Hey guys! Good morning/afternoon depending on the time you are reading this. My name is Rachel, I’m 19 years old, meaning I am coming to the end of my well-needed gap year, ready to be attending university at Sheffield Hallam studying Psychology and Criminology. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this! I have always had a passion for the Law and since studying Psychology in college, I fell so in love with it that I just could not imagine not studying it. Sheffield is a new city for me, I have visited key-ish parts of it, whilst helping my best friend settle into her accommodation. I actually cannot wait to live there this September!
Obviously being 19, education has been a huge part of my life, for years I struggled with organisation and having something, anything, to help organise my time and keep track of my assignments. I tried so many things such as; average planners with too many sections to count, calenders, or just simple to-do lists but nothing was clicking. Fortunately for me, in 2017 my best friend introduced me to Amanda Rach Lee, the queen of bullet journalling – if I do say so myself – since then I have not been able to put down my bullet journal! She has been such an inspiration not just for my bullet journal but has also inspired me to become a better person, more selfless, teaching me how to prioritise my mental health and to take a break if needed. Obviously not forgetting all the artistic tips and tricks she has taught me throughout all the years!
For anyone unfamiliar with bullet journalling, to put it in simple terms is a method of personal organisation, presented in an empty dotted notebook – (or you can purchase an undated planner, where every month of the year is drawn out for you, you just have to colour it and fill it out to your liking). Bullet journals are so customisable and the best thing is you don’t need to know how to draw so that isn’t an excuse! It can be whatever you want it to be. This means it gives me all the freedom I could imagine, I decorate each month with a different theme, including anything I need for that month. I usually have the same first 8 pages every month, being the calendar, my trackers, brain dump (where I write down anything on my mind, appointments, little notes, etc), and a monthly playlist! I always add in more pages according to what I will be doing that month; for instance, with going back into education in September, I will be including budget tracks, class schedules, expense trackers, and so on. No two months are exactly the same for me.
In terms of finding a theme for my bullet journal, I take inspiration from anywhere! I take a lot of it from Amanda Rach Lee; at the beginning of my bullet journal journey, I recreated Amanda’s themes literally every month for about a year. However, the issue I came across was, I didn’t adjust it to my life, I just did whatever Amanda did and hoped for the best. Due to this, my passion for bullet journalling slowly washed away and I missed out so many months, mainly because I had no motivation or need for it; I had better things to do in my mind.
I only started properly bullet journalling to fit my needs and everyday life in January of 2020, and I can tell you it has been a lifesaver! The themes I have created have been so fun! Ranging from a serial killer theme for November of 2020 to my most recent Koi Fish theme for May of 2021. It is honestly such a great way to combine both my passion for art and organising my life – basically a perfect tool for procrastination! My passion has grown unreal amounts since I have begun bullet journaling for me, so much that I just had to create an Instagram account dedicated to it – I just couldn’t contain it all!
Since creating my Instagram account (blue.hue.co if anyone is interested) in February of this year, I have never felt more inspired! Obviously, at first, I was so nervous and thought I couldn’t do this as I was just a girl from a small town but then I realised, why not, I’ll regret not trying. I can safely say so much of the inspiration these last few months have come from the beyond talented people I follow on Instagram, I would die to just hold their bullet journal in my hands (especially @bujoforstars and @maysmonrays it’s the definition of perfection!) Because I am so consumed with bullet journals, art, and creativity, it has wandered into my dreams; so much so that I have dreamed of bullet journal themes (yes, you read that right – bullet journal themes). I now have a full list of themes I want to create from my dreams.
I guess you are all wondering how it has helped me; well, it has helped me with my personal life, alongside my academic life. When I am studying, I often find it difficult to split my time accordingly between personal and my studies, usually spending the majority of my time with my studies, which as we all know is not good. With bullet journaling, I was able to split that time far better, due to it taking a handful of hours completing a monthly setup (this counting as my hobby- well one of!) – it was a great way to combine both my studies and my passion for art.
I have found that bullet journaling has so many benefits; for instance – it sounds weird to say as it’s basically an empty dotted notebook – but it has helped my mental health majorly! I often use my bullet journal as a type of journal; if something is on my mind and bothering me I write it down, my bullet journal is my safe place, somewhere I can be my true self, feel however I feel without feeling unvalidated or as if I’m being over the top. I would quite literally be lost without my bullet journal. With how fun the artistic side of it is, I heavily rely upon the writing aspect to ground myself. Not to mention, the artistic side is so incredibly therapeutic and calming. I could happily sit there for hours bullet journalling with my favourite Lofi music playlist in the background.
All in all, I guess the only negative side of bullet journaling is; you will without a doubt form a shopping addiction! I cannot tell you how many times I have caught myself wanting to get more stationery, especially Tombow Dual Brush pens, right after putting an order through. This has especially risen since creating my bullet journal Instagram, I’m surrounded by small Instagram stationary businesses so all I do is browse and accidentally wander towards checkout!
Would you like to check out Rachel’s bullet journal creations? Take a look at her Instagram, @blue.hue.co