There’s a joke in my house that I can’t leave the house without acquiring one or two notebooks. And it’s more or less true. I adore them.
I can’t go into TK Maxx anymore without making a beeline for the stationary section and coming out, arms laden with beautiful but inexpensive hardbacked journals of varying degrees of colour. Paperchase is a must-avoid for me when I’m broke – but when has that ever stopped me. Muji. Don’t get me started on Muji.
So judging by my love affair of these things, it’s only natural that I got into bullet journaling.
Bullet Journaling is a little like an art form. Some use it to keep themselves organised and others use it to express themselves. I think how a person keeps one really shows off their personality. Minimalism is in as are carefully curated pages of colour.
But I was crap at doing these. I wanted to save my *good* notebooks for something worthwhile, not for a diary that I may or may not keep past three weeks. So I changed my approach to it. I made my bullet journal into something that would not only house all my day-to-day things like phone calls, schedules, work meetings etc but would document all my sprawling thoughts, words, drawings, fears, and dreams.
I made a commitment: if I used this Kate Spade notebook, I would use it to the best of my ability.
And slowly, my bullet journal just became an everything journal, where it was less of me keeping time sensitive stuff like weekly spreads and more things like quotes or drawings or poems that resonated with me. I included a list of proven self-care tips that I could reference, a huge to-do list whenever I found myself idle ie, catch up on X or try Y. It became a sort of bible of me, a place that if someone were to look at it, they’d pretty much guess the kind of person I am.
I mean, if you can’t be honest in a closed, personal journal, where can you be?
The benefits of journaling have been proven to be incredible. By expunging all the chatter inside your head into a blank book can alleviate stress and lead to better decision-making skills. It forces you to slow down and put pen to paper and it’s a record of you during a particular time in your life.
My dream is to go back to these some day and relive the little things that my mind would have pushed out in favour of new stuff years ago. It’s more personal than looking over your Facebook timeline or past tweets. It’s an honest reflection of who you were.
My first ‘journal’ as such was when my mother bought me a flowery notebook right when the first signs of my OCD began to rear for me to scrawl down everything that was upsetting me without coming to her relentlessly about it (it worked but only so much). I gave up for a while after that but have found that jotting down my worries or things I’m confused about has helped me understand not only myself better but my process of thinking. And there was A LOT of overthinking.
I recently gave up with my current journal that was a hard backed Moleskine as I felt there wasn’t enough space to sprawl my thoughts and moved to a Leuchtturm1917 which is a little wider, and just that little bit nicer. I love putting in photos, stickers and postcards so that bit of extra space really works. And it comes with an index and page numbers so no hassle there (but you can start a journal with any notebook).
Below are some journal spreads that inspire me to keep going. Some are study-related, some aren’t, but they all give you an insight into their author. Journaling may not be for everyone but it can certainly help someone.
Anything that’s mine, I’ve edited it for privacy but most of this I found online