My Sanity…..My Bullet Journal
I have an addiction to Pinterest, I will not lie. I love looking at and saving beautiful images. Usually relating to Bellydance costuming, Decor, Gardening and Art. During one of my trawls of all things 'Artsy' relating to Art Journaling last year April, I came across an image that changed my life and my delinquent brain forever....Kara from BohoBerry's Blog post on her Notebook Collection.
My current Notebook collection
My SO said to me a while back, "you don't have any addictions". Well, technically no I don't, - don't drink, don't smoke, don't eat chocolate (yes, that is a thing) - but.....I have an obsession with blank notebooks (especially ones with beautiful covers), is that the same? So you can see why this post caught my eye. And boy does Kara have some beautiful notebooks. But what really piqued my interest were her 'Bullet Journals' and the pictures of her current journal. It looked so pretty - like an Art Journal but so much more.
In her blog 'BoHo Berry' she referenced Ryder Carroll's Bullet Journal website when I watched his video on the basic Bullet Journal or 'BuJo' I had one of the 'AAAAAAAAAH!' moments (you know the whole choir singing thing). Here was a way for me to keep track of everything I normally wrote on scraps of paper everywhere or forgot to write down, AND a way to feed my Notebook obsession.
I'm going to leave this little video from Ryder's website here because he explains the system so much better than I ever could. And it's only 4 minutes long.....so, short and sweet.
Boy, was this an epiphany!! And to make it even better I could journal, doodle, plan, draw, colour in, stick pretty pictures and customize it to my heart's content. So, of course, I went out and bought a new notebook and dove into my 1st Bullet Journal. This was in May last year. Has it helped, a hundred times YES!, if you get into the habit of actually writing everything in it. That is definitely the only catch with this system - you can make it as pretty or as plain as you want to but you actually need to write everything in it.
The spread I think I love the most and use almost every day is what most BuJo'ers refer to as a 'Brain Dump'. You sit quietly somewhere and literally dump everything that is currently taking up space in your head down onto paper. You can do it as bullet notes or you can write is as you would a journal. And I don't just mean your shopping list and what you need to remember to do tomorrow (well obviously that too), I mean things like what your kids did today that made you smile, the dog that dug up your favourite roses, your car that needs a service, hubby that doesn't put the toilet seat down. Every joy, frustration, happiness, sadness and just things......E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!
Once its' on paper the brain tends to think "Okay, I don't need to remember that anymore, it's now in a place that we can go back to, to remember it if we need to." Making space in your head for new things, helping you remember, getting rid of frustrations, keeping cute memories. It's cathartic for me. It's almost as if, once you write it down, the brain can file it away correctly so that you can retrieve it a whole lot easier. I find that if I have 'dumped' it in my journal, I will remember even if I don't refer back to where I wrote it down. I just remember it more easily...Go Figure. And for me, that was a BIG thing! Yes people, after 40 your brain does forget stuff a lot more often than it used to.....get used to it.
My first BuJo was a cute notebook I bought from a local 'newsagent/stationery' chain store. And I actually filled it - yup, that was a first for me - I filled it up in 6 months. At the time I was using it for personal and work stuff but realised that I needed to start keeping these separate so when it came time to migrate over to a new BuJo, and after hours of research on my ever faithful Pinterest I decided to go with an A4 Ring Binder for Work stuff and a Traveller's Notebook which I made my own inserts for. For those of you that have no idea what a Traveller's Notebook is, or TN for short. It is leather or fabric cover with elastic bands in the spine that hold notebook inserts. A TN can hold up to 6 / 8 notebooks at a time. Which is what I liked about the setup. Instead of using the index of a traditional Bullet Journal where you basically have all your collections, projects, notes, dailies etc. spread throughout your BuJo as you create them. I could separate my daily planner from my Brain Dumps / Commonplace book, from my Budget Planner, from my Collections. Each having their own space. As you fill one up, you replace it with a new one. Easy Peasy.
My current Bullet Journal
I must say that this system has been an absolute lifesaver. It has been a way for me to spark my creativity again, keep track of everything that is happening every day (which with my brain is a good thing) and to journal memories.
Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have a wealth of inspiration and tutorials on every aspect of Bullet Journaling, in all its various forms. I have created a list of favourite IG accounts for you to peruse. All these lovely ladies can be found on all the social media platforms and also have wonderful Blogs too. It was just easier to list the IG account names. If you get bitten by the BuJo bug like I have these guys will give you all the help you need.
Like I said before if the bug has bitten you, it's a bit like Alice down the rabbit hole. Welcome to the Madness, a sudden unexplained obsession for notebooks, colored pens and pencils, fountain pens and pretty ink, washi tape....oh washi tape...., stickers, etc, etc. Make sure you put aside a large portion of your budget for your growing stationery stash, that you WILL have to explain to your SO because to them it just does not make any sense.....lol.
Well, I have given you a whole lot to ponder on. I think I may go into a little more detail on the workings of my BuJo's in a future blog, so watch this space.