So if you’ve been living under a rock (or inundated with too much to do!), you’re missing out on the marvel that is Kim of @bumblebujo. I’ve had the absolute honour of featuring this superbly talented Aussie bullet journalist on my humble little blog. There are countless bullet journalists who have amazing artistic abilities and create these wonderful spreads in their journals, and Kim is no exception. She makes each spread so ridiculously eye catching and aesthetically pleasing, you just have no excuse not to be organised! Just try and stop yourself from obsessively scrolling up and down this blog post staring dreamily at all of her bujo spreads *wipes drool*
Hi everyone, I’m Kim and I’m a bullet journalist.
I’m the person behind @bumblebujo on Instagram. Thank you Dee for inviting me to share my journal and some of the reasoning behind my creative processes. Instagram is great for appeasing the eyes but it doesn’t always leave much space for the explanations behind the pictures.
I’ve always been one of those people who buys a new diary at the beginning of each year, then I proceed to fall off the wagon a few months in! I’ve tried many different diaries throughout the years, always tending to gravitate towards the pretty ones, but none of them ever quite ‘fitted’ me. There was always something missing, but I just didn’t know what it was. I didn’t realise what I needed until I came across the Bullet Journal system recently. It was love at first sight.
As surprising as it is to some people, I am a bullet journalling newbie. I only discovered it in July 2017. Like most people, I first stumbled upon bullet journalling while I was randomly browsing Pinterest late one night. I came across a beautifully hand drawn spread, it piqued my interest so I clicked on the link and it opened up a whole new world for me! From that moment on, I fell into an aesthetic bullet journal abyss! I resurfaced a week later having binge watched and frantically reading all the blog posts about bullet journalling. I couldn’t get enough. The more I saw, the more I knew that this system was exactly what I’d been searching for.
After my extensive research, I was full to the brim of ideas on how I wanted my journal to be. It’s not necessary to pre-plan your bullet journal, but let’s be honest, the majority of the people who are seduced by the bullet journal system are all planners by nature. I wanted my journal to be a clean and minimalistic functional tool, but at the same time, I also wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing so it would encourage me to keep coming back. If it can make me come back and use it, then it’s achieved its purpose.
For me personally, a planner needs to be both functional as well as pretty. That is why I like to keep my spread layouts fairly minimal, less clutter means I can focus more easily on all my tasks at a glance. However, I also wanted to incorporate some sketches into the spreads to give some points of interest. I love to draw, being able to draw and play with pens makes the process more enjoyable. If it’s enjoyable, it means I’ll continue to keep doing it, which would in turn, keep me motivated to continue using the journal.
When creating a spread, I like to draw on inspiration from all the talented bullet journalists out there. When I first started, I would look at people’s spread layouts which I love, and then think how I could tweak it to suit me. That’s how I generally come up with new layouts, just by thinking what I could do differently, while at the same time still keeping it functional for me.
I try to draw up my weekly spread over the weekend so it’s ready for the new week, this doesn’t always happen, life sometimes gets in the way. But that’s the beauty of a bullet journal, it never judges, it just sits there awaiting your next move. So far, each time I’ve decided on a layout which I wanted to use for the week, the end result is almost always completely different. What you envision in your head doesn’t always correlate onto paper. Majority of the time, the layout I start sketching with in pencil rarely ends up the same at completion. This is what I love most, this ever evolving creative process.
Bullet journalling is so versatile, you tweak it to suit your needs at any given time. Some people utilise their monthly, weekly and daily spreads, some people bypass the weeklies and only do monthlies and dailies. For me, I prefer to use only the monthly and weekly spreads.
My days are not busy enough to warrant drawing up a daily for it. But in saying that, I will have some days which are more hectic than usual. During those days, I will draw up a daily spread to capture all my notes and tasks.
A bullet journal is fun, you can get very creative with it and do what works for you. However, at the end of the day, it is a productivity tool. Keeping this journal has definitely kept me on task and improved my productivity. I use to write down my to-do lists all over the house, or just keep in at the back of my mind. Clearly this wasn’t the best method because I used to always lose my notes or forget the things I had to do. But being able to write all my tasks down in one place has made me more aware of them, and it motivates me to complete my tasks just so I can colour in my boxes!
One of the biggest struggle for a newbie is trying to remember all you designated key codes. I constantly had to flip back and forth between my Key page and my current weekly spread when rapid logging. I saw on Pinterest an ingenious idea of creating a flip key card. I decided to create a little flip card to put in the front of my journal which I can keep open while rapid logging. This saved so much time.
I constantly get questions like “how can you be bothered making your own spreads” or “how do you find the time to draw in your spreads.” They are fair questions, questions which even I have asked myself when I first began! Being a mum of 3, my life can get quite hectic. When would I find the time to sit down and have a cup of tea, let alone draw up such intricate spreads? But to be honest, if you love something enough, you’ll make the time for it, just like any other hobby. Schedule the time into your daily or weekly routine, eventually it’ll become habit. I generally do my bullet journalling work in between the kids naps or at night. It’s my ‘me’ time and I find that drawing really relaxes me and leases the endorphins.
If anyone is interested in starting their own bullet journal, here are a few tips which I’ve learnt along the way. I’d researched everything, from which notebook to buy to what stationery supplies I needed. But I can honestly say that all you really need to make a start is any notebook and one pen. All the other extras are lovely to have, but you don’t necessarily need to have them. I’d made the mistake of buying pens and washi tape because other bullet journalists had them, but I’ve yet to use any of these supplies. All I use is my new notebook and a bunch of my old trusty micron pens.
Just start and start simple. Instagram and Pinterest can be a plethora of inspiration, but it can also be very daunting. So many beautiful spreads created by so many talented people, you just want your journal to look just as amazing as theirs. But it doesn’t have to be. Don’t put pressure on yourself, let your journal style progress organically.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. So many people are so worried about mistakes, they just don’t make a start at all. Mistakes are fine, it adds character. If you create something that you aren’t happy with, just turn the page and move on. Use it as a lesson on how to improve in the future. No one is perfect and there is certainly no bullet journaling police hiding in the corner waiting to bust you.
My last advice is just have fun! It’s supposed to be functional and fun. When the system is no longer fun for you, you’re doing it wrong. Take a step back, regroup, and then come back when you’re ready. It’ll always be there, waiting for your return.
I hope I’ve been able to inspire a few of you to start bullet journaling, or to come back to the system if you’ve attempted it in the past. It truly is a unique system, tailored to fit every individual’s needs. Thank you for sticking til the end of this post, it’s a little winded, but I’m just so passionate about the system. If you would like to see more spreads, feel free to check me out on Instagram @bumblebujo.
So how many times did you scroll up and down staring dreamily at all these spreads?! Right?! =)
Thanks again, Kim, for sharing with us your unique style and sharing such invaluable advice about starting and maintaining a bullet journal. Go show Kim some love and follow her on Instagram x