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Bullet Journal Hacks [Get It Ready For 2021]

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Today you’re going to see my favorite bullet journal hacks. 

So if you want to:

  • set up your bullet journal for more organized use
  • cut your bujo layouts set-up time a half
  • make your bujo pretty even if you’re not an artist
  • fix mistakes fast and easy
  • organize your bullet journal supplies

Then you’ll love this list of mindblowing bullet journal tips.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It means that I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase a product that I have recommended. It won’t cost you any extra money.

Table of Contents

Bullet Journal Hacks to Make Your Notebook More Organized and Useful

Unquestionably, a bullet journal is a great tool. However, even after reading a bullet journal starter guide, it’s so easy to get your bujo content into a mess.

So whenever you think your bullet journal is not functional and it clutters your mind instead of doing exactly the opposite things, it’s time to simplify your system. As a result, you reduce anxiety and stress and your bullet journal becomes more organized and efficient.

Therefore make bullet journaling easy with these 10 bullet journal organization hacks.

Bullet Journal Color Code

Color coding is a great way to organize your bullet journal content visually. 

There are few ways you can incorporate color-coding into the notebook:

Bullet Journal Key

you assign a specific color to a specific category in your bullet journal key. While planning a week, you highlight tasks with designated colors.

To clarify, here are the most common color-coded categories with some activity examples:

  • family (kids) – school meetings, competitions
  • work – projects, calls, team meetings
  • homework – changing towels, cleaning floor
  • health – doctor appointments, workout, meals
  • finances – paying bills, budgeting
  • personal development – bullet journaling, reading books
  • social media – posting on Instagram, filming YouTube video
  • blogging – writing, photoshoot, editing pictures
  • meal planning – shopping, cooking, meal prepping

While color-coding you don’t want to use too many colors. If you start to use many colors, your spread may look messy and unreadable. Definitely, limiting your color choices under six makes your bullet journal is still organized but not in an excessive way.

Color Coding in Bullet Journal Collections

Furthermore, I use color-coding bullet journal collections like a cleaning schedule or Level 10 Life.

Bullet Journal Index

Another way of using a bullet journal color code is to choose a color scheme for the months and mark the side of a notebook. So if you’re looking for a specific bullet journal monthly spreads, you’re able to find them immediately. Besides using color pens, you can cut a piece of washi tape and fold it out to the edge or on the bottom corner of pages.

Last but not least you can color-code your index and use the same color scheme as for monthlies. Alternatively, you divide your index into monthly pages and categories and color code them accordingly.

Tabs / Future Log Mini Calendar Stickers

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If you’re not a big fan of using bullet journal index, you may want to try sticky tabs as another bullet journal organization system for your monthly or weekly spreads, collections

The main advantage of tabs is their mobility. You can set up them once and move around with ease, all over again.

One of my favorite monthly tabs is mini calendar stickers. It’s like a mix of mini future log and tab divider in one product.

Fold Out Bullet Journal Key

Without a doubt, creating a bullet journal key that works for you is a key to bujo success. 

In the beginning, it may be hard to remember all the signifiers you want to use. At the same time, finding the key page over and over again may be inconvenient.

For this reason, the fold-out key is a life-saver while journaling so you can easily see all of your symbols. You just write down a bullet journal key on a separate piece of paper and place it on the inside cover with washi tape.

Bullet Journal Notebook Hacks

Choosing an awesome bullet journal notebook can be really challenging. Sometimes, when it seems that you’ve found your perfect match, it turns out that your notebook:

  • doesn’t have a back pocket
  • has only one ribbon
  • doesn’t include a built-in pen loop

Luckily, there are easy tips and tricks to solve the issue. Check out the following tutorials on how to:

  • add a pocket to the notebook (here)
  • attach a pen to a notebook 

The Dutch Door

Generally, the main idea behind the Dutch Door hack is to divide bullet journal pages horizontally or vertically into two sections. One part is locked like freeze panes in Excel and the other part is openable. Therefore you’re able to set up your weekly spreads on more than two pages. 

In order to set up a dutch door, leave three (or more) pages between weekly spread and cut them in half out (like literally the Dutch door).

Bullet Journal Hacks If Creating Spreads Seems to Much Work for You

Have you just spent a couple of hours setting up your 2021 bullet journal spreads? You focused on every tiny detail to look perfect. Yes, being a perfectionist is time-consuming.

Lastly, I was so close to giving up bullet journaling.

I put a lot of effort to create an awesome bullet journal setup. And they were great. However, I didn’t have time to really use them to achieve my goals and plan my week ahead.

It didn’t have any sense. Something had got to change. I started looking for simple bullet journal hacks for bullet journalists like me who need to organize their hectic life. 

Luckily, setting up your spreads don’t have to be a long and complicated process.

Here are the best bullet journal tricks for creating repeatedly spreads as quickly as possible.


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First of all, bullet journaling should be a fun and relaxing activity for you. What is more, it should help you to make your life easier, not to feel stressed or daunted. If drawing spreads, trackers seem to much work for you, printables will save your time and sanity.

You can find a lot of ready to work with bullet journal templates like calendar, weekly spreads, tracker, sleep log on the Internet. Some of them are paid (check out on Etsy) but you can easily get some awesome spreads for free.

The best part is that most of the spreads are everlasting. You print them once and use them forever.

As I mentioned before, the past few weeks were hectic. My bullet journal was on my desk, left untouched for many days.

Fortunately, I discovered free bullet journal printables.

weekly bullet journal template via The Petite Planner

Besides my printables, my favorite is this one from The Petite Planner. It’s an amazing weekly bullet journal template including a mini habit tracker, meal planner, waterlog.

This is how I used this bullet journal printable for my weekly spread below.

mood tracker and future log via Space + Quiet

Using bullet journal printables as a mood tracker or future log can really save you a lot of nerves. I love these ones from Space + Quiet.



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Usually, when you create a bullet journal spread, you have to draw a lot of lines and geometric shapes like squares or circles.

If you don’t have the time to sit and make tons of headers, banners, or boxes, the stencil will be a great addition to your bujo.

How to Make a Straight Line Without Ruler

In my opinion, freehand lines look more organic and interesting than ones drawn with a ruler. However, in order to make them neat and clean, here’s a small hack on how to do it.

Basically, you grab your pen, open your bullet journal, and you let the edge of your “drawing” hand slide along the outside of notebook pages.

Grid Spacing Guide

Every time I want to draw symmetrical boxes, I spend a lot of time counting all the dots. Every single time. I don’t know why but I can’t remember how to divide my bullet journal page into columns and rows evenly. I have to recount it over and over again. The grid spacing guide (here from Infinite Planner ) will help you to space your pages quickly. I guess that cell measurement is different for every bullet journal.


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The sticky notes hack enables you to reuse your bullet journal spreads all over again. Besides, whenever you want to make some of the page changes, using post-its gives you this kind of flexibility. It’s a huge time-saver if you don’t have constantly to rewrite calendars, daily logs, meals, etc.

Moreover, you can find beautiful post-its designs with bright colors, succulents drawings, different shapes, or marble patterns so they could also be used as a decorative element for your bujo.

Minimalist [Unboxed] Bullet Journal Spreads

Recently I’ve consumed quite a lot of “why I hate bullet journaling” type of content. I was literally curious why for some of us this system just doesn’t work.

Generally, the most repeatable opinion was that working on bujo is such a time-consuming thing because of drawing all the boxes, tables, etc.

And to be completely honest, it’s true.

However, you don’t have to do it at all.

For instance, this is how I set up my regular bullet journal weekly spread in less than 5 minutes:

If you’re more about being productive than pretty when it comes to bullet journaling, it may work for you as well.

Habit Trackers

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I have a love-hate relationship with habit tracker layouts. The general idea is great. I strongly believe in goal-setting and recording progress. However, creating all these boxes, graphs, etc. could be very painful.

You can ease this process by using some great bullet journal supplies like this stamp, stencil, or wheel habit tracker sticker.

Do you like to have a circular habit tracker in your bujo?

For example, Creative By Olivejuice created a pink mood tracker and put minimalist flower drawing inside it. On the other hand, Nina chose a mountain theme and used a galaxy color palette in her mood tracker page. Along with this, Rachel added simple but beautiful green leaves. Similarly, Viola decorated her circular mood track with flower doodles.

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I think you may want to try this smart tool.

This handy little product is highly recommended by other bullet journalists for accurate circles. You will love the functionality of it. In my opinion, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Mini Trackers

You want to make sure that you’re keeping track of your water intake, mood swings, or if you’re sleeping enough amount of hours. This kind of layout can be a masterpiece in itself.

Keep in mind that your log spreads don’t have to be super fancy to be effective.

Sometimes you forget to fill out your monthly waterlog or another tracker (yes, that’s me). I started to set up my habit tracker and daily logs weekly. But now I consider switching up gears toward these weekly or daily mini trackers.

Bullet Journal Decorating Hacks [Especially If You’re Not an Artist]

Do you need doodles in a bullet journal? I don’t think so. However, doodles are those elements that level up your planner. Stickers or washi tapes are a great way to save your time and take your bullet journal to the next level.

Washi Tape Hacks

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If I have to point out the most versatile bullet journal product, it’ll be definitely washi tape.

I love these elegant sets of washi tapes with weeks, months, and numbers. Now you can easily replace your hand-lettering for your weekly spread, future log, or daily layout. You just have to cut them out and put them on relevant pages.

Also, you can use washi tape as decorative diy stickers or fix the bujo mistakes.


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Another product you may want to get stamps. You can use them to put dates in your spread. These stamps will save you the time of writing out all the tiny calendar numbers over and over again.

I had so much fun creating a weekly layout with stamps.


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Without a doubt, stickers will upgrade your bullet journal in seconds. 

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If you’re wondering how to make stickers with a Cricut, you can find awesome tutorials here.

Alternatively, you can always buy stickers on Amazon.

Tracing App

Tracing is a pretty big subject in the creative world. However, it’s a great way to enhance your bullet journal spreads with doodles.

Obviously, tracing is ok as long as you do it in private, for solely personal needs and you don’t post it anywhere and claim it as your own.

Faux Calligraphy

If you want to put some beautiful hand lettering art in your bullet journal and practicing up-and-down strokes aren’t your thing, there is a super easy trick called faux calligraphy.

First, you write your word in basic cursive. Next, you add additional strokes on the right side. Finally, you fill in added space with a pen.

How to Use Markers as a Watercolor

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No matter if you choose affordable Crayola Markers or great Tombow Dual Brush pens, there is an easy trick on how to use them in order to create a watercolor effect on drawings or background.

Basically, you can cheat a little bit and achieve a watercolor effect by using only markers and water. All you need to do is to color with the marker on the plastic or glass surface like a plate or zip bag and spray it with water. Then you take a brush and put the color onto the paper.

Bullet Journal Hacks To Fix Your Mistakes

Personally, I think that the best bullet journal hack when it comes to fixing bujo mistakes is to develop the right mindset. What I mean by that is to embrace your mistakes as a part of the learning curve. 

“Mistakes are proof that you’re trying”

After all, it’s only a notebook. You don’t save anyone’s life.

But, here I listed some of the most popular bullet journal hacks to cover up your mistakes:

  • use a correction tape (be aware that usually bujo paper is ivory or creamy and the tape could be too white to match it)
  • turn mistakes into patterns 
  • create a collage with polaroids, scrapbooking paper, washi tapes, etc
  • use pencil before the pen
  • use decorative paper or pictures and stick them with adhesive tape
  • write with erasable pens
  • cover mistakes with a small piece of paper from the back of your journal
  • doodle on top of a mistake
  • color the mistake in black and write on it with a white gel pen
  • create a cute banner 
  • cover smudges with a white gel pen
  • use washi tape

Bullet Journal Supplies Organization Hacks

At first glance, it seems a little bit weird to write about how to organize bullet journal supplies in a post about bujo hacks.

However, don’t underestimate the power of a clean and organized workspace.

In most cases, we tend to forget about bullet journaling if the notebook isn’t somewhere nearby. 

Out of sight, out of mind- for that reason, organizing all your bullet journal supplies is so important.

Here’s a list of my favorite supplies organization hacks:

  • put the most frequently used tools in one place like containers, drawers, mugs, plant pots, mason jars, etc.
  • keep your bullet journal notebook handy


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  • use a desktop organizer


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  • get clear containers

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  • use washi tape dispenser or storage ring 

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  • put in drawers the divider system
  • clean up a workspace, it makes you feel fresh and motivated
  • add plants to a workspace, it’s scientifically proven that plants in a workspace can boost your productivity, reduce stress level, and keep the air clean.

Bullet Journal Hacks To Achieve Maximum Productivity

Go Back to the Basics

Before you start watching “plan with me” videos and feel immediately overwhelmed with all these artistic layouts other bullet journalists do or thinking which notebook to buy, start from the very beginning, and learn the bullet journal basics.

Learn how to plan

Definitely, you can set up the most beautiful bujo in the world but if you don’t know how to use it, don’t be surprised that this system won’t work for you.

Obviously, the way of planning things is quite personal, but here are my three favorite planning methods I use in my everyday life:

Time Blocking

Time blocking aka calendar blocking is a great way to put more structure in your life and work smarter not harder. You get more done while still having time to chill out with family and friends.

Basically, you chunk your time into blocks and focus on only one specific activity. I love this method because you have to estimate the amount of time you spend on some tasks. 

And as it is said:

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a year”

So if you feel like a hamster in the wheel who is constantly running with no end in sight, definitely time blocking can be a favorite way to schedule your day effectively.

Brain Dump

Basically, in order to process a brain dump, you have to take all information, ideas, data, events, activities, tasks from your brain and put them in your bullet journal. Next, you assign and migrate them to different spreads like monthlies, weeklies, dailies, or collections.

Bullet Journal Routine Spread

Without a doubt, creating daily and evening routines are so beneficial for your productivity. 

Again, it helps you to structure your day, develop good habits, prioritize tasks, and deal with procrastination.

Setting up your bullet journal routine spread can help you to remain focused and stay on course. 

Firstly, you write down how your ideal day looks like. It’ll be your daily routine spread. Next, you put all daily tasks and habits in the daily log, to-do list, or habit tracker for accountability purposes. Basically, you track your daily routines tasks and mark them with a tick or other symbol.

Bullet Journal Hacks: Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are plenty of bullet journal hacks that make your bullet journaling life easier. 

No matter if you want to improve your bullet journal for a more organized use, creating spreads in less than 10 minutes, or level up your bujo design with no art skills, I hope I’ve proved that working on a bullet journal doesn’t have to be a tedious task.

However, please remember that no one of these bullet journal hacks works wonders unless you overcome procrastination, stop wasting time, and start to get things done.

What’s Next? Learn More Bullet Journal Tips, Tricks, and Hacks here:

Bullet Journal Tips You’ll Want To Know Before You Start

How to Start a Bullet Journal

The Unrivaled Guide To Setting Up A Minimalist Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal Hacks, Tips, and Tricks for Beginners and Advanced Bullet Journalists

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