Beginning a bullet journal can be a daunting task if you are under the impression that skills parallel to a professional artist are a requirement. We are here to tell you that you, by no means, need to be artistically inclined in order to keep a successful bullet journal.
However, if you would still like to add some artistic flair to your bullet journal we have come up with 10 easy bullet journal tips if you can’t draw. Whether you are wanting to learn how to draw, or find some quick ways to add personality to your journal, this post has you covered.
1. Use Stencils
The first option for adding some personality to your bullet journal without needing to attend art school would be to utilize stencils! Stencils allow you to create borders, headers, add icons or shapes, or even improve your lettering.
Stencils are a great investment since you can use them over and over again! You also won’t break the bank by adding a few to your collection. You can grab a 12 pack of different stencils from Amazon for under $15 USD. If you’re looking for something more customized or unique, you can find almost any type of stencil from Etsy.
2. Buy A Book
The adage practise makes perfect rings true when it comes to improving your skills for drawing in your bullet journal. There are a plethora of books geared specifically towards teaching one how to draw. If you’d like to practise, we recommend picking up a book on how to doodle.
Check out our post on other essential books for bullet journaling.
3. Watch Videos On Youtube
If you are more of a visual learner there are plenty of channels on youtube that are geared towards drawing or doodling in your bullet journal. We recommend checking out AmandaRachLee on YouTube - her channel is very bullet journal oriented and focuses on more of a whimsical style of bullet journaling and setting up your layouts.
4. Find Step By Step Instructions On Pinterest
If you have been bullet journaling for any length of time you have almost certainly referenced Pinterest for some inspiration. If you’re looking for help adding some creative touches to your bullet journal Pinterest is a wealth of inspiration.
There are many graphics that show step by step instructions to creating almost any type of drawing or doodle, in varying degrees of difficulty.
You should definitely check out our Pinterest boards for tonnes of inspiration.
5. Use Stickers
Planner stickers are a great, and quick, way to add some colour to your bullet journal. If your drawing skills aren’t what you would like them to be, we suggest grabbing stickers to fill the blank places!
Stickers aren’t always for looks either - they can be totally functional. Etsy is a great place to find exactly the right type of sticker - plus you get to support small businesses in the hunt for that niche sticker.
A quick tip: if the stickers you buy are on matte paper that can allow you to add your own colour or write right on top of them!
6. Use Washi Tape
Washi tape has exploded in popularity in the Bullet Journal community, and for good reason. Coming in a huge variety of widths, colours, and patterns, you are sure to find one that fits your journaling style.
If I am in a hurry to set up a spread in my bullet journal, yet don’t want to look at just pen on the page, I will always reach to washi tape to add some flare. Depending on the style of tape it can be used to create borders, dividers, or even to help you categorize items in a bullet journal collection.
7. Use Printables
This tip can come in handy if you feel like you can not draw, or even if there is a spread you want to tackle but do not feel like you can (or do not have the time to) set up. Printables are really popular in the planning community, especially if you are crunched for time.
It can be a huge time saver to simply print out a printable (for example a mood tracker) to the size of your bullet journal, and glue it onto the page. Viola - you now have a completed spread in a fraction of the time!
There are printables available that cost money on places like Etsy, but many bullet journal bloggers have free printable libraries that you can access in exchange for signing up for their email list. All you have to do is look!
8. Use Stamps
Another option if you can’t draw, and don’t want to spend the time learning, is to utilize stamps. Stamps are growing in popularity in the bullet journal community, and as they do so more and more types are becoming available. They can be a quick and easy way to add consistency to your pages (for example if you want all the numbers to look the same). Another great thing about stamps is that you can completely control the colours - simply buy ink in your desired colour and you are off to the races.
If you want to know more about using stamps in your bullet journal we suggest checking out our Ultimate Bullet Journal Stamp Set Guide for the complete rundown.
9. Go Minimalist
A somewhat obvious suggestion if you can’t draw, is to simply keep a minimalist or traditional bullet journal. Just because you see bullet journals filled with doodles and drawings on Instagram and Pinterest does not mean that yours needs to be the same.
No one has said that you need to have drawings in your bullet journal - if you aren’t artistic and don’t want to learn how simply don’t. It is that easy! There is plenty of minimalist bullet journal inspiration out there - search #minimalistbulletjournal (or similar hashtags) on social media for ideas.
If you need help getting away from the idea that a bullet journal needs to be extravagant we recommend reading The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll; he discusses what a bullet journal is at its core and gives practical tips for creating yours. Remember: at the end of the day your bullet journal should improve your productivity - not hinder it.
Our final bullet journal tip if you can’t draw is to simply practice. Take the previously mentioned tips that resonate with you and practice - whether it’s following along to a new YouTube video every day, or simply using stencils each day in your journal. You can even use your bullet journal to enforce this: on each daily log schedule in time for 10-15 minutes of practice a day.
At the end of the day, your bullet journal only needs to work for you, and by utilizing the tips that resonate with you you’re guaranteed to have the bullet journal of your dreams.
We hope that even if you can’t draw you will realize that you can still keep a bullet journal - after all, drawing is not a requirement. If you have been looking for ways to spruce up your journal, we hope to have gotten the creative juices flowing from these 10 easy bullet journal tips if you can’t draw.