10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Bullet Journaling

 This post was originally featured on http://www.ashleykahler.com.

I’ve been going three months strong using the Bullet Journal.  AND I AM NEVER GOING BACK.  Here’s 10 things I wish I knew back when I first started using this system!



  1. Leuchtturm1917 Journals are the ULTIMATE journal.  I started off with a Moleskine Grid style.  There is just nothing quite like the colors of the Leuchtturm’s, the dot grid is the most perfect style of paper for anything, and the pages…oh the pages are like the milky way of papers!
  2. Start with a Fine Tip nib Fountain Pen.  I purchased the Pilot Metropolitan with a medium nib on Amazon.  I love it but, I wish I had done my research and purchased a fine one instead…the thinner lines are just more amazing.
  3. Purchase a set of different size fine-liner markers.  I started with just any normal pen, but a set of fine-liners is the way to go, they way they write on the Leuchtturm paper is like melting butter on hot toast! I’ve heard good things about the Faber Castille pens, but I opted for the pack of Staedtler Pigment Liners. It came with 0.05mm, 0.1mm, 0.2mm, 0.3mm. 0.5mm, and 0.8mm.  I have used everyone of them.
  4. Avoid the Frixion pens and markers.  While I started off with these, and don’t get me wrong the erasing ability is awesome, not to mention cool, I never knew that they can possibly erase in just sheer heat (or even time)… yikes!  Since part of the reason I switched to using a BuJo was for the archiving, there’s a chance one day those pages will fade away😦 Sad day!
  5. Have a journal at home you dedicate as a practice journal.  This may sound stupid, but I saw this in a video from Boho Berry, she has a practice journal, and let me tell you the amount of times I’ve tested out a spread in my practice journal first – makes it worth it – before I broke down and purchased an actual journal, I made photo copies of my journal pages just to test things out.  So much easier to see if I like something without using up spread in my real journal.
  6. Keep a running to-do list in a separate journal.  Also another idea from Boho Berry.  I have a fountain of things I’d like to do and accomplish…one day.  Keeping them written down in another journal is a great idea because then I’m not flipping back and forth in my journal between different to-do lists created on different weeks.  I just use a basic lined journal that I had lying around, when I do my nightly planning routine I check this to see if anything can be added to the next day to accomplish.  If I add something I cross it out.
  7. Fake awesome handwriting.  I recently saw this on Pinterest.  You can print any type of font (calligraphy is great – use 1001freefonts.com) by simply printing it off from the computer, turning the paper over, coloring the entire thing with a pencil, flip onto the page you desire and trace the printed word with a ball point pen…the pencil will rub off onto the page.  Then simply trace with desired marker or pen and viola fake awesome handwriting.  (See directions with photos here.)
  8. Don’t let pinterest, facebook groups, and blogs bog you down.  I spent WAY too much time looking at what everyone else was doing and being upset when I spread I tried to adapt didn’t come out a pretty as the one I had seen.  I forgot the real purpose of the BuJo…to keep me organized in a way that I can adapt and change to my desires… forget about everyone else.
  9. Get a BuJo Buddy.  I started the process alone… About a month later my sister joined in.  It’s way more fun when you have a buddy…We send each other pictures of spreads.  Plus when I’m out shopping for paperclips and sticky notes, I share with her.
  10. Messing up is part of the process – And there are ways to fix it.  There have been pages I’ve completely botched only to cover up with a printed photo quote from Pinterest and some washi tape… SCORE, White-out tape is a little bit of a different color than the off-white pages of the Leuchtturm journal, but once you write over it you can barely see it.

I’d love to hear what you wish you knew when you started a bullet journal!  Share in the comments below!

Happy Planning!



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