If you’ve been bullet journaling for a while you probably started off with simple black pen only spreads and might be getting a bit bored. If so, here are some quick and easy ways to make your bullet journal less boring!
1. Use highlighters
I’m sure you already have some highlighters but the ones you really want are the dual tip highlighters. I shared my favorite ones in this post. The fat end is great for highlighting but the thin end is ideal for dividing up the page without wasting space, borders, underlining titles etc. You can use the point of the chisel tip of a normal highlighter but it’ll go blunt after a while.
Some of the ways you can use highlighters:
- Create a border at the top and/or bottom of the page
- Draw a check box
- Create lines
- Divide up the pages for each day
- Color behind a title or day of the week
This is why I love highlighters – they quickly and easily add so much color
If you’re worried about making a mistake, try the Frixion highlighters. They aren’t dual tip but they do erase. Just don’t get the pastel ones, they’re so light you can hardly see the highlighter. The bright ones are much better 🙂
- Pens & Highlighters Smear Testing: Which ones don’t smear
- Best pastel highlighters for planning and bullet journaling
- Highlighters vs. Highlighter Pencils: Are they worth the cost?
- 8 Ways to use highlighters for Bullet Journal Spreads
- 4 Similar (and cheaper) alternatives to the Zebra Mildliner Dual Tip Highlighters
- Best highlighters for bullet journaling
- Highlighter Brands Comparison (And My Favorite Highlighters for Each Brand)
2. Washi tape
I love washi tape but prefer to use thin washi for bullet journaling as I don’t want it taking up too much space on the page. Bullet journal notebooks are already quite small (usually A5 compared to 7 x 9″ page size that most planners seem to come in these days).
A few ideas for washi tape:
- Divide up a habit tracker
- Divide up the days on a weekly spread
- Make a list
- Underline a title / heading
- Add a strip to the side of the page to help you find it easier (since most hardbound / bullet journal notebooks don’t come with tabs)
- Add a border to the top and bottom of the page (since all notebooks have a different number of dots, sometimes it’s hard to avoid these awkward gaps and keep the space even for each day)
- My Favorite thin washi tape for planning
- 10 Functional Ways to Use Washi Tape in your Planner
- Best pens for writing on washi tape
- Favorite washi tape for planning, planner decorating & color coding
3. Dual Tip Pens
Similar to why I love dual tip highlighters, dual tip pen add contrast on the page. I tend to use the fat end for headings / titles and drawing checkboxes and then thinner pen tip end for the actual writing
Since you’ll be drawing a lot of lines to divide things up in your notebook… make them different!
More divider ideas in this post Minimalist planning: simple decorating & divider ideas for your planner using pens
I write on every second line to keep it neat.
Some heading & title ideas you can use to divide up the page
This isn’t something I personally do however if you have a lot of planning categories (e.g. each school subject, personal, work etc.) then you may want to use symbols beside your to do lists, or instead of writing out the same titles – just use a symbol key instead.
6. Icon stickers
They’re quick to peel, you can use them with any page size, they save time not having to write out tasks, come in many colors and don’t take up space on already small page size that bullet journal notebooks come in, icon stickers are my all time favorite!
if you don’t want to draw symbols for coding, you could use stickers instead:
For some weird reason, there aren’t that many well known brands doing functional icon stickers (the only one I’ve found that truly has an entire sticker book of functional icons is Carpe Diem), which is what led me to making my own planner stickers.
i don’t use stamps very often, mainly because they require too much effort, are messy and I haven’t found any I really like. The only stamps I use are self-inking with my favorite being the Frixion erasable (they’re the perfect size for list making and habit tracking, and come in different colors & graphics / shapes).
if stamping is something that interests you, I did a list of 30 Planner Stamp Brands.
More bullet journal tips
- 12 Monthly planning bullet journal spreads (you can do in 5 minutes or less)
- 10 Bullet Journal Landscape Page Orientation Weekly Spreads
- 7 Bullet Journal Weekly Planner Spreads you probably haven’t thought of
Bullet journal spreads
- Weekly spread with the Helix Circle Maker in the Dingbats* Notebook
- List makers spread in the PAIPUR hybrid notebook
- Bullet journaling in the Rhodia Goalbook
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