Journaling Update

You may recall my first foray into journaling back in May this year. In it I mentioned that many people who journal describe it as a 'journey', and my experiences this year would certainly echo that. I can easily see now how people can become so evangelical about it. So what is it about journaling that appeals to me? Well, one of the things I enjoy about it is that you can take it in any direction you want. I'm one of those people who often starts a new hobby, and then gets bored, so it says a lot that I've stuck with it and developed it into what I want it to be. The last big trend we had in the stationery world was Adult Colouring. Being artistically challenged, you could argue that it should have appealed to me, as it would have given me a rare opportunity to produce something creative that was recognisable. But it just didn't grab me.

But journaling does. And the reason for this is that while there doesn't have to be a serious point, there can be. I use it to help me control my to-do list at work and whilst I admit that occasionally things don't make it on to the right list, I do feel I am in far better control of my workload than I used to be - although somehow that workload never seems to diminish!

In some ways the things that don't have a serious point are more fun. I've had many conversations with Helen (@journalwithpurpose) during the year and one of the things she has pointed out to me is the mental health benefit of journaling. I can understand that now. Journaling is a great way of relaxing. It has helped me step back and look at things in different ways.

I've carried on with my travelling journal and taken it with me on multiple trips now. It's jam-packed full of happy memories from this year. My dalliance with doodling hasn't taken off much, but my love of lists has gone through the roof. And as anyone at the office will tell you, I'm a bit obsessed with numbers, so I now have numerous lists tracking everything from how many steps I've walked in a day to lots of other health- and habit-measuring graphs. I may not doodle, but I do colour in bar charts fanatically!!

So, what's new? Well, if you take some time to look at some people's incredible creations on the interweb, you'll see the beauty in what they create. One issue I always had with journaling was what if I made a mistake?? Simon, my other half and business partner, suggested a solution: "What about using Atoma notebooks?" he chirped. Genius, I thought (although I didn't tell him that as he is irritatingly intelligent, and I didn't want him to get too big-headed).

In case you haven't come across the Atoma range, you can see more of what they're about here (at the bottom of the page there's even a video to watch): To put it simply, Atoma have a created a flexible notebook solution that allows you to add, remove or move pages around easily. So you can get rid of mistakes, change the order of pages, archive old or carry pages over to other books. I've been playing about with the Atoma journaling concept for a couple of months and it really works! Well, it does for me.

Rather than use the numbering system available in the Leuchtturm Bullet Journals and Rhodia Goalbooks, I have split my Atoma journal into sections. I do this by using Atoma dividers. The sections I use are:

  • Reference: yearly calendars, lookups for conversions (mostly health-related)
  • Meetings: I take notes during meetings, and then afterwards make sure that any actions are put on my To-Do list
  • Monthly: my bar charts! - steps, habits, health, numbers of orders
  • Notes: ideas, both personal and work-related
  • To Do: urgent, today, someday
  • Diary: fill in when I like To File: old stuff that I will eventually file to another notebook.

I'm sure this will evolve with time, but it's a start and seems to work for me.

One thing that helped me develop my lists and bar charts has been reading a few of the books we now have available to buy on site: The 365 Bullet Guide and How to Bullet Plan. As you'll see, for a limited time we are also giving away a Staedtler journaling accessory kit with them. All for £9.99 - now that's a bargain!

We also had a chat with the lovely Chantal at Atoma. She's helped us create an exclusive Atoma notebook with high quality, dot-grid paper in A5 - ideal for journaling. The clear cover means that you can even create your own front cover. And because I'm artistically-challenged (as you now know), Louise has been busily creating all the examples shown on this page.

So what are you waiting for?

21 November 2017

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