If you have a bullet journal or are thinking about developing a journaling habit, one thing is for sure, there will come a time when you will get stuck and ask yourself
- What should I track?
- Which spreads should I use?
- How do I use my bullet journal for better mental health?
- What lists will help make me more productive?
Everyone who journals will occasionally have blocks.
And if you are just trying to figure out this whole bullet journal thing you can get overloaded with all the options.
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If you have been journaling for a while you probably have tips that help you when you dont know what to write. Im sharing what helps me when I have bujo block! Maybe they can help you the next time your stuck!
1. Create a Goals List
A bullet journal can be a great tool for self-improvement and reaching goals. If you are stuck in your journal my first suggestion would be to create a list of goals.
When you make your goals list, don’t worry about setting timelines yet. Just get them on paper.
After you make your list then it’s time to decide which goals you want to tackle first.
I recommend picking one or two goals to start so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Next, make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T:
You may need to restate your goal so that it’s a SMART Goal. Most of the goals I first write down aren’t SMART goals at first.
I usually have to go back to think about how I will make a goal SMART so that I can focus my efforts.
Now that your goals are SMART, decide how you would like to track your goals. Some simple page ideas are:
- A Calendar layout
- A Coloring page tracker
- A Spreadsheet style tracker
A goals list is a great starting point to get you unstuck and refocused in your Bullet Journal. Also, if you think a simple layout is too boring, consider adding some interest with functional decorative stickers!
2. Check your Schedule
We are all super busy. A bullet journal can be a productivity powerhouse IF you use it!
I like to take my monthly calendar and break it down into weekly, and sometimes daily spreads. This makes tasks more manageable and keeps me organized.
Currently, I use my version of the block time method. First, I assign the time I think it will take to complete a task. Then I block off that time on my schedule so I can focus on just that one thing.
Not only does time blocking help me organize my schedule, but I have also noticed my thoughts are more organized. I’m not worried about what I have to get done because it’s all written down on my planning spreads.
Bullet Journal Planning Hack: Consider adding what I call an “On the Fly” box in your weekly and daily spreads. This is where I put tasks that are quick or that I can work on for a few minutes at a time. My on the fly box is one of my favorite ways for making small moments in time productive powerhouses! I usually get to these while I’m waiting for a sports practice to end, during breaks at my 9-5, or before bed.
3. Journal Prompts
Having a journal prompt can really get you writing in your journal! You have a starting point so you can focus on writing.
You can find journal prompts on just about any subject.
Related post: journal prompts for confidence and self-esteem
My favorite types of journal prompts are introspective prompts that really make you think about yourself! What motivates you? Describe your perfect day? Who inspires you?
Here is a great list of journal prompts for self-reflection and discovery.
4. Create Meaningful Lists
Lists are one of my favorite ways to bullet journal. I love brainstorming a new list, which often leads to a new spread or collection.
You can use lists to learn more about yourself, be more productive and get organized at work. The ideas are endless!
If you like to use lists for household duties I highly recommend snap in dashboards! They snap in your journal to easily move to new spreads and they dont take up an entire page. Dashboards are a great tool for lists or an overview!
These are my favorite snap-in dashboards from Erin Condren:
- Snap-in productivity tracker
- Snap-in meal planning dashboard
- Snap-in teacher to do list
- Snap-in bill tracker
- Snap-in party tracker
These snap-in dashboards makes keeping up with “all the things” so much easier! And they as beautifully designed to boot!
Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner Dashboard
Think about using lists to support your goals. For example, let’s say your goal is to spend more quality time with your children. Then you could make a list of times throughout the day where you time a few minutes for a quick conversation. You could also make a list of quick conversation starters, things that interest your child to draw them into the conversation.
Here are some ideas for meaningful lists to get you started.
So, what if you think the above ideas are great but you just don’t have the time or motivation to create them yourself?
My suggestion is to use guided journals.
Guided List Journals
Guided list journals are a great way to get the benefits of a bullet journal when you don’t have time to make your own pages.
I always find ideas that I would have never thought of. I find myself still picking up these journals when I stuck or feeling lazy.
Here are a few of my favorites!
1. The 52 Lists Project
The 52 Lists Project is a great journal to start the new year. It’s broken into seasonal sections with a new list idea for each week.
My favorite part is the weekly inspiration lists that help process the last week and look forward to next week.
2. One Thing at A Time
This journal has space for to-do lists, prayer requests, favorites, and things to be thankful for.
One Thing at a Time: A List Journal of Blessings, Plans, and Favorite Things is a great list journal if you want to use your bullet journal for mental health and gratitude. As a bonus, there are writing prompts if you are in the mood for more than a list.
3. 1 Page At A time 365 Journal
This is a great guided journal if you enjoy using a variety of journal methods. In addition to lists, 1 Page At A Time has journal prompts, space for writing, and drawing.
Bullet Journal Guides
When I first started bullet journaling I wasn’t sure how to customize my journals so that they work for me and my life. I mean, there are so many options for trackers, logs, spreads, and pages a girl can get overwhelmed quick!
Enter the guided bullet journal
The guided bullet journals that I use have a variety of common bullet journal pages as well as things like quotes, prompts, list ideas, and illustrations. I am able to try out the different pages and such to decide what works for me!
4. Little Bullet Journal Book
My Little Bullet Journal Book is one of the guided journals I used to get me started and I Love it! This journal has prompts for habits to track, coloring page illustrations for keepsakes, goal pages, inspirational quotes and more.
Try out different pages, trackers, and prompts to figure out what YOU should include in your personal bullet journal planner.
5. The 365 Bullet Guide
The 365 Bullet Guide is the other guide I recommend to learn basic bullet journal methods. I was drawn to the idea that each exercise in the guide only takes 365 seconds to complete. Once starting the exercises in this book, I found myself completing several exercises a day.
This is a great guided journal not only to learn bullet journal methods but also ideas for what to put in a notebook or diary. You will also learn some basic doodle how-to’s for decorating journals and planners, and the handwriting practice sheets are extremely helpful.
6. Hack Your Journal
Lastly, Hack Your Journal is my third choice of bullet journal guides. I haven’t purchased this one yet, but it’s on my list. This guided journal focuses more on layout ideas for your journal. It breaks down how to draw layouts in easy steps, and how to decorate your journal even if you can’t really draw.
If you’ve already tried this guided bullet journal, I would love to hear what you think about it!