New Bullet Journal, New Me (sort of)

I feel like I say this at the beginning of every personal post but this one has been a long time coming. Really. I’ve had this post in my drafts for about three(?) months now and, honestly, after several rewrites it’s not even recognizable anymore. Originally, I wanted to talk about how my recent stationery addiction was getting out of hand – I had even several anecdotes all typed up and ready to go – but although I could talk about notebooks and pens and papers all day long, I found myself just plain bored with that blog post idea.

Don’t get me wrong, my stationery addiction is still a struggle I have to deal with but, after some internal digging, there really isn’t anything interesting about it other than my clinical need to fill a void inside me. While I didn’t altogether scrap that blog post idea, I also didn’t really find myself all that motivated to see it through. But then I fell into a very specific rabbit hole in YouTube: the bullet journaling community. The number of plan-with-me’s and stationery hauls and journal flip-throughs I’ve watched over the course of a few weeks cannot possibly be healthy. Those videos, however, got me really motivated to take bullet journaling seriously.

Technically I started bullet journaling at the beginning of this year. Which is to say that I got myself a dotted (and more than just a little overpriced) journal that I typically attempt to do some creative things on the pages. However, I wasn’t fully into the bujo lifestyle. I didn’t have collections, I barely tried to do a coherent spread, and I did the minimum planning on my journal. Heck, I didn’t even do any research on how to get the most out of a bullet journal. Mostly, my trusty blue Rhodia goalbook was my daily journal that just so happened to have a theme every month. A flower theme, mind you. Mainly because I wanted to practice my watercolor skills.

This past September though I was a little more daring. I still confined myself to a flower theme (hibiscus) but I actually put some effort to my pages.

I know that you don’t need to be all artsy and whatnot to have a proper bullet journal but I personally like to see some color and creativity in my journal. Plus, setting up these pages was really relaxing. I admit, it took me a while to get it all done but, honestly, it was really fun so I didn’t even notice the time.

While I spruced up my monthly pages, my weeklies and dailies were pretty much the same, with significantly less watercolor poured on every page. I wanted to go for a new layout, one that had space for my daily to-do list (and not just a weekly to-do) but I was rapidly running out of pages. Fortunately, I had a new journal ready.

Of course, saying goodbye to my Rhodia was a bittersweet affair. Though, not gonna lie, I was glad to try something new this last quarter of the year. The journal that I’m using is a dotted journal from Limelight which I believe is a local brand? It’s hard to confirm. I had one other Limelight notebook, one with blank pages. I liked it well enough though the pages were a bit glossy for my taste. Their dotted journal though had more easy-to-work-with pages. Not nearly as smooth as Rhodia’s but considering that I only had to pay a fraction of what I spent on my old journal, I’m not too pressed.

I’m not crazy about the color of the cover though. It’s a sort of faux glittery brown? Gold? Tan? Whatever it is, the little stickers I put on the cover made it more bearable to look at so it’s fine.

I forgot to take a photo of my yearly spreads but they’re not very important anyway and I’m too lazy to bother. Here’s this month’s pages. October’s theme, surprisingly, isn’t a type of flower. It’s spooky season so… spooky stuff…

The cover page was actually something completely different. It had a lot of elements that I thought looked good but once I inked it all out… eh, let’s just say I wasn’t proud of it. So I decided to make use of my watercolor paper and made this. I’m going to pretend that the plant thing slithering out of the skull is a belladonna flower so technically this month is, tangentially, a flower theme too.

Here’s my monthly calendar. Honestly, I kind of didn’t refer to last month’s calendar all that much but I still included one this month because, well, you never know, right? Besides, as annoying as the calendar was to set up, I liked how this spread turned out.

One thing that bothers me about my Limelight journal is that the pages are so thick (120 gsm… which is 30 more than my Rhodia) that some are tricky to lay flat. The hardcover doesn’t help either. The left page of this particular spread isn’t even aligned with the previous pages. A little annoying but it’s fine.

A new spread I’m trying, to help me blog better and more frequently this month.

And here’s my mood and habit tracker. At first, I wasn’t so keen on setting up a mood tracker because it seemed unnecessary but then I figured that I may as well give it a shot. I had an extra page left anyway. Also, I made a horizontal habit tracker last month and it kind of didn’t work for me. I kept messing up which habits I check off as the weeks went by so I’m trying out this new type of tracker. It’s a lot more time consuming to set up, I know, but at least now I won’t get confused.

Finally, here’s my weekly + daily spread. As you can see, I dedicated enough space for my to-do’s and for my daily journaling. Not sure if this is how I’ll layout my weeklies for the entire month but I’m going to give it a shot.

Anyway, that’s it for this post! I have high hopes for this new bullet journal of mine. I’m determined to use it more to not only record the past but also keep track of the present. NaNoWriMo is a month away and god knows I still have a heck ton to prepare for.

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