Two months. That’s how long I managed to use a traditional diary for following a year of bullet journalling.
You might remember back in June last year I posted that I had reluctantly decided to go back to an old-style diary (with everything already printed in it for me) because I didn’t feel I was doing the bullet system justice.
Here’s a quick refresher about what a bullet journal is:
Dubbed the “analog system for the digital age”, a bullet journal is a flexible DIY system for organising everything in your life. As well as a diary it can include things such as sketchbook, sleep tracker, a gratitude log and travel bucket list. As you are the one setting it up, you include whatever you like.
“Where productivity meets mindfulness.”
I felt it wasn’t working for me because I didn’t have the time to do it properly (some of the bullet journals shared on Instagram are works of art). I also wasn’t including anything extra that I wouldn’t find in a traditional diary.
So what happened?
Within days of starting the new diary, I hated it. As a part-time freelancer who works from home, some days I don’t have much on – especially if it’s a school holiday. As blank pages started to build up in between busy days, I lost track of things that needed pushing forward. It wasn’t as simple or easy as bullet journalling.
Having paid for a beautiful new diary, which Freya is now delighted to be using, I bought a cheap spiral notebook and did a daily plan plus a monthly blog plan. It worked well.
Then, for my birthday last month, I was lucky enough to get some watercolour paints and brush pens. I’ve never used watercolour before but good old YouTube (I’ll pop some links below) came to the rescue.
Then I had a lightbulb moment – this was how I could bullet journal. With some birthday money I invested in a Leuchtturm 1917 dotted notebook and some thin ink pens and set up my journal.
My theme for June was butterflies (of course) and July is the flower doodles, which I love doing.
I’m not professing to have any talent but I must say I find it very relaxing. Freya seemed really interested so I got her a cheap set of watercolours and now we often sit together in the evening at the table and paint.
My set up.
I’ve only been going two months but, just in case you’re interested, I’ve set it up as follows:
Long term house goals, such as paint the kitchen.
Weekly spreads (I transfer events from the future log).
At the back.
I’ve listed important stuff (such as who our house insurance is with) plus my freelance articles and whether I’ve been paid.
It seems odd to think something as simple as a diary could cause me stress but I definitely felt less organised using the old style. Bullet journalling also gives me a creative outlet that isn’t too time consuming.
Hopefully I’ll stick with it this time.
Watercolours and doodling.
I’ve never really been into art (writing has always been my thing) but Freya loves to paint and, encouraged by her enthusiasm, I thought I’d try. The only trouble was, I didn’t really know where to start – enter YouTube.
I’ve been having a lovely time following tutorials. Here are a couple of examples.
Emma Lafebre was the first person I came across and her videos are easy to follow and always beautiful (even when mine don’t look quite the same).
Then I came across Creationceecee and her flowers doodles and found a new love.
I am grateful to the many talented people out there willing to sharing their skills.
Have you ever tried watercolours? What about bullet journalling?