Bullet Journal 101 - Making the system work for you
Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal 101 – Making the System Work for You

Thanks for joining me on week 3 of the Bullet Journal 101 series. This weeks topic is a favorite because it’s Bullet Journal 101 – Making the system work for you. Why else would you begin bullet journaling unless it works for you?

Yes, as you read in week 1 of the series (If you missed it you can click here) there are basics to include like the future log, a monthly log and daily logs that really make the bullet journal what it is however when you make the system work for you is when the magic happens. 



If you like clean lines, black ink and keeping it simple you might like Kim’s style at Tiny Ray of Sunshine. Her bullet journal reference guide is extremely helpful if you want to join her email list.

Can’t get enough color, hand lettering or like a lot of variety? Then Kara from Boho Berry is the one to check out. I’ve been following her since the beginning and I love her layouts.

I personally lean more toward color, a lot of variety and being creative. My bullet journal is with me most of the time and furthermore, I want to enjoy using it.


How to Find Your Style

Ryder Carroll the inventor of the bullet journal, has a clean style and needed a system that could handle whatever he through at it. The lack of chaos helped his ADHD and helped him accomplish great things. He knew exactly what style would work for him.

My style is full of color and creativity. One key to finding your style is to experiment. Start at the foundation and follow Ryder’s lead. At the end of the month evaluate then use a page in your bullet journal to map out what will work better. I’m constantly analyzing at the end of the month what went well and what could make the month flow better.

https://www.pinterest.com/lorie2954/If I’m stuck and need a fresh idea Pinterest is a wonderful place to search for options. At the same time searching for ideas can suck up lots of time so don’t fall into that trap. You are your best resource and chances are you already know what will work.


Making the System Work for You

Let me just put this out there for all of my perfectionist friends. There is no wrong way to bullet journal! Did you hear that? I mean it because it’s your bullet journal. You get to choose what it looks like and I believe they call that FREEDOM! Trust me, I struggled for about a year comparing my pages to others, doubting my abilities and thinking I wasn’t doing it right. Not anymore. What works for me is what works for me and that’s all there is to it. Don’t be caught in the devil’s trap of doubt over your bullet journal. Consequently, it’s just not worth the energy.


Cutting Corners & Saving Time

Everyone wants to manage their time better hence using the bullet journal in the first place, right?  Want some examples of how I cut corners and save time? 

Some bullet journalists draw a monthly calendar each month as they set up. My preference is to see a month at a glance however I didn’t want to draw it out each month. For some reason I just can’t wrap my head around the monthly log in a list form so here’s my solution. First, I count out twelve pages at the end of my notebook. Second, I go to the web and print a month at a glance for the next 12 months. Third I fill in all the birthdays, events, appointments, etc. Finally, I cut it down to fit in my journal. I like to have at least 3 months visible.

Month at a glance calendar taped into bullet journal

Another time-saver for me is using post-it notes to map out the month. As I’m setting up the month I will write a post-it note for every page so I know what to put on each one. 

Post-it Notes to help with Bullet Journal Layout
I think I’ll do this every month!

Here are some examples:

  • Monthly Cover Page
  • Gratitude Page
  • Week 1 – July 1-7
  • Week 2 – July 8-14
  • Leave blank
  • Week 3 – July 15-21
  • Leave blank
  • Week4 – July 22-28

I started that back in February and it’s working great. 


The Bottom Line

The bottom line is you can make bullet journaling a lot of work or simple. Don’t give up. Did you start out being overly creative and it became too much, then simplify. Was the set up not exactly user-friendly, then skip a page and begin again. Do what you love and make it an intentional piece of your life!

Do you use a bullet journal? How do you make the system work for you? Share in the comments below.

Need more ideas? Check out these posts.

December Bullet Journal Set Up – Gnomes for the Win!

March Bullet Journal Set Up – A Travel Theme

June Bullet Journal Set Up – A Frog Theme

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