How I Stay Organized Without a Bullet Journal

As some of you may be aware, I was pretty big into bullet journaling at the beginning of the year. I had always loved having a planner in school, so discovering a DIY project that was functional and an artistic outlet was amazing. However, when life started changing this summer it became hard to keep up with it. The first month and a half I was here in Austin, it felt like it was taking up too much valuable time.

Now with two jobs and a lot I want to achieve personally, I feel like I need a bullet journal again – or at the very least an actual planner! I’ll talk about about my December bullet journal once I have time to actually plan it. But today I wanted to share how I have stayed on top of everything I have to do in the absence of a physical planner.

I never thought I’d be a digital calendar type of person, but I didn’t really have a choice! At my new part-time job, the Google work calendar is critical. My boss will schedule everything and anything by appointment time. I used to think it was a bit much, considering we share an office and he could talk to me whenever. But now that I’ve been there for a month, I can see how it helps reduce cognitive overload! I realize if I want to have a chance to talk with him about something that keeps getting pushed off, it’s best to just schedule an appointment and send him an invitation.

My digital calendar habits have now trickled over to my other part-time job. We use Outlook for email and our training calendar, but I’ve come to realize with my new job situation it makes sense to keep my work schedule in Outlook so everyone there knows when I’ll be in the office. As my schedule here most often dictates when I’ll be at the other job, I feel silly for not doing this earlier.

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I am fortunate enough to be able to set my own schedule. This is only possible because I do a lot of independent administrative work that keeps me busy. I have a combination of work duties that include small projects and tasks with soft and hard deadlines. So that I always remember what I need to work on when I arrive at each workplace, I keep post-its with master to-do lists on my monitor.

It may look a little chaotic at first glance, but it’s a system that seems to be working. I do not know how sustainable it will be long-term as far as my mental health goes, but it is helping me survive and gain valuable work experiences. I feel like I’m learning a lot, honing important job skills, and at the same time being granted the time I still somehow need to figure out what I want to do and who I want to be.

However, similarly to the way I must force my boss and I to make the time to take care of small things, I do think that I must schedule my own shit to prioritize it the way I prioritize work tasks. So back to the bullet journal I must go…

A Typical Day in the Life

My work-life balance is at an all-time weird for me. I thought I’d document it here on the blog today, because I think it’ll help explain why I struggle to write and blog these days. In hindsight, it gave me some clarity on how I can make better use of my time!

I wake up every morning between 5-6 AM. I have multiple alarms, starting as early as 4:30 AM, and the ones I select to turn on each night depend on how late I end up staying up; proper bedtime is never as early as it should be. Once I’m out of bed, I get a coffee going. Sometimes I have belVita breakfast biscuit, but more often I do without. Although this week I’ve had reheated oatmeal I made in bulk this weekend.

The earlier I wake up the more time I have to write or work on other personal things before I have to leave for work. Depending on where I work that morning and how much I have to do, I usually have to be at work at 7:30, 8, or 9 AM. If I am going in to work 9 AM, then that usually affords me time to walk Opal to a nicer area a little further than where we live. Otherwise I try to arrange a leisurely walk around the apartment complex before too many others are up and about.

I will work until 11:30 AM or 12 PM and return home for about two hours to walk Opal, give her lunch, and have my own. Lunch is usually a sandwich or leftovers. This part of the afternoon goes very quick. I’m not currently very good at being productive during it, so I’m happy if its nice enough weather to give her a longer walk so it counts towards my own exercise.

I go back to work at the other job at 2 PM and work until about 6 PM. Since the time change, it is dark when I get home and it very much feels like the day is over. The first thing I immediately need to do is walk Opal again, and usually this is a longer walk to apologize for leaving her again in the afternoon. Then I figure out dinner, which is usually quick and unhealthy if I don’t feel like cooking, which is most days.

Lately I have been taking Opal to a day camp once a week, which I plan for days when I have more flexibility at work to take a little extra time for myself to write this November. On these days I can go to a cafe or take care of errands at lunch without needing to come home.

I feel rather fortunate to have been able to set my own schedule for the most part at both of my jobs. I just need to figure out how to make time for my personal projects. I think weekly goals might help and better organization, which is why I really want to pick up the bullet journal again this December and plan for 2020.

NaNoWriMo Week 3

I have decided to do some daily short-form blogging for a little bit as I hate that I’ve been neglecting the blog again. Today I wanted to talk about how the writing has been going and what’s going on this week.

It is Day 18 of NaNoWriMo and I am at 11,850 words for the month. I hit a wall at some point last week and concluded the best way to work around it was to have a fresh start. Therefore, I opened a new document and started drafting the story from the beginning, essentially summarizing the story. This was a really great way not allow myself the freedom to potentially deviate from what I had already written.

There has been some deviation, but not a significant amount. I was not entirely married to anything I wrote before. The story at its core has not changed, but I did realize how it could be more exciting when I sat down and wrote it as a story summary from beginning to end.

What I think I will do for the next couple of days at least is continue to flesh out this summary outline and add details I may have forgotten. I have already done a general passover and realized how easy it is to add things I had forgotten to include.

I still do not think I would want to write the entire draft chronologically, but it was important to take a step back and do this. Once I am done I will probably move onto the most central and trickiest storyline and make sure I get that right before I add more words to this draft.

Writing Is Hard

… and I realize that this is hardly an original insight

Yet I am always a little surprised when the writing does not flow like I wish it would. I have been participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I hoped to get a strong and steady lead early on this month, but it didn’t happen. I think about my story almost every day, and I’m just as certain as ever that it is an important story – one that needs to be told – but I’m not feeling present when I’m writing.

This is not a problem unique to my writing life. All areas of my life at the moment are constantly warring for my attention. I have two part-time jobs where I am driven to excel and which think about constantly outside of the office. I have a dog who demands constant attention. I also have a dream of becoming a successful blogger, a small business owner, and a published author. These are all the goals tugging at my brain at the moment.

It is hard to prioritize any of them, because everything is interwoven in my head. Excelling at my jobs will set me up for future success on my own business venture or even in future job opportunities. I also feel like my blog is the intersection of everything. I can cover topics related to my work, my dog, or my other dreams.

But back to writing. Good writing demands all your attention. Maybe there are some virtuosos out there who can turn it on and off like a switch. I am not one of those people, not at the moment anyway. Even with plenty of time, I have felt like the writing is just not coming. And I am not even talking about inspiration.

I forget where I heard it, but I was recently listening to a podcast or reading a article (that I don’t remember annoys and scares me) where someone was talking about how the writing you produce when you are hating writing the most is hard to differentiate from the writing you produce in the best of moods. So maybe I should just plow through even if it sucks, but it’s hard. And my brain thinks of all kinds of reasons to put it off.

So the writing is not going well. I have not lost all hope, but if I manage to win NaNoWriMo this month, no one will be more surprised than me.

I would like to start blogging again on a casual basis. No graphics. No forms of promotion, not even on Twitter. So hopefully I will be back with another blog post very soon. If you are participating in NaNoWriMo or can relate to how I’m feeling about being pulled in several different directions, sound off in the comments down below!

November 2019: NaNoWriMo, The Inky Saga, and More!

Hello again and welcome back to The Inky Saga. Thank you for all the positivity on my last blog post. I wrote it on October 12, 2019, according to my tweet from that day! It’s funny how often I’ve needed to refer to Twitter to remind myself when certain things happened. I mention it, because I’m trying to say that it’s been a while since I blogged properly. I’m still trying to get back into the habit.

I promised myself I would start blogging again after I got settled in at the new job, but it was like I was self-sabotaging that first weekend. I don’t want to get into it right now. But suffice it to say, I finally feel like I know what I’m doing with my life! I love both of my part-time jobs and feel like 2020 is going to be a kick-ass year.

What I want to do today is explain my plans for the month of November, which largely revolve around NaNoWriMo and blog-related content.

NaNoWriMo 2019

As I announced a couple of weeks ago, I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. The timing just kind of ended up working out and I’ve felt committed to writing like never before. I feel like it’s hardest to write when I have nothing but time, and that it is easier when I’m forced to squeeze it in wherever I find time. Weird? I know.

I should really be writing right now, but I did not want to keep the blog on the back-burner this month, so I did want to make time for blog posts on Sundays. Also, I think it’s good that is still early enough to voice my hopes and dreams for how I want this month to go.

Here are my writing plans for the month (and related blog posts):

  1. Attend at least one write-in. This will probably happen next week as this upcoming week already looks packed. (I will likely blog about it.)
  2. Go on an Austin coffee shop-writing spot tour! I do not have a lot of money to blow, but November only comes along once a year and I want to have writing adventures outside the walls of my apartment. My apartment is a lovely place, but I feel like there’s so much to discover in Austin and having something very specific to do will help force me experience the city better. My goal is to hit up at least 10 different spots! (Blog post on my coffee shop list and adventures forthcoming!)
  3. Go on a midwestern writing retreat to my writing buddy’s home in Illinois (Iowa?). I don’t know what state she’s in. That sounds bad, but she literally lives in an area called the Quad Cities! Anyway we set it as a NYE resolution to finally see each other this year for the first time since 2015, and it’d be great to be able to write together in person.

Misc. on The Inky Saga

I would hope I could get regular with the blog posts finally, but I may still be a ways off from that. However, I do have a lot of blog post ideas that I’m hoping will materialize into actual blog posts sooner rather than later. It is all just going to depend on how this month ends up shaking out. I want to win NaNoWriMo this year, so I will have to be smart about how I use my time!

But here are a list of things I’m hoping to talk about the rest of this year on the blog:

  1. Ninth House blog tour! I saw Leigh Bardugo this October for her Austin blog tour stop. It was gorgeous and I’m so glad I went, even though I was dead tired. I have a lot of pictures and lots of notes to share so I do want to eventually write this blog post.
  2. Revisiting French. I have been studying Spanish and German off-and-on for the last couple of year, but now I am working with French people and I want to brush up on my French! I studied it between the ages of 13–17 and it’s been cool to see how much of it has returned as I use DuoLingo. I had become pretty good at conjugating past, present, and future tenses as well as reading it back then. Hopefully I can get passable at hearing and speaking it next year!
  3. Career-related development and tips. I feel like I have had so many great career experiences this year and I would like to share blog posts about what I’ve learned and tips for how to make the most of current job situations. My new part-time job is giving me a lot of fun tasks too, so I’m eager to share the ideas I generate for that position but which cannot all be used, i.e. office decor ideas, holiday parties, corporate gifts, etc.
  4. Interior design/DIY. I’m still in the process of furnishing my home and making it a functional and productive environment for me and my dog Opal. I would like to share the apartment current status, organizational ideas, and wishlists for stuff I would like to get in the future.

End Note

The next few days are going to busy, which is why I’m glad I set aside time to do this post today. I am working about 36 hours next week split between the two jobs, and I’m still hoping to stay on top of the daily word count each day so I don’t fall far behind. Also, next weekend my family is visiting Austin for my mom’s birthday! So much is going on, but it’s gonna be great. Hopefully I’ll be back with another blog post before next Sunday.

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A Long Overdue Job Update

Hi and welcome back to The Inky Saga. I had high hopes for October blogging, but, as usual, life happens. I figured before I attempt to reintroduce the blog it was high time I finally share a major life update. I have been waiting for what feels like a milestone moment in my life and I think that moment came this week.

As some of you may recall, I moved to Austin in August for a part-time job as an office assistant. I have just realized that I never wrote a blog post about this new job or how things were going! A lot has happened in that time, so I don’t know where to begin. A part of me wants to share everything, but I can’t know who might one day read this blog post. Therefore, I’m self-filtering a bit. But that should make this blog post more easy to read anyway.

I was extremely lucky. I love my part-time job. The work is never dull and the people I work for are fantastic. I assist three main people. They are all very different, but that is part of what keeps this job interesting. From the beginning, I have felt appreciated and a part of the team, which are vibes I did not entirely feel at my main job this past summer.  I am also lucky in that they have made many efforts to utilize the more advanced skills that I developed in college that I have not been able to utilize in a formal job setting.

For instance, I have been writing standard operating procedures for specific tasks each of my supervisors individually perform. I have compiled information and performed independent research on administrative code regarding my office’s work in order to illuminate something that we may not have been needing to do. I have also been given design projects to create new materials for our new-hire orientation and training.

I feel that it is rare to find a job where your office makes their best effort to utilize your unique skillset. Maybe it is the silver-lining of working part-time in this economy, but it genuinely blows my mind what an amazing opportunity I stumbled upon. I cannot believe I almost didn’t take it.

For the past eight weeks I have been working about 30 hours a week. I have also been lucky in that I have been allowed to set my own schedule for the most part. When I have not been working during the week, I have primarily been applying and interviewing for other jobs.

I think I mentioned on the blog this summer that I had received a writing tutor position ahead of my move. Once I arrived, however, I knew that position was not going to work. I had just adopted Opal and knew I could not just leave her home alone all day. And the commute was going to be way longer than I had originally anticipated.

My earliest plans after that realization revolved around setting up a virtual assistant business. I still see myself doing this one day, but I also knew that it would be preferable to find a job in the city that would allow me to meet people and experience life in Austin while I was so conveniently close to everything.

In the past, I had exclusively applied for administrative positions on online university staffing boards. I had several interviews for these kind of positions, but nothing ever came of them. Once I arrived and got settled in, I started applying for jobs almost exclusively on Zip Recruiter and, more recently, LinkedIn. I had a few interviews in September for a variety of different positions, full-time and part-time, that seemed like they might be fun.

Because I have not been in a hurry to leave my current part-time job, I have had the luxury and privilege of being able to seek out part-time and full-time employment opportunities. None of this would have been possible without the support of my parents either. Austin is expensive, and there is no way I would’ve been able to start this new adventure so comfortably without their financial assistance. (Side note: I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be “self made” this year. My parents are not rich. But if there’s one thing I know for sure, it is that when I become successful I would never conscionably be able to say that I am self-made.)

I was starting to feel discouraged about my prospects two weeks ago after I was turned down for two pretty cool sounding jobs. Neither were likely to have been good moves for my long-term career goals, but I felt like I would have been happy with them. Now I’m grateful I did not receive them because I wouldn’t have had the week I just had.

Last weekend I went to an interview for a full-time job as office administrator for a budding business in northwest Austin. I really hit it off with the owner and after my follow up interview felt that it would have been a really good fit on both sides. He had been lucky someone with my skillset applied for the job he listed and was already planning on how to utilize my technical writing background to grow his business. I most likely would have been set for long-term career growth. It was exactly the type of job I had been hoping to find.

The main problem is this job was located in northwest Austin. Fifteen miles may sound like nothing, but Austin traffic is terrible. Needing to drive that way through central Austin on a daily basis, probably twice a day both ways, would have eventually taken its toll. It wasn’t just me I had to think about. I would have needed to make arrangements so Opal could be let out everyday around noon if I could not make the trek back myself.

I would not have turned down this job for just that reason, however. I could have made it work. But this past weekend I had also received feedback on two other jobs I had recently applied for. One was very similar to this full-time position, but it was part-time and located downtown. Since I currently live about 10 minutes away from downtown, it was more ideal.

On Monday I had a phone interview, which I felt went well. It was a very general interview screening call. I was offered an in-person interview on Thursday, which happened to be the day after I found out I received the full-time position. For some reason, I really felt that I wanted to make sure I had no regrets about not looking into this other part-time job. So I took the interview. One of the initial draws was it looked like something might ultimately allow me to work remotely part of the time, which was ideal for Opal! Also I would be able to keep my current part-time job a bit longer.

The in-person interview went really well. We used almost the full hour they had set aside and talked about a lot of things. They had a list of questions, but there was a lot of back-and-forth discussion, which is always refreshing. The most important thing for me was that I got good vibes from them. I could tell they are very hard-working, already fairly accomplished, and still have big dreams for their company. I figured it would be very easy to feel fulfilled working for them.

After the in-person interview, I knew I would be willing to gamble on my future by accepting this part-time position. They definitely wanted to manage my short-term expectations for hours and duties, but they also sounded very optimistic about what this position could evolve into assuming that I turned out to be the right fit for them. When I left, I felt pretty good about my odds. All I could really hope for is that they would make their decision quickly so I could turn down the full-time position before too much time had past.

I received the job offer that night, which was much sooner than I was expecting. I am still feeling so euphoric. I can’t help but feel like important pieces in the story of my life are starting to fall into place. Sorry if that is cheesy. I’m not even a One Direction fangirl, but I couldn’t help but think of that one song after I wrote that sentence…I’m not even going to change it.

I drafted this post on the Saturday before I started the new job. However, I decided to wait to post it, just to make sure everything I have written ages well after I started this new job! I have a lot of other things I would love to share about, but I always feel I have to be cautious so I don’t jinx anything!

It bothers me that I have not used my blog as much as I intended this year, especially after splashing out more money on it for more creative freedom. I promise I intend to post more now that the job search is essentially complete. I will be able to utilize my personal time to focus on my passions outside of work, which include this blog.

There is a lot I am eager to share. I think part of the reason I’m so euphoric right now is that I no longer will need to feel guilty about how I spend my time outside of work. I hope that I will be able to post something else before I decide I can publish this post, but time will tell. Regardless, something will come very soon after this post. I promise. Cross my heart hope to die.

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To Do NaNoWriMo or To Not Do NaNoWriMo This Year…

…that is the question.

Welcome back to The Inky Saga. I have gone back and forth over whether to write to this post for a few weeks now. When I moved to Austin this fall, I was consumed with passion to pick up writing again. My first couple of weeks settling into my apartment, I was actually doing a pretty good job of writing on the daily. But as usual, writing (and blogging) were forced to take a back seat eventually as I resumed the job search. I have an update prepared on that front as well, which may come next weekend. But today I wanted to finally share a writing update and my plans for NaNoWriMo.

My writing buddy Sara and I have resumed our weekly writing dates on Thursday evenings. We used to use Skype, but it has no longer been convenient since she switched to a Chromebook. We also tried Google Hangouts, but for some reason the audio doesn’t work. So now we use Zoom. It’s free and relatively quick to launch a private chatroom, but she now lives in the country so the internet connection is spotty. Despite our technical difficulties, we have managed to keep our writing dates!

I am currently working on a new story idea that I’m hoping may eventually turn into something good. I have long since realized that the first draft does not need to be perfect, it just needs to be written. Therefore, my goal has been to write the story I have as quickly and simply as possible, so I can get to the fun of editing and adding detail. I do not write everyday, but I enjoy the process of writing when I do sit down to do it (about twice a week these days). I do not know how much of this story I may be able to write before November 1st, which leads to my current conundrum.

I would like to do NaNoWriMo properly, but I am not sure if I would want to start an entirely new story idea from scratch. Neither do I feel any sense of urgency about completing a first draft over the span of a single month. I have been motivated to write on my own, and I am enjoying it when I allow myself the time to do it.

I think all I really want to feel is to feel like a part of a local and online writing community in November! I’m in a new city and want to participate in local write-ins and make new writing buddies. I also want to be able to share writing excitement with others on Twitter and on the blog. I know that you can get your own goals for NaNoWriMo; the important thing is just that you do the thing. But I feel like it has been a long time since I properly participated.

I think I am going to do it. Not necessarily with an entirely new story idea, but at least in adding 50k words to the however-many-words I manage to write in October.

End Note

In case you did not know, NaNoWriMo completely redid their website. All the writing buddies you may have had are completely gone, but your log-in credentials are the same. If you would like to be writing buddies with me, my profile name is still ummmrawr after eleven years. The new website is pretty slow, but hopefully that will be improved by time November rolls around.

I am off to try and do some more writing before bed! It has been a weekend full of housekeeping and chores, but I am so excited for this week. I hope to start blogging a lot more regularly soon. Tuesday I am attending Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House tour stop in Austin. Hopefully I’ll have time to whip up a blog post about that!

Thanks for stopping by!
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Books on My Fall TBR | Top Ten Tuesday

Hello and welcome back to The Inky Saga! Today I am excited to share my fall TBR. When I decided to challenge myself to blog every day this week, one of the first ideas that popped into my head was to check the theme for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. As it turned out, this week’s topic is Books on My Fall TBR! What good fortune; I love a reason to think up a TBR.

I just moved and most of the books I with me are ones I have already read, but there are a few new books that have recently come into my life, or soon will. So this list may actually be interesting to those of you who know my reading history!

In case you are unfamiliar with this bookish meme, it’s a weekly conversation starter centered on a topic that sparks a list of ten books. As That Artsy Reader Girl puts it, “It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.”

 Books on My Fall TBR

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo | My most anticipated release of the season is Leigh Bardugo’s debut adult contemporary novel. I actually bought tickets to see her in-person when she visits Austin next month! I am so excited. The ticket price includes the book, so I’ll be able to have it signed and support an independent bookstore.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher | I bought this book secondhand at 2nd and Charles this summer. I love a fun autobiography by a funny woman, and I hope this one does not disappoint. I have not read reviews, but I remember the hoopla when it came out.

All Clear by Connie Willis | A few years ago I read To Say Nothing of the Dog on John Green’s recommendation and found it highly engaging and amusing. It was one of those reads that made me wish I could read it again fresh. I’m hoping this book will provide a similar experience. I believe it is a part of that time traveling series. I would prefer to read all these books in order, but since I started To Say Nothing of the Dog I doubt it matters too much.

White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart by Holly Black | I feel like I read these in a frenzy when I first picked them up. This time I want to take my time. I have already started White Cat and think I will finish it by the end of the week. I’ve never been good at pacing myself with a book, but I have enjoyed reading it slow.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | I will be most annoyed with myself if I do not finally get to this book this year. It was on my July 2018 TBR, my spring TBR. It would have been on my summer TBR if I had completed that post! It’s not that I am putting it off. I just haven’t been able to prioritize it.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | It will be my second time reading this book, and I am excited to read it slowly and carefully. The last time I read it I has just moved into an apartment, so I feel weird parallels between then and now!

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid | This is another book on my fall TBR that has been on past TBRs. I don’t know what to say. It still intrigues me despite knowing nothing about it. I love going into a book blind.

The Tin Drum by Günter Grass | I read a novella by this author for a German literature class in 2016 called Cat and Mouse, which I really loved. It was dark and compelling, a book I could not stop thinking about. Apparently The Tin Drum is more highly acclaimed, so I have high expectations. I think I would enjoy getting lost in this tome this fall.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews | I may read this one really soon! I find it hard to explain why I love this book so much. Maybe I will be able to put my finger on it after a second read. I recently rewatched the movie this summer, which I highly recommend. It’s beautiful and, at times, hysterical.

End Note

It can be hard to write a TBR when you have a correlating goal of utilizing your public library, because you do not know if the books you want to read will be available. It does not help that I am a mood reader and will prioritize books based on whether a) I feel like reading them at the moment, and b) the timing seems right. Fortunately, I have become less mercurial when it comes to what I feel like reading, so I will most likely stick my fall TBR if I have the time to read as much as I would like.

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October BuJo Theme Ideas + Inspiration

Welcome back to The Inky Saga! It has been a hot minute since I posted on the blog, but I do not feel like going into any explanations today. I will save that for Friday. To start building up some blogging momentum this week ahead of October, I decided to end September with week’s worth of daily blog posts. Today specifically I decided to share the finalists on my list of October bujo theme ideas. October Bujo Theme Ideas

September started off strong, but I ultimately stopped keeping up with this month’s bullet journal after some loss of inspiration regarding the weekly spreads in particular. I have been working a lot, and thus do not have a lot of time left for personal projects. My bullet journal has generally been a place for me to record progress on my personal projects not related to work. As result, I had long columns for each day with nothing much to record. It’s disheartening to see such bare pages!

See: A Month of Instagram Content for BuJo Artists

My priority this October is come up with new weekly spreads that suit my new life schedule. But before I can do any of that, I need to pick my October bujo theme! Since I wanted to start blogging again with a bang, here is a list of my top 5 October bujo theme ideas for the coming month. Enjoy!

Autumn Leaves | Magic | Pumpkins | Coffee | Fairy Tales

If you would like to further investigate the sources of any of the images I share in this post, look for the watermarks either inserted by the creator or myself in a plum text color. WordPress will not let me hyperlink each individual image to its direct source because of how I formatted the images, but if you hover over the image you can see the creator’s social handle. Most creators can be found on Instagram.

I think there was only one image I could not source beyond WeHeartIt.com, but saw several variations of the same graphic. Let me know if anything was misattributed!

October BuJo Theme Ideas

Theme #1 Autumn Leaves

If I lived in a part of the country where autumn is better reflected in nature during September, I may have already utilized this theme for my September bujo. However in Texas, it still feels very like much like summer until autumn is technically well under way. There are so many amazing art styles I’ve seen execute the theme of autumnal leaves. Here are just a few that I think would make for a lovely October bujo theme.

Theme #2 Magic

A lot of people execute Harry Potter themes in September, because that is when Hogwarts is back in session. However, I never feel September is very magical. I did decide to bookmark some of these themes to revisit come October. While I loved Harry Potter as a child, I am not as obsessed as I once was with the world. I feel like I do not have a lot of originality to offer when it comes to this theme.

A magic could be informed by Halloween classics like Halloweentown or Hocus Pocus, which feature witches and broomsticks and potions galore. You could also take more general inspiration from other books or movies that feature those iconic depictions of witchcraft (e.g. cauldons, black cats, pointy hats).

Theme #3 Pumpkins

Pumpkins are one of the first things that came to my mind when I thought of October bujo themes. Funnily enough, they are one of the first things I ever I remember ever learning to draw with precision as a child. It would be so much fun to make such a simple subject and render it in forms as varied as this squash takes in real life. Here are some of the pieces that would inspire my own October bujo spread.

Theme #4 Coffee

I found some coffee/tea bujo themes earlier this year and decided to bookmark them for the season in which it is most pleasing to drink them. There’s nothing more pleasant than being able to cosy up in the evening to read or write with a nice hot chai latte or mocha by my side. If not for October, I could see myself executing this theme in November for NaNoWriMo!

Theme #5 Fairy Tales

The theme of fairy tales may seem pretty close to magic, but there’s a subtle differentiation in my mind. When I think of fairy tales I think of woods, woodland creatures, and monsters. It’s more folksy. Environment plays a bigger role in my mind, whereas magic in general is more associated with mystical items. Grimm’s fairy tales may provide some inspiration, but I was also thinking about The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. The book has some amazing illustrations that could be fun to adapt into bujo spreads.

I could not find anything in my basic cursory searches on Instagram or Pinterest that emulate what I would like to go for. There are plenty of Alice in Wonderland or Disney-themed bujo themes I can find, but those do not appeal to me. Most likely I will need to pursue this theme when I have more time to plan it!

Final Thoughts on My October BuJo Theme

If you have already picked your October bujo theme, please feel free to share it in the comments down below! Usually I know which theme I will pick by the end of writing these posts. My final decision will probably come this weekend. I hate saving it for the last minute, but I have a few more things on my agenda before October. Nevertheless, it was really fun being able to talk bujo themes and share some amazing bujo artist work today!

Thanks for stopping by!
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A Month of Instagram Content for BuJo Artists

I have been wanting to up my Instagram game for a long time, and September feels like the month it is actually going to happen. A few months ago I started working on a little calendar of Instagram post ideas for bujo artists based on what I was loving on Instagram at the moment from #studygram and #bujo accounts. Since I love what I came up with, I decided to share this calendar with all of you lovelies.

Some of these bujo artist prompts seem a little technologically challenging, even for me! But the point of this calendar was two-fold: to force me out of my comfort zone when it came to Instagram and to help me start posting more regularly. If any of you are interested in challenging yourselves, then I hope this calendar provides a handy jumping off point.

Feel free to remix these post ideas. I have a feeling I may need to do some rearranging myself, considering I am going pretty minimal this month. I designed this calendar with flexibility in mind. Naturally, I realize not every month starts on a Sunday. But if you are new regular posting, this calendar should be useful as a base-line for what you can considering posting!

A Month of Instagram Content for BuJo Artists

A Month of Instagram Content for BuJo Artists
A Month of Instagram Content for BuJo Artists

For those of you who may prefer these bujo artist post ideas in a list format, I see you. Here’s the list typed out:

  1. Cover page
  2. Week 1 spread
  3. Behind-the-scenes look at a work-in-progress
  4. Inspiration behind the monthly spread theme
  5. Time lapse of work-in-progress
  6. Close-up look at favorite design
  7. Shout out favorite accounts
  8. Sketched self-portrait
  9. Week 2 spread
  10. Motivational quote
  11. Bujo in the wild (e.g. nature, park, garden)
  12. Step-by-step doodle instruction
  13. Review you bujo utensils (e.g. the journal, pens, stickers, etc.)
  14. Habit/goal tracker progress report
  15. Tips for newbies
  16. Week 3 spread
  17. Share ideas for next month
  18. Promote favorite supplies
  19. Show off your workspace
  20. Flashback post of past bujo spreads
  21. Share a “Meet the Artist” page
  22. Share favorite artists/artwork
  23. Week 4 spread
  24. Show off calligraphy progress/skills
  25. Bujo in the wild (e.g. cafe, pub, library)
  26. Sketch in progress
  27. Share a “My Perfect Day” page
  28. Shout out up-and-coming accounts
  29. Week 5 spread
  30. Monthly favorites illustrated

End Note

I would welcome any more bujo artist post ideas for Instagram in the comments down below! I am still relatively new to the bujo community and will likely come up with a few more ideas myself after this post has gone live! In the future, it might also be fun to make more versions of this calendar for specific seasons or holidays, so I will have a new list of post ideas going soon anyways.

Also, let me know if you plan to use this calendar and drop your Instagram account handle below if you are a bujo artist. I would love to discover some new accounts.

Thanks for stopping by!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.