How to restart journalling when you've taken a break

Dying journal

Have you ever started a bullet journal, got off to a good start and then something happened that made you stop journalling and get behind on your layouts so that you ended up stopping altogether.

Maybe that's you now and you want to start up again now, but you aren't sure how?

I know how you feel as this has happened to me too. 

Last Christmas (2019), I received my 3rd bullet journal and my 2nd Scribbles That Matter Journal. Between Christmas and the New Year I watched videos on youtube and looked at instagram to plan my initial bullet journal layout and then set up this pastel based layout for this year's main theme.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Gemma Edwards (@gemjournals86) on Jan 6, 2020 at 1:55pm PST

Initially I kept on top of things, I was really consistent at journalling in 2018 so the habit was there, but in February I gave birth to my second child and fell behind and then when we went into Lockdown in the UK for Covid 2019 in March I was too busy homeschooling a 5 year old and looking after a newborn to journal.

A few months later I started to regret stopping, I kept looking at my journal trying to decide how I could start using it again. I actually started using it like a normal notebook and wrote down the answers to the zoom quizzes we were doing with our friends but I wanted to go back to doing pretty layouts. 

The problem was 'the gap' there were months missing, it looked incomplete and even if I did do a lot of backdated monthly spreads I wasn't sure what I did at the time, so they would be empty and a waste of a page.

The Turning Point

I started an Etsy shop in the summer and when orders started to come in on a daily basis I needed a way to help me organise. I was talking to some etsy sellers on facebook for advice and one recommended her printable productivity business planners - when I looked at them I realised I could make my own in line with my own previous bullet journal layout that's when I realised "I have a reason to start Journalling again".

Time was still an issue so I decided to do layouts I could print out and stick in my journal each month. I came up with a basic layout template on my computer and added some black and white graphics to give it a theme for the month which I could colour in if I had some spare time, but which would look just as good in monochrome.

Each month I spend a little bit of time adding new graphics to my existing templates to come up with the theme for the month, then I print them on sticker paper and put them in my journal. In October, I decided to list them on Etsy and this was the front cover photo on the etsy listing.

Oct Journal Pages

And here's one in my journal just after I'd stuck them in:

Oct Weekly planner

It's been fairly easy to start journalling again. Yes there is a time gap, but it doesn't bother me like I thought it would and in addition to the planner spreads seen above, I've started using the journal in the same way that I used to. I have my etsy stats for each month, lists of products I want to sell, projects I want to make, gift lists ready for christmas.

Revive and restart your bullet journal

Time for you to restart?

So if you want to start journalling again after taking a break - my advice  is think about why you stopped in the first place and see if you can find ways of overcoming what is stopping you blogging. If it's time - try using more minimalist layouts and consider how many of the logs you actually need, you could also decorate with stickers or washi tape. If you are intimidated by others on social media - stop looking. You could also consider going down the printable's route and if pc graphic design is not your thing why not take a look at my planner printables.

Click here for my latest design for November with a poppy theme for just £3:

November Bullet Journal Printables

Either way you just need to get started - and then you won't look back.

Why not print off and stick in this free printable colouring page with quote to help motivate you to get started?

Free Bullet Journal Printable

Why not share your coloured in creation on social media, either on our facebook page or you can tag us on instagram @JolliepopsCreations, we'd love to see them!

Published Friday, October 23, 2020