I used to review curriculum, now I create it

Top Bullet Journal Tips I Wish I Would Have Known

It is hard to believe it has been almost 1 year since I first heard about bullet journaling. I spent hours pinning and stalking various bullet journal blogs and Instagram accounts and compiling ideas. I spent literally weeks finding what resources I should get and reading reviews. Then I had to set up my inserts and wait for my Leuchtturm, and this whole crazy journey began! Along the way, I have made a lot of mistakes (which technically isn’t even possible, but more on that later) and had some serious moments where I questioned if this was right for me. I had months at a time that I didn’t touch my bullet journal (truth bomb right there) and I felt like those were all important steps on my journey to get where I am today. I want to share with you the top things I would tell myself if I could go back in time. The top things I think YOU should know if you are new to bullet journaling! I hope it will make your own journey a little less stressful and give you more freedom to find your own way, whatever that may look like.

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My Top 5 Bullet Journal Tips

1. It doesn’t matter what you use. Seriously. If you are waiting to start to get that perfect notebook or those right pens, there is no reason to wait! You can use any notebook (and I can pretty much bet you have 5 randomly hiding in your house right now) and any cheap pen! Nice stuff can make it a little more enjoyable and give you more options, don’t get me wrong. I like my nice stuff! But in some ways, I wish I had started with a regular notebook to figure out what I wanted, to get the hang of it, and to get over my insane need for perfection (which did not serve me well this year).

2. There is no right or wrong way. The people you most likely follow who are bullet journalists are ones who have been doing this a long time! They are good at what they do and can set the bar kind of high. The reality is, whether you make lists in a notebook or paint with watercolors, whether you love using stickers or pre-made printables and lots of ribbons and clips or prefer black and white… there is no right or wrong way to do this. THAT is the beauty of this planning system, you can make it what it needs to be for you!

3. Pay attention to what your needs are. When I first started, I was so focused on being a good bullet journalist that I lost focus on what really mattered. Instead I should have thought about how much time I had to devote to planning, what I could realistically keep up with, and what collections I needed. I was excited and wanted to fill the pages up, but in doing so, I failed to create a planner that was custom tailored to me.

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4. Don’t plan too far in advance. At least in the beginning! I still don’t plan in advance. The furthest in advance I plan is setting up my weekly spread the Saturday before the week starts. Other than that, it is day by day! I find if I plan too far in advance, plans change and I ruin my pages. I am scratching and editing and trying to migrate tasks and wasting a TON of time that wouldn’t have been wasted if I had just planned day-to-day. If you really must plan way in advance, I recommend using pencil!

5. Leave room for inspiration. As soon as my planner became something I “had” to do for business or something I felt pressured to do, I lost all motivation to do it. Instead I have learned to go with my feelings that day. If I feel super creative I pull out my watercolors and add in colors and doodles and all sorts of fun stuff! If I don’t have a lot of time or motivation, I take about 5 minutes in the morning to make a list of what needs to be done to organize my thoughts and move on! I find that giving myself permission to make each day what I need it to be, allows me the room to be creative and takes away the pressure that often begins to build with planning.

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Painting with my 2 year old on my lap..

Collection Ideas for Moms

Tomorrow I am going to write a list of collection ideas for moms. Things you might want to track. If you are new to bullet journaling or just wanting to find some new collection ideas, come on over and check it out!

Did you know this is part of a 31 day series? There will be a post each day this month showcasing how I use bullet journaling, planning, hand lettering, and more! We will talk about the tools you need and I’ll review some of my pen hoard (including my brand new flex fountain pens, eeeeek!). There will be videos, pictures, hand lettering practise pages, doodle challenges, journaling prompts, some amazing giveaways, and hopefully a TON of inspiration to get you writing in your planner, whatever that may look like for you! How can you get on board?

BOOKMARK THE LANDING PAGE (that is where all the posts will be added throughout the month)
FIND ME ON INSTAGRAM (I’ll be posting the daily posts there)
USE THE HASHTAG: #PlanWithRebecca or #planninginspiration4u on Instagram for a chance to be featured on my page!
JOIN THE NEWSLETTER (if you want an short update on the latest post in your inbox)

What are your bullet journal tips?


  1. I like your #5 – it’s similar to something I always say about it: My bullet journal is a tool that can sometimes be a toy, not a toy that can sometimes be a tool. In other words, form over function. The point is for it to simplify my life, not add complications. If I find it fun to occasionally add some washi tape great, but that should be a very distant second to using it for organizing my day/thoughts/life.

  2. I absolutely agree with your post! I got so frustrated trying to “keep up with the Joneses” that I just stopped using my bullet journal altogether. Once I reevaluated what my needs were and focused on that, I began to love my bullet journal again!

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I used to review curriculum, now I create it!