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Bullet Journaling for Beginners: 5 Essential Tips

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Bullet journaling for beginners can be overwhelming. A helping hand from those who have lots of experience can go a long way. Here I want to share with you 5 tips that I wish I had known when starting out on my bullet journaling journey. I really hope they help you too.

Table of Contents

Bullet Journaling for Beginners – Introduction

If you are just starting your first bullet journal – fantastic! I’m so pleased for you.

READ: From Blank Page to Planner: How to Make a Bullet Journal

What I would like to do to help you is provide these 5 tips that I wish I had known myself at the beginning. There are lots of tips out there and I’m sure they are helpful too, but these are personally the ones I wish I had known.

I would also like to mention at this point why it is good to find bullet journal tips for beginners.

The purpose of tips is to make your life easier, to actually help you. It could be that when you read these titles – many of them are click-baity [not sure if that’s a word], and they can all be a bit basic and similiar. So I want to highlight here that these are tips that I have truly thought about and designed to really help you in your journey.

So let’s see the 5 bullet journal beginner tips:

  • 1 – choose the right supplies
  • 2 – work to your own strengths
  • 3 – overcome imposter syndrome
  • 4 – keep it simple
  • 5 – make it a habit

1 – How to Choose the Right Supplies

When I first started my first bullet journal was a gift. But I went on from there to make lots of mistakes in terms of buying supplies, that is why I include this tip here, because I wish I could have saved myself money and time.

  • Only use watercolor markers in a bullet journal!

I went and bought a big set of markers that were alcohol based only to learn that they bleed through the paper. So that was lesson learned.

  • Another tips is that a good bullet journal for beginners is a cheap one!

Or maybe 2 cheap ones. That way you can have a practice one for messing up in and a nice one for the one you will use.

  • Don’t buy loads of sets, buy 1 pen, 1 washi tape, 1 stamp etc. See if you end up using it regularly and if you like it, then buy more.
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There really is no need to buy loads of things, but if you want to experiment, try 1 first. That way if it turns out to be something you don’t like or use, it’s only 1 going to waste.

2 – How to Work to your Own Strengths

What I mean by this is – be completely honest with yourself and don’t try to do things that you will regret.

  • If you are artistic – use that and make your planner beautiful!

If you are not artistic, use other options to make your planner beautiful, such as stickers, or stencils. I have seen some very beautiful bullet journals where the decoration has been created only from stamps and stencils.

  • If you are good at writing and calligraphy – use it!

I can use myself as an example here. I am not good with lettering and calligraphy. I’ve tried but it isn’t something I want to spend a lot of time on improving. So my tip when bullet journaling for beginners who are not good at lettering – invest in some nice stamps and just don’t worry about it.

3 – How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

I am such a perfectionist, and I know some of you will relate to that. Others of you will have fears or anxieties that are different but still get in the way.

So my tip is:

  • Make peace with not being in love with every bullet journal page

I think this is a really important tip I wish I had worked on sooner in my bullet journal journey. We tend to think that there is a RIGHT way for each page to turn out and quickly fall out of love with it if it’s not right.

But making peace with that is so important.

READ: Is There a WRONG Way to Bullet Journal

I would go so far as to say this is the most important bullet journal for beginners tip that I can give you.

Don’t lose momentum, just accept it isn’t your favorite and move on. Learn from it and keep going.

4 – How to Keep It Simple

I love quite a full page myself – but if you are not sure, if you are a newbie, then I would suggest this:

  • Go with less, and add more later if you want

Sometimes we keep adding only to realize we have gone too far with decorations.

Diary of a Journal Planner has a nice article here with lots of examples of simple page ideas for beginners that don’t require adding a lot of decoration.

This really is a tip for bullet journaling for beginners only. Because as you go on in your journey and gain more experience of what you like and dislike you will then be cable to make a call on what really is your bullet journal style.

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5 – How to Make it a Habit

This is a question a lot of people ask when starting out:

How Do You Start A Bullet Journal Habit?

By deciding on a time of the day to sit down with your bullet journal, and by making it an enjoyable experience, you can create it as a habit. Start simple, so it isn’t overwhelming, and add to the routine as and when you feel ready.

One of the best bullet journal tips for beginners I can suggest for you is make your bullet journal inspiring enough to pick it up each and every day.


In conclusion, please enjoy your first bullet journal!

I really hope you found some of these tips helpful and that you might try some of them.

Please let me know if you have any other tips – this is a space for sharing. Just add them to the comments below.

Thanks so much for being here.


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