Christmas, diaries and a bullet journal

An image of a desk, with a book that appears to be a bullet journal right in the middle, pens to the one side of it and a bowl of yogurt and berries to the other.

Years ago — I can’t remember exactly when — we stopped buying Christmas gifts. Since everyone, including the kids, bought what they wanted throughout the year, it felt stupid giving each other gift cards. It felt like just exchanging money — I give you a gift card of 20 euros for Shop X and you give me one of 20 euros for Shop Y.

When my mom passed away, our Christmas tradition also changed. No more dinner with the entire family and Master T in the kitchen all day to create a fabulous dinner, but coffee and cake on ‘second Christmas day’.

I don’t feel more festive this year than last, but I am buying myself a Christmas gift this year.

Forever searching for perfection

I have been on a quest for years to find the perfect diary (agenda) to use throughout the year. A diary that fits my needs. A book to keep track of appointments, but also to jot down a list of things to do; things to write. A place to jot down ideas as they pop up.

I always had to settle for what I found.

For some years, I used the Passion Planner, which was the closest to my demands, but still not perfect. Then Missy flamed my enthusiasms to use my Filofax again, and I did that for a year and a half, but still it didn’t fit my needs.

Some weeks ago, I went to the shops and roamed them until I found a diary that runs from October 2021 to March 2023. It came close to what I needed — a day-to-day diary page on the right side, and a place for notes on the left.

However, it still wasn’t perfect.

Late to the BuJo party

Now, I have heard of bullet journals before — thanks to Posy I know people call them ‘BuJo’ for short — but have never looked into them. I thought they were just to make lists or keep a diary, or using bullets to jot down notes about your day, so wasn’t interested ti find out more.

A few weeks ago, my daughter mentioned she would start a bullet journal in January 2022. I told her I had heard about it before, but didn’t really know what it was.

Then she sent me a link to a video and watching that, I was sold.

How stupid was I to never have looked into this… to never have researched what exactly a bullet journal is!

A bullet journal is what you want it to be.

It’s a dairy, a planner, a book for lists, for quotes, for mood trackers, for doodles… for anything you want it to be. You create it. Want to make a list, do it on the next open page. Want to see your appointments? Create a diary page for the week ahead. You make it what you want it to be; make it work for you.

Google it… check Pinterest for it… but beware, once you start that search, you’re hooked, especially if this is your thing!

A Christmas gift

No, we are still not doing Christmas gifts. It’s just not our thing anymore.

But, this year, I’m gifting myself a love journal (the link is to a Dutch page, but I am sure Google translate can help).

I did the research, and the thing I like about bullet journals is that you create your own thing, your own diary, your own notebook. You create it as you go along. Start a month with an intro page. Add a mood tracker, or a quote, or just start with the agenda for the first week. Need extra space for notes, use the next page for that. Want to keep track of the books you’ve read? Make a page. Want to draw or just doodle? Make a page.

It’s your book, and you make of it what you want.

I can’t wait to get started. Two weeks ago, I went out with my daughter and we bought several calligraphy pens, watercolor markers, pencils, washi-tape, and fine-liner pens. Both of us will start in January, and ideas we have bumped around are:

  • An index page to keep track of the contents of the book;
  • A key page with legends on where you are with a task or a goal;
  • Giving each month a different theme;
  • Writing about a day, without feeling ‘forced’ to do that every day;
  • A gratitude page;
  • A family tree of immediate family (daughter’s idea)

I am excited about getting started with this. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I will get the journal ready for January 2022, and from then on, once a week, I will design the next week’s calendar pages. Those will be my zen moments, the moments which take me away from constantly sitting behind a screen.

Watch this space!

Since this is a new thing I am starting, I’m sure this is not the last time I will be writing about a bullet journal. Watch this space, and I will come back to tell you more. Who knows what other creative ideas might strike once I get started!

Happy Christmas to you all!

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay


Wicked Wednesday

16 thoughts on “Christmas, diaries and a bullet journal

  1. I started with bujo in July and it’s working well for me though it took some time to get into the groove. Mine is very utilitarian: one pen, one pencil, not pretty! So far I use it for to-do lists, habit tracking, health tracking, and appointments, geared around a monthly spread.

  2. The last 2 years I haven’t actually bought any diary/journal. I got fed up of doing them for just a few weeks then stopping, so it felt like a waste of money. These sound interesting though.

    1. If you go with this one, you create your own weeks, as the weeks come along. So if you stop, and you want to start again, you just carry on in the same book 🙂

  3. One thing i love about the bullet is it is not digitized – much better for us to be away from our computers for a time – u and posy have kind of convinced me that i need one!
    May xx

    1. You definitely need one, May. You are right, we need to get away from the computers, and I am going to have my one zen afternoon a week xox

  4. I got excited by the bullet journal idea and immediately wanted to digitize it immediately, until I read:
    “Those will be my zen moments, the moments which take me away from constantly sitting behind a screen.”
    hmmm that’s even a much better idea for me (who is constantly working with a laptop and OneNote notes).
    Thanks for the idea….it would be nice if my name (or hands) would appear once in your BuJo…;-)

    1. You have to look into this! Just look online for CreaChick – she has a video in which she explains exactly what a BuJo is. And who knows, you might eventually appear in mine, in some way or another 😉

  5. What Gemmi72 said — the calendars I find just don’t do it for me but it does seem a good idea to have paper. I keep a calendar on my phone with my schedule/appointments, but otherwise it isn’t very helpful.

    One of my issues is size — I need something portable and not heavy, that will fit in my purse but be big enough to actually write in.

    1. The one I have now is A5 and it’s a perfect size. But maybe it’s even possible to make it work in a A6 book? Like you and Gemmi72, I could never find a calendar/diary that has everything I wanted.

  6. I have always struggled with diaries. When I was working in production I needed a diary to keep track of my tasks but it was always too full and impossible to tick everything off. As a teacher I used an electronic One Note for a few years. The problem was if a student asked for an appointment to review work, get help etc I had to get my laptop out to check my schedule. So I reverted back to a paper version. I would be lost without it but they never seem to have all of the bits I would like and an over abundance of bits I never use.

    1. Like you, I could never find a diary that is everything I want it to be. I am sure the BuJo is the way to go, week by week. That way I can keep track of to-do lists, add a diary entry when something big happens. It can be anything I want it to be 🙂

  7. I’ve been writing diaries forever.
    I love my notebooks, and the same I buy simple or expensive notebooks such as moleskine, or milano in Italian leather …
    I don’t know about bullet, but I will look into it.

    1. I’m not really one for writing diaries but occasionally something happens that I want to jot down, and for that the bullet journal is perfect 🙂

  8. I shall definitely be investigating Marie … as you probs have gathered from my blog, I used to keep a diary religiously (though the content was hardly religious! LOL!!!) years and years ago. Before the days of Filofax etc. etc. (even before the days of a home computer actually) … but as the years passed and things became “busier” my diary lapsed into scribbled short-hand notes and 1-to-10 codes!
    So … this is interesting indeed. Keep us posted how you get on … and I shall do the same.
    Xxx – K
    P.s. – Have a lovely Christmas and New Years. Let’s hope for better times for everybody in 2022.

    1. I have started in my BuJo (Bullet Journal) and I am so happy with the arty things I am making. It’s wonderfully ZEN to sit here and design a page, draw with pencil, then paint with brush pens. I’ve only done two pages, but before January is here, I will be ready with the calendar for the first week. And then, every Sunday, I am designing the next week. I will definitely report back xox

      A wonderful Christmas and New Year for you too, K!

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