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Bullet journaling through brain fog (Part 3)

By Elise Bonder

Mastering your basic bullet journal is easy, and there is no shame at leaving it at that. But, if you’re the kind of person who likes to wander through art and craft stores, read on! Part 3 of my bullet journal series is all about my favourite hacks and tools that make it my own.

Let’s start with some of my favourite hacks.

Be practical

Corner words

There are some pages in your journal that you’ll want to access often. For me, this would be my monthly logs. When your book is open, pages naturally splay a little, and you can peek at the top corners. Use that to your advantage by writing on them.

Washi tape as page holders

My first use of washi tape, a thin paper sticky tape, is as a page holder. Wrap it around the edge of the page to see it at a glace. It’s the perfect way to have very fast access to a specific page. I use it sparingly since you have to remember what each tape means for this to work! I use green for my master grocery list, blue for my current monthly log, and the white “beautiful” tape for my food log. Washi tape is removable, so at the end of each month, I remove it from the previous month’s log.

Page up/page down

I was writing my food log on page 23 when I run out of room on that page. It’s a bullet journal, so I didn’t save pages 24-27 for the year’s potential entries, I used the next available page, which was 52. I wrote this in my index, but for quick reference, at the bottom of the page I’ll add a quick note “p.52” and on the top of the new page I’ll write “p.23.”

Dutch door

I’m taking the plunge this week and trying a dutch door! You open to a new spread, save the top or side for the main topic (for me, it’s my weekly spread – something new for me!) and you use the rest of the spread for info on that topic (for me, my daily logs). The catch is that you cut out the next pages so you can always see the main topic. Note that I used the side instead of the top. My book is bound with thread so if I cut too much of the top, the pages come loose.



I’m a naturally creative person, so doodling and being creative in my journal is a natural extension of who I am. Bullet journalling is a great place to experiment with lettering, headers, and materials!

My favourite way is my #bujoheaders2017eb challenge to myself for 2017. Every week for 2017, I will create a header for my daily log. This is my favourite so far:

I’ve added them to my Instagram (@elisebonder) if you want to keep tabs!

The Pens

Pens are the jelly to the peanut butter of journals! They come in hundreds of varieties. These are my favourites (top to bottom on picture):

Every pen in my “must have” has had a test in the last page of my journal to test for bleeding! These have all passed.

Beware the alcohol-based markers since they usually bleed through really badly.

Washi Tape

This thin tape is just such a pretty way to add interest to a page. I use it a ton and try not to collect it! I do swap samples with a friend who showed me how to wrap it around an old plastic gift card for sharing. GENIUS!


A tiny ruler is part of my essentials but a stencil is pretty nifty, too! I got this one at my local office supply store.

This is just the start of what can be a massive collection! If you’re into this stuff, peruse your local craft store, paperie, office supply store, and fine art stores.

Being imperfect

You’re bound to make mistakes when you write by hand, in pen, on paper. *gasp* Stick to pencil if you want, or accept being imperfect! Here are some of my favourite mistakes, just to prove my point!

You’ve got some options. Cover it up with white-out, cover it with washi tape, block it off with markers, and pointing it out and laughing it off are all good options! Some people will glue in a colouring page, but I find it’s too stiff.

If it’s a small mistake, I often use a small piece of white sticker to cover it up. Better yet, the Leuchtturm1917 comes with spine labels that are the exact cream colour of the pages. I use them to cover up mistakes. You can even put a big X through it and move on!

There you have it, my ideas on bullet journals in as few words as I could manage! For more inspiration, check out Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook. I’m off to get my daily log started!


Click here to read the reasons why Elise loves the bullet journal system!

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