Journal/record keeping and planning for now and next year

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It has been a while since I last wrote about journaling and record keeping. I will be totally honest with you and tell you that I haven’t touched my journal for the past five weeks as I have been so caught up in my house move. I did manage to get my accounts up to date and file my tax returns – which are rather important – but I haven’t recorded or checked up on anything else.

This is not a good state of affairs, as keeping a journal really helps you stay on top of what needs to be done and to stay well-ordered. Getting back on track is fairly easy though, you just need to look out your journal and simply start using it again. It doesn’t matter if, like me, you haven’t been as consistent as you would like to be. No one is going to judge you and you are probably your harshest critic so don’t beat yourself up. Just look that journal out and carry on.

For those of you considering keeping a journal I would encourage you to simply start. Although many people, myself included, put journal keeping on their list of New Year Resolutions, there is no need to wait – just start right away.

I am sure that over the years many of you have bought notebooks because of beautiful covers that attracted you, but you never actually used them. Perhaps like me, you made a start and used only the first couple of pages of one book, then gave up, or perhaps moved on to another book for the next project.

This year, having just the one large journal – a beautiful handmade burgundy leather one which I lined with my own artwork – has encouraged me to be more consistent as I find that I just love using and handling this object every day. I am so invested in this journal that I want to use it and even though life gets in the way for all of us, when you have something you treasure it is easier to go back to using it. If you have a beautiful notebook, get it out and start using it now.

You have a couple of months to figure out what will work best for you, so you will be ready to start in earnest on 1st January 2022. No doubt I will write about this in depth again this year but if you are champing at the bit to get started, take a look at the blogs I wrote at the end of last year/beginning of this. As I will soon be making my journal for next year, I have started thinking about what has and what hasn’t worked for me this year so that next year’s journal works even better.

For this current year I set out the week over four pages and had a ‘Next Week’ notes section to give me eight sections. I then had a whole page for Brain Dump, which is where I write out all the negative stuff, followed by the opposite page, which is split into seven sections for my daily gratuities. These last two pages will remain the same, but the week pages are going to change considerably.

I have been printing out the daily pages and sticking them onto the paper which formed the original journal, but this year I will print out the pages on better quality paper and sew them together to make the journal. With no cutting and sticking required, the journal will be ready to use from day one and I will be making these available to purchase through my online shop.

I also took the opportunity to put the dots in on the left-hand side so that I don’t have to put them in by hand. Laziness maybe, I like to think it is simply more efficient. This is a bullet journaling technique which I covered in a previous blog and will cover again later this year.

The way to print these pages out and put them together if you are planning to make your own journal is very simple. Just place pages 1 and 2 back-to-back then repeat for pages 3 and 4 to give you the two blank pages in between for the Brain Dump and the gratuities pages. It took me a while to figure this out and I had to get Mr. S. to help me. I was over thinking it.

I will still print out the gratuities pages and stick them in simply because I couldn’t figure out how to print out the sheets double- sided to make them sit together for being stitched. If this doesn’t make sense, please drop me a line and I will try and explain it a different way for you or if you would like to me to make a journal specially for you then please do get in touch.

I plan to produce an original piece of artwork for the insides but until I have selected the leather I want to use for the cover I am not sure what that lining will look like.

I have come up with what I think is a fabulous idea for closures (for those who don’t know, these are the methods by which you secure the book to stop it from opening). As many of you will know, I normally use buttons and beads as my closures but trawling around the charity shops looking for old dress jewellery – one of my fun pastimes – I stumbled across some lovely belt buckles. I have, naturally, saved the best one for myself, but I will use the four others when I launch my collection for Christmas 2021. If buttons aren’t for you and have put you off buying a journal from me before now, watch out for the launch as until I go charity shop shopping again I have only these four buckles.

Ps- I have found some more buckles on E-Bay which are on their way and I have just figured out how to print a birthday record book which I will be making available soon too.

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