New year, new bullet journal

Some time last year I gave in to the general craze for making bullet journals. If you haven’t come across these before, here are a couple of introductory video clips (clip 1 and clip 2) that explains what bullet journals are. Mind you, my version is a lot simpler, as I tend to lose track of habit trackers, for instance…

I’m obsessed with writing, stationery, notebooks, so making a bullet journal is deeply satisfying. Ever since I was a child, I have been making journals, diaries and the like. As I wrote in a previous post, what I like about bullet journals is the freedom to create a diary-cum-journal that meets exactly your needs, not the needs that someone else thinks you ought to have.



But now, after several months of using it, my journal was actually full! I gleefully bought a new one – bright yellow to go with spring. This time I didn’t get a Moleskine notebook, but one by the German company Leuchtturm, which come with certain pre-printed elements of the bullet journal, such as the table of contents and page numbers. The page numbers are really useful – I found those tedious to write down in my other journal.




But I’m not sure whether I actually need the table of contents – the notebook also comes with two handy page markers, which are more than enough. I guess a table of contents is handy if you write down weighty thoughts that are to be preserved for posterity. Not me then. But I dutifully made some entries…



Another element, which I surely can do without, but which I’ve begun nevertheless, is a key. I can remember my main signs and symbols, but I noted down the one I’ve just recently begun using, namely the one for the daily 10-minute meditations I’ve started doing. Hopefully, writing them down will help to keep me on track.


I also welcomed the opportunity to redesign the main part of the journal slightly. While I was happy with having four categories of activities on two facing pages, which allow me to keep an eye on the main things I’m doing at a glance, I was less happy with spreading out a week over four pages. I found, I could probably do with less. So, I decided to try setting out a week over just two facing pages. So far, it’s working out well.

FullSizeRender-4 I’ve continued saving two facing pages for stuff that is not tied to dates and days of the week – random thoughts and notes. The headings of these elements may change, and I’m not too bothered if I don’t fill these pages every time. ‘One good thing’, in case you’re wondering, refers to an idea I culled from Facebook, where one writes down one good thing that happened during the week in order to focus on the good things in life.

I love the flexibility of bullet journals. I know that there will be a few weeks ahead in which normal life is going to be turned upside down – I’ll be moving house –  and I’ll have very little or no chance to fill in my usual columns. So I used the opportunity to briefly convert the journal to a notes-and-deadline list. What needs to be done by when, but written down in a short-hand-kind of way, so that I can get organised for the big house move. And it will be big because I’m not only moving to a different city, but to a different country. Once I’ve settled in, normal service will be resumed – and maybe I’ll change my categories again.

And the final thing I like about bullet journals is the scope for doodling. Who doesn’t like a good doodle? And as for fantasy furniture-arranging in what I imagine my new flat to look like, well, it beats window-shopping any day…



About alycevr

Academic, translator & maker of things
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