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10 Ways to Bring Bullet Journaling into Your Morning Routine

Morning routines. Somehow, the phrase doesn’t sound so exciting. But, although you might not believe us… it can be. You’ve just got to do it right. And that means finding a bullet journal routine that works for you and your mornings. Not one that’s just for Instagram.

This is how to make bullet journaling part of your morning routine. Even if you’re not a “morning person”.

Charcoal bullet journal on a bed surrounded by a pen, mug, glasses and headphones

Why morning routines matter

There’s a reason that you’ll find so many people searching for morning routine ideas online. Your morning routine matters.

Your morning routine sets you up for the day ahead

Your morning routine can set the tone for the day ahead. When you have a set system that you follow each day, you start your day with more calm and less stress.

You’re more likely to feel organised, as you know exactly what you need to do to prepare for the rest of the day. And you’ll likely have a more productive day too, because you’ve taken care of your needs first.

It’s time that’s just for you

When was the last time you did something just for yourself? It can be a hard question to answer. But it’s also a very important one.

Your morning routine is just that. Yours. It’s an opportunity to put yourself first and give yourself what you need, before typically spending the day doing things for other people. Plus, if you start the day taking care of number one, you’re more likely to put your own needs first later in the day too. And that’s something we could all do a little more often.

The big morning routine myth

Most morning routine ideas come from looking at how famous people spend the first part of their days. But there’s one big glaring problem with this approach - these aren’t always realistic morning routine ideas. They’re from people whose lives differ wildly from our own.

Your morning routine doesn’t have to be productive

Not all morning routine ideas are productive. You don’t have to work out before breakfast or spend an hour working on your novel.

Your morning routine doesn’t have to be pretty

Morning routine ideas aren’t always pretty either. They don’t have to be ready to be shared on Instagram or in the pages of a glossy magazine.

All your morning routine needs to do is feel good for you.

Woman journaling on a bed surrounded by headphones and a cup of coffee

1. Practice habit stacking

If you’re trying to bring bullet journaling into your daily routine, try to link it to a habit that you already have. This is known as habit stacking, which is an easy and effective way to build (or stack) new habits off the ones you already have.

Even better if it’s pairing bullet journaling with a habit you love! For example, let’s say you always have a cup of coffee before breakfast. Try making this your bullet journaling time. Whilst you’re taking five minutes to drink your coffee before the day begins, get your favourite journal out and give yourself a moment to reflect on what’s happening in your day ahead.

2. Swap your phone for your bullet journal

Hands up if your phone is the first thing you pick up each morning 🙋🙋

Yeah, us too. But what if instead of your phone, you picked up your bullet journal instead? Rather than spending ten twenty minutes scrolling through Instagram, you spent that time reflecting on your goals?

Instead of stacking bullet journaling onto a pre-existing habit in your morning routine, you’re swapping a negative habit for a positive one!

3. Take your bullet journal outside

Science tells us that a morning dose of fresh air can help you wake up naturally, reducing the need for a caffeine hit to kickstart your day. At the same time, fresh air can help you focus. You’re outside, away from distractions, ready to focus on whatever’s in front of you.

There’s no better way to start your day. Except maybe taking your bullet journal with you, and using that energetic focus to help you feel even better. Take a moment to pause on a park bench with your bullet journal, or even in your garden, and use that focus to review your weekly spread.

An open journal showing a March weekly spread on a wooden desk surrounded by a plant

4. Turn bullet journaling into a morning break

Your morning routine doesn’t have to end when your day begins. If you’re looking to turn your bullet journaling practice into a daily routine, why not turn your mid-morning break into a bullet journaling break?

You’ll be done with the school run, your commute will be out of the way… and you’ll have a little more headspace to reflect on how your day’s gone so far and what you can do to make the remaining hours even better. It could be just the perfect way to restart your day after a stressful morning.

5. Make it just five minutes

Little and often is always better than a lot, irregularly. So, on those days where time is short and you can already see the morning running away from yourself, give yourself just five minutes with your bullet journal.

Sure, even on those days five minutes can seem like a lot. But try it. Set a timer, put your noise-cancelling headphones on and sit down with a fresh clean page. You’ll be surprised - those five minutes can help you feel in control again.

6. Establish a structure for your morning bullet journaling routine

When it’s early in the morning, the last thing you’re going to want to do is to figure out what you need to do. It’s like setting the goal of going to the gym each morning but not planning what you’ll do once you get there - you’re never going to go. That warm cosy bed suddenly feels extra comfortable.

So choose a journaling style that’s going to appeal to you, even on the dreariest of mornings. Sure, it could be bullet journaling. But you could also try a hybrid approach, bringing something like morning pages or moon journaling into the mix.

7. Create a physical bullet journaling space

Building a bullet journaling daily routine is all about looking forward to it and seeing it as a positive experience. You might find that some days will feel like a chore, until you sit down and get going. And then it becomes something joyful.

To help you get to that joy even quicker, create a space that’s just for bullet journaling. It could be a corner of your bedroom with some cosy cushions piled up, or a spot at your kitchen table that’s different from where you usually sit.

A cosy journaling set up with an open bullet journal surrounded by fairy lights, books and a candle.

The idea here is that this will be visually appealing enough for you to want to sit down and pick up your pen. It’s exactly why design and aesthetics play such an important role in the paper products we create - because if they don’t look good, you won’t use them. And if you don’t use them, you won’t feel all those amazing benefits of a daily bullet journaling routine.

8. Invite someone else to journal with you

You don’t have to journal alone. Although bullet journaling sounds like a solo activity, there’s a pretty amazing community of bullet journalers out there. And… spoiler alert. Most of them are trying to make bullet journaling part of their morning routines too.

So, find yourself a buddy. It could be from your very own household. Yep, ask your child, partner, parent, sibling or housemate if they’d like to spend fifteen minutes with you each morning to give bullet journaling a try.

Or, create your own club of morning bullet journalers. Simply choose a time each day and FaceTime your friends to journal together. Start the call off with a few minutes of chat and then set a timer for fifteen minutes of silence whilst you all work in your bullet journals. Then, spend ten minutes at the end catching up, sharing stationery trends and chatting about how your morning routine’s going!

9. Don’t expect the habit to be instant

It takes an average of 66 days to form a habit. So don’t expect bullet journaling to become a part of your morning routine after just a few days of trying. This is going to take time.

Try using a habit tracker to help you stay motivated as you work towards your goal of daily bullet journaling. You’ll soon start to feel a sense of accomplishment, which will spur you on for the rest of the month! Check out our free habit tracking template to make things a little bit easier.

10. Turn your morning routine on its head

Author Glennon Doyle is known for her practice of writing in the early hours of the morning whilst her family was still asleep. The coffee machine was pre-programmed for 4.30am and it worked. For her.

But just because it worked for Glennon doesn’t mean that it’ll work for you. If the idea of carving out time for bullet journaling in your morning routine makes you want to run for the hills, but you love the idea of curling up in bed with your journal each night? Then do that!

Don’t feel pressured to create a morning routine just because you saw it on the Internet. Find your own way to reap the rewards of a daily bullet journaling practice. Even if you’re flipping your morning routine on its head.

This is the easy way to get started with bullet journaling

We’ve created a free guide to help you get going, step by step: