Why I Stopped Bullet Journaling

It has been a while since I shared my bullet journal online, and today I am finally going to share why I stopped bullet journaling this summer. I love bullet journaling for many reasons. One of the main reasons being that it helps me look a month, or even a week, holistically. I can make notes in advance and fill in the blanks after a day or week has concluded. And at the end, I have a beautiful record of the time to look back on.

All summer my life has been uncertain. When I think back to May, I can still remember how I honestly thought I would be following my parents to their new home, even after starting my new part-time elections job. It alone would not have allowed me to survive on my own. However, my life plans have evolved since then as new developments were made on the job front. It’s crazy to think how much can change in just two months’ time!

SEE: Well That Escalated Quickly

The blog and my other activities have shifted in priority. But now with summer near its end and my decision to move final, I think it’s a good time to finally summarize my summer bullet journaling experience. I will also be sharing the spreads I came up with this weekend to get me through August.

June & July

I did not enter the summer season thinking I would step away from bullet journaling. On the contrary, I had planned ahead on themes and even spent several days working on the monthly spreads for both June and July. However, when it became clear I would not finish on time and was growing frustrated with little mistakes, it just became easier to step away from bullet journaling.

In June I was going to do a beach wave theme inspired by the The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai. I referenced a great many bullet journal spreads I found online in my weekly spreads, and got as far as week 3. I’m not terribly proud of them, so I’ll just share the cover spread.

I wanted my July theme to be an homage to Stranger Things since the third season was debuting on the 4th of July. After much thought and work, I lost interest after making one too many little mistakes. tHonestly they are not even that distracting now that I’ve taken some time away from it!

I never finished a weekly spread, but I will share the monthly trackers along with the cover spread for July.

Maybe it was a problem of becoming too ambitious with my designs. It didn’t help that June and July were months of tumultuous life change either. Ultimately I decided to take a break from the monthly routine of designing bujo spreads and focus on preparing for fall. I have also resolved to return to basics so that I don’t have anymore lost months for the year.

August

I did not think that I would do an August spread this month, but this past weekend I realized I really needed one. It did not have to have an amazing theme or even much detail. But I wanted to have a planner to help me organize my thoughts once I realized I was moving to Austin at the end of the month. There are so many little moving pieces involved in moving and starting new jobs. I needed something to help me feel a little more control over this crazy adventure.

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End Note

I did not realize this weekend that there are still three full weeks ahead in the month. I will be traveling a lot in the next two weeks, starting one of my new jobs, and gradually moving into my apartment and making cosy. Bullet journaling will definitely help keep my productive. I can’t wait for this new chapter of my life and to be able to start a new chapter of The Inky Saga.

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A Howl’s Moving Castle Spread | April Bullet Journal

For April I decided to make a Howl’s Moving Castle spread! It took me over a week to pull this one together, between narrowing down my idea and pre-planning my spread. I was fairly certain I wanted to do a Studio Ghibli movie theme this month, but I felt myself gravitating towards the movies with which I was already most familiar. Then Howl’s Moving Castle won out over Spirited Away.

There were a few spreads I was able to find that had done a similar theme (@jannplansthings and My Sister’s Journal (Apr 2018)), but I wasn’t able to find a complete month’s worth of spread ideas I liked, so I had to come up with a lot on my own. It was fun and I’m really pleased with my creative choices and the final result.

I decided to keep this month’s spread really simple. I didn’t set space for goals or a brain dump. I kept it down to the bare essentials: monthly log, stats, and blog post planner. I also decided to do all my weekly spreads in advance so I’ll be sharing them in today’s post!

Why Howl’s Moving Castle?

When I was thinking about spring bullet journal themes, Howl’s Moving Castle probably entered the running when I was looking up umbrellas. Turnip Head turns out to a really sweet and considerate character in the movie and when I think of him, I think of him with an umbrella in his hand.

The more I thought about Howl’s Moving Castle, the more I realized it really is a spring-time movie. We don’t really celebrate May Day in the U.S., to the best of my knowledge, but it’s a holiday that celebrates spring and an opening event in the book that brings Howl and Sophie together. Flowers are in bloom and present throughout the movie, whether they be in the hat shop or in nature.

I could have saved this theme for May, but I’ve had a different theme in mind for that month for a couple of months now. Plus, May in Texas definitely feels like more like summer than spring…

The April Spread

The title page of the moving castle came from two very similar designs I discovered in my planning stage, one a painting and the other line art. I loved the look of both, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit to using color yet. So I decided I would lean into the inked version and add color later if I felt like it.

I tried out a new monthly log layout that I discovered from Boho Berry. I don’t know how much use I’ll make out of it, but I do think it might help me visualize my days a little better by breaking the Personal column of past spreads into AM & PM columns. I also like the last column where I can take notes that best help me picture the work I do in April. To tie in the theme, I decided to draw in Sophie and Sullivan’s dog from the movie scene where they are watching a young Howl swallow a shooting star that fell to Earth.

The last two-page spread before I get into weekly spreads I decided to dedicate to blog stats and open space for blog post planning. I separated the stats from the bigger space with Turnip Head’s scarecrow arms. Other than that detail, I wanted to have a lot of space for any notes I wanted to take during April. I had way more space than I needed for brain dumps last month, and I knew I’d have a lot less time this month for creative personal projects.

THE WEEKLYS

I don’t want to talk too much about each week’s specific layout, because I did all five for the month in advance! This is why this post ended up coming much later than I had hoped. (Sorry this post was published incomplete this week!)

I had the visual imagery in mind before I knew the specific layouts I would use, but I felt it very intuitive to apply everything I wanted and keep the weeks all unique in design and format. Below you can see the weekly spreads that incorporate Sophie’s hat shop (Week 1), Calcifer with a frying pan over him (Week 2), the doors with Howl’s portals (Week 3), the field with shooting stars landing on Earth (Week 4), and Sullivan’s magic ball and dog (Week 5).

The spreads for Week 1 and Week 3 were finished on Saturday! I couldn’t find any pre-existing bujo spread ideas to go off, so I developed them entirely on my own by just referencing movie stills. I’m rather pleased with the final products for all the fretting I did over them!

I can’t wait to jump into this April spread! It’s my favorite of the year so far, and it’s especially special because it’s my first in my new Scribbles That Matter bullet journal!

Next on the blog will be my monthly wrap up, which I started last weekend. My March flip-through will likely be in a video format, shared on YouTube and/or Instagram. I do hope to launch my YouTube channel in April, but I do not expect to be very consistent with it. I’m far more interested in being consistent with the blog, which takes enough of my time as it is ^_^

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April BuJo Theme Ideas

Okay, so this has been one of my personally most anticipated blog posts to write for the past few weeks! I loved sharing my bullet journal theme ideas for March in February so that anyone who was also pre-planning might be inspired by an idea they may not have come across yet. So in a similar vein, today I am sharing the ideas I’ve been mulling over for April. It’s never too early!

Below are the theme ideas for April that have me super excited and inspired. If you want to skip my thoughts and just see the visuals, scroll to the bottom to see my embedded spring bujo ideas. board, which you can click to follow on Pinterest or simply browse from inside this post!

Idea 1. Planters / Succulents

It’s not the most original idea, if I’m being honest, but I’ve recently seen some absolutely stunning designs that are less cutesy or evocative of desert or a southwestern style. I like how the succulent look in planters against brick and other industrial or Scandinavian architecture. They’re almost less the focus and more an accent on an interior design theme, which I think is really cool.

I don’t consider this theme a front-runner at all for me, but I did want to bookmark it for the future and share the idea to anyone looking for theme ideas because it is a major one with many examples to reference.

Idea 2. April Showers: Umbrellas, Rain Boots & Puddles

I mentioned in February that I felt like I couldn’t do a rainy weather-inspired theme because I already did clouds for January. However, I started seeing some themes that focused on umbrellas and rain puddles, which I thought were really cute and fun. I feel like the umbrella would also be really timely, because I just watched The Umbrella Academy on Netflix and it is a new favorite!

Idea 3. Hot Air Balloons

A theme that had been on my radar for a long time is hot air balloons. I had first thought it would be more of a summertime theme in my mind, but I feel like April/May are months where escape is on the mind. I think it’s a mental hold-over from being a student, as April in college is typically a super busy month in which final projects are in full motion.

I don’t feel any urgency to use this theme, and because it seems like a simpler theme to execute I may save it for a month where I have less time to prepare a monthly spread.

Idea 4. Studio Ghibli Movies

After thinking about hot air balloons, Howl’s Moving Castle came to mind. Then I wondered if there were any Studio Ghibli bujo themes out there, because I had never seen any in my discovery journeys through Instagram or Pinterest. Boy was I in for a treat, because I found more than a few! This blog post in particular gave me a bunch of screenshots to compile for this theme.

I must say, I’m leaning really heavily towards this theme at the moment! I think it would be a lot of fun to make to April a Studio Ghibli-themed month as a whole. I’m thinking a movie marathon, an Instagram challenge of some sort, themed blog posts…

Idea 5. Coffee/Tea Love

My final idea for this month is hot beverages, specifically coffee but perhaps also tea. Going back to that college mindset, I always drank a lot more coffee around the end of each semester to keep going as I got busier. It’s also been so unusually cold this year where I live, that I find myself reaching for a decaf coffee or black tea more often than usual because the atmosphere just feels so right.

It’ll probably be hot by time April comes around, but I bet it will still be rainy. Who doesn’t like curling up with a hot cupa somethin’ by the window on a rainy day to be productive?

Pinterest

In February I decided to start using Pinterest to direct more traffic towards my blog. I did a proper post on it earlier this week, but for now I just want to say that it has been an awesome place to find and bookmark pin ideas that I want to be able to return to later.

See: 5 Things I Did to Grow My Pinterest Traffic

I used to just get all my ideas on Instagram, but Pinterest pulls content from there as well so you get a little more on Pinterest. One downside is if you want to get more information on a pin you find on Pinterest, it can be harder to track down the main source than it is on Instagram. But, truthfully, I see myself continuing to use both!

My point is if you’d like to get a first look at my theme idea posts, you can follow my Pinterest board which I’ve created specifically for spring bullet journal ideas which I’ve inserted below! I will likely use it until June when I’ll start a summer-themed board, but I also have a more general bujo inspiration board that you can check out as well.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I know I’ve been sayin’ it for two months now, but I truly plan to start doing more blog posts about bullet journalling, especially now that I feel like I have more to offer since I’ve been doing it for going-on three months. I also just bought a Scribbles That Matter journal so I feel more inspired to level up my designer game.

If you have any specific requests, be sure to let me know in the comments so I make sure they are covered in my upcoming blog series. As it currently is, I plan to share reasons for starting a bujo, how to start a bujo, and more general bujo spread ideas not necessarily related to theme.

Thank you for reading!
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