Top 12 Bullet Journal Hacks

The beauty of the Bullet Journal system is its flexibility. Here's 12 hacks to take your Bullet Journal to the next level!

It’s been a little while since my last Bullet Journal post, so I thought it was high time that I indulged all of you BuJo Junkies out there! It’s no surprise that I am a huge fan of Ryder Carroll’s original system. That being said, one of the main reasons I love the Bullet Journal so much is it’s flexibility.

With a Bullet Journal, each new page is a blank canvas. You are never limited to a pre-printed layout. Each day, month, and year can be completely different and of your own making. This massive versatility is what has propelled the Bullet Journal to planner fame.

Today, I’m sharing my Top 12 Bullet Journal Hacks, complete with a list of my favorite Bullet Journal inspirations and resources. Are you ready? Let’s go!

The beauty of the Bullet Journal system is its flexibility. Here's 12 hacks to take your Bullet Journal to the next level!

TOP 12 BULLET JOURNAL HACKS & INSPIRATION:

1 >> INDEX ALTERNATIVES

Bullet Journal - Index

The original Bullet Journal Index is simple and straightforward. When you create a new spread, list, collection, etc. you just go back and write the appropriate page numbers in the index. Although it’s simple, it is not always the most practical. Here are some great ideas to help you get more organized.

– Day 04: index or index alternative. I don’t have the luxury of numbered pages in the Piccadilly and I also don’t have the patience to write them! So my alternative to an index is colour-tagging my daily pages according to the month they fall in. For instance, all May daily pages are coloured in the same line on the edge of the page (grey tag) for that month. See top picture for how my bullet journal looks like closed with the colour tags. For my collections and random notes, I’ll write a word in the top corner of the page #bulletjournal #bulletjournalchallenge #decadethirty #handwriting #journal #journaling #notes #notebook #notebookaddict #organization #planner #planning #plannerd #planneraddicte #stationery #todo #writing

A photo posted by Dee Martinez (@decadethirty) on

Day 26: Hacks. This is a small hack, but helps me to organize my index. I split it in half. I use the left side for all entries that are not dated. I place ‘journal’ and ‘morn (short for morning) pages’ where the page block is because I usually have many of those entries and need more room to write down the page numbers. The right side is for all dailies, weeklies and monthlies. I started doing this with my last BuJo because I found out that I sometimes need to flip back to a certain day, and with tons of entries, I forget what I’m looking for and waste time going in a loop. Before this I didn’t even index dated pages at all, but found out recently that it is necessary. It’s also kind of neat seeing how many pages I’ve made into collections and when the next dated page or spread occurs. Are there any hacks you’ve come up with that you love? Do share! :D #bulletjournalchallenge #bulletjournal #notebooklove #leuchtturm1917

A photo posted by Kim (@tinyrayofsunshine) on

While I’m still using the original index system, I also added some color coding so that I can easily flip to certain “categories” at a glance. Here’s how:

Color Index   Color Index

2 >> WAITING ON

Waiting On

I first saw this amazing hack by Kim (TinyRayofSunshine) and I instantly fell in love with it! You can check out her description in her guest post for bulletjournal.com.

12-Waiting-on

3 >> MONTHLY SPREAD ALTERNATIVES

For the first couple of months I followed the original monthly spread. It looks something like this:

Monthly Spread

I soon started to run out of room when I had several appointments and events on the same day. My solution was to split it into morning/afternoon/evening sections with a thinner column for my monthly goals and tasks:

Monthly Spread

Here are some other monthly spread hacks that I love:

4 >> LOG WHAT MATTERS

I love to use my Bullet Journal to log what matters the most to me. I have logs for food, fitness, gratitude, memories, family trips, etc. Here are some great examples of Bulletjournalists creating logs for what matters the most to them.

Memories:

Gratitude:

Finally, here’s my Day 15 #planwithmechallenge post. I don’t know why it took me so long on this one, and by the time I got around to it, I’m five days over! But I’ll catch up here and there. I am grateful for so many things, but I don’t think about them constantly. This was a great exercise in thinking of everything I am happy is in my life and couldn’t live without. So here’s what I’m grateful for: My husband, @grouglas, my puppy dog Baillie, my wonderful parents, my brother, friends even if they’re far away, #YOGA, my creativity, having a good job, making money that allows me to do the things I want (like Bullet Journaling … I like to have lots of supplies!), time to do activities, the interest to do said activities, everyone at @steadfast_and_true, food, books, Bullet Journaling, COFFEE, a nice house, sunshine, fall weather, an education, the Bullet Journal community, Instagram, coconut water, nice clothes, music, art, human ingenuity, ability to move around an exercise, my health. So there you have it! Next post coming up … as soon as I get off work. #bulletjournal #bulletjournaling #creativity #journaling #planners #artsandcrafts #scrapbooking ❤️❤️❤️ A photo posted by Allison (@allieleora) on

Food:

Fitness:

 

5 >> TRACK YOUR HABITS 

Habit trackers are by far the most popular Bullet Journal hack out there. It is so fun to create a tracker and review your progress across the weeks and months. Here are some of my favorite trackers:

 

_a look to how October went #bulletjournalchallenge

A photo posted by maría foulquié (@llamame_eme) on

6 >>  HANDY LISTS & COLLECTIONS

The possibilities in your Bullet Journal are absolutely endless! Here are some of my favorite handy lists:

 

Can you guess what’s going on here? A photo posted by Kim (@tinyrayofsunshine) on

 

7 >> GOAL SETTING

Here I go again talking about goals ;) I absolutely LOVE goal setting in my Bullet Journal. Here are some great examples of how to get things done! :)

So I’m torn about goals. Now, I don’t tend to have goals farther than a few years. I learned rather quickly that life is written in pencil, not in pen – so what I have is intention. These are my intentions, a mix of measurable and general feeling. I got lost in writing down these numbers for my Health goals and had to step back and remind myself WHY I’m doing these goals – I want to love my body. In the trends of measuring whatever data we can, I have to remember “to what end? How does this serve me? Others?” #goals #planwithmechallenge #planwithme #plannerlove #plannernerd #plannercommunity #planner #planning #midoritravelersnotebook #mtn #foxydori #fauxdori #plannergirl #bulletjournal #bujo #studyblr #studygram #productivity #priorities #projectmanagement #planneraddict #yellowpaperhouse #lists #todo #goalsetting

A photo posted by Jessica (@prettyprintsandpaper) on

 

8 >> HAVE FUN WITH HEADERS

Using different lettering styles in your headers and titles is not only cute, but a great way to practice your hand lettering techniques. This is one of the only ways that I “decorate” my Bullet Journal and it’s good enough for me.

Doing some headers in my #bulletjournal I’m so excited for October #bujo #plannercommunity #planneraddict A photo posted by Kacheri (@passionthemedlife) on

 

Check out some of the header ideas I listed over on the blog for your Bullet Journal #bulletjournal #ontheblog A photo posted by Kim (@tinyrayofsunshine) on

 

9 >> DEVELOP A PLANNING ROUTINE

Having a planning routine is one of the things that has helped me stick with my Bullet Journal. Here is my planning routine followed by routines from a couple of my favorite BuJo peeps! When: Planning is a big part of my nightly routine. About 30 minutes before bed, all of the electronics go off and I spend some quiet time with my Bullet Journal.

  • Sometimes I will journal a short blurb about my day or write down a few things that I am grateful for.
  • I turn to my habit tracker and fill in everything that I accomplished that day.
  • I write out the following day’s header on the next available line.
  • I carefully look over any open tasks and decide if they are still worth my time. If they are, I migrate them to the following day. If not, I cross them out or move them to forward planning.
  • I glance at my monthly spread and fill in the next day’s appointments/events.
  • In the morning, I review the tasks that I need to get done and come up with a plan for my day.
  • Throughout the day I record any notes, conversations, to-do’s, or new lists as they come up.

I also schedule in a mega-planning day near the end of each month. This planning day includes reflection on the previous month and goal setting for the month ahead.

05. My planning routine. My #bulletjournal is part planning, part reflecting #planwithmechallenge A photo posted by Kim (@tinyrayofsunshine) on

#planwithmechallenge day 5 : my planning routine

A photo posted by Cole Bug (@colorynn) on

10 >> ADVICE FROM THE PROS

OK, so maybe we’re not “pros” but it always helps to take some pointers from someone with experience, right? Here’s some wise words for ya:

Day 6 of the #planwithmechallenge – fave planning tip! I tried the whole washi thing with stickers and pretty pics. Spent more time doing that than completing my tasks – that’s bad. I honestly used to get a little sad when my planner never turned out like most people’s. But then I woke up and decided sad is bad. Real bad. Just gonna do whatever makes me feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. And guess what happened that first week? I managed to complete three assignments several days before their due dates. THAT HAD NEVER HAPPENED. I could get some bad comments for this. I’m on some serious lack of sleep and a few flu tablets. #wanderandsoul #planneraddict #bulletjournal #ifilteredmyphotobutnotmywords #oops #embracemessy #sadisbad #plannerchallenge #washitape #erincondrenlifeplanner #eclp #dowhatmakesyouhappy A photo posted by Georgie B (@wanderandsoul) on

11 >> MAKE IT YOUR OWN

There are so many ways that you can make your Bullet Journal your own. I asked the wonderful members of the Bullet Journal Junkies group on Facebook what some of their favorite hacks were, I was completely overwhelmed by the variety of their responses.

Bullet Journal Junkies

Bullet Journal Junkies

Bullet Journal Junkies

Bullet Journal Junkies

12 >> JOIN THE BULLET JOURNAL COMMUNITY

If there is one thing that has propelled my Bullet Journal to the next level, it has to be joining the oh-so-amazing Bullet Journal community. Besides the Bullet Journal Junkies group, there is also the #planwithmechallenge hosted by Kim (TinyRayofSunshine) and Jessica (PrettyPrintsandPaper) each month over on Instagram.

Here are some of my favorite Bullet Journal planner accounts on Instagram:

My favorite Bullet Journal accounts on Instagram!
@prettyprintsandpaper, @wanderandsoul, @tinyrayofsunshine, @fourdotspaper, @boho.berry, @thecursivebird, @allieleora, @jennyferplourde, @passionthemedlife

Of course, there is always LOADS of inspiration over on Pinterest as well! As a matter of fact, I put together a special board just for all of you Bullet Journal fans out there. It’s a little bare-bones at the moment, but I’m adding contributors as we speak and I’m very excited to see it grow!

If you’d like to become a contributor to the Bullet Journal Junkies Group Board, simply follow the steps below and come join in the fun!

  1. Follow Boho Berry on Pinterest. (you have to be following me for me to be able to invite you)
  2. Send an email to ask@bohoberry.com with the subject line: BUJO GROUP BOARD REQUEST.
  3. Make sure you email me from the email address associated with your Pinterest account.
  4. Sit back, relax, and wait for the invite :)

Holy cow! This ended up being a very long post, indeed! Hopefully you made it to the end and got some great new ideas to incorporate into your Bullet Journal!

Do you have any Bullet Journal “Hacks” that I didn’t cover here? I’d love to know about them! Drop me a line and share the love :)

 

Kara Benz
Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy – Boho Berry Paperie.
 photo Post Signature_zpsff978za9.png