3 ways to get creative in your Bullet Journal, Planner or Notebook - A guide for beginners Part 5!


 Travelers Notebooks, Inserts & How I found Functional Creativity:
I am a super big believer in Functional Creativity. Especially when it comes to sorting out my time in a journal, planner, bullet journal or blank notebook.
Like many of you, I find a calm & peace from spending time knowing where I'm heading & keeping myself & my family on some kind of track - even if all my plans change! I kinda like that too :)
I began to track my days & plan ahead even more when I became a single parent. I've always worked full-time as a mum  (up until only last year - so for 15 years) & had to think ahead, predict, plan, and put happy, fun, enjoyable things into our future plans. I also had to reflect, look at myself & the choices I was making & try to check in on things with me.
This is the only way I've really been able to have all the little cogs in my wheel run as smoothly as possible. And there are many many parts to my life! Sometimes I have no idea how it all flows - and truly sometimes it doesn't flow!



 Image from Wilderness Custom Notebooks

I always found the planning & sorting a necessity, but not really enjoyable - nor did it call to me in anyway. I also know myself well enough to know that I'm totally drawn to beauty, creativity, free spirits & rebels - so finding a bit of all these things wrapped up in paper, pens & functionality is spot on for me! Travelers Notebooks are a little bit rebel....for sure!
Travelers Notebooks:
Are a leather book like cover that is closed by an elastic wrap. The elastic is attached through the spine & is wrapped around the book. Rather than it having permanent pages inside as a book does - it holds Notebooks (or Inserts) inside. You simply slip them under the internal elastics.


Image from Foxy Fix 

For me this was the start of Functional Creativity & freedom in note taking, journaling, planning, diary keeping of all kinds!
You can have as many or as few notebooks inside as you like - each one representing different parts of your life. Or each Notebook (Insert) could all be smaller parts of the bigger whole picture that your Travelers Notebook represents - eg. a Travellers Notebook filled with Notebooks (Inserts) of all your different future plans. Or a TN filled with Notebooks (Inserts) all related to your health & fitness. Hooray!


Image from Wilderness 
 You can see above one of my leather Travelers Notebooks (which holds Wilderness Custom Notebooks Size Small 2). This TN (Travelers Notebook) is a Foxy Fix Brand - in a dark purple leather with turquoise elastics :) :)
Inside I have 6 Notebooks, all relating to my sorting & building of Wilderness! Each one is where I plan, note, keep track of ideas or contacts or have all my logistical stuff. I know when I pick that TN up, I have what I need for Wilderness in a range of areas.
If you're looking to reconnect with your creativity, you could have a Travellers Notebook with Notebooks (Inserts) inside for all things creative. Or just a couple of Notebooks on their own!
Here you can practise your writing, layouts, drawings & everything in-between!
But, maybe you're feeling stuck....
What do you do if you're feeling creatively stuck & can't find a way to make your thought notebook, recipes book, poem book, plans book, weekly planner creatively interesting enough that you want to go back and spend time with it ?
Check this out!
3 easy ways to pop in some extra Creativity:
These are some simple ways to build your confidence when it comes to filling your Notebooks - whether they be housed in a travellers notebook or not!
Some of us love the pre-designed & printed formats of weekly , daily, monthly planners, some of us prefer to draw up our own pages on blank or grid paper.  Either way it's easy to just take a little bit of extra time & bring in some of your creative side out.
Maybe even wake it up a little :)
1. Title Pages:


 Image from christina77star

Title Pages are a great way to ease into the "drawing & making pretty stuff" area of Notebooks & Paper/Stationery love.
Sitting & trying out this creativity has an amazing affect.
It allows you to be still. It allows you to start to even do everyday planning creatively, and link it to something that's of great use to you.
It becomes a place that is relevant - and connected -  to you. And, it feels amazing to sit & play!
Creativity also gives you the space to be able to make mistakes & work out where to go from there. Do you go with the flow & take the "mistake" as a new potentially more interesting path? Or do you get all hate-y at your attempt & trash it all to hell.....?
It's an interesting place to be in - those moments of choice.
It's up to you what you do...some days you choose differently to others :)



Image from studytilldawn 

 Title Pages give you most of the ideas that you may otherwise get stuck on - you get a topic & images that go along with that topic. A great place to start!
Looking at a month? You can connect seasonal images to that month. Both of these title page images here are drawn, the first one also using watercolour pencils. The second uses felt tip pens (which are my best friend)! You can find them in all colours too.
You will find many pages of just hand drawn elements if you search online, or pop onto Pinterest, so you can start by printing them, tracing, then finally drawing them yourself! Dedicate a couple of pages, or even a whole Notebook to practising your designs - even on small areas! 


Image from iamlillian

 2. Moving from drawing to painting:
Once you're feeling confident you could start to use you pencil or pen as an outline tool and play with painted versions of colour.
Watercolour is a favourite of mine, but I know it can seem daunting! The trick in any Notebook you use, is to not get too watery. Even with the paper I use for Wilderness Custom Notebooks, which is a beautiful quality - no books like to be too wet!
Another time I'll be going into using watercolour in notebooks in more detail, step by step.
You can also quite easily progress from using these title page drawings & designs into using them as small areas on your other pages - an accent month in the corner, or acting as a title in the middle of the page, or as any heading you may need.
Image from inventedaplume
3. Adding Specific Creative Based Pages:
This is a great way to expand on how you use pages of a Notebook or even whole Notebooks!
Creating a page for a specific creative idea allows you a framework to fall back on, so all you focus on is how you present that idea.
These individual page ideas could return multiple times in one Notebook or could expand to become a theme behind whole Notebooks (Inserts)!
Love Letters:
Sounds really over the top yea...?! But of course you can name it whatever you like. A secret pace to write a letter to anyone you choose! They don't have to see it - it can be another way to sort what you're thinking, feeling & choosing to do. This is a great way to get creative with how you draw your lettering. The subject of the letter & recipient can help you with which symbols, decorative elements & drawings you include :)
Thoughts (Brain Dumps):
Brain Dumps is a common Bullet Journal term which is basically a way of sorting your thoughts, tasks, feelings, whatever is on you mind stuff!
Sorting Thoughts:
I always like to include a second page once I've done a bit of free writing & put all my current thoughts on paper - a place where I can sort them. Are they plans?A task? A future wish list? What are some solutions?  Are there things I can put in my day to day diary or planner so I know they'll be addressed? When will I come back & check on all this?
This can be when you really start to feel sorted! It's like you're listening to yourself & helping yourself get to some solutions.
You can easily dedicate multiple pages to things you'd like to see or do! Let each idea be the basis for your creative drawings - physical objects, ideas, places, people...
Hand Writing or Creative Elements:
A place for you to find some gorgeous typography & have a go yourself! Any little designs you want to try & use as lines or borders can be practised. Banners are big in the world of Bullet Journals! There are some fantastic handwriting courses or even tracing sheets out there. I'll be looking at these in this blog too :)
Image from sharing home life
I have just started this myself, as when I came back to the world of Notebooks,paper & writing,  I remembered I used to have a book of quotes. Movies, songs, books & poems are where my quotes came from. I know I loved going back & just having that little bit of inspiration! So now I have a little tiny quote Notebook in a very small Travelers Notebook!
Creative Prompts:
This is a fantastic way to start to stretch yourself creatively! A notebook dedicated to your "off the top of my head" drawings or paintings! Use a page or two & cover it with word prompts . Eg. Water, Building, Plant, Cloud, Hot.
These then become the prompt for a little mini artwork - or a few interpretations if you like!
I hope these ideas have inspired you to get started!
It has been said many times before - but really truly - you just need to have a go & start! Not so much on the judging & doubting yourself thinking- and more of the "lets see where this goes..." thinking!
Speak soon - Tanya xx


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