We all make them. Or at least many of us do. The grocery list (which I always leave at home). The Christmas list. The weekly meal plan list. The “honey do” list. The list goes on and on. Pun intended.
A.S. Byatt is quoted as saying, “Lists are a form of power.”
I confess that I am a list maker. I also have a love of blank notebooks and journals. Not because I’m dedicated to writing down my innermost thoughts, but rather because I write things down that I wan’t to remember.
Quotes. Books to read. Books read. Yarns to try. Places to visit. Wines I like. Gifts to buy. Brilliant ideas (at least to me). And all these tidbits are scattered around in various journals.
So it was only natural that about 6 months ago while I was trolling on Pinterest and started to see these journals in my feed, that they caught my eye in a big way. Lovely, beautiful, filled with doodles, journals that were more like agendas and art all rolled into one. In case you’ve never heard of it, the phenomenon is called a Bullet Journal, or BuJo for short. It’s the brainchild of Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer from New York. I encourage you to look at his website and watch his videos.
THEN go to Pinterest and see what the artsy crowd have done with it. Holy Moly! That’s what snagged my attention. I’m a doodler: I like to play with markers, watercolor pencils, and washi tape. I admit, that it was a little overwhelming at first so I started small. I tiny little notebook that bought at Barnes and Noble. It’s American-made (which is a plus) by Gallery Leather in Maine. I love this little book for its portability. I used it mainly as a daily log of activities. Each day I set up the next day’s to-do list and worked from there. I also added events and such as they happened and played around with some artwork. It was a small investment to see how I like the BuJo concept. The only drawback on this one was the pages were lined.
I used this notebook for just shy of 6 months. And somewhere along the line I just stopped. Not sure why or how it happened. But a few weeks ago I came to the realization that I really was more productive when I had that little book in use. I decided to give it another whirl: this time with the “holy grail” of BuJo’s, a Leuchtturm 1917. It’s a very well made sewn book from Germany that comes in a lot of colors and sizes. And it has lay-flat pages! I decided to take the plunge and bought the A5 size (dotted pages) in lime green. It’s a beauty.
I will start using this journal on daily basis next week. I’ve only got March set up for now. I will say that deciding how I wanted to organize it took me quite a while. Once I’d done a few weekly pages like the one above, they went pretty quickly.
I’m sure as I go along I will find what works for me and what doesn’t work and make some adjustments. That’s the beauty of a custom notebook. It’s all YOU. I saw a somewhat critical reply to a friend on Facebook as she brought up the idea of a BuJo. Critics will say it’s costly to do, takes too much time, etc. But for me, like others who enjoy it, the process of making it is part of the pleasure. As for cost, I only bought the notebook and a couple of rolls of washi tape so I have less than $25 in it. I had everything else that I’ve used so far. The pens are a favorite of mine from Staedtler that you can usually pick up at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. The brush pen I grabbed at Dick Blick in Chicago. There are few types to choose from online. And of course, if you check out the website of the creator, his wasn’t artsy at all. Just functional and tailored to his needs: all he needed was a journal and pen.
And besides keeping you organized. . .journaling has other benefits as well. Try it! You might find it’s just what you need.