I have always had a weird fascination with books, most especially blank journal/notebooks. From my earliest memories I have always had various types of notes and notebooks, schedules, and planners… If I see a book that appeals to me, I buy it.
Over the years I have collected and tried many different types of notebooks and journalling “systems”… from online applications, phone apps, to calendars, daily planners and just sticky note lists.
Many of the methods I tried would work initially, but most ultimately fell by the wayside to be replaced by the next thing that I thought might help. The only thing that seemed consistent is that I kept LISTS, and notebooks, and notes, and snipets… and THINGS…
Enter the BULLET JOURNALsystem.
Now, I expect that this isn’t for everyone, very few things really ARE, but it is simple, flexible… and best of all, it allows me to use up a few of my hoarded NOTEBOOKS!! And since the essence of bullet journaling is that you basically only need a book and a pen, I was MORE THAN READY…
So… I started SIMPLE… I grabbed one of my favourite pocket sized grid Moleskine notebooks (since i had 10 of them just sitting around) and set up my key and my index (very simple, nothing at all fancy)… and started on my journey:
It wasn’t very sophisticated. All I did was write down the time frame and then create check boxes (tasks) and circles (appointments/activities) for the week ahead. I would review the list every night, check the things I had accomplished, add anything new that had come up, and cross out anything that I no longer felt was important. Sunday’s I would migrate (or take unaccomplished tasks from the previous week and write them onto the new week’s list) and set up for the week ahead.
I used this very simple list system without any changes for a year…
So, what changed?
After a year of doing the same thing I really wanted to incorporate more creative/art journaling into my daily writing. I didn’t feel anything lacking in my bullet journal, per se, but I did really want to explore all the other creative journaling/writing/planning that I saw on YouTube. Really… have you SEEN what some of these women can do with a PLANNER? The washi tapes and fancy planner stickers and gorgeous hand lettering???
I explored all the planner type YouTubers, and although I loved the way that they decorated… there was just something about it that was not MY STYLE. I loved watching them decorate their pretty Erin Condrens and Kikki.Ks, but I couldn’t imagine myself doing it for myself. While I loved washi tape in my journals and art journals, it wasn’t something I found easy to incorporate into my time management/planning. I wasn’t really too into the “cutsy” type planner stickers that everyone seemed to be buying and selling, even when I loved the colour and patterns that everyone found so easy to put together.
And through an accidental click, I came across a video on YouTube regarding how that person had incorporated the bullet journal system into her life, all the touches she had done to the base system to make it hers. It wasn’t too fancy — a different way to frame the lists, adding a tracker for her expenses — but it got me thinking; if one other person had been thinking about this in a whole different light, maybe OTHERS were as well. So I started searching in earnest through YouTube and through websites, and eventually I came back across Bullet Journal.com and Tiny Ray of Sunshine and her August #BulletJournalChallenge.
That led me back to Instagram (which I had been a part of, but had stopped posting because I couldn’t figure out I way to connect to other people) and participation in the challenge. This in turn led me to review and try new things in my journal:
As I explore, I find new things I want to try. And the great thing about it is that since I create it how I want, I can change the layout easily as I go — if I need more space I can go with a 1 page per day (or even 2 pages per day), I can journal things I try. I can add or subtract things that don’t work.
This is a work in progress — something I want to share as I go along. In later posts I will explain my tests and review them, and point to new ideas and things I love. I’ll review pens I love, and other crafty things and how I can and do use them in my whimsical life…