design. This will help you to save time on the actual creation of your spreads so you can get to using your journal more.

If creating straight lines takes awhile for you consider not using lines at all and instead creating your spreads to eyeball it. Create small corners like in the picture below instead of drawing a full square.

October Bullet Journal Monthly Page with colorful falling leaves

There are some tools that make these things easier. A ruler and protractor set – like this one – are small enough to travel and make lines and circles go much faster.

Also consider grabbing stencils – like these – and sticking with minimalist doodles only when needed.

Finally, washi tape can give your bullet journal a beautiful look without taking loads of time to do it. This is a great starter set.

These couple of things will help you save loads of time while you set up your bullet journal. It will keep you from feeling stressed about the journal that is supposed to keep your stress free.

Only Create What You Need

Only create what you need. This means if you don’t need a gratitude spread, mood tracker, meal planner, habit tracker, and a lot of collections – don’t use them.

By only creating what is useful to you, you end up saving loads of time that you may have spent creating spreads you just don’t need. So take a good look at what you actually need to use.

Switch To A Daily Layout

When life gets super hectic for me I switch to using a simple daily layout that gets created day by day.

It could take me an hour or more to create my full monthly setup in my bullet journal. By removing the need for a weekly spread and only having a monthly setup I can track my plans for the month, set my goals, projects, and other plans.

This leaves me free to create daily layouts either the night before or in the morning to plan out my day. On days when I have a bit of free time I might go a bit more extravagant with my design, otherwise I keep it to a minimal look.

Finally, on my daily setups I record the habits I want to track, my mood, and things I’m grateful for. This keeps me on track with my trackers while avoiding the need for several different spreads.

Make It A Habit

Whatever you do in the design elements of your bullet journal half the battle of being consistent is in creating the habit of using it every single day.

There are two ways that you can easily turn using your bullet journal into a hard to break habit.

Woman writing in bullet journal in a cafe

The first way is to switch it out with another already in place habit. If you check social media after each completed task normally, instead check your bullet journal. You can mark off a task fill in some notes and then switch to your next task.

The second way is to just make a schedule. Every morning and every night get into the habit of going into your bullet journal. If needed, set a reminder on your phone so you remember to go into it.

Don’t Be To Strict On It

The final way you can stay on track with bullet journal use is to not be so strict on yourself. Your bullet journal is for you. This means you don’t need to be super strict on it.

It doesn’t need to be perfect in every way if it gets the job done. Those beautiful bullet journals you see on Instagram, Pinterest, and sometimes here on this blog? They all took loads of time to set up from people who had the time to commit to it. If you don’t have the time to commit to beautiful designs, don’t do it.

This is why there are a lot of times that I share spreads that got messed up or spreads that aren’t perfect. I don’t have loads of time to commit to it so I just accept the spread the way it is and use it, because it’s useful to me. I also want you to see that it doesn’t need to be perfect, lines don’t have to be completely straight, art isn’t meant to be absolutely perfect.

Keep Using Your Bullet Journal

Your bullet journal is meant to be a life planner for you. You track everything, write everything, and plan everything. It’s main purpose is to keep you on track.

If you feel overwhelmed by the process, simplify it, stick to only what you use, switch it up if need be, make it a habit, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Your bullet journal is meant to help you – not stress you out.

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your bullet journal? Let me know your experience 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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