Do you journal?

I’m really interested in the idea of keeping a journal at the moment. Some friends of mine recently introduced me to bullet journals (aka Bujo) – have you encountered them? I can’t believe I have been on Pinterest/Instagram for so long without having noticed them. Rather than go into huge amounts of detail about the concept, here’s a great introductory video by the creator of the BuJo, Ryder Carroll, and here’s the official Bullet Journal website.

A friend has been doing bullet journaling for a while now and was kind enough to share how it works for her – it was so interesting and I could really see the benefits of categorising, indexing and organising tasks, lists, plans and ideas. And of course, now I have found them, I am totally blown away by all the amazing BuJo resources on Pinterest!).

Although I feel very wary about taking on another activity that I won’t be able to maintain, I am coming round to the idea that keeping a bullet journal can increase focus and productivity, so it might be time well spent. My current system is not so great…here’s a couple of pages from my current note book/diary/to do list:

Current journal

As you can see, there are creative ideas mixed up with personal stuff, random doodles, future project lists, urgent tasks, and I confess that it has become so disorganised (and frankly, depressing) that I am scared to open it sometimes – which really does defeat the object of keeping it.

I’ve also been investigating other kinds of journaling including morning pages, as developed by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way, and art and creative journaling too. More about them another day, but in the meantime, I’m interested to find out – if you keep one, what kind of journal do you keep and how does it work for you?

16 thoughts on “Do you journal?

  1. I do a combination of bullet journaling & a goodness-knows-what. I have one A6 notebook for plans & lists, which is where the calendar stuff hopefully keeps me organised. I have another one which I use for notes & ideas. I’m getting through that much faster, partly because I write larger & messier in that one. I use a 5mm dot grid in the organising notebook which makes it feel a bit neater.
    I love the idea of doing more mixed media stuff but I’m still at the Pinterest-browsing stage. I might have to upgrade to a bigger, cooler notebook later on!

  2. I keep morning pages journals and bullet journals. Both serve completely different purposes in my life. I use the bullet journal to keep lists of tasks and maybe events that i can describe in a bullet comments. The morning pages is a place where I just free write. Some mornings it’s nothing but me whining about my coffee, and others its sort of pre-write for the blog posts I’m planning on writing in the future.

  3. Lovely idea about leaving for family to peruse, I write up a journal of our all our holidays and enjoy looking back in them and proving my husband wrong when he dares to disagree about a date or place!

  4. I certainly think a journal is more fun tha formal diary but still feel the need for one then it seems pretty daft as it’s mainly then just appointments, dates etc.

    I have a few a5 spiral bound books with to do lists, passwords, sometimes lists of books read or to read, garden chores, work in progress and ideas and plans etc etc,but to have that all,in one place is it even possible.Bring back the Filofax I say! With a new year coming on some down time in rehabilitation a new pack of gel pens then maybe I could start afresh, just not sure how,One big indexed journal, blank or check/lined pages, coloured Pages? Oh dear no you have started something Ali Berry!!Wonder if I am too old for all this, but I love lists and intend to have more free time certainly by the end of next year, lots of things to fit in and a good place to get the bucket list going without sounding morbid.!

  5. When I was teaching I kept a ‘day book’ to remind me of things to do, jot down notes from meetings, comments and observations. Now I’ve retired I still keep a day book that I occasionally refer to as my design book. It now contains plans for sewing and quilting projects, garden ideas, recipes, present lists, snippets of poetry and I find this much more fun than keeping a formal diary. I also think that when these little books find their way into the family archive the generations that come after me will perhaps find them far more interesting and will have an insight into my life and character.

    1. As a former archivist I very much appreciate your point of view. I actually wrote a short dissertation on the Day Book of a Roman Catholic man living in 17th century Lancashire! It was very much along the lines you describe with day to day stuff including farming, rabbit hunting, weather, family milestones, poetry, recipes, plus very vivid descriptions of his experience of being an RC in Protestant England.

  6. After years of not journaling (in my time it was called a diary) I found out that I really enjoy having a quilt journal. I talk about what I am working on. What I really like and do not like, what I am improving at, etc. I have also mentioned other projects..crochet, etc. It is relaxing and enjoyable to see how far I have come in such a short time. I am inmy 70’s and have only been quilting about a year now.

  7. Yes I have done Kate Cranes 365 journal challenge for about 5 years and for about 4 months been trying different sorts of bullet journal layouts to find one that works best for me (not for the last 2 months as super busy). Interested to see how you get on.

    1. I haven’t encountered Kate Crane’s 365 Journal challenge – I must take a look. 🙂 I am thinking I need to stick to a very simple layout for bullet journalling, tempting thought it is to do fancy handwriting etc!

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