A No Longer New Journal

Posted by Brad on Thu 27 July 2023

It's hard to believe I've been doing the "bullet" journal thing for 5 years now. I've made some recent changes that felt worth writing about (though it feels kind of ironic that I'm actually typing about them).

Index clips: I finally got tired of shuffling pages to find the right one. I held off for too long on these (I blame the organization nerds for making it look less fun).

Multiple ink colors: I'm not going crazy here, just a couple majorly different ones to help find important stuff easier. Again I held off for too long because it always felt like there had to be tons of rules to go with each color and that just sucks the fun out of it. Dare I say I prefer logic to rules, but ultimately if done correctly I suppose they end up being the same. So I have my blue-green inks for normal writing, and now I have a nice orange for important or standout stuff. Maybe some day I'll add another color, but I think it'll be a while.

Not really new, but while I'm writing about my journaling "kit" I might as well include it.

Rhodia Goalbook: I think my original journal was the basic moleskine from Target. I still have several of them for various things. Back in 2019 I got into fountain pens and wanted some better paper. That led me to Rhodia's stuff, though really there are a ton of options. I use the grid style since I found lines can be limiting at times. I also just picked up a plain Rhodia lined notebook for longhand writing.

TWSBI Pens: My fountain pen journey started with a probably counterfeit Lamy Safari. It felt like a good pen until I got a TWSBI Eco. I love that pen but it has a screw on cap which sucks for quick notes. I then tried a Platinum Preppy which worked good until I changed the ink. Finally I've got a couple TWSBI Go's and they seem to be the sweet spot in terms of price and performance. I started with Noodler's ink and have recently added a couple Robert Oster. I have no idea if they're good or bad compared to others but I like the fun colors even if some of them are only subtly not black.

I haven't figured out how to yet, but I think the next update will be some kind of strap. I want to be able to carry my journal, a pen, and ereader anywhere I go. Or maybe velcro but that might create issues when using just one of the things.

I do still sometimes struggle with where to put things. At some point I started putting just about everything in my daily log or worse not writing it down because it didn't have a place. I'm trying to break out of that habit so related info can be kept closer together and not scattered over a month of random days.

I feel like a lot of videos and articles like to either show off a system the person perfected over 20 years or just otherwise act like they have this perfect method for a thing. I like the idea of perfect solutions or end game setups, but really I prefer continuous improvement. Is my journal better than it was yesterday? Yep. Could it be better? Yep. So I grow my journal at my pace. It took 5 years to add a second color and tabs. Maybe I'll keep tweaking it a bit, or maybe you won't see another one of these updates for 5 years.