poetry and prose about place

my new journal

with 2 comments

Every January, every year of my adult life, I have started a journal, or as we used to say, a diary. Sometimes the idea of keeping a journal lasts the month, more often not. I have lots of information on the Januaries of my life, but little on the other months.


In the 1990s, I began keeping what I dubbed ‘my rough journal’ and I have stacks of these. The idea of ‘rough’ took away any limitations imposed by keeping track of the date or specific experiences. My rough journals are filled with early drafts of poems, notes from writing workshops I have attended and doodles. Many doodles, since after five minutes have passed, I usually start drawing people or border designs.



This January, I encountered the idea of the ‘bullet journal.’ The bullet journal takes a sort of multi-media approach to journaling. It uses some writing, but also drawings, mementos, stickers, ribbons, scraps and so on to create meaningful memory pages. Sometimes the pages are less about memory and more about planning.

bullet journal is a method of personal information developed by designer Ryder Carroll, shared with the public in 2013. The system organizes scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming and other organizational tasks into a single notebook. The name “bullet journal” comes from the use of abbreviated bullet points to log information.

paraphrased from Wikipedia


One of the things I have liked about the bullet journal is its diversity. I love using stickers, stamps, various papers and tapes. Last year, I discovered ‘washi tape,’ Japanese masking tape, made of rice paper and printed with various designs.


washi tape, stamps. stickers, all the stuff of bullet journaling


I have also collected a lot of stickers over the years and today, I printed out my first page of homemade ‘stickers,’ created from some of my many drawings, sized and grouped in PowerPoint, and printed using AVERY 81/2″ X 11″ shipping labels.



Today, we are almost at the end of April, and I have kept my bullet journal, a bit sporadically, since January 1. I create a page at least once a week and spend about a half hour at any journal session. I find it relaxing, creative and compelling.


apparently, I can’t spell ‘field’ … my biking is virtual, using Street View by Google Earth


When I create anything, from a painting to a bullet journal page, I am usually aware of a ‘watching other.’ Some people refer to this as ‘the monkey on my back.’ I find this ‘other’ distracting and a barrier to ‘creative freedom.’ So, when I work in my bullet journal, I try not to satisfy the watching ‘other.’ Instead, I create my journal pages just for me and don’t think to myself: ‘someday they will find this and think how messy and unartistic I am.’ As a result, my bullet journal pages are not always beautiful. They probably wouldn’t get an ‘A’ in school. But they are for me, and I love them.



All my best,


Written by jane tims

April 22, 2022 at 12:55 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I love this idea, Jane!

    Liked by 1 person

    Jane Fritz

    April 22, 2022 at 8:46 pm

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