countryside landscape watercolour painting

Should You Start a Bullet Journal in 2019?

One of the things I’m enjoying the most in my everyday life at the moment is bullet journaling. Coincidently, it is also the most popular topic on my blog. Knowing that January is a month of trying new things, I thought it would be fitting to delve into the world of bujos a little more deeply over the next few weeks in the hope that it could help out some of you wanting to start one this year.

Today, I thought I’d kick things off with the big, obvious question: why bullet journal? Why not just use a diary with the ready-made calendars or an app on your phone? What is the point of all of this? What is the hype all about? If these are the questions you’re currently facing in your struggle to unearth an organisational method that will work for you this year, then you’ve come to the right place. This blog post isn’t about ‘converting’ people to the bujo way of life, it’s more a source of information – giving you the tools to decide whether this is for you or not.

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2018 Bujo Flip-through: 12 Lessons From My First Year of Bullet Journaling

December marked my twelfth month of using a bullet journal. In the last year, my method and style for creative organisation have changed dramatically; I’ve learnt a lot through this process and thought it could be helpful to list a couple of these lessons for those of you looking to start a bujo in the new year.

January setup post

Start with the bare minimum

To avoid becoming completely overwhelmed in my first month of bullet journaling, I stuck to a one purple pen and a bunch of straight lines to create all my spreads. Yes, it looked a little boring. And nope, I didn’t satisfy the creativity lurking within me. But I did get over the hurdle that is starting something new.

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The Bullet Journal Stationery I Used Most in 2018

2018 was my first year of bullet journaling. Rather accidentally, I stumbled into it in January in a very, very minimalist fashion. I almost had to trick myself that I wasn’t entering the world of arty bujos through my stubborn use of a single pen to create spreads for the whole first month. That way, I wouldn’t overwhelm myself and run away from the whole thing in a blind panic.

Throughout the year though, my confidence and creativity grew. As did my desire to fill old jam jars and the living room coffee table (much to the annoyance of everyone else) with various bits of stationery.

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Bullet Journal Inspiration: Weekly Spread Ideas

Some of the most popular posts on my blog are my bullet journal monthly setups. Unfortunately for everyone involved, I haven’t graced the internet with one of these since October. That’s because the way I utilise my bujo has changed – I started university at the end of September and found that the spreads I normally use are unnecessary (and impossible to keep up with) as a student.

So from November, I switched techniques. Now, I only create weekly spreads. This is so I can focus on planning in everything I need to do without wasting time on pages that don’t add much value to my current lifestyle. So doing a monthly setup post would be pretty obsolete as it would just involve the title page and not much else. Instead, I thought I’d do a post with a selection of my most recent weekly spreads in the hope that it inspires you to get creative in your own journal.

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July Spreads: Getting Back Into Bullet Journalling

Shock horror – I’ve taken two months off from the blogger’s essential hobby that is bullet journalling. But don’t worry, this isn’t as disastrous as it sounds. This time away from rigorous planning was, ironically, planned in. I was travelling for (nearly) the entirety of June and half of July and so it felt ridiculously redundant to set up bullet journal spreads I wasn’t going to use – trackers, to-do lists, goals… I wouldn’t find a use for any of these pages!

I could have set them up anyway, as they’re fun to design and relaxing to draw (not to mention writing posts about them pull in more views than many of my other posts) but that wouldn’t feel authentic. If I knew I wasn’t going to use them I’d feel fraudulent creating them. So if there’s one thing you learn from this post is that I’m keepin’ it real, 24/7. But if you’re a regular reader I guess you already know that from the eclectic mix of happy/motivated/life-completely-sorted posts, sad/anxious/where-is-my-life-heading material, and down-right-angsty content that appears each month. Don’t mind me, riding the rollercoaster of every single human emotion possible in the space of thirty days.

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My Summer Goals

I’ve found that disrupting your everyday routines with either a temporary or permanent change can be extremely helpful for reevaluating your ambitions and rekindling your motivation. Luckily enough for me, the last few weeks have been stuffed full with so much travelling I’ve had more than enough opportunity to consider my priorities. Now, sitting in Helsinki Airport in Finland on the verge of flying home, I feel that tingling urge to push forward with the things that are important to me that sometimes sets in after the disruption of routine: the feeling of determination.

A couple of posts back, I reviewed my 2018 goals which I made in January – most of them seem to be moving along well but some of the points on the list have definitely been feeling a little neglected. I thought that the coming two months before I head off to university could be a great time to put in the effort with my goals in the hope that I can establish routines that won’t fall apart so easily when I move in September.

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Reviewing My 2018 Goals

We’re more than halfway through the year now, can you believe it?! You probably can as that’s perhaps the most oversaid sentence around the beginning of July. As well as being the perfect moment in the year for grabbing an ice cream or acquiring a sunburn, the start of July is a great time to pause and reflect on how your life is being lived and whether this matches up to your expecations and wishes from January.

At the beginning of 2018, I wrote a post about 18 things I wanted to focus on for the year, kind of like a list of resolutions but also not really. Resolutions aren’t particuarly my thing, but I thought by having a few aspects of my life to hold in mind over the months I would find it easier to define my priorities.

Stating all the wonderful things you’re going to do is all well and good until life take over and you forget all about them three weeks later. Which is why this check in of sorts could prove useful. Throwing it right back to my school days, in which I had to identify bits of my work that went well and skills that could be improved in some way, I’m going to evaluate the good, the alright and the not so good aspects of my progress with these goals since January.

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