Free view from above of a journal

The confidence of blackout notebooks and the optimism of a new year – littleblackduck 2024

I’ve had a blog in one form or another since 1998: Penda’s Realm, The Backroom, Livejournal, the Diner, and littleblackduck. I could say that social media and micro-blogging took the steam out of long-form blogging but that’s a lie for another day.

Let’s get to the point.

It’s January 2, and some of us organization-starved individuals have Bullet Journals, or “bullet journals”, a form of analog diary for recording dates, appointments, memories, tasks, etc. Made popular by Ryder Carrol and a 1917 Lecturm Moleskine, bullet journalling can be an excellent way to stay organized and focused in the moment. As I have ADHD, journaling and organization systems in general appeal greatly to me because my life is often a chaos of sticky notes, clutter, and constantly asking people around me what’s going on. I never know.

I’ve had my own version of a bullet journal since 2019, when I would spend hours setting up a two-page calendar, weekly layouts, and lists only to abandon it for handwriting practice. Plus, when you have more washi than you can safely use in a year, you admit you may have a problem.

I love to scroll through complicated layouts on Pinterest or Instagram but I’m a minimalist at heart. I’m also too much of a perfectionist to spend hours on a splash page. I’ve done it and then it’s mid-month before I’m getting settled into the actual organization of stuff,

This year for Christmas, I received a Buke Notebook A5 Dotted Dot Grid Leather Hardcover Notebook with the Moon and Stars cover. It’s 160 pages, super nice 150gsm paper, and best of all: black pages.

I’ve wanted a blackout notebook for years, but I was terrified of buying one and then abandoning it because the novelty had worn out. This year the moon and stars aligned, and when I received it (sure it was on my wishlist, so what) I knew I was ready.

With my Gelly Roll pens and trusty Cricut Maker 3, I’ve created a nice little analog home away from home. Here’s January’s layout. It’s not fancy, or even that colorful, but it’s just what I need for now with room to expand. I learned that over a few years of journalling, I can’t always anticipate what I need but I can pivot on a dime, much like restarting this website.

I see a lot of movies, but I’m already a film reviewer on Movie Reelist. I’m a horror writer in GLAHW, but my ideas are scattered in notepads and scraps of paper. I’m an essayist, but I haven’t had a centralized bibliography in years. I have lots of crafts and distractions but with crocheting, knitting, needle felting, miniature building, and gardening, social media wasn’t enough, and I can’t spread myself among a dozen separate websites and message boards. Right here I think can be the happy convergence of my writing, crafts, film reviews, and other nonsense I get up to in one convenient place.

I’m starting small and I’ve got big things planned. More explanation will come later. Stick around.

Hello, 2024! I hope we see the best out of each other this year.

I used Sakura Gelly Roll Pens (specifically the moonlight 06 and 10) and Archer and Olive .7mm and 3mm Acrylograph Penda (not impressed I’m sorry to say). For the first month, I think I’m good to go.

Starting small, like this single post.

How are you starting 2024?

Affiliate Disclosure I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated websites.
Just this fox. I'm a writer of horror and dark fantasy. I totally don't brag about it. The latter statement is an utter lie.
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