Find Your Bullet Journal Groove

Last Updated on November 7, 2019 by Jody Halsted

This is article #4 in the Bullet Journal series. Read the other articles: OneTwo – Three

OK, who has seen (and remembers) The Emperor’s New Groove? That’s how I often felt after using a new planner for a couple months. At first I loved it. But then… it threw off my groove. I was so busy putting everything in its place that I lost my work groove, got distracted, and failed to complete what needed done.

Find your Bullet Journal Groove. Bullet Journal tips.

One of the best ideas behind the bullet journal is that it’s so deceptively simple, with only a few rules or guidelines to follow to make it work. This gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to finding your Bullet Journal groove.

Take It For A Test Drive

Yes you can read all about using a bullet journal and watch a ton of YouTube videos to get ideas. But you won’t get a feel for your Bullet Journal groove until you start to give it a try. Start with an inexpensive notebook (see article 3) and just try it out. Follow the basic bullet journal layout with an index, a key and a monthly spread. Track your daily tasks and see how it feels. Add in a few lists or collections and get a feel for what type of information is useful and what isn’t. Try trackers and various other “hacks” you come across and determine what works for you.

Monthly Spread from my second month of Bullet Journaling.
Monthly Spread from my second month of Bullet Journaling. This has changed a bit – the list of tasks just didn’t fit my Bullet Journal groove.

Start Small and Don’t Track Too Much

When you first start out bullet journaling, you may be tempted to write down and track every. single. thing. You have lots and lots of ideas for collections. The enthusiasm is wonderful, and while it’s perfectly fine to try a bunch of different stuff, you may over-commit and start tracking too much. You don’t want your bullet journal to become a dreaded chore. It’s a tool. Start small and figure out what works and what’s sustainable for you to write down and track. Always keep in mind that this is supposed to be helpful, not add to your workload.

Bullet Journaling for list makers!
Just one of the lists I have in my BuJo- hacks that I use often for work.

Don’t Be Afraid To Rip Things Out And Start Over

If you find that something isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to rip it out. Did you think the weekly reading collection was a good idea, but now it is a dreaded task? Rip out that page. And if your overall layout for your bullet journal isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to toss it and start over. This is exactly why you start out with a small and inexpensive notebook. Grab another one and start over. You’ll find the setup and system that fits your groove.

Tweak It And Change It Until It Works For You

Expect some testing and tweaking, and changing stuff around until you come up with something that enhances your groove. (My journal is always a work in progress!) We all lead different lives and our brains work differently. Our bullet journals should reflect that. Keep working on it until you come up with a system that fits your groove. You’ll know it when you get there.

My first BuJo: a Moleskine notebook
My Bullet Journal groove: part planner part journal.

The end goal is to have a bullet journal setup that makes your life easier and helps you stay organized without feeling that writing in it is a chore.

Recommended Bullet Journal Supplies
The Bullet Journal tools I use & recommend!

Have you begun a Bullet Journal yet? Are you tempted?

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  1. I did stop at Target Monday night and drool over their moleskine notebooks. I bought a less expensive regular notebook and I think I’m going to give this a whirl.

    1. I think you’ll really enjoy it Jenni. I love the freedom to change when you need to, and even alter from one month to the next. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

  2. I found a cheap journal on clearance at Michael’s to start. I’m proud of myself for walking right past the colorful display of journaling products that called my name. Someday, maybe…

    1. Journaling products are SO DIFFICULT to pass! I hope you enjoy Bullet Journaling! Just remember- you don’t have to ‘keep up’ with anyone! This is your journey and whatever feels right to you is PERFECT!

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