My last post looked at bullet journaling as a new life tool. I have talked about the joy of writing things down on paper in previous posts and the enjoyment I get from creative journaling. Bullet journaling can be a hybrid allowing me to combine both of my passions in one notebook.

My last post looked at bullet journaling as a new life tool. I have talked about the joy of writing things down on paper in previous posts and the enjoyment I get from creative journaling. Bullet journaling can be a hybrid allowing me to combine both of my passions in one notebook.

Having said that, it is suitable for people who feel that art isn’t their forte too. A simple design or a printout courtesy of Pinterest can really help you in the early days until you work out what design you would like to use. A good place to start is with Boho Berry  as she has some great videos to watch. The original website is also good from the founder Ryder Carroll but personally, I find the system of symbols a little confusing. The joy of this kind of journaling is that you can make it fit your needs so if you are creative, you can paint some watercolours around your diary entries, but if you aren’t, then a list version will work equally as well.

Social Media

I enjoy looking at others journals and Facebook is a super place to start. My favourite group is Bullet Journal Junkies. Despite being US based and so the Etsy links don’t work for me (postage prices) and we don’t have a Michael’s (which sounds like my idea of stationary heaven!), the designs are great to look at and it’s nice to be part of a community of journal lovers.

I also belong to Bullet Journal Junkies UK and UK Bullet Journal Junkies which are also great for inspiration. If you put in Bullet Journal into the Facebook search box, you’ll find lots of choices to suit you – groups for beginners, professional people, artists and those groups where you share your spread for the week or month (your design).

Instagram is also a great place to search for inspiration. My favourite people to follow are:

Tiny Ray of Sunshine

BohoBerry

Show me your Planner

Pretty Prints and Paper

Bumble Bees and Ladybirds

Alexandra Plans

Roz makes Plans

Stina Journals

Show me your Bullet Journal

Little Coffee Fox

Page Flutter

and there are many more to look through. I like these accounts as I find them inspirational and I enjoy looking at other’s artwork. I am constantly amazed at the level of detail that some people put into their journal and it inspires me to try different ideas.

Tools

Notebook

You actually don’t need many tools in order to start but it’s fun to look around and buy some supplies that give you pleasure.  I have researched the various notebooks and the pro’s and con’s of each and I have bought myself a Scribbles That Matter dotted journal. You may wonder why dotted journals are the favourites of bullet journalists and the answer is that they offer some guidance without being too obtrusive.

Blank notebooks are clean and ready for your jottings but they can be difficult to keep neat and tidy. Some journal writers use squared paper but I find the squares too obvious. A happy medium for me is using a notebook with dotted paper. I love to put a few drops of essential oils on a small piece of kitchen towel and lie it in between the paper. This gives you a lovely surprise when you open up your journal and the smell is divine. I use Rosemary and Petitgrain oils as their scent really resonates with me but you can check out my other favourite oils in previous blog posts.

I love the Scribbles That Matter journal because the paper is so thick (100gms) and I can paint using my watercolours without any ink showing through on the other side, known as ghosting. The other journals of note are Moleskine Dotted Journals and Leuchtturm 1917  both of which come in lots of different colours and the reviews for these notebooks are great. The paper is thinner than the Scribbles That Matter so you may get a little ghosting but that will depend on the pens that you use.

 

Pens

I love trying different pens to see what I enjoy writing with. I have a selection of black writing pens:

Uniball Gel Impact – a broad pen which is nice to writing large amounts of journal entries.

Uniball Air – also broad nibbed and a good pen to write with.

Uniball Vision Elite – a medium roller ball.

PilotV Pen – a great disposable fountain pen but the erasable ink means that your writing with fade over time. Such a shame as I love writing with these pens and they come in lots of different colours.

And drawing pens for creating the diary boxes or drawing doodles. Both pens are filled with archival ink and waterproof so you can draw over your watercolours.

Pitt artist pens 

Sakura Pigma Micron 

Watercolours

Not everyone will use watercolours in their journal. Some may worry that it will make the pages buckle or the paint will show through the paper. I find that the Scribbles That Matter journal is perfect for this as the pages hold up to a generous amount of water and I like the slightly ‘lived-in’ look.

The paints I use are Kuretake Gansai Tambi  which are lovely paints and a great selection of colours (super price on Amazon too). I use the gold a lot in my journals as it has a lovely sheen to it.

There’s also the Winsor and Newton Cotman paints which are a great price too. You can mix and match these paints as the box allows you to buy half pans with colours you like, unlike the Kuretake set where the colours are set.

Give it a go

I appreciate that life is busy enough without creating your own journal, but this method of planning can really help you to slow down and take notice of the things around you that matter. Taking time out to create a page is a great way of making time for yourself, and the flexibility of the bullet journal allows you to make a planner that actually works for you.

In my next post, I will be looking at ideas for pages (or spreads) that you can try for yourself. Remember that making art is a process and you don’t have to show anyone your work. It’s taking time out for yourself that matters, not what the finished product looks like, so try it yourself and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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