I would have never thought a year ago that this whole journaling thing would turn into what it is today!
I’ve had a blast and busted my a** to get all of these designs out each & every week, and I love you guys for staying so loyal to my site & me! Your nice comments and compliments seriously keep me motivated to stay on this journey!
How did I come to start this journal?? Well, I’ve been a blogger since October of 2014 over at That Square Plate (a food blog), and I was trying to get EVERYTHING I had to do with that site organized in some way.
Back on July 11, 2016, I was browsing around on Stumble Upon and found a blog post on Bullet Journaling.
I saw the creative things people were doing with these journals, and I knew I was already hooked. I’ve always been one of those “tracker” people who want to keep up with EVERYTHING, in fact – back in high school and college, I would keep up with my life on normal 12-month calendars — and many times, I’d keep it color coded! I also went through a scrapbooking phase in middle & high school (queue the stamps and stickers).
After reading the article, I did a little bit more research for the right supplies and I immediately ordered my Leuchtturm A5 journal, a set of pens, and a ruler. I’d already planned a trip to Target the next day for a few more fun supplies! At Target, I bought a $3 notebook to start brainstorming some spread ideas, and a TON of washi tape that I hardly ever ended up using. I also started my Instagram account and posted a few things until my “real” supplies came in.
The 2-day wait seemed long, but it gave me a little bit of time to think about exactly how I want to set this thing up. Once I got the supplies, I immediately sat down with my pencil, black pen, ruler, and notebook, and planned out my weekly design. It was a Wednesday, so I just started on the week that I was in.
After drawing the layout, I took a few pictures and posted one in the group Bullet Journal Junkies on Facebook. I posted my first #beforethepen “spread” and it got over 1,000 likes + tons of comments, and I thought … maybe I should do something with this! After someone asked me for measurements, I figured out how to set it all up in Excel and share!
And I’ve done it every week since (although I’ve graduated to InDesign now!)
This past year has been a whirlwind, and its been a fun journey where I’ve learned so much (and thanks to the journal — it’s ALL written down). I’ve become obsessed with learning about all things productivity, and I’m currently reading my 14th book covering the topic. New weekly & monthly spread designs are in the works for next month, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon!
Some say that the set-up isn’t worth the time or “who has time for that”, but it’s more about if you ENJOY doing it. I personally love the challenge of creating new and different layouts each week for both myself and you guys who love seeing them! Some are more aesthetically pleasing, some are super functional, and some gems are a combo of both! I use this as a way to practice my design, lettering, and teaching and I’ve personally enjoyed the challenge!
The beauty of this creative planning is that you can do whatever the heck you want, because this is a book for YOU and not anyone else. Don’t worry about messing up a date or a line. Don’t worry about not having ‘enough’ to-do’s to add to your days. Don’t worry about your bleed-through. Don’t worry about those 4 days where you didn’t write anything. Write what you feel is important, and leave it at that.