Time to Journal?

Hiya all, 

This post is a little later than I planned...but being honest it's been a horrible few weeks.  I won't go into any of this but just hoping you are all holding up and that things are not getting you down too much. Just to explain the radio silence!

Along the lines of the above though is what I want to talk about today...time.... particularly relating to journaling.  As after the first inevitable question, what is bullet journaling??!  The next ones I can almost guarantee are, well how on earth do you fit that in? How do you find the time with everything else?!

And so this is aimed especially at those of you who may have started January with great intentions to journal daily but your notebook has now sat untouched for a week and you have zero motivation to pick the damn thing up again! 

Thing is, as I've said before I journal to keep my mental health on track.  It's not a secret. Journaling for me is now like breathing, fundamental. If I haven't found time to fit it in for a few days, honestly, I feel lost and like I have this itch that needs scratching!! For me, it's about finding the time, prioritising myself.  I have said this before over and over but it is my own therapy.

But then the thing is, journaling does take time.  Let's be realistic. And sometimes the last thing you want to do is sit and draw etc....I know there are many evenings when the kids are finally in bed and I just want to crash out with a glass of wine, a curry and a trashy film!!  But if this is the case- whether you are wondering about starting journaling or like I said at the start, if you've started but have run out of steam already, then maybe it's the TYPE and STYLE you have tried that you need to rethink.  

As I've shown in previous posts, my husband Paul (and the other half of MG) does a totally different style to me.  Where my journal is arty and colourful, his is much more minimal - but that works perfectly for him, as mine does for me.  Significantly he also uses daily spreads rather than weeklies.  So again we are going back to that vital point that you need to make your journal WORK FOR YOU.  

So touching on the above, I think you need to think about the type of spreads you choose to organise yourself.  I use weekly plans, with some sort of drawing/painting based on my current theme.  And for me, that works perfectly! I find painting therapeutic and like to see my whole week spread out so I can plan etc.  But obviously that's not for everyone.  You may not have the time to do this after a 12 hour shift or indeed the inclination !!! Paul uses daily spreads instead - much more minimal in style but with the information in which he needs.  He often sets these all up on a Sunday and uses a page per day which works for him.  There is never any artwork so they are really quick to set up.

Examples of my weeklies:

...compared to Paul's daily spreads:


I also tried to do daily spreads though in the past but it was an absolute disaster ....as I still wanted to make them look 'beautiful' so to speak (my arty side just itched too much!!!) But then this meant I put myself under so much pressure to find time to do these each day.   I also found that I prefer small sections for each day rather than massive boxes, as I simply don't need the space that daily spreads give me.  I lasted two days. Ooops.  But... you live and learn!!!

My failed daily spreads.....never again!!! 

*(Note, not in MG journals either)



So it comes back AGAIN to what I've said before.  MAKE YOUR JOURNAL WORK FOR YOU!!! Who cares if it's just lists and bullets.  On the other hand who cares if it's covered in butterflies with each page worthy of a Tate exhibition!!!  I couldn't give a damn about anyone else's...sure they are nice to gain inspiration from but at the end of the day I journal FOR ME.  You just need to work out what works for you.  I'd love to have the time to sit down each day and devote five hours to painting in my journal but I just don't....so I have found what works for me.  Once my monthly pages are planned (trackers/calendar) I usually produce one weekly per week and mostly just do doodle challenges and updating my trackers daily.  But it's taken two and a half years to find my flow!

So if you have had a go and it's not quite worked....don't just give up and try to hold off throwing it out the window (least of all as you will damage the lovely spine.....!!!) Just try again, but in a different way. After all, you didn't learn to read on your first day of school.  It takes time to learn the skills needed. It's like phonics- oh I'm an ex-teacher hence the classroom analogies!!-  there are many methods of learning to read and what works for one simply won't work for another. 

So go on, pick it back up and give it another shot....what have you got to lose??  You never know, picking it up again may be the best thing you ever do.  You won't know unless you try....









1 comment

  • Thank you for this. I knew it but needed to hear it again.


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