Thursday, April 28, 2016

Part 1: Bullet Journaling - Set Up and DIY

Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links to products I use all the time!

In high school I carried around a beat up composition book, or if I had the money a bound sketch book from Barnes and Nobel. 
Later I graduated to prettier notebooks, and until three years ago just carried around a really nice Moleskine notebook. All during that time I attempted to keep a planner, but never managed to actually use it. At one point I attempted to merge my journal, planner and sketchbook, but ended up with a binder system that did nothing but annoy the crap out of me.

That's when I found Patrick Ng's flickr account filled with beautiful pictures of his leather journals and his blog with helpful time management tools like the Chronodex.

My world exploded. 
I wanted a Midori, an old camera, and at least 4 or 5 leather key fobs.
Oh, and also the job of procurement specialist in an Asian stationary store. No big deal.

So I decided to make a Fauxdori and challenged myself to finally have all of those things - wallet, sketchbook, journal and planner - all in once place. At the end of this post will be links and an explanation on how to make your own leather planner, which I promise you is the easiest leather project you'll ever encounter. Basically, if you can cut and make holes, you're good to go. I'm going to run through what my set up looks like so that you're familiar with it, then tomorrow I'll cover the finer points.

What's inside?

- Wallet System - Debit cards, insurance cards, random business cards, Costco card
- Sticky Notes
- Relationship Inspiration
- 3 Notebooks
- Receipt Envelope
- Table Top Game Play Reference Sheets

The 3 Notebook system is really where this completes my soul. The Bullet Journal system runs off of one, grid-lined notebook and relies on the user to organize it by page numbers, icons, colored flags, or even notches.  That's just too much for me. I don't want to whip out a penknife, a stack of markers, or unwind a roll of washi tape just to put a thought into my book. Instead I have developed this kind of hacked Bujo for my needs.

Mind you, the basic Bullet Journal System that Ryder developed only relies on a pen and is pretty dang straight forward...but while that's really basic and easy to understand, it wasn't enough. There was a fine balance that needed to be struck between art and functionality for me and thus it was...

Notebook 1: 
Monthly - At the front of the notebook I write dates down of things that need to happen later in the month as I hear about them. Anything that is for far out gets migrated into the next notebook like anything else would.

Daily - Okay, I made this spread specifically so you can see how it works. Along the top is my date, priority tasks - hangouts, meetings, bills - and along the left are thoughts that occur to me, things I want, inspiration, or stuff to check out. These little tidbits, the little thought scraps, get organized at the end of each day into my collection. Now, the icon system may work for some people here, but I don't want to doodle too much. The bottom puzzle piece is my spending for the day.

At the top right side are my daily trackers. Hygiene reminders, my mood dude, mindfulness tracker, and my budget frame. I also have a little running tally of how many new people I followed online. A check means YAY! I DID IT an X means NO I DIDN'T and the little > means that I'm going to do it the next day. Same as with the top priorities list.

Along the very bottom right side is my priority planner. 

In between all of this is where I write down my dang thoughts for the day. Just, 'I had a really bad dream last night and now I'm in a bad mood and want to eat all the donuts.' This part makes me preeetty happy as I can journal for as long as I like and then that evening, I'll just flip to the next page, migrate all the things I didn't do and get to make a whole new pretty day. 
Makes me super happy.

Notebook 2: Previous month - This is about to change I think to a strictly blog related notebook. To be honest, the reason I keep this one in my planner is so that at the beginning of the month when I'm migrating my notes I can see if there were any trackers I didn't really use. I pretty much have my tracking system down at this point, so I think when I do the migration next I'll just swap this out for a blank

Last month's notebook was all about my #artmarch. I studied drawing hands and did a lot of sketching.

Notebook 3: Collections
This notebook stays in for a really, really long time. I think my current one I've been running since the end of January/Beginning of February and still have a bit of space left. This notebook takes a bit longer to migrate things from as these are lists that I want to keep with me constantly, but to be honest A LOT of it doesn't get migrated because it's just not relevant anymore. ...I really don't need to carry around my boredom doodles:

To make the planner:
Measure a stack of 3 Moleskine Cahiers or your preferred notebook brand (the ones above are from Papaya!Art) and add around an inch to allow for extra notebooks and inserts, as well as a second hole for another elastic. For the corners I used a nickel to round them off and lightly sanded them before dying the leather.
This video shows basic techniques for handling leather and you can order the stain and sealer from Tandy Leather. This is the eaaasiest project I've ever done with leather and the piece only gets prettier everyday with wear. I get compliments and questions about it constantly and it's seriously the most important thing I own.

If you have any questions about how I set up my bullet journal let me know in the comments!

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