I’ve previously admitted to enjoying those very ornate unboxing videos featuring ‘stationery hauls’ and imported notebooks from Japan. I’ve recently enjoyed some similar videos, outlining how some people create their bullet journals.
I want to preface this by saying I’m not criticising here. But some of the journals on show have strayed so far from the original Ryder Carroll approach that they’re more like works of art. Ornate, colourful, featuring ephemera and photos, I’m struck by one thing: while they’re beautiful to look at, many of them are too impractical for everyday use.
I keep my bullet journal as simple as possible. I don’t want to spend any more time ‘working’ on it that I need to. I use black ink – in the pen that’s closest to me, not an antique fountain pen – and my only concession to design is the use of mildliners. These excellent little highlighters come in shades that won’t burn your retina, but do provide a focus for either highlighting or sectioning off content.
I’ll start each daily entry with a swipe of the mildliner and then the day and date in black ink. C’est tout! The only doodles in my bullet journals have been the result of getting stuck in an airport (remember those?) or killing time between meetings.
Don’t get me wrong: I really admire those people who can create beautifully designed journals. I’m just not one of them. I prefer things to be simple, but I can still enjoy watching others create their own illuminated manuscripts as and when I have time.