After trialing the Bullet Journal idea for three months; trying different page layouts, being a bit creative and making "mistakes" I had a good idea about what worked for me. I wanted to create my own journal from scratch, mostly because I like the design aspect, and enjoy the making. I also could completely customize it to my needs. The question was - What did I need? I'd really enjoyed the look and feel of my hard covered journal and felt it worked really well for the Bullet Journal approach. However, as I wanted to avoid ruling up my appointment pages by hand I needed to create templates. I have a spiral binding machine (from years of making my own planner/diaries) and so that won out. Added to which the spine would easily store a couple of pens, and add and remove pages should I need too. Following this I went on a hunt for good quality paper, and settled on an artist sketch pad which was slightly off-white in colour (doesn't show up white out) and thick enough to prevent bleed through or ghosting. The next task was to decide on content. I made a list of criteria based on what had worked over the last three months:
We are now moving into June, and I'm moving into my third month of this journal. I'm loving it - still experimenting, trying different ways of getting things done and holding myself accountable. Having a daily relationship with the Bullet Journal system is key to it's (and my) success - it really is the next best thing to a Personal Assistant!
I discovered Bullet Journalling by accident in January of this year, trawling the net for something else. I was immediately enthralled, and spent the next few weeks googling anything and everything I could to do with "bullet journal". I felt I couldn't start my own journal until I had gathered all existing information and was completely prepared. I didn't want to muck up, make "mistakes" and ultimately give up as I have done so many other times when it has come to keeping a journal or a diary. Then, somewhere among the plethora of information and people's stories I read about the "perfectionist" and came to the realization that my own tendency around this was stopping me from starting, and from their advice gave myself permission to start a "trial" journal, and see it as a "work in progress / living document" Thus sorted, I went through my varied collection of blank notebooks to find a suitable candidate -coming up with the one pictured. It already had a head start on the others as it was indexed, and page numbered. I'd bought it a couple of years ago because I liked the cover and it had alternating lined and blank pages which appealed to me. Ruling up the first page was a big step, but once over that hurdle I found it easy to commit to the daily practice of developing it. I tried different formats for my weekly spreads, created different To Do Lists, and started collections. I found I followed through on my tasks (for the first time ever) and felt more peaceful and grounded as the weeks went by. I created an Instagram account so I could follow others in the Bullet Journal Community, and am continually inspired by what others are doing and how they have adapted this system to suit their lives. By the time the end of March came, I had a really good idea of what was working for me and decided to custom make my own journal for April, which will be the topic of my next blog. In the meantime here are a few pictures of my first attempt. You'll see I rediscovered my long lost love of hand-lettering and inspired by others journals found the courage to start practicing again!