The New Year is upon us, and that means lots of people are going to be in the market for a new diary. Whether their resolutions include getting organised or not, everyone needs a place to manage tasks, schedule appointments and generally keep track of everything that needs to get done.
These days, though, many people are skipping pre-printed and digital planners in favour of DIY journals that allow them to customise pages according to their particular needs, while adding their own creative touches.
Ever since Ryder Carrol introduced the concept of bullet journaling in 2013, the trend of creative productivity has been on the rise. What makes bullet journaling special is that it is a 100% customisable system. Instead of being confined to the pre-printed pages of a purchased diary, you are free to use as much or as little space as you need to organise your day. No more wasted pages, and no more squeezing extras into the margins, either.
While bullet journaling is, at its core, a minimalist system, since it caught the attention of the creative world, it has blossomed into something else entirely. A quick search of “bullet journaling” on Instagram or Pinterest leads to virtually endless inspiration for artistic interpretations of bullet journals that feature beautiful brush lettering, colourful doodles and drawings, and neatly embellished calendars, to-do lists and habit trackers.
Inspiring, yes. But also intimidating, especially if someone has less-than-elegant handwriting, or works in an office where they lack the time, space or freedom to create such elaborate layouts on a daily basis. This is where the craft and stationery markets have stepped in to fill the gap, by providing a variety of products that allow people to create hybridised versions of creative bullet journals that embrace the functionality of the system while indulging in a touch of creative expression.
Products like stickers, number and date stamps, and printed washi tape allow for quick embellishment of journal pages with little fuss. Die-cuts can also be prepared ahead of time with days of the week, seasonal phrases or icons appropriate to various events. These embellishments can also be used in pre-printed planners, for people who want to get creative but appreciate the convenience of a ready-made solution. There are even downloadable templates and trackers that can be printed and inserted into any journal or diary to customise the pages.
Of course, the key to any productivity system is checking in with it often. That’s why the creative approach to bullet journaling is so popular—it’s more fun to manage your to-dos when you can also play with colourful pens, stickers and other creative embellishments. In the end, it’s the combination of productivity and creativity that makes DIY journals so popular, for the workplace and beyond.