“I want to bullet journal but I can’t draw!”

So I thought I’d kick off this entry with this statement someone said to me recently. I often read this exact phrase when I’m browsing Instagram or when reading the comments left on bullet journal videos on YouTube.

Confession: I can’t really draw either. I can imitate what others do, but I can’t pull an image out of my head and sketch it out in a bullet journal or elsewhere. Anything I’ve ever drawn or sketched I allow to flow naturally, and sometimes it sucks.

When it comes to doing anything creative, it sincerely comes from my heart.

So for those who say they can’t draw, I have some alternatives:

  • Stencils

Stencils are probably my most used tool in my bullet journal. They make everything look  neat and tidy and add a touch of whimsy to the look of my pages, in my opinion. I love them and I enjoy using them too. I try to recreate new images using basic shapes all the time. I use the leftover blank pages in my last Leuchtturm bullet journal to practice stenciling new things. They don’t always turn out the way I want, but it’s fun experimenting and I get excited when I find something that looks awesome and that I will incorporate into a spread.

These supplies are what help me make my bullet journal beautiful: Dear Lily Designs stencils and my 12″ ruler. The extra small pouch is by Chic Sparrow and holds my stencils.


  • A 12” Ruler

Why a 12” ruler and not the smaller 6” ruler that is popular amongst the bullet journal community? Because this size covers a two-page layout. Translation: You’ll create your spreads with more ease and speed.

  • Markers, Colored Pens and Pencils

Adding color to your notebook is a great and easy way to spruce up the look of your spreads. I’ve done everything from filling in my letters with color, to writing my letters in thick marker first then trace the outer edge with a black pen for dimension. It’s a super easy technique anyone can do. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always choose a rainbow of color pens and use them for different days or even to color code your activities (although I think this might be more time consuming). Since I personally use my bullet journal for everything including class notes, I use color pencils as well. They work beautifully to highlight words and phrases; all I do is trace around the word or phrase with my color pencil and then fill it in.

Crayola markers: a very inexpensive solution for practicing faux calligraphy in your bullet journal. Or simply adding some color.
These are by far my favorite colored pencils and they won’t break the bank. The only downside is the red isn’t truly red (it’s more pink). But I can live with that.
Super Tips are also great for practicing faux calligraphy. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing how others use these for that purpose. Plus, the range of colors is phenomenal!
  • Watching, Learning, Experimenting

I watch a lot of videos and look at a lot of bullet journal spreads online. There are tons of wonderful resources out there if you really want to try bullet journaling, so don’t give up! Watching what others are doing is a great way to draw inspiration and get ideas for your own bujo.

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