Four Years Of Journaling

Hello my Lovelies, 🙂

How are you? Everything fine? Today is a good day because I would like to celebrate four years of journaling with you. Actually, I wanted to celebrate that with you in October 2020, but as you know my life has been really busy since September last year. So, today I am sitting in my little chaotic creative place with a cup of coffee and a raspberry smelling candle. For how long have you been journaling? Are you happy with it or are you looking for a new way?

I journaled as a little girl with my diaries and stickers. As a teen I didn’t journal, I wrote short stories instead. Then I went to study at university and my days were full with to dos but I just had a huge calendar where I marked all the deadlines and appointments.

In my first job I started doodling during my shifts and I had a pocket calendar with me at all times. I was always complaining about it. It was too small or I didn’t like the system (daily, weekly, monthly spreads) or the free space was too small. The list was very long 😀 and at one point I tried to use my smartphone for my organisation. Well, it worked but it looked so neutral and it didn’t look as if it would belong to me.

Then my husband and I had a conversation because I was bored and I was looking for a new hobby. During our little chat about finding a new hobby we came across the calendar matter. By that we had a starting point, so we looked for journaling on Youtube. … I know it is so typical to look for something like that there. 😀
I watched a Youtuber called Boho Berry how she set up her journal. So, I bought myself some pens, a notebook and some washi tape for starting a totally new amazing adventure.

How I Started

In the beginning, I had the following things:

  • a dark blue Leuchtturm1917 in A5
  • 6 rolls of washi tape coloured black and white
  • a set of Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens
  • a pencil
  • an eraser
  • pens which I found at home

Normally most people are afraid of a white/empty pages but I wasn’t afraid at all and haven’t been since then. I’m not scared to mess it up, sometimes I’m a little bit mad with myself when I changed something because it was nicer in the beginning but that’s pretty much it.

My very first page was a book list of one of my favourite authors: Terry Pratchett. I wrote down all of his books and marked which we owned. I wrote down the English and the German versions of the titles for that. A few pages later I wrote my first entry. It was October 21st 2016. At that time I wrote in German which I changed during my first year because I wanted to practice my English a little bit more.

I noted the weather, my mood, my to dos and it was quite colourful. I had a quote there as well. All the things which I still like today. I realize that I wrote with a fountain pen. 🙂

I am still using every single item on this short list or rather I rebuy items like the Faber-Castell pens because of the good quality and they are long-running, they don’t dry out fast.

What I Have Today

Well, after 1549 days or 37176 hours with journaling as my passion the following things changed:

  • 17 journals/planners have been used
  • over 500 rolls of washi tape are in my collection at the moment (and getting more)
  • approx. 40 subscription boxes from different shops
  • „perceived“ 1 Mio. pens (alocohol based markers, pencils, colour pencils, Artists pens, highlighters, text markers etc.)
  • lots of leather covers for journals
  • a huge amount of stamps
  • 15 fountain pens plus different inks (including my own handmade ink from Japan)
  • „perceived“ 1 Mio. Stickers, Sticker sheets
  • and other stationery goodies which I forgot to mention.

Maybe you ask yourself, whether I really need all that stuff. Well, honstely: No, I don’t.

What I’m Using Today

I’m still using journals but I just buy them when I really need them. My husband likes to take his notes in journals as well, so I order more journals than I did four years ago.

I’ve got a ton of pens I use for different occasions. When I am drawing a picture, I like to test the same picture with different pens like alcohol based markers vs. normal markers or even colour pencils. So you can get a different vibe of the drawing.

Every year I choose a set of pens for my journals. Let’s say it is my colour code for my moods, the weather, my sleep and little doodles. But for my spreads it can be any pens of my collection.

I noticed that I didn’t buy washi tape or stickers very much last year because of two reasons: a) my collections are huge and b) I have what I need. Ok, if I find a cute sticker sheet or some washi tape then I will think about it. 😀 But I am not at the hunt like 3 years ago.

The only collection which will be growing are my fountain pens but I won’t buy one pen every month. I think about it and evaluate if I would buy it just now at this moment or if this feeling stays longer than 5 minutes. 🙂

What I Have Learnt

You don’t need so many things to be a happy journaling addict. But sometimes it’s great to have the opportunity to choose from so many things. 😀 If some of you are interested in a stationery swap then send me a mail or send me a dm on Instagram (eviljournalista).

I’m really in love with washi tape but I learnt that not everything is washi tape, only because you call it washi tape. There can be a huge difference. And I am still not a huge fan of bows on washi tape. 😉

I’m not in love with handlettering. I practiced a lot and I tried different pens to learn it but it’s always wonky and therefore not really eye pleasing. 😀 And I like my own handwriting even when I’m writing fast or it is really note taking because I am listening to somebody. Anyway, I like my scribble.

I like my journals to get messy. I know a lot of people want a clean, adorable, cute, artistic and beautiful journal. I adore such journals too but my reality is messy, sometime with coffee or tea spots (because I use it a lot and don’t just look at it) there are wonky lines and my monthly and weekly spreads haven’t got a theme which matches together. I journal straight from my heart and mood the weeks and months. My inspirations come from colours, pictures or just an item around me.

I won’t do watercolouring too often. It is beautiful but it needs too much time for me because I’m not used to do it regularly.

You should always have some correction tape at hand. It can save your spread sometimes, trust me 😀

Let your home be your inspiration for your spreads. We have a lot of plants in our home, so I like doodling some plants into my journals from time to time.

Don’t stress yourself and don’t be afraid of doing something wrong. There is no right or wrong. And even when you leave one page white it isn’t the end of the world because it can happen that you use this page later for something like a list, a tracker or just to doodle.

I like lots of colour. When I say colour, I don’t mean just pastell or light colours. I mean rich, deep and bright colours as well because they can give a whole different dynamic or depth to the spread.

Don’t let someone tell you that your spreads or ideas aren’t good enough. That is not true. It is your journal, your ideas, your mind and your rules. 😉 So just „make it you“!

Learn from your mistakes. If you have something in your journal which doesn’t work out, then think about it why it doesn’t work for you. Maybe it was the spread, the colours or the theme. After that you can give it a second try and check if it is working then. 🙂

Chaos on the paper provides clarity in your head.

Everyday we are surrounded by information, opionions and so many things that the best way to get a clear head is to write everything down. It helps you to stay focussed and then you can think about the things or persons in your life which are really important.

My last point is: Stay true to yourself. You’re unique and so is your journal.

Wisdom of the Day: Journaling is a journey, have fun on the way.

Love to you all,

The Evil Journalista

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