This tip may be the most important one I will ever provide about Bullet Journaling. I was able to get started once I decided to create a practice bullet journal. 

Creating a practice bullet journal is an excellent way to begin organizing your life without the pressure of perfection. It’s a personal tool to keep you on track with daily tasks, habits, and goals. 

Unlike other planning systems, a bullet journal is versatile—it can adapt to your needs and preferences. Whether you’re a meticulous planner or prefer a minimalist approach, starting with a practice journal lets you experiment with formats and find what works for you.

A workspace desk with a laptop displaying documents and charts.

When choosing your first bullet journal, remember that it’s okay to opt for an inexpensive option. When I started looking for my first BUJO journal, I sought the best possible option. 

It was overwhelming. 

Don’t get me wrong, journal shopping is a blast. They are so pretty. There are so many choices. 

Expensive notebooks might seem tempting, but a practice journal aims to provide a low-stakes environment for trial and error. 

By selecting a more affordable journal, you’ll likely feel less pressure to make everything look perfect and more freedom to discover your bullet journal style.

Consider pulling out an old spiral notebook or buying a $1 journal from the store also, if it has already been written in, even better. That will remove some of the pressure.

Key Takeaways

  • A bullet journal adapts to your organizational style.
  • Starting with an inexpensive journal reduces pressure.
  • The goal is to discover what journaling methods work for you.
A photo of a spiral-bound notebook lying open on a wooden desk.

The Benefits of Starting With a Cheap Journal

Starting with a cheap journal is a wise choice when you’re just dipping your toes into bullet journaling. It’s a low-risk investment that lets you explore and discover your journaling style without the pressure of perfection.

Low Financial Commitment

Your wallet will thank you for choosing an inexpensive journal to begin your bullet journaling journey. When starting out, there’s no need to pour money into a pricey notebook. An affordable option keeps the stakes low, so if you make a mistake or decide bullet journaling isn’t for you, you’re not out a significant amount of cash.

To this point, I experimented with two cheap journals before knowing what I wanted. 

Now, let me mention that I have learned how crucial thick paper is to this bullet journal process. After using a cheap Composition Journal for a few days, I am super annoyed that everything is bleeding through. But I know that this is temporary.

Experimentation and Flexibility

A cheap journal becomes a sandbox for your creativity. Since it’s not an expensive investment, you’re more likely to try new layouts, make mistakes, and learn from them. This is your chance to scribble, doodle, and experiment with different methodologies without fearing ruining a costly journal.

I love having a journal to experiment with so much that I plan to keep a cheap journal just for testing layouts. 

Discovering Personal Preferences

Bullet journaling is as unique as you are, and a cheaper journal is perfect for figuring out what works best for you. From locating your favorite paper type to the ideal pen, it’s all about discovering your personal preferences without the pressure of getting it “just right” in a more premium journal.

A good example is that after a few days of bullet journaling in my cheap journal, I realized that I wanted a page dedicated to tracking my time daily. So now, when I switch to my official bullet journal, I will create these days for myself so they will all be together towards the front of my journal.

Creativity and Personalization

A less expensive journal often means fewer features, which invites more creativity. You have the freedom to personalize your journal to your heart’s content. Try out DIY tabs, stickers, or even your drawings to add a level of customization that feels genuinely yours.

I realized that I don’t doodle. What does this say about me?

Ease of Starting

The beauty of a cheap bullet journal is the ease of starting. There are no long wait times for that perfect journal to ship or out-of-stock frustrations. Just grab a notebook that’s easy on the pocket, and you can dive right into the bullet journaling practice with immediate satisfaction.

A photo of a bullet journal open on a wooden desk.

The bottom line

Your cheap journal should be something you’re comfortable using every day. It’s a practice space for your thoughts, tasks, and creativity. Once you’ve gained some experience, you may invest in something fancier. But for now, keep it simple and affordable.