Bullet Journaling for the Overwhelmed Beginner Course Review

by | Sep 3, 2019 | Bullet Journaling, Stationery Community

One of my favourite bullet journal and productivity bloggers Elizabeth Journals has created an amazing course on how to get started with bullet journaling for the overwhelmed beginner. Today I’m going to tell you all about the course and review it for you. If you think the course might be a great way for you to get started I have an exclusive 10% off discount code at the end of this post!

I’ve been bullet journaling for 4 years but I still find it useful to look over the basics when I get a little overwhelmed.

Who is Elizabeth Journals?

Elizabeth Journals (formerly Jihi Elephant) has tons of bullet journaling experience. She creates custom bullet journals for people who don’t have time to create their own which is a great way to get started if you’re completely overhwhelmed! But now she’s decided to help those of you that want to get started but just need a little bit of guidance. Elizabeth uses a very minimal simple style of bullet journaling which for me is very accessible to beginners. She doesn’t overcomplicate the page and everything is easy to understand. 

What is the ‘Bullet Journaling for the Overwhelmed Beginner course’?

The goal of the course is to help you overcome the fear and overwhelm of starting a bullet journal and to get you started! The course is conducted on the teachable platform where loads of bloggers and creatives run courses. It’s a reputable site and the structure is really simple and easy to use. You can also contact Elizabeth through any of her social media channels including a Facebook Bullet Journal Support Group.

Elizabeth has some core goals for the course

  • Have a basic understanding of bullet journal
  • Create a plan for your own bullet journal
  • Effectively implement bullet journal plan
  • Thrive with bullet journaling

And she has helpfully split the course up into 7 distinct sections. The idea is for you to work through the course step by step but of course you’ll be able to backtrack and review the material if you need to. 

  • Introduction and Overview
  • Brainstorm Stage
  • Prep Stage
  • Planning Stage
  • Creation Stage
  • Revision Stage
  • How to Advance From Here

There are 6 videos in the whole course where Elizabeth talks us through some of the different features of the bullet journal system. She also has a quiz as well as lots of PDFs you can download and print. 


First up Elizabeth gives you a quick introduction to the bullet journal system. She goes into the history of the bullet journal system but as well she talks about WHY you should use the bullet journal system. One of my favourite points that she made was the scope for customisation and how flexible it can be to your needs. This is definitely one of the main reasons I choose to create a bullet journal rather than pick up a pre-drawn planner.

One thing I would have liked a bit more in the introduction stage is more examples in the videos of bullet journals but I understand that 

I also really liked that Elizabeth addressed the disadvantages of bullet journaling as these are the main things that put people off but as she explains those disadvantages don’t have to stop you from starting a bullet journal and she plans to debunk them in the course. 

After the introduction module all of the other modules have an overview and a list of module goals. 

1. Brainstorming Stage

I really liked how the course kicked off with a quiz to help you find your bullet journal style! Here are my quiz results!

The bullet journaling for the overwhelmed beginner course includes a great quiz so you can find out your perfect bullet journal style!
Seems pretty accurate to me!

I really like that you’re not confined to one answer as people rarely identify as just one type of bullet journaler. We can mix styles and goals to make it personally useful for us. 

Elizabeth also talks about different mediums and tools you can use in your bullet journal as well as different layouts that you can use in your bullet journal. Her blog is already an amazing resource for beginner bullet journalists so she puts a lot of links to her blog. I would maybe have preferred if it was kept within the training programme rather than take you off to the blog. For me it was a bit distracting to be taken out of the clean focussed course website over to the blog where it’s easy to get distracted by all of the amazing content!

2. Preparation Stage

Before you start a bullet journal you need to have some preparation time. Yes you have to plan to plan! Elizabeth Journals breaks this down in her amazing bullet journaling for beginners course. Find out more!

In the prep stage we start off with some simple dos and don’ts. You can actually print off a pdf to remind yourself how to go about the start of your bullet journal journey. 

Elizabeth really focusses on the importance of taking it slow when starting out. I definitely agree that this is a really important approach. You don’t know what you’re going to need and how your life might change. Your bullet journal is flexible so let it adjust to your life. 

One of her best tips which I wholeheartedly agree with is to plan no more than a month in advance. If you get too ahead of yourself you mght suddenly decide you need to change it up but can’t because you’re already done!

She also briefly talks you through her favourite supplies to finish up the section. 

3. Planning Stage

To avoid making a bullet journal that doesn't work for you you need to plan how you're going to use it and create it.

In the planning stage the first lesson is the amazingly comprehensive ‘Common Bullet Journal Terms’ PDF. Even as an experienced bullet journalist of 4 years I still spotted a couple of terms I wasn’t familiar with. 

She addresses the subject of mistakes as well which is what a lot of beginners worry about when starting out. As well as walking you through creating a draft plan with a pencil. I often draft out in pencil in my bullet journal to start with so I definitely agree that this is a good way to get started! Although she definitely raised a good point that erasing pencil lines 

4. Creation Stage

At the end of the day if you want to start a bullet journal you just have to start creating! Get going with Elizabeth Journals Bullet Journaling for the Overwhelmed Beginner course.

Now it’s finally time to start creating! I really liked her suggestion to not start at the beginning but just start on an easy essential page! Building confidence with bullet journaling is key and this is great advice to help you do just that. 

The creation stage module is fairly brief but this is the point when you the learner need to go out and just have a go! One thing that she could have added is a nice plan with me style video to show beginners the process of bullet journal creation. 

5. Revision Stage

To make bullet journaling work for you it's a great idea to revise how you use it. The bullet journal is a tool so make sure it's working to its full potential.

The revision stage module was useful as it really prods you to think about the effectiveness of your bullet journal.

I think this section of the course was probably the most valuable in my opinion. It’s definitely important to make sure your journal works for YOU and doesn’t just look pretty. 

Elizabeth has included great PDFs to help you evaluate and some really useful suggestions to improve your planning methods. In my opinion this was the best section as it felt very interactive and gives you the chance for self reflection on your planning style. 

How much do you need to invest in the course?

To me it was a brief but comprehensive look at the bullet journal system. I feel that Elizabeth has been careful not to overload the information and not to overwhelm the beginners! You could definitely get through the course in an afternoon with all of your supplies but it would work best to revisit it a few times after using your bullet journal in daily life and seeing how it works for you. 

The course costs $49 (equivalent to approximately £40). But with my code MAGPIE10 you can get 10% off the course.

I definitely think the Bullet Journaling for the Overwhelmed Beginner course is worth it if you have no idea where to start on your bullet journal journey. It doesn’t cover everything but it does take account of the different styles of journaling and concentrates on the fundamental basics breaking it down into easy steps.

Final Thoughts

I’ve followed Elizabeth for a while and we’ve worked together a handful of times. She’s such a great advocate for the bullet journal system I genuinely don’t know where she finds all the time to produce the amazing content for her blog AND write a great course to help even more people discover the 

I would have liked to see a lot more pictures demonstrating what Elizabeth talked about in the videos. For beginners although it can sometimes be a little overwhelming I definitely think it’s a good idea when starting out to look at the range of bullet journal styles. I also know that Elizabeth’s personal style of bullet journaling is very simple and for me a really accessible point of reference for new bullet journalers. This is Elizabeth’s first course and I can’t wait to see what else she’ll have to offer!

Sign up to the Bullet Journaling for the Overwhelmed Beginner course here with my coupon MAGPIE10 to get 10% off!

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