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Starting a Bullet Journal for Lockdown Memories

Starting a Bullet Journal for Lockdown Memories

So many people have started a new hobby over lockdown. Initially I laughed at this, as did not believe I would ever have anymore time for anything else. I have recently written a post on how tired I am at 10 weeks of lockdown. I’m wrecked! Three kids at home 24/7 is killing me, especially with a very active 15 month old baby boy. Before lockdown I had plans. I was going to deep clean my kitchen. Hubby and I were going to sort the utility room, office and garage. We have done none of it, as each task requires hours and a babysitter!! Both things we have not had for weeks. However, a few weeks into lockdown I decided I wanted to start a journal about my experience. How I was feeling, what we were doing each day. Literally only a few sentences each day. I bought a diary, some pens and used some of my scrapbook supplies and started this. I enjoyed it. It was cathartic and fun. Also nice to be using some of my scrapbook supplies again. But then I found out about starting a bullet journal.

I suggested this to one of my long-time friends, who also is a scrapbooker and was also starting to go a bit stir crazy at the start of lockdown. She took it one stage further and decided to start a bullet journal. It looked fabulous when she sent me her layouts and I knew I quite fancied having a go.

What is a Bullet Journal?

When I first heard about bullet journalling in the bloggers circuit years ago I thought it was bullet pointing your days!! I was half right. It was only when I had a browse on Pinterest and saw my friend’s creations, that I realised what one was!

By definition a bullet journal is:

“Bullet Journal is a method of personal organization developed by designer Ryder Carroll. … The name “Bullet Journal” comes from the use of abbreviated bullet points to log information, but it also partially comes from the use of dot journals, which are gridded using dots rather than lines.”

This was from Wikipedia but if you score the internet, blogs and Pinterest there is so much more information and inspiration. A bullet journal is used to log everything you need. Your days, track habits, to-do-lists, reminders, diary, food diary…anything you want it to be.

My friend is using hers in the more traditional sense; to plan, document days and track habits and to-do-lists, like her very organised cleaning schedule.

I decided I wanted to use mine, in a similar way to how I scrapbooked; as a memory and journal. I figured I may not have to the time to design all my layouts, if using it as a diary and then remember to fill it all out!! One day perhaps.

Creating Bullet Journal Layouts

This is the fun part. Of course when you look online for bullet journal layout inspiration, it was like going back to my scrapbooking days! Mind blow. So many talented doodlings, so many supplies you could buy and so much imagination. I used to literally eat, sleep and breathe scrapbooking 6 years ago but these were the days of only 1 child.

You can be as simple as you like and create some heading and spaces for your logs but if like me, you start browsing the doodling tutorials, you will end up hooked.

But what did I do?

Choose Stationary and Equipment

My friend made the fun error of introducing me to My Happy Planner stuff and I went on their site and had a browse! This site is from the States and trust me, don’t go on if you don’t want to fall down a rabbit hole! In 2021, when I hope to have a life again….I’ll be getting one!!

You can get their products from UK retailers too; Amazon, Craftie Charlie and Hey Little Magpie but I chose a French site called Craftelier. They have loads of crafting products to browse.

I actually choose a lined Happy Notes notebook. These come in three different sizes, small, medium and large and I went for a medium.

starting a bullet journal during lockdown

I actually chose dotted, lined paper, as thought I may do some writing but you can get an official bullet journal if you want! Amazon has a lot of bullet journals, as well as Paperchase.

Next stationary to help me get cracking with starting a bullet journal.

I wasn’t entirely sure what do get so just chose what caught my eye! Craftelier had plenty of choice.

Some Washi tape and stickers from Amy Tangerine, some planner stickers from My Happy Planner and some Stabilo fine-line pens.

My eldest already had some colouring pencils from good old Tesco and I ended up buying some double ended Smart Panda highlighters from Amazon.

stationary haul - starting a bullet journal

Get Inspired

Now you are sat with all this amazing equipment around you but have to start somewhere.

First decide what you are going to use your bullet journal for. For me, I wasn’t going to do a traditional one and wanted it more for memories of lockdown. Therefore I wanted more tutorials on doodling, fonts and headings and artwork.

If you want to create a diary or health checklist there is plenty of design inspiration out there too.

This is where Pinterest comes in fantastically! There are so many ideas. Just search for what you are looking for. I have a board completely dedicated to bullet journal inspiration but I need to narrow it down to doodling, font ideas and layout ideas.

There are Facebook groups to join, Youtube tutorials and a bit of googling finds you some great blog posts too. I even had a search on Instagram for #bulletjournallayouts on hashtags and lots comes up!

Creating my Bullet Journal During Lockdown

I then had a think of the first few pages I wanted to create. I wanted to include some photos, so more like a mini scrapbook too but my printer did not print in the best quality. As I wanted scaled down images, I need to get my thinking cap on of how I was going to be able to print. I did however, use one image as the quality was okish.

My title page was from inspired by an “about me page”, I saw on Pinterest. I wanted a bit of a summary of lockdown; the highs and lows. I copied some of the doodles and searched Pinterest for how to draw other options. Credit below to Archer and Olive.

TOP TIP – always draw in pencil and have a good rubber! I drew all my designs out first. Then I went over with my new black Stablo fineliner and rubbed out all the pencil lines. As a newbie, I would never just draw freehand in black!!

Once I’d rubbed everything out, I used my colouring pencils to colour in. I debated using pens to colour but wasn’t sure about this bleeding through the pages. I wanted colour and fun and I think it turned out well!

Once I had done one page, I felt like a had a bit more idea of how I wanted my next pages to go.

The second page was going to be about my routine. As I have been homeschooling I wanted that theme for the pages.  As previously I searched on Pinterest and found some tutorials to draw school-themed doodles. I also searched for banners and alphabet fonts for bullet journals and this helped me draw the banner title. Credit to Journal of a Diary Planner.

It took a bit of practice but got there in the end.

I’ve had a go at a few ideas. There seems to be a lot of tutorials for drawing sunflowers, as you can see on my lockdown love page, I had a go at.

I also wanted to try and do some floral doodles for a lockdown woes page and again there is lots of inspiration from Pinterest, as well as many tutorials. I copied some layouts and was finding it was getting easier, with practice.

Loving Starting a Bullet Journal

I wish now I had more hours in the day! I get the odd bit of drawing in and not every day with blogging and getting the kids to bed!

I’ve really enjoyed starting a bullet journal, even if I am not doing one in the traditional sense. It’s allowed me to learn doodling and given me a new interest. Also a perfect opportunity to take my mind off lockdown and create a beautiful memory.

If you have any questions about starting a bullet journal, send me your creations and let me know in the comments!

starting a bullet journal during lockdown