When you think of bullet journaling, I bet you first think about a dot journal, right?

I do…

That’s what I’ve always used, but there are SO many different options out there and ANY of them will work!

If you’re starting a bullet journal, creative planner or other type of journal, you don’t necessarily NEED a dot grid journal… There’s a variety of different unique notebooks, and some are a LOT more versatile than others!

Have you ever considered trying a disc-bound notebook? Or do you even know what I’m talking about?

Office Depot was nice enough to send me out some of their TUL Limited Edition Brilliance Collection to try out – and their TUL notetaking system is far from your typical bound-book journal.

It’s WAY more flexible because of the (re)movable pages!

I had never tried the disc bound journals before now, and I totally LOVE the way you can completely make it your own.

You can change out the covers, the pages, the dividers, AND the discs! This way, you can keep all of your similar pages together. There’s even calendar inserts so you can make this your go-to planner – you better believe I got some of those!

A TON of new bullet journalers complain about messing up pages/drawings/layouts, etc. I hate it too, but I think it’s a part of that perfectionist mentality we have sometimes…

Are you guilty?

Like, when you mess up anything in your journal, you just wanna tear that page out and START over — but you don’t wanna mess up the actual journal! With the TUL discbound system, you can just tear out the page and it’s like the mistake never happened! 🤷Yessss!!

I totally advise against having the perfectionist mindset, but we can’t help it! And we want our journal to look good, right?!

Anyways, when I got these supplies (and after I ogled at how pretty and shiny everything was), I decided to make a little Instagram story with a few tips for beginner journalers… & you can see the tips below (in case you missed it on IG)!

5 Tips for Beginner Journalers

Tip 5. Get some awesome supplies

You can start simple with just a pen and notebook or paper and make an actual plan. For my starter kit, I got the following to try out from Office Depot’s TUL line:


  • A junior size dark gray die cut leather notebook
  • 1” rose gold expander discs
  • A 4 pack of ‘Dots Fashion’ gel pens
  • Poly Tab Dividers (junior size)
  • Weekly/Monthly Refill for Jan-Dec 2019 (junior size)

These are from the limited edition Brilliance Collection at Office Depot – there’s some other pretty colors too! And if you want, you can get a bigger notebook if you’re not a fan of A5 size – I’ve been loving the smaller “junior” size!

Keep in mind, the Brilliance collection is only available through December – so hurry and check it out before it’s gone!

Tip 4. Brainstorm Everything!

This is one of the most important parts of my planning & journaling routine. I try to take time at least once a week to write down everything swimming around in my head.

Seriously take time out to write anything family-related, job-related, wants, needs, to-do’s, bills to pay, goals (big and small), social media, birthdays and important upcoming dates, home improvements, recipes to try, gifts to buy, etc.

I seriously suggest taking at LEAST 15 minutes per week to mind dump everything. Sundays are great for this, so you feel productive before the week even starts.

Getting everything on paper relieves stress too! It’s not staying up in your head when there’s a zillion other things going on up there.

I used one of the dividers to make a full “Brainstorm” section in my notebook. That way I can revisit them later if I need to.

Tip 3. Get Organized!

Once this is all written down, grab another piece of paper, and add your Important & Urgent “NOW” things at the top of the paper. Then add your less important & non-urgent items at the bottom.

Now you can really tell what you need to focus on and what you need work on NOW.

Tip 2. Add Some Style

Now this is completely optional, but it’s always fun to add a bit of ‘flair’ to your lists and planner pages.

You can decorate your book however you’d like! Use stamps, stickers, or washi tape to take your pages to the next level. If you’d rather just decorate with the pen – add doodles, borders, and shapes around your pages to add a bit of style!

Tip 1. Get it Done!

The last step really has nothing to do with a planner, but it has 100% to do with YOU who made these plans…

Get to it!

Now’s the time to stop procrastinating with all those doodles and actually cross those important things off of your to-do list.

Then you can start the fun planning process over again! 😜

Wrapping Up

Are you starting a new journal in 2019? I am definitely beginning a new book, and I’m looking forward to seeing how my planning process evolves throughout the year.

I have some big goals set for 2019, and I can’t wait to get started! I hope you’ll join me and get the year started right! 🙂

If you’re thinking about starting a new journal in 2019, I hope you’ll join me in the Journal Kickstart challenge starting December 21, 2018.

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