Journals, folders, washi tape, fineliners, marker pens, colouring pencils, stamps, post-its, sticky labels, diaries – I buy them all the time, more often than I should, just because I can’t bear to leave them behind in the shop! Some of them are so nice, I can’t bear to use them!
I just bought a brand new journal for my bullet journaling, just because it has dotted pages like the cool kids on Instagram have. I wasn’t going to buy any washi tape, and now I have thirty rolls on order from Hong Kong. I spent twenty pounds on new pens last week because I walked past a stationer’s and couldn’t resist a buy two get one free offer.
I have notebooks and lever arch files, dividers and cardboard wallets stacked all over the house. I have no self control at the best of times, but sales and paydays, especially in combination, are lethal.
Today my penguin washi tape arrived, and it was glorious!
If you asked me if I wanted to sit down and write out a list of numbers from one to one hundred and ninety, the answer would be no. I mean, of course it would be no. What sane person wants to sit down and write out a list of numbers?
If, however, you asked me if I wanted to sit down with a brand new extra-large Orchid Purple Moleskine journal with dotted paper and an internal storage pocket and number the pages ready to start a proper bullet journal, then the answer would be oh my God, yes, give me my fineliners and get out of the way!
I hadn’t come across the idea of a bullet journal before, but a work colleague started one and shared a Buzzfeed article about it on Facebook. Once I did a bit of research I decided to start a practice one, just to see if I could do it. A week in and I’m hooked!
Bullet journaling is all about keeping track of your life in a simple format.It keeps a record of the past, tracks the present and helps organise the future. I have tried to use apps to help me do this, but I haven’t found one that does everything I want. Plus, there’s the added bonus that a journal will never run out of battery, unlike my iPad or iPhone.
It’s easy to customise and make your own. A simple Google search will show you examples of insanely beautiful journals, created by true artistic talents. Lots of amazing calligraphy, pretty doodles and washi tape all over the place! Mine…well, let’s just say that mine won’t look like that! I’m no artist, to put it mildly, and I’m not a particularly visual person. I have ordered a stencil from Etsy to help pretty mine up, but that will be the extent of it, I think.
This video, from the creator of the bullet journal, explains it better than I can.
I’m making a conscious effort not to include my day job in the journal. This is to plan my writing, my personal goals and my outside work life. I’m trying to claw back some work/life balance, and I hope that the bullet journal will help me do that.
So far, I’ve got the weekly planner set up although I’m trialing a few different layouts to see which ones I like. I have a future log for events I know will be happening – birthdays, the car MOT, etc – and a monthly tracking list for events that need to get done at some point – perhaps this month, perhaps not, depending on circumstances. I’m tracking some of my habits, both bad and good, and I’m making lists of things I want to remember. I have a list of books that aren’t out yet that I want to read, because I’m tired of missing release dates. I used to really be into music, but since I’ve stopped listening to fanmixes I’ve stopped discovering new artists that I like. I’m going to keep track of songs that I come across that I like, so I can find albums by the artist. I have a list of recipes I want to try, and I’m going to try and work my Slimming World planning into it as well, as losing weight is a constant (unreached!) goal of mine. I’m trying to make one bullet every day about something I’m grateful for, although I’m not sure if I should do that in a separate log or include it in my daily one.
At some point, I’ll use the journal to plan books too, although I’m going to have to think about how to do that so it’s practical and useful.
I’m pinning whatever I can find about bullet journals on Pintrest and printing out helpful free things that other journalers are kind enough to produce. If anybody has any ideas or tips, send them my way!