Category Archives: Journaling

Bullet Journaling…it’s all that

I’m a list maker by nature so when my friend recently mentioned the hot trend of Bullet Journaling I was intrigued. Life for me consists of multiple lists and jotted ideas which aren’t necessarily located in the same location. Instead, they’re found beside my bed, on our office desk, in the bottom of my purse (where I could fit a small child) or in my head. I haven’t completely goofed on a major commitment, at least not yet, but the need for one common depot to house the lists in my life is apparent. Thankfully, from what I’ve begun to learn, the Bullet Journal is so much more than a simple notebook.

This modern day version of a Day-Timer, the Bullet Journal became all the rage a few years ago after thousands watched a YouTube video with interest and devotees have been gaining ever since. Call it a backlash to our digital age (where Moleskin has seen double the revenue in the past five years), this old-school organizational system is completely personal while being used for one’s to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, diary, or all of the above. Without going into the full details of the journal’s capabilities (the video is worth a watch!), Bullet Journaling works because of its unique flexibility and adaptability, holding thoughts, ideas, day dreams, goals and your schedule in one place.

When searching for #bulletjournal or cruising their Instagram account, you’ll find a plethora of ideas and examples of how people use a Bullet Journal. From artsy calendars and uber-gorgeous list making to exercise tracker or Rapid Logging. For me, I’m taking baby-steps broken down into three areas; the Future Log for an overall glance at the month ahead, the Daily Log for my week ahead (basically, my Things To Do Lists with task bullets I get to complete with a nice, solid X!) and Collections for larger projects in the making. If I decide to expand my needs in the journal, there is always room for more writing.

Honestly, there is no need to buy expensive supples if you are already content with your current notebook. The system created is truly the heart of the Bullet Journal. However, I do have to say I’m a fan of both the dot grid lines and the strength and beauty of the hardcover journals…the cheat sheet in the opening pages is also a nice reminder of how to organize each list.

Is this for everyone? Not necessarily. It does not fit in the back of trousers, it takes effort and, perhaps, a new organizational skill. But for me, it meets all my requirements by both writing items down, which forces my mind to process the information, as well as  creating order in my life. Whether you’re a list maker or not, give this a shot!  w

P.S. For you locals, Brown Ink Paper Goods cards is joining forces with other makers in Spring Market this Sunday (invite only, please email me for info) as well as a Mother’s Day Market next weekend! Come out and support your local makers!!

    Deep Sigh

    Over the last four months as I took a welcomed break from blogging on Brown Ink, whenever my thoughts would turn toward what “THE” first blog post would cover, I often became anxious. I felt…ooohhh, the topic needs to be mind-blowing or something that encapsulates my passion about writing. Something fresh, a new take on the importance of writing perhaps. And yet what I truly realized wasn’t a complete surprise at all but something I have written about through the past five years of  blogging; it simply comes down to the value of journaling. And why, more then ever, I feel so strongly about the need to keep a journal.

    As Spring turned into Summer, there were more highs and lows in my life than I had planned. With unexpected sadness in my family as well as feeling a bit lost after closing the Brown Ink Paper Goods store, (though the decision was one I have never regretted), I found myself sinking a bit, looking for direction and clarity. Thankfully, I not only continued to journal in my daily diary but I also began writing in my long format journal as well.

    As I’ve mentioned in past posts, The 5 Year Dairy provides support to my life in a variety of ways. Not only does the diary become my personal time capsule, holding little bits of each day which fly by at lighting speed (ahhhh!!), but lately I’ve been looking back to see what life was like just a few years ago. I’m often reminded of why I make changes in my life and see growth in myself and my children which is so difficult to notice on a daily basis.

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    (My current favorite journal, the Tailored Journal from Sugar Paper)

    And for the first time in awhile, my long format journal has become my own little therapist. It’s through the act of writing where I can throw it all out there, share whatever I need to, messy or not, embracing my sadness, joy and everything in between. Often feeling a bit of weight lifted as I sign off, like the deep sigh after a good cry. Within each entry, I gain a little understanding to what makes me the friend, daughter, sister, wife and mother I am and strive to be.

    It’s never too late to start writing or begin again. I swear you won’t regret it!

      Hello From the Other Side

      Hello. It’s me. I’m in Minnesota grooving to Adele as often as possible, attempting to stay healthy this Winter, and feeling my way into 2016. For better or worse, my functional internet took a vacation over the holidays which meant more time for family, reading, writing, watching, and baking. Most importantly, it allowed for an unintentional, fresh outlook of the new year to fall gracefully on my lap…well, actually it arrived via journal writing but more on that later!

      Before I get back to my writing, some highlights from 2015 and new ideas to share with you all…

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      Nicole Franzen from La Buena Vida captures the details of her travels beautifully, especially the written words from her recent time in Miami.

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      Inspired by this Brooklyn letterer, looking to travel through her words: 26 Letters 26,000 miles.

      I’ve watched this piece of history multiple times. Joe is my hero.

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      For all you Pacific Northwesters, this A New Beginning in Script Writing workshop looks divine at the creative, community space Field Trip in Portland.

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      Are you entering into 2016 with one word or a thought in mind? I’m inspired by the suggestions from The Chalkboard on ways to express this theme during the new year (maybe you’ll find your words at Goldpress where words are highly valued!).

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      If you did not get around to reflecting on 2015, there’s still time. Mother Mag created a thoughtful list of questions to ask yourself as the new calendar year begins. A simple gift to yourself.

      Finally, If you need an excuse to get off the screens, phones and all social media, I’ve got it: another Mercury Retrograde has taken over the next three weeks. Just be sure to check out the Brown Ink Holiday Sale before you’re completely off the grid! Off to create my word for 2016.

        Equinox 25% OFF Sale

        The Autumnal Equinox kicked off at 3:23am CDT this morning, honoring the equal parts of light and darkness in one single day. In celebration of my all-time favorite season, as well as the perfect balance of light in our universe, we’re kicking off a Fall Sale at Brown Ink Paper Goods!!

        fall saleFrom now thru Monday, take 25% OFF all orders!! Make sure to use the code: FALL25 

        Maybe you’ll even find a bit more balance of your own this Autumn by writing a friend a letter, noting the change of colors in your new journal, or keeping track of life with a handsome To-Do-List!

          Summertime and the Writin’ is Easy

          If you’re a parent like me, goals for Summertime are big in vision yet small in nature. Right about this time of year our kids look forward to writing a Summer List on our pantry white-board with wishes for the season such as bike around all three, Minneapolis city-lakes, canoe to visit Minne the Lake Creature, sell popsicles at the local South Beach, pick berries, and lots more…most involving ice cream. We check off the items as Summer moves ahead, providing the kids some say on how they’re spending their Summer Break.

          In addition to the kids’ list, I have my own Summer Wish List stirring with this theme: How to subtly slide handwriting into our family’s day-day life. No surprise here, right? Here are some ideas and resources I’ve found which will support this vision, starting with…

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          My Nature Book from All for the Boys. This book is perfect for kids to have control over their experience by taking photos, researching plants and animals, and writing in their own book!

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          Be a thoughtful pen-pal and write multiple letters to friends at camp. As I have mentioned before, nothing beats a letter from a friend or family member while being away from home!

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          Kraft Journal = Perfect set up for Summer Journal Writing!

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          Travel Journals aren’t just for out of state trips. Create a Summer Journal for all the explorations in your Stay-Vacation with space for movie ticket stubs, dried flowers, thread from friendship bracelet making…anything that fills your Summer with joy.

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          For rainy Summer days, grab this DIY Mini Card-Making Kit to have on hand. Get your creative on and create memorable cards to mail to friends this Summer! (or simply use cereal boxes!)

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          Create a Summer short story or fairytale journal shared within the family, each taking turns as the story progresses over the days and weeks. By the time Autumn arrives you might have your own family novel! (Check out the new Journals in the Brown Ink store to store your tale.)

          To my pleasant surprise, on the first day of Summer Break I found my boys writing their own newspaper, The Brown Times, on the kitchen island the other day…no prompting whatsoever. Did they continue to write the last few days, well…not so much. But at least it’s a start!

          Bottom line, it’s a tricky balance this time of year, allowing for lazy, youthful moments which free our minds and bring creativity to our days, yet finding structure with activities and creating or documenting memories. So good luck with all of this folks. I’m write there with you!