My journal is my everything. It's my planner, my blog schedule, and my place to keep my thoughts and notes. I plan out videos in it, I write about my day, I keep track of memories, and I write out difficult times. My journal loosely follows the bullet journal system, but mostly it's created in my own system that works for me.
The most important thing about a journal is ensuring that it is totally and completely made for you. With so many amazing inspirational posts about beautiful art journals, bullet journals, and journals of all kinds on Instagram and Pinterest it's really hard not to feel the pressure to make your journal just as beautiful and perfect as those you see online. However, I've found that the more I stress about things looking perfect then the more I will not want to write in it and "ruin" it.
My journal is a soft cover pleather journal with a rubber band clasp made by Markings that I got at Target. I used washi tape to create my own pen loop to hold my most used writing utensil (currently this is a Uni Jetstream 1.0). I added Post-It page flags to mark the months and also tend to use a few other sticky notes and decorate flags to mark pages I flip to frequently.
Every month starts with something creative. This is where I take my time to write out the month of the year and add some decorative detailing that depicts the month ahead to me. For example, February is for Valentine's Day, so I chose to make the monthly calligraphy look really swirly and cover it in little hearts. I got inspiration for this from some pictures on Pinterest.
The next page in my bullet journal is actually something that follows the standard way of making a bullet journal. I create an index. Often times these journals have indexes for the entire journal, but I chose to do a new index ever month. An index is used as a table of contents for your journal so that you can easily find things. I like this because after a few year's time I can still find some of my favorite pages and journal entries.
My next two important pages are ones that hold my calendars. I have a calendar for my blogs and their potential post schedules, and then I have a calendar for more personal events.
The blog schedule spread is a two page open faced spread that has a vertical calendar for the blog and Trevor and my TD Do Life blog. This is an easy way for me to quickly look ahead at the month and see what posts I want to publish when and move things around accordingly. I've never been one to follow a posting schedule to a T, so this is more a guideline for me. It also has a smaller page taped to it that allows me to quickly jot down some blog post ideas that I have and might carry over to the next month.
My next calendar page is one of my favorite spreads--on the left I have a standard monthly calendar that I then decorate with the monthly theme to make it cute and creative. Then on the right is where I actually write all of my dates. I found that the boxes where too small to actually put anything into them, and whenever I tried I always make my calendar's look messy and cluttered. So, instead I chose to use a dotting system. I have three color coded sections that I then document the important dates in chronological order. I then take the color that these events are coded in and add a dot to within the actual calendar section to the left.
Note: The things to remember section is actually one that I will fill out at the end of the month as I reflect on what happened. I'll jot down important dates and tidbits that I want to be able to glance at and remember when flipping through this journal in the future.
Most importantly though, I still use this journal as an actual journal. I date each page, write out my thoughts, and keep track of my memories. Unlike most bullet journals, this is what I do and it really works for me. I love writing and scribbling on the pages, and I NEVER make these journal entries neat and cute. I write fast and sloppy and almost unlegible, but that's what I have to do in order to feel like I can freely write about whatever I want. I never want to make my journaling sections look perfect and neat.
I think the most imporant thing that I have learned from journaling is to not be neat. You don't want to be scared to write in your journal and ruin the perfect pages, so the first thing to do is to always just mess it up!! If you mess up your journal--write sloppy, spill some coffee, crinkle the pages--then you are not going to be scared to use it.
Next month I plan on doing a video for my journal. Would you like to see a flip through video simply showing you all of my pages or would you rather see a plan with me video where I prep for the next month? Leave a comment down below and let me know!!