Stickers in a Bullet Journal - a personal journey
by Robyn Dexter-Attwood, Design Team Member.
For those of you that don’t know, my planning journey began with the discovery of the Bullet Journal. It was like a lightbulb moment that meant I could turn my diary scribbles and notebooks of lists into one succinct and efficient way of planning my life out. In the early days I used pens and a touch of washi here and there but no stickers.
Now like most of us have probably done, I spent hours and hours watching YouTube, looking at Pinterest and I only started an Instagram account so that I could look at pretty pictures of other people’s bullet journals. I did that terrible thing though of looking at other people’s journals and making impossible comparisons to my own. I added collections I never used, drew spreads that took ages and were pointless, and generally wasted pages in my notebook. I am not artistic when it comes to drawing and watercolours so why I thought I could emulate these wonderful pieces of artwork was beyond me.
It was at this point I discovered the wider world of planning and stickers (and of course Elliebeth Designs!). At that point, and honestly until the latter part of last year, I saw the bullet journal very separately from the beautiful world of stickerated planners. I kept watching YouTube videos of bullet journal set ups where people drew intricate spreads and detailed artwork, and kept thinking that they had lost of the point of bullet journaling.
Last Autumn, I had a very serious conversation with myself! I read an article on how some of the biggest names in the Bullet Journal world had lost sight of the point of the system and were too busy being creative. I got quite angry with the article and then realised that I had been just as judgemental when I was watching the videos. I loved stickerating in a planner and I loved my bullet journal - why couldn’t I combine both?
In October last year, I took the plunge and decided to set up a week in my Bullet Journal using a sticker kit. It felt strange. I used sticker spreads in my bullet journal throughout the Autumn to set up my weekly and then used dailies that were classic pen only. But while I liked the look, I struggled to use them and I wasn’t using my Bullet Journal to its fullest potential so I took a break from it.
February this year. I started adding functional labels to help events stand out in my simple spreads. From here, the stickers kept creeping in. I’d been watching videos like Katie Teage’s, where people were using plain inserts to create their own set up for the week. Then it dawned on me… that's exactly what I was doing in my bullet journal anyway! Roll forward a few weeks - a disaster with one of my bullet journals and the realisation that I had to change the way I planned for work meant I was ready to change things up.
In June, I went full on sticker in my Bullet Journal. My monthly set up pages all had stickers and every week I used a sticker kit to set up my spread. Since then I think I have used sticker kits in my bullet journal nearly every week and I’m ok with it! It seems silly to look back on this journey and think that I was anti-sticker at any point. I wasn’t anti-sticker just anti-sticker in my bullet journal. I think its fair to say I’m well and truly over that!
I’ll leave you with this thought. If you haven’t come across it, Ryder Carroll’s point to the Bullet Journal system was to ‘Track your past, order your present and plan your future’. This has been interpreted in many ways, why shouldn't it include stickers as well?