New Year New Journal

Like Bridget Jones, I’m starting the year with a fresh page

Hand writing in a journal

I recently found out about bullet journalling and I was quickly champing at the bit to try it for myself. BuJo as it’s affectionately known is using pen and paper to keep a planner, with the added opportunity for doodling / colouring / scrapbooking thrown in, or at least that’s my take on it. You can Google it to go down the rabbit hole yourself and see all the ways individuals interpret it.

For many users it is a way to organise their thoughts, juggle projects, make an inroad into tasks they’ve been putting off, get a handle on their work/life balance. 

This is not a new concept — my mother (a writer) kept numbered notebooks her whole career. As well as jotting down plot ideas and character outlines there would be packing lists for holidays alongside birthday cards she needed to send or books she intended to read. In the 1980’s – it wasn’t just the Sloane Rangers who carried a Filofax, many people had organisers with coloured tabs to centralise their addresses, personal finances and diaries and other essential information.

When I was a PA I was sent on a Time Manager course and taught a way of thinking with the project book to match, in order to support my boss in his endeavours to manage projects intermingled with a good work life balance. The building blocks BuJo utilises are much the same.

I’d be lying if I denied that my excitement about journalling is also sparked by the opportunity to buy new stationery – in fact I asked for new pens thick and thin nibbed pens and a journal for Christmas. Being a self-confessed stationery addict, I get particularly twitchy at the start of a new school year – even though my school career ended decades ago!

For me the cherry on the icing on the cake of BuJo is the opportunity to be creative, to use my scrapbooking supplies, stencils and stickers, to doodle and draw, to tick and hi-light. I’m all over this fad like a rash. My friend and I intend to motivate each other by sharing some of our page inspirations and taking this planning in a creative style for a spin. We think it will be fun and are encouraged to embark on this together and to compare how our journals are developing.

Trying out layout ideas : Polly_Cullen

What I currently need to plan:

Editing — I have stories to edit for my team, and these must fit a schedule

Write – here and on other platforms— I intend to publish at least 3 new posts per week.

Read — as well as running a book club on Twitter, there are books I want to read for myself and others I want to listen to on Audible.

Podcasts / TV series / Films — I intend to keep a track of viewing and audio pleasure I have planned for myself.

Review – I’d like to share more reviews here about some of the above.

It’s no good for my mental health or concentration if the things I need to do keep bumping around erratically in my brain.

If I pin them down in lists and dated schedules, using my journal, I will be able to fit them into my life and feel the pleasure of progress as I work through them — crossing a listed item through, or ticking it off is a very satisfying feeling.

Confession: sometimes I list a task I’ve already achieved, for the pure pleasure of striking it off as ‘done’

In the article I linked earlier, Melody Wilding says

One important purpose of the bullet journal is to create a refuge away from the glow of screens and the suck of social media. This peace of mind is a gift in the age of information overload, where it’s a chore to manage the flurry of tasks, requests, and data coming your way.

I totally agree, colouring for mindfulness has been very popular, and this will be relaxing in a similar way. Using a notebook and pens, not a screen with blue-light and a keyboard, engages the brain more fully. My old RSI injury has been playing up a little recently, so I think going ‘old school’ with my planning and mind mapping is going to be very beneficial. I’m going to make use of my creativity to quiet my thoughts.


1 thought on “New Year New Journal

  1. Sweetgirl

    I too am planning to try this bullet journalling to try and feel more organised, and in control. My memory is awful (medication) and I made a mistake on a recent bag I made which made me cross (I forgot the lady wanted a name embroidered on it) so the BuJo may just prevent me making errors like this in future!



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