I've had some similar reactions lately from people I know, as well as from people I met online, about bullet journaling and how time consuming it looks. They regarded that it takes too much effort and that it might not be convenient for people with limited time. Others also mentioned the fact that they are not as artistic or creative, and that they can't draw or doodle the way I do. Therefore, they thought that bullet journaling is not for them.
Taking a step back and looking at bullet journaling from their point of view, I realised that it does seem like a lot of work and that this could deter a lot of people from having a bullet journal. So, I decided to create this post to show you that you can still bullet journal even if you don't have the time or the artistic skills.
I'll start by saying that bullet journaling in it's core is the way it's shown in the official website. It really is very basic and you don't have to draw or create anything like that at all. All you need is a notebook and a pen. That's it.
However, if you still want to make your bullet journal look pretty and add more colour to it, there are a few simple ways to do it without spending hours over it or joining a drawing class :)
Create shapes and doodles in minutes with stencils. You can find anything you want, from to-do lists, banners, cute icons or the days and months. The sky is the limit!
Right: Journal Stencil
One of the quickest and easiest way to add colour and personality to your bullet journal is with stickers. You can find anything from coloured dots, bullet journal symbols and dates, to cute animals. Any shape or colour you want. You can have themed weeks or months, or you can use them to colour coordinate specific categories.
Left: Bullet Journal Stickers Basic Icons
Right: Mini Polka Dots in ECLP Colors
Left: EBD350 Days of the Week
Right: complete BULLET JOURNAL sticker set
One of the easiest ways to add colour and patterns to your bullet journal is with washi tapes. You can find an amazing variety online and on Etsy.
You can use washi tape to decorate your pages (look here and here), create sections (here), or personalise and organise your journal (here).
1 8 Whole Rolls of Assorted Washi Tapes
2 Blue Theme Washi Tape Set
3 Grey Days of the Week Washi Tape
4 Mint Green Washi Tape
Find more ideas and inspiration on how to use all the above on Etsy and Amazon. Also you can follow me on Pinterest for more weekly and monthly spread ideas and collections.
Some more ways that can save you time while bullet journaling
-- Stick to one design
If you find a design or spread that works for you then stick to it and don't change it. For example, you don't have to change the design of your date header every day. You can have the same one for a week or a month!
--Pre-plan your spreads
During the month (or week) notice what works and what doesn't so that you know what things to adjust or add the next time. See how I adjusted my weekly spread in this post.
--Keep it Simple
If you don't have the time then don't choose complicated spreads. Just keep it simple. Like in the example below, you don't have to create an intricate drawing showing which books you want to read. You can just make a list and tick them off as you go.
|Left // Right|
You can choose a minimalistic approach like Celine and create a set up for your bullet journal with black as your basic tint and one accent color for putting some extra focus on certain words or details.
--Use your time wisely
Plan ahead and create your weekly/monthly views during the weekend, for example, that you might have more spare time.
Create reference pages in your bullet journal with banner ideas, headings etc. That way you don't have to search every time to get inspired. You just choose one of the designs from your page. You can also create a Pinterest board with bullet journal ideas to get inspiration from time to time.
Bullet Journaling is a fun way to create you own calendar/journal. But it doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming. Give it a try and I guarantee that you're going to love it!