So what's this Bullet Journal thing all about then?

I've always been a lover of To-do lists, but never quite managed to get them to turn me into an organised, productive, stress-free person.  I was talking with a friend about this and she said to me - "why don't you start a Bullet Journal?"  That very day she had gone out and bought a pack of three simple A5 notebooks with graph paper inside to start her own Bullet Journal.  I can't quite remember how she described it, but the gist of it was that it was a system of organising To-do lists so that you don't feel overwhelmed with one giant list, are able to prioritise better, and nothing gets forgotten about.  She gave me one of her books, and told me to go to BulletJournal.com to learn more, and also to search videos on YouTube - Since the creator of the Bullet Journal system Ryder Carroll can explain it much better than I can, I urge you now to do the same!

On the left: The book my friend gave me, now decorated, along with two sets of three 'Field Notes' books from the amazing Bureau Direct, and some arrow bookmarks I found in Waterstones.

On the left: The book my friend gave me, now decorated, along with two sets of three 'Field Notes' books from the amazing Bureau Direct, and some arrow bookmarks I found in Waterstones.

I have to admit, I didn't do anything with it for about two weeks.  I didn't really get it.  Plus I didn't have time - I had too much to do!  Then one day I went for it - I watched Ryder Carroll's video (Ryder Carroll is the creator of the system), and then I headed over to YouTube and fell down the rabbit hole... So much Washi!  Such pretty colours!  And so organised!!  One part of the system that really got me excited was the idea of Collections and the Index.  I'll show you my Collections in another blog post as I've already got about 10 so they definitely warrant their own post!  I bit the bullet and dove in.

As you can see I went for a decorated style - as an artist I've obviously got a stationary addiction anyway, so I had all the supplies that are apparently necessary; such as Washi tape, coloured pens, stamps, and scraps.  WARNING: Bullet Journaling is an Enabling hobby.  Even my fiancé commented on the marked increase in "tapes" in the flat.  So I decorated my Bullet Journal with some alphabet tape I had already which I got in a set from Waterstones, some buttons which I had been given by a friend, made by Jenny Arnott Textiles and a stamp by one of my favourite artists; Geninne Zlatkis who illustrates beautiful birds and plants.  I'll share more about my decorations of this book in a separate post - today I want to talk to you about these wonderful Field Notes mini notebooks!

One corner of the rabbit hole you are likely to find if you let yourself fall down it is the Facebook group: Bullet Journal Junkies (and related group; UK Bullet Journal Junkies).  The US one in particular is a very active community, all sharing ideas and tips, and making each other jealous of their Washi tape and pen hoards!  Through one of these groups (I can't remember which) I found Bureau Direct - a beautiful website filled with everything a stationary addict could wish for!  One of my favourite features of this site is the ability to shop all the stationary by colour.  So say you have a red notebook and want red Washi, pens and stickers to match - Bureau Direct is what you need!  You will find so many items you never knew you needed!

I found Field Notes - These simple notebooks are pocket sized and look delightfully retro and scientific!  Better still, they have a wood veneer option!  Decoration-wise, this would be the perfect opportunity for me to break out my wood-burning tool I bought on a whim a few months ago (don't ask).  I also ordered myself a mixed pack of the plain brown notebooks, so that I could "test out" the different papers (lined, graph, or plain).

I'm ashamed to admit that so far I've only got as far as the decoration - and even that took me a long time to work myself up to do.  I excitedly unwrapped my beautiful new notebooks, only to be hit by The Fear.  There should be a word for it - the feeling when you get a nice new notebook and you don't know where to start because you don't want to mess it up!  Anyway now that I've decorated the covers, I feel like I'll be much less precious with it!  Here's a few pics:

I wasn't brave enough to go straight in with the heat tool - decided to draw a little design in pencil first...

I wasn't brave enough to go straight in with the heat tool - decided to draw a little design in pencil first...

Starting off with the heat tool... hmmm mixed results - it burns so much more quickly than I thought it would!  If you even stop for a fraction of a second you get a blob

Starting off with the heat tool... hmmm mixed results - it burns so much more quickly than I thought it would!  If you even stop for a fraction of a second you get a blob

The finished (so far) result.  Not entirely happy but it looks ok I guess... I might add more to it as I go! Maybe it could be an indicator of how full the notebook is...

The finished (so far) result.  Not entirely happy but it looks ok I guess... I might add more to it as I go! Maybe it could be an indicator of how full the notebook is...

I was proud enough of my work to put my name and address on it - and stick in a little card a friend sent me as a bit of a pep talk!

I was proud enough of my work to put my name and address on it - and stick in a little card a friend sent me as a bit of a pep talk!

Next I took one of the plain Kraft notebooks - I really wanted to make something of the iconic Field Notes text on the front - I decided it would look really good to cut out the letters and stick some funky tape behind it

Next I took one of the plain Kraft notebooks - I really wanted to make something of the iconic Field Notes text on the front - I decided it would look really good to cut out the letters and stick some funky tape behind it

Inside view

Inside view

What do you think? I'm pretty pleased with it - simple, but it works!

What do you think? I'm pretty pleased with it - simple, but it works!

The letters freed from the cover... maybe they'll come in handy at some point!

The letters freed from the cover... maybe they'll come in handy at some point!

So have I inspired you?  Check back here soon for more Bullet Journaling fun, including decoration, page layouts, and fun with pens!