Bullet journals can be an excellent way to get your life stories down on paper. Everybody has their own unique style and that goes for preserving memories too. I like to write and don’t have many artistic tendencies. My stories veer into the ‘too long’ category. Perhaps you are more artistic and would rather hold a paint brush than a pen, unless it’s a colored pen for drawing!
While I love traditional journaling, you might want to try bullet journaling
Memories are expressed in short vignettes and often the way they’re illustrated with drawings and phrases pack a better punch than all my verbosity. The highlights of a story can have such lovely visual appeal. Often a memory expressed in a shorter version is so succinct, so spot on, a bit like the one bite chocolate truffle or sweet cherry. Evocative, delicious and satisfying.
Take a look at some of these bullet journal pages. Each page conveys the personality of the creator. Colors, words, and illustrations are chosen with care:
If you choose to try bullet journaling to record your memories or the events of the day which will become your memories in the future, here’s a website I love that will give you lots of ideas. And another site! Both sites have lots of great bullet journal inspiration!
As I peck away at my keyboard, coalescing thoughts seem like vapor until words flow out my fingertips onto the computer screen. But if you’re inclined to record your stories in a bullet journal, or any journal by hand, studies have shown that the act of handwriting has benefits that make writing by hand a great choice.
Printing and cursive writing stimulate the brain and mind in unique ways that typing does not, including hand-eye coordination, and attention to detail
Memory retention is even enhanced.
There is something so appealing about the handwritten word. I have a stack of old letters from my dad and also a stack of printed out emails from him when technology caught up to his methods. I am drawn to his handwriting.
Don’t you think a person’s personality shines forth more vividly from the cursive or printing of a loved one?
The way the T’s are crossed or the I’s are dotted, the curve and thickness of the loops tells a bit about the writer. My dad would never dot his I’s with anything but a firm dot, but my little sister might choose to use a small stylized heart. Even the pressure exerted on the pen can create lines of a word in such a way that you can almost feel the lackadaisical or hurried mood of the writer.
I can picture my dad sitting at his desk, coffee cup at his elbow, dog at his feet, while he penned words from his heart to mine. His words are meaningful in his emails, but somehow seem a bit less tangible. My picture of him at a computer keyboard is just not quite the same.
Limber up your hands to create your one of a kind personal handwriting and use bullet journals. Perhaps start with a brain dump.
List those memories bullet point by bullet point
With my keyboard bullet point lists I am limited by boring dots or dashes as I designate each item in my list. With a bullet journal your imagination is the only limit. Hearts, flowers, tiny birds or pine cones can be drawn for your ‘bullets’. Your distinct handwriting, whether evoking whimsical charm or bold assertiveness, will enhance those points in ways the keyboard can’t. Once you have your list of memories you can reorder them, flesh them out with your descriptive vignettes and look for God in your story.
My list might look like this:
- I remember when my family fed some geese at a pond near our house and a big white goose bit my finger.
- My favorite candy was Reeses peanut butter cups until my brother and I got sick on eating so many while hidden in a concrete cylinder at the park.
- The time I broke my arm playing tag when I tripped over a tent stake in our neighbor’s backyard. I was thrilled that I could quit my clarinet lessons.
- Our cat Shakespeare had kittens in the basement by the furnace and I got to watch.
You get the idea! Once you start, the memories will cascade onto your list
If I was more talented with the pens and paint brushes each bullet would be a red poppy, maybe tomorrow a blue dolphin or yellow daisy. Each memory on your list can become the subject for an embellished paragraph with more detail. Or the list could stand alone with longer descriptions right in your bullet point. Play around with how you create the list, memories from your past, or events from today which become tomorrow’s memories. Your color choice will set the mood, perhaps yellow for happy memories, blue for sad, or green for adventuresome.
Just flipping through your journal will show a kaleidoscope of the colors and moods of your life
I’m guessing if you’re the artistic type and a bullet journal appeals to you, the ideas are percolating and you’re ready to start creating. Here’s a good article about where you can purchase the journals and pens and paintbrushes that will give life to your memories:
So I like to write! But I also like bright colors and doodles. If anything could tempt me to create a bullet journal it would be the ease of using washi tape or stickers to gloss over my lack of artistic talent and cover up that ugly mistake. I love blue, these pretty tapes make my spirit soar! Amazon says they’re for kids, that’s fine, they appeal to my wild child:
Stencils are another fun and easy way to add shapes, doodles and simple drawings to your journal. Some fun ones are found here:
As you start to glean ideas from your list of memories and have fun creating a bullet journal, each colorful page will spark your desire to create another one
Soon you’ll have a journal worthy of that shelf of books you’ll never part with. One journal will lead to another and your kids and grandkids will learn more about you than just facts. That row of bullet journals on your shelf will become a family treasure, a record of the highlights of your life, your artistry, your life. Your children’s children will have a glimpse of your soul, a keepsake from your heart. What a legacy!