Beyond the Journal
A couple of years ago I saw a lot of pins on Pinterest about this new way of journaling called a "Bullet Journaling".
At first, I wasn't impressed. I didn't like the numbering of pages and indexing my content. It looked like more work than it was worth.
The other thing I didn't like was that it seemed to be a pre-requisite to use the smaller 8 x 5 size journal with dot grid paper. Ok, I can see smaller being good to fit in your purse, but it's not functional for me. I like to see a lot at a glance.
The dot grid paper is perfect for the artist who likes to draw and doodle and make up a new calendar every month. I like to doodle but I don't want to spend my time drawing up a new calendar each month. Invent it once and move on.
I did like that it was a super dooper, the mother of all lists, kind of thing.
It's a calendar, a planner, and a keeper of collections of lists. But what it really is... is whatever YOU want it to be.
Most bullet journalers use this method not just for to do lists but also to track goals: getting healthy goals, budget saving goals, changing behaviors and habits, etc.
Some journalers like to keep collections of things like story and blog post ideas, home improvement ideas, what-to-do-if-I-get-a-little-extra-money ideas.
So, what I did was I used ideas on Pinterest and figured out how they would best work for me.
First, I kept my composition size notebook. (I've seen some on Amazon with dot grid paper now for $5.95)
Second, I already had some calendar/planner pages I wanted to use. I resized them to fit the composition notebook.
Next, I made a list (did I mention I love making lists?) of all the collections I'd like to keep in this journal: calendar and to-do list, gratitude pages where I count my blessings, 13 Virtues pages where I can track the 13 virtues I'd like to develop (I got this from Ben Franklin's autobiography, thanks De Etta), a page for quotes, a reverse bucket list, blog post ideas, story ideas, business ideas, ideas for my grandkids, and a section where
I write the story of my life.
Fourth, I designed these pages for function first and added doodles. Some pages didn't work like I thought so they will be
re-worked for next month.
I added a pocket to the inside front and back covers for stickers and cute things I want to keep with my journal.
Last, I made an index page. From month to month I'm going to want to know where these pages are, BUT I decided to use stickers.
I bought some half inch round stickers in 11 different colors. I made a list of my pages and assigned a different color to each page. Where the page occurs in my journal I place a sticker halfway on the edge of that page and fold it over. That way I can see what color it is from the outside and quickly find the page I want without having to number pages.
More than a blessing--my journal has become a dear, and trusted friend. When I can't burden family or friends I take my problems to my journal.
Writing forces me to ponder my feelings into words. Often times, an answer I wouldn't have thought of on my own presents itself by the time I finish my entry.
When I discovered art journaling it was like discovering a lost world. My art is far from professional--it's tacky, but something about water coloring and making books took me back to my childhood. It was exhilarating! It was joyful! Journaling has gone from one of those have-to-do's to a get-to-do and an I-can't-wait-until-I-get-some-alone-time-to-do.
I've written about the benefits and blessings that come with journaling, but the magic comes from making things happen, not just writing about the past.
Many of us write goals we'd like to accomplish. This goes way beyond goals.
Writing, especially for me, sharpens my focus a hundred fold.
I believe in the universal Law of Attraction and I struggle with negativity. When I write about my problems I try to concentrate on the positive. Writing about the negative, angry feelings also get magnified and I attract more negative things if I'm not careful.
When I'm particularly frustrated, I'll go ahead and vent in my secret-keeper. Then I think about what I want to have happen and write it in a single sentence that starts with "I am grateful that..." over and over again until I fill a page.
This allows me to focus my energy on the positive outcome I desire and has helped bring to pass the desires of my heart. They don't always come as soon as I write them, but they do come.
I use the power of positive thought along with prayers of faith. Expect the Miracle!
The Law of Attraction is how the universe works. Gratitude for what we have now and for what we will have is a powerful positive force. It allows Heavenly Father to continue sending us more to be grateful for.
Journaling with Kids
My objectives in starting my grandkids in journaling are two-fold: First, journaling provides them with practice in reading, writing, and drawing. Writing and drawing provide an avenue for expressing their feelings and emotions into words and pictures. Second, journals provide a safe haven for self-expression and experimentation. It's very therapeutic for all of us.
Start by collecting supplies in a central location: glue, scissors, tape, crayons, colored pencils, water colors, paint brushes, stickers, and whatever else you feel safe letting your kids use with supervision.
I gave the kids choices of paper for the cover of their journals and helped them to cover over the journals with clear contact paper. This makes the journals a little more durable. We used 50 cent composition notebooks. I stock up during the back-to-school sales.
In return for helping the kids make journals of their very own, they agree to write or draw in them once a week.
We went from books like these: