I’m the kind of person who likes to keep a lot of journals. I have one for my morning pages, one for book ideas and another to keep a note of the funny things my kids say. I have one to keep notes on the books I’ve read, one for gratitude, one that I keep in my handbag to scribble down bursts of inspiration and shopping lists. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
I have a lot of notepads.
Also: if you ever want to buy a writer a gift, anything that falls under the category ‘stationery’ is likely to go down well.
The jewel in the crown of my journal collection though – or at least, the only one I generally open up to the blogosphere – is my bullet journal. If you’re still puzzled as to what a bullet journal actually is, or why you might use one, you can read about that here and here. In short, a bullet journal is a sort of free-form organiser in which you create your own spreads longhand, as opposed to using a shop-bought diary, or going digital. So yes, it’s analogue. Old school.
That’s one of the attractions, really.
And it looks pretty.
Would you like to have a peek inside my bullet journal for the coming year? 🙂
2020 COVER SPREAD & CALENDAR
Each year, I devote two pages in my journal for a new year cover spread. This years is almost the same as last years – now that I have a set-up that works for me, I rarely feel the need to tweak it (which also saves on thinking/creating time – a plus!) And if the thought of making mistakes in a bullet journal puts you off – I’ll let you into a secret: I got the dates wrong for December, and also spilled glue on the ‘hello 2020’ page. These mishaps were easily fixed by: 1) cutting a piece of squared paper from the back of my journal and sticking it onto December’s space with the right dates on it, and 2) adding some strategically placed butterfly stickers on said glue-y mess. I should also point out that I didn’t buy a new journal, this is the same one I’ve been using since this time last year. And I’m only on page 93 of 250 – bullet journals last for ages (I use a LEUCHTTURM1917 Notebook and Faber-Castell Artist Pens which don’t bleed too badly through the sheets). I also get lots of ideas for spreads and doodles in this Creative Journal guidebook, and Instagram is another great resource for bullet journal ideas. Search #bulletjournal or #bujo or #bulletjournaljunkies. I should add a warning to this information though: you could find yourself down a pretty-picture rabbit hole for days.
I also find it helpful to have 4 pages of month-by-month spreads to note all the big events for each month like birthdays, anniversaries and appointments. I add other important date information as it arises, and then pull the relevant dates into my weekly spreads as I’m writing them up each week. I prefer consulting my journal to my phone for reminders and lists – it just seems to fit better with my way of thinking. If things aren’t written in my bullet journal, frankly, they just don’t happen. I mean, how on earth am I going to remember all those birthdays in January without a bit of help? 🙂
Every Sunday (or very occasionally – first thing Monday morning 😉 ) I sit down and write up my spread for the week ahead of us. It has a block for each day, a to-do list, and a note of any home admin I have to do. It also contains our meal plan for the week, which then informs the shopping list (cue…..another notepad!) I also like to throw in a few doodles here and there. It takes me about 20 minutes to work this up every week (I’ve been using the same format for years now, so again, there’s minimal thought time). It’s 20 minutes that pays back dividends throughout the week, I find. Feel free to use it, adapt it, or copy it.
And yes – my to-do list looks a bit empty. It was week one of January. I was easing myself in 🙂 .
So that’s it, a little whistle-stop tour of my bullet journal for 2020. I hope it’s given you some inspiration for your own bullet journal – if that’s your kind of thing.
Mess up, make mistakes and have fun with it – which of course, applies to life as much as pretty journals.
I’m off to scribble in a notepad somewhere.
Now, where did I put those coloured pens?
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