How to Keep Up With Your BuJo Trackers + Collections

by - December 04, 2021

 Habit trackers. One of the best parts of using the bullet journal system, right? Well, that is if you can stick to the tracker long enough to make the habit stick. Sometimes, bullet journal trackers and collections can be super hard to stick to. When you make the layout, you are really excited to use it, but then somehow your motivation wears off, and the page ends up unused, and the habit is never mastered. Today is the day to change that!

How to Keep Up With Your Bullet Journal Trackers + Collections

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Updated for 2024

I've been bullet journaling for a while now (I started in 2018 to be exact), and one aspect of the system that I have struggled with and many other people have struggled with is... keeping up with habit trackers.

I'm sure we can agree that making habits are hard, but it's even harder when you can't seem to keep up with the tracker that is supposed to be helping you make your habit.

If you have been struggling to form habits, you may want to read the following articles because there are many other ways to create habits besides using a habit tracker.

Like I said before, I started bullet journaling in 2018 so I've made a lot of habit trackers, and collection layouts, and I've learned a thing or two about how to keep up with habit trackers and collections that I want to share with you. Let's get right into the tips!

How to Keep Up With Your Bullet Journal Trackers + Collections

1. Make a Habit of Using Your Bullet Journal

Let's start with the easiest tip for keeping up with your trackers and collection layouts. You need to use your bullet journal on a regular basis!

When I was having trouble using my bullet journal on a daily basis, I made using my bullet journal one of the habits I was tracking, so I could see just how often I opened up my bullet journal. If you love filling in the squares on your habit tracker, then this might be the push you need to get your other habits done! Of course, this isn't going to help you, if you never use your bullet journal at all.

Here are a few quick tips to get into the habit of using your bullet journal. If you want more, you can read the post linked above.

  1. Incorporate bullet journaling into your daily routine.
  2. Keep your bullet journal in an easily accessible location.
  3. Carry your bullet journal around with you.
  4. Add an alarm to your phone to remind yourself to use your bullet journal.
  5. Don't force yourself to use your bullet journal.

How to Keep Up With Your Bullet Journal Trackers + Collections

2. Use Tabs

Okay, so now you've set up your bullet journal, and you have a TON of collections and trackers. Now what?

Go through and put tabs on the pages that you want to use regularly. Ideally, you would only put tabs on the pages that you use on a daily or almost daily basis. If you add tabs on almost all of your pages, it's not going to be much help to you, so be very selective about which pages you add tabs to.

I add pages on the trackers that I use daily, like my gratitude layout, and my mood tracker. These are layouts that I use almost daily for the entire year.

3. Use a Monthly or Weekly Bullet Journal Catch-Up

What about the bullet journal layouts that you don't use on a daily basis? It can be hard to keep up with all of the trackers and collections in your bullet journal, so what I recommend doing is a regular bullet journal catch-up.

It could be weekly, monthly, or every couple of days. Whatever works best for you!

Schedule around fifteen to thirty minutes into your day for catching up on your bullet journal. When you do a bullet journal catch-up, I want you to flip through every page in your bullet journal, and check to see if it is up-to-date.

There is a catch though... if a layout didn't work for you, or if you no longer need the information on that layout, then don't bother to fill it out. Just leave the layout blank!

Yes, it might take a long time if you have filled up your entire bullet journal, but it is the easiest way to make sure you don't forget about something in your bullet journal.

4. Accept That You Won't Use All of Your Trackers + Collections

I have some almost empty pages in my bullet journal. Yep, you heard that right! Even though I'm a bullet journal expert blogger, I don't have a perfect bullet journal. Sometimes, I make a layout, and then I try it out, and it just doesn't work. Or maybe, I just hate how it looks. 😂 Either one and the layout ends up being blank and unused.

That's perfectly fine. If you find that a tracker or collection layout is of no use to you, then don't try and force yourself to use it.

Going along with that, you might decide that you don't even want to create the habit you are trying to create. Sometimes, it's not the layout, it's the habit itself.

If you are trying to fill in all of your trackers, just for the sake of filling them in, then you are probably using the bullet journal system for the wrong reasons.

How to Keep Up With Your Bullet Journal Trackers + Collections

5. Keep the Layout as Simple as Possible

You knew this tip was going to be on the list, right? I know, this tip is in pretty much every blog post that is offering advice for bullet journaling. It works though! I know from experience because when I started bullet journaling, I didn't follow this advice, and I stopped using my bullet journal after just three months.

Luckily, I figured out what I was doing wrong, and I tried bullet journaling again. If I hadn't, I probably would not be writing this post right now and I would not be sharing this information with you!

When I first started bullet journaling, I was tracking "all the things", including things I didn't need to track, and it didn't help me. When I started using a bullet journal as a tool to become a better person, instead of just copying everything I saw online, my bullet journal started working for me.

Keep your habit trackers as simple as possible, especially when you begin because you don't want it to be a lot of work every day.

Also, try and use as few colors as possible, when you are color-coding, or else it will get complicated, and you will have to pull out sooo many pens every time you fill in that tracker. Not ideal at all!

6. Try a New Layout

Maybe it's not the habit. Maybe it's the habit tracker. If you are having trouble creating a habit, then maybe you need to try out a different layout. Okay, that's a lot of "maybes". Let me illustrate this with an example.

If you are trying to go to bed earlier, then you might track certain sleep statistics: when you go to bed, when you wake up, and how many hours you slept for. If you track all of this, it might be too much work, so instead, you could try just noting what time you go to bed at.

After you have the habit of noting what time you go to bed, you can add in what time you wake up, and then how many hours you slept.

There is no shame in leaving a layout partially blank if it is not working for you. That doesn't mean that you failed or that you just can't create a certain habit. Just switch up how you are trying to create the habit and then try again!

While we are on this topic, it is also a good idea to switch up your layout designs every once in a while, so you don't get bored and lose motivation to use your bullet journal. It doesn't have to be a totally new design. You could just change the colors, add some stickers, or go black and white for a month.

7. Find the Right Time to Fill in the Tracker

This is one of the most important parts in the equation of keeping up with your bullet journal trackers and collections.

I find it most helpful to fill in trackers and collections right before I go to bed. If you wait to fill in all of your trackers in the morning, then you will probably forget something, especially if you are tracking the habit for a long time. The days start to blend together!

Some trackers, you may want to fill in right after you do the task if you have to remember complicated information for it. When I was tracking my time, I checked my bullet journal almost every hour.

It's easier to tie a new habit into an already existing habit, so you might want to check your bullet journal right after every meal. You won't forget about using your bullet journal unless you forget to eat! 😂

How to Keep Up With Your Bullet Journal Trackers + Collections

8. Don't Expect Perfection

When I am tracking something in my bullet journal, such as time spent online, I don't expect it to be perfect down to the minute. Sometimes, I forget to turn a timer on, when I turn on my laptop. Sometimes, I use my phone for just a few minutes, and I don't write it down.

The trackers in your bullet journal are just a tool. It helps give you the bigger picture of how you spend your life. Don't bother to obsess over the details of whether you went to bed at 9:07 or 9:10. Looking from a different perspective, it doesn't hurt to be off by three minutes.

You might forget to use your bullet journal some days, and that is okay. Estimating is very helpful for filling out trackers and collections, especially when it relates to time.

If you don't feel like estimating though, it is okay to leave a spot blank. Sometimes, you might not want to use your bullet journal because of all of the work you know you need to do on a tracker. Instead of trying to play catch up, you can just start over anew and pretend like the blank spot isn't there.

9. Have All of Your Trackers in One Place

If you are still having trouble with keeping up with all of your bullet journal trackers and collections, then it is time to look at the setup of your actual bullet journal.

Are all of the habits you are trying to track on one page or on multiple pages? Are your collection layouts located next to each other or are they sprinkled in between all of your other layouts?

If you are having trouble finding your bullet journal trackers and collections in the sea of all your other layouts, then I would recommend putting all of your trackers and collections in the back of your bullet journal.

Make all of your bullet journal trackers and collections easy to use and easy to find and you will be more likely to use them.

10. Make a Bullet Journal Routine

For this tip, you can add a new layout to your bullet journal. I know what you are thinking.

"What?!? Another bullet journal layout, when I can hardly keep up with all of the other trackers and collections I have in my bullet journal!"

Before you give up on this article and click on a new article, that might have better tips than this one, let me at least tell you how this works.

Flip through your journal, and get the page number and title of every tracker that you want to use on a daily basis. Now, make a new index in your bullet journal and write down these layouts and the page number. 

You can add other layouts that you want to look at on a weekly, monthly basis, etc. You may want to add a tab to this layout!

How to Keep Up With Your Bullet Journal Trackers + Collections

How to Keep Up With Your Bullet Journal Trackers + Collections

Keeping up with your bullet journal trackers and collections layouts is going to take some time, but don't give up and your effort will pay off.

I'm on my fourth bullet journal, and this is the first year, where I've been able to consistently use different trackers for months in a row. I'm going to complete my whole 365 days of gratitude tracker this year!

If you liked this post, you can read these ones too!

Best of luck with your bullet journal! I hope you have a wonderful week!
Please share this post to help others reach their bullet journal goals!

How to Keep Up With Your Bullet Journal Trackers + Collections

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