Back in 2016 through 2017, I kept a bullet journal. A real bullet journal. Bullet journaling is a an analogue planning system created by Ryder Carrol. I haven’t been to his blog lately, or read his new book, but back when he started this analogue system of not quite list making/not quite traditional planning, there were no monthly calendars, no doodling, no elaborate spreads of goals, or habit tracking, or anything like that. Rather, it was a system of rapid logging, of daily tasks/items/appointments that were checked off when completed, or migrated to a date in the future. The first page was a vertical list of dates, and you logged your appointments. The next page was a future log, and I used it for items I was waiting for, an appointments for the month. Then, you just started in on logging items daily. For instance, you wrote down Monday, and you made a list of your to dos, your appointments, your tasks, things to remember. You checked them off when there were down, or you drew an arrow to indicate you were migrating it to later in the week or month or whatever. If you wanted to create a list, of say books to read, or goals, or something like that, where ever you were in your journal, you titled your collection, and started listing, and you noted the page of the collection in the index. And, that was it.
That’s a traditional bullet journal.
These days, if you go on youtube, bullet journals are no longer systems of rapid logging, but rather, elaborate spreads of hand drawn art, and meticulously drawn out yearly and monthly calendars, with monthly and weekly art themes, and color coded habit trackers, and endless collections of goals, and moods, and challenges. This’s is not bullet journaling. This is something else, and I wish it had been called something else, because I’m not poo pooing it, on the contrary, I kind of love it, it’s just not a bullet journal.
So, that’s why I say my second journal is a Not a Bullet Journal Journal – because I like the collection making and the doodling and the color coded habit trackers – but I can’t plan in it. I can’t carry it with me to court. And, I’m not handdrawing monthly calendars when I already have a perfectly good calendar in my Hobonichi Weeks (which I will tell you about later in this series). So, my NoBujoJo is a just the collections aspect of this spin-off system. And, already, I can tell, it’s making me really keep track of my habits in a thoughtful way.
I’m using a Leuchtrum 1917, the traditional book of the NoBuJoJo. The paper quality is allegedly not the same as it used to be, and since this is the first time I’ve used it, I don’t have any point of comparison. But, even from the photo above, you can see that the pages are pretty see through, and I’m certain that you could never use water medium on these pages. I’m ok with that. I am tentative about using my Spectrum Noir makers though, and so while I normally color my stamps with these Copic like markers, I didn’t want to start off the first page with a wet crinkle mess. So, I opted for colored pencils.
After my title page, I sketched out the order of pages, made lists of things of I might want to collect and track, and divided them into things I wanted to keep track of yearly, and things I want to keep track of monthly. Since committing everything to paper, I’ve come up with a few additional yearly lists that I didn’t leave pages for, but I don’t care. I’ll just throw them in and call it good.
Next I went with my One Little Word for the year, Focus. And, I think I’m making a good case so far that just because I have two journals, both with specific purposes, does not circumvent my word. But, feel free to call bullshit.
I have been a reader all of my life. There was a point during my formative years that I wanted to be a children’s librarian. But, for the last couple of years, I’ve spent more getting sucked down the web, rather than turning to a book. So, I found these two challenges out there, the Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge and Pop Sugar’s Reading Challenge. Book Riot’s challenge is definitely snobbier, and a bit harder to pull off, but I’m already one book down on that list. After finishing off 2018 with Asymmetry and The Friend, both of which I loved, I read Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke because I liked how it was referred to in The Friend, yet called out at the same time – do things because they are hard, make things as hard as possible – who the f are these people? Anyway, Asymmetry and The Friend are about writing, and who gets to tell stories, and how those stories are told, and Letters fit the epistolary category nicely. And, it was only 90 pages. Now, I’m reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which I bought when it won the Pulitzer, but it’s just been sitting on my Kindle. So, it’ll check of alternate history novel by an author of color, and could fit into any number of categories in Pop Sugar.
The book tracker, by the way is a printable from an Etsy shop, that I traced. If you’d like one of your own, you can get it here, from SkyGoodies.
And, the above are the rest of my planned out yearly trackers – Movies, things to check out, a year in pixels, weight, and projects. The weight tracker has been helpful because between week 1 and week 2 the scale didn’t move, and I definitely had changed my bad holiday habits, at the very least, even if I wasn’t in full blown didn’t mode. So, I did do a real analysis of what I was eating, and where the problem could be, and I discovered that DunkinDonut flavor swirls, in a medium coffee, are 8 POINTS. I was drinking Weight Watcher smart points of coffee a day. So, that’s done, thanks tracker.
Since I’ve decided to do digital Project Life again this year, I should have put that tracker up front, but I’ll throw it in somewhere. I’m going to keep track of weeks completed, and products used, because I really want to try to have a consistent look throughout, and not use a bunch of random digi scrap products just because I have them. More on that another day, but that’s what I’m going to track.
And these are my monthly collections. The floral habit tracker is copied right from an image that is all over pinterest. If you search habit tracker in Pinterest, the original image will come up. Please do not pin my image, it is a total copy.
As far as the expense tracker goes, this was supposed to be an accountability thing, recording “why” I bought something. My first few purchases were fine – but then, it started to become “because I wanted it.” I’m going to rethink this tracker to perhaps make it more motivating to save.
Anyway, as you can see, my NoBuJoJo isn’t really youtube worthy, or anything like that. Rather than try to draw everything, I used some Unity Stamp Co. stamps, I traced the book shelves as I mentioned above, and while I did draw the habit tracker myself, the floral idea is totally a copy. But, I’m not publishing a book, and it works for me. I’m enjoying pulling it out after work, and filling in my colored boxes, my line a day, my daily things to be collected. And, I’m glad it sits on my desk at home. I’d hate to be carrying this thing around with me. Can’t really pull it out in court to schedule something or anything like that. But, that’s what I have the Weeks for – as you will see later in the week.
So, if your interested in bullet journaling, or not bullet journaling, take a crack at it. Do what makes you happy, and scribble out what doesn’t.
It’s just paper after all.
And, more importantly, it’s your paper.