This post was meant to be all about how much organised I stay by using a bullet journal. And then nothing. You lose the flash drive where you keep all your future articles (I know, never ever save your stuff just in a flash drive) and then you don’t feel that much organised anymore and you have to write everything again!
It was almost a year ago when I first heard about the Bullet Journal and this world made of black ink and soft colours immediately got my interest, but it actually took me twelve months before starting one of my own. With 2018 just begun I thought I’d share my set-up just in case you needed to feel a bit inspired!
What is a bullet journal? The bullet journal is a system for having a completely customized diary (or a to-do list, or a notebook) and it only requires a pen and a notepad. If you Google the words “bullet journal” you will for sure find hundreds of beautiful and creative pictures that can make this statement a bit less vague, but it truly only is a piece of paper, a pen and your own organization. What I love the most about it is the fact that it is an open system that can be shaped in ANY possible feature and if fact, this is what got me into bullet journaling in the first place.
With a growing number of meetings, events and things to do in general, I had already shifted from classic diaries to Filofax a couple of years ago as I needed a more tailored space while still keeping it relatively small – I had an A5 model – particularly when working in events. Then, last year I fell in love with a Mr Wonderful A5 weekly diary and although I had the suspect it might not have been the best for my needs, I was too mad for its cute design and I gave it a try. And I’m not lying if I say 90% if it is still laying there spotless – not a meeting, not a doodle, not a meeting. Part of it must be due to an uncanny awe of spoiling such a beautiful layout (crazy, I know), but the main reason was the fact that it totally didn’t work for me in terms of page set-up, creative inserts and so on. Such a shame.
By this time I had long discovered the BuJo, however looking at all those creative journals other content creators crafted together I had never felt brave enough to commit myself to it both because I didn’t feel that artsy and also because I wondered if I really had the time to set up everything by myself. So, I did some research into minimal bullet journaling and I actually found out that doodles, complex set-ups and fancy covers are a great feature, but they aren’t at all the main point of creating a bullet journal. On the contrary, the Bullet Journal’s main philosophy is to shape your own, unique, journal which is 100% based on your needs and evolves during the year with them. For instance, there might be busy weeks were you’d need a whole page per each day to sort out your life and there might be more quite moments where you don’t need that lot of space. Same for months where you might feel more inspired and artsy and months where your priority is to get your head around all the events you will be attending, so you decide to settle with a neat and organised layout. It really depends on the moment, a sort of Carpe Diem brought to paper.
Your journal can be as artistic and refined or as minimal and functional as you want and both are perfectly fine!
This really got me inspired and last November I eventually decided to try it out myself. I only took one last step before spending the average 15-something euro that a BuJo diary usually costs and got a blank A5 notepad at Tiger. I made a list of all the sections I thought I might need at the beginning of my journal, created a nice but not-too-in-your-face cover and started my adventure. A couple of months later I’m still here, enjoying it thoroughly and working now on a dotted Leuchtturm 1917 which has really gotten my heart.
So, I hope that sharing my experience with you might somehow inspire you if you weren’t familiar with this journaling system or if you still feel the pressure of creating a MoMa-worth piece of art is too much. It really isn’t a matter of being a graphic designer but growing with your diary and enjoying the journey. And now, on with the pictures coming from my 2018 set-up, where you’ll see a bit of creativity coming up but I promise, not crazy fancy and undoable layouts.
FUTURE LOG: I know this one might look like a lot to do, but it actually doesn’t take that long. I did it one evening while watching an episode on Netflix and once it’s done it’s done for the whole year. Again, my main purpose was to have a year-calendar while still having functional space to write is as in classic diaries everything’s usually so tight I can’t even write.
SPORT TRACKER: I know it might sound naïve, but filling days with an accomplished training session does rreally work for motivation!
SLEEP TRACKER: I’ve always thought I have pretty healthy sleeping habits, but I’ve recently realised I might not be THAT good, thus I’ve created a tracker I try and keep updated to monitor how many hours per night I normally rest.
BIRTHDAYS: Aside from using Facebook, Google Calendar and other apps, I think writing on paper adds some poetry to birthdays and special days with friends. I’m not sure where I got the initial idea for this layout from, but I think one of the greatest things of this whole community of bullet-journal enthusiasts and hand-writers is how easy it is to get inspired and go beyond imagination.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS: if you’re curious, see my resolutions here
WEEKLY: as I said, here’s where you can dip your pen into creativity and craft something that’s completely shaped for your needs. To me, it doesn’t make any sense to have a lot of space on week-days and then find the weekend squeezed at the bottom corner as normal diaries do. I only use my BuJo for personal events, private life and work outside my 9-to-5 office job, so evenings and weekend days are the moments when I get most of it done. That’s why I need a lot of space to work around all my appointments right on Saturdays and Sundays.
FEBRUARY COVER: Inspired by ApuntoC
WHAT I USE:
- Dotted A5 Leuchtturm 1917: I find dots are perfect for journaling as they aren’t as limiting as squares but still great for structuring any layout I might think of without measuring every single inch.
- Pen: Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner Black – 4mm or Pilot
- Colours: Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners – 4mm
- Crayons (for the moment I’m using some terribly hard ones but I will be reviving my old school supplies soon)
- The Zebra Mildliner Double-sided Highlighters
- Tombow Dual Brush Pens
PH LILY’S COLOURS
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