It’s no secret that Bullet Journaling can be extremely time-consuming, especially if your layouts tend to be very artistic in design. So how do you maintain your Bullet Journal when you are just too busy to sit down and work on it?
There are many Bullet Journal hacks that you may consider if you are looking to spend less time on your Bullet Journal layouts. And they can all serve a variety of Bullet Journal styles. Whether you are using your Bullet Journal as a creative outlet, or you are using it to maximize productivity and achieving your goals, these hacks can save you a ton of time!
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1. Utilize Printables
With Bullet Journaling gaining so much popularity, there are lots of printables that can be found by doing a quick search on Pinterest.
A quick search will turn up a variety of printables, including more minimalist designs for those focused on productivity, and artistic designs for those looking to use their journal as a creative outlet.
Simply print them off, and cut your sheet down to size. You can either glue the printable to an existing page in your notebook, or you can stick it down with some pretty washi tape.
If you want to create a Bullet Journal strictly using printables to save yourself time, I highly recommend creating a Discbound Bullet Journal. This system uses metal or plastic discs, which allows you to turn pages over like a traditional spiral-bound notebook, and to add or remove pages as you see fit.
If you want to learn more about creating your own Discbound Bullet Journal, check out my comprehensive blog post on the supplies needed, and getting one set up.
2. Design Your Layouts With Stencils
Designing your layouts is often what is so time-consuming. Lot’s of people I see creating these really pretty and elaborate layouts first create their spreads in pencil. They spend time measuring everything out to ensure it fits and finessing their design. Then, they still have to go over it in pen and add the final touches of decoration.
What if there was a way to still create really pretty layouts without having to spend all that time?
One of my FAVORITE Bullet Journal tools is this 20 pack of stencils that I ordered from Amazon.
The stencils come with many designs including different size boxes, icon doodles, arrows, banners, and more! When you discover how you can combine the different designs, you are sure to feel inspired to create some really pretty layouts.
The best part is, it won’t take you very much time to do!
3. Keep It Simple!
If you are interested in learning more about using stencils in your Bullet Journal, be sure to check out my blog post; How To Create Pretty Bullet Journal Layouts For The Non-Artist.
Sometimes the prettiest spreads are the most simple spreads! These can be created in very little time, as they do not require a lot of pre-planning. The tools needed are also very minimal which can be extremely handy if you find you need to create your layouts on the go.
Perhaps the most simple monthly layout is the one designed by the creator of the system, Ryder Carroll.
- Simply write the days of the month vertically along the edge of the page.
- Using a ruler, draw a straight line down the page to the right of your numbers.
Now you have a place to write in your appointments, deadlines, and anything else you like to record on your monthly layout.
If you would like to break your monthly layout into different categories, split your page in half with your ruler.
This layout is from my February Bullet Journal Plan With Me blog post. You can see that I split the page into two sections. The first space is where I record all of my personal events and appointments. I also recorded any birthdays that took place in February. In the second section, I record everything pertaining to this blog. This is a great way to stay organized, and the spread took me less than 5 minutes to draw out!
The possibilities with weekly layouts are absolutely endless. I have an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to minimalist layouts, most of which are weekly layouts. You really don’t ever have to worry about running out of inspiration when it comes to weekly layouts!
In this photo example, I wanted to create a minimalist weekly layout that had a small amount of decoration, while taking only 10 minutes to draw!
- Using the 20 pack of stencils from Amazon, and a black Crayola Super Tip Marker, I colored in the little banners.
- With a white Uni-Ball Signo gel pen, I wrote in the numbered days of the week on the black banners.
- Finally, with my Pigma Micron 05, I wrote out the days of the week in a cute little cursive font followed by a straight line across the rest of the page to divide the days.
- Underneath Sunday there was some leftover room, so here I wrote down my goals of the week! This will serve as a daily reminder of the goals you are working towards, and is a great motivator!
These examples are just to give you an idea of what I am talking about when I say, keep it simple! These minimalist spreads took less than 10 minutes each, and they are both beautiful in their own way!
If you don’t have time to draw out your elaborate spreads, keep it simple, so you don’t sacrifice your productivity!
4. Use Washi Tape and Stickers
Another great way to add decoration when you are short on time is to use washi tape and stickers to decorate your Bullet Journal!
You can find washi tape and stickers in lots of different places. Even places you weren’t expecting to find any! Here some ideas where you can start your hunt.
- The dollar store.
- Your local craft store.
- Walmart or Target
Pick out your favorite designs, and you can literally decorate an entire spread around a couple of swatches of washi tape and stickers!
Look at this absolutely gorgeous @spotshepherd! She uses this lovely floral washi tape as part of her February cover page. This is a great example of how you can use washi tape to decorate your spreads!
5. Add To It As You Go
Rome was not built in a day, and likewise, your Bullet Journal won’t be set up in a day! Take your time!
If you find you are having trouble carving out time to plan out your week, switch to a daily log system. Create a cute little header for your current day. Below, you can record all your tasks, any appointments you have, meal plans, and even write a journal entry as you go through the day! Once the day is complete, write the header for your next day below.
If you really like to add art to your layouts, add the artwork as you go through the week! Dedicate fifteen minutes of your day to drawing or painting which is great if you are using your Bullet Journal as a creative outlet! This will ensure you get to take that much needed time to yourself every day!
I hope these tips showed you that you can absolutely maintain a Bullet Journal, even when you are busy! The whole purpose of a Bullet Journal is to maximize your productivity. In order to see true success and results from this method, I encourage you to focus on this first and foremost and don’t feel stressed if your spreads aren’t as creative as you would like.
As long as you are getting something out of your Journal, you are winning! The rest can be added later!
How do you maintain your Bullet Journal when you are busy? Do you have a system in place to make sure you have enough time to dedicate to it? Let me know in the comments below!