This is totally boring. Skip it. It’s a post about notebooks. Seriously. An entire brain dump about buying a notebook. Spare yourself.
A couple of years ago I started bullet journaling. If you’re not familiar, you can learn about it here. It was seriously life-changing for me for a bit. After the explosion, I started to have a lot of issues with memory and some mild anxiety about various things, and writing everything down just helped so much. But writing wasn’t enough, I needed the “system” for it all to fit within. Once I learned about bullet journaling, it all “clicked”.
When I first learned about it, life was really chaotic. Multiple huge changes both personally and professionally, so it really got me on track and got me through it. The problem was, once things settled down, I became a lot less diligent about journaling. And that’s the way it’s been over the years. When I need to buckle down, I do it religiously, when things are fairly stress free, I have issues updating it.
Part of the problem was that I was only keeping work entries in the journal for the most part. Or stuff that needed to happen during the work day. I might put a task in to mail something, or call someone. But I wouldn’t put after-work type notes/tasks/reminders in the journal because I wouldn’t generally take my notebook out of my bag when I got home. Actually, I used to just leave it at the office and was worried someone would read my personal stuff. That work environment was incredibly toxic and a) I had no confidence that people wouldn’t snoop and b) if they did, and read something juicy, they would DEFINITELY use it against me.
Over the last couple of years I’ve also tried to embrace my creative side a lot more and nurture it. The main engine for this has been photography, but I’ve been doing little art projects here and there. The last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to sketch daily, and it’s been helping center me. So last week I decided I wanted to try to combine sketching with bullet journaling and went on the hunt for the “perfect” notebook.
I’m weird. One of my quirks is how obsessive I can be about things. I will spend hours on the internet feeding this addiction, a friend likened it to stalking my prey. And when I get something in my mind, I need it RIGHT NOW. There is no internet ordering and waiting for 2 days of Amazon Prime shipping. So I went online and found what I thought was going to be the perfect notebook. I needed a Moleskine extra-large, hard back with dotted pages. Couldn’t be lined pages, or grids because while those would be great for writing, they’d interfere with sketching. Couldn’t be a blank sketchpad, because I wouldn’t have any guide lines to keep my handwriting straight. Couldn’t be the smaller 5×8″-ish sized notepads because those would be too small for both journaling and sketching. See what I mean? Way overthought.
So the day after I narrowed it down, I found a legit reason to leave the office and go to an art store that I know carries the brand. I couldn’t go to the flagship store downtown, I went to a shop closer to my office in a little college town. They didn’t have it. That night I went to a bookstore near me. No luck. Office supply stores. Nada. By this stage, if I would’ve just ordered it, I would’ve already had the notebook. I went to a larger Barnes and Noble by the office on the way home from work one night and they had an actual Bullet Journal Leuchtturm notebook. That I would’ve been orgasmic to find a year ago. But now wasn’t JUST want I wanted. But after several days of looking high and low, I bought it and started using it the next day at work.
We normally work from home on Fridays. This past Friday my co-workers were being particularly annoying so I decided to actually leave the house for lunch. I went down to the flagship branch of the local art-store and just got lost looking at stationary and art supplies and fountain pens and, and, and… I did my big search for the perfect notebook but my heart wasn’t completely in it because I’d just bought the Bullet Journal two days before and thought I’d already figured out that this chain didn’t carry what I wanted. So I was checking out, and the cashier a) was bored and talkative and b) gave me a discount because of whatever special even was going on. So I told her why I was there and she made it her mission to find me my notebooks. Sent someone into the basement to look and about 15 minutes later they came back, with the prize in hand.
So now, here I sit. Ready to go. I’ll shift everything out of the little Bullet Journal, but keep it close at hand in case this experiment fails. But hopefully I’ll be able to use this to track both my personal and my professional tasks and events and start to incorporate doodling more into my everyday life.