I get so inspired looking inside of other people’s journals.
Elizabeth Ghekiere is the creative spark behind ElizabethJournals.com where she provides organizational tips and tricks, bullet journaling inspiration, and tools for a positive lifestyle
Elizabeth also helps people by working with them to design custom planners to get exactly what they want in the pages they use to make life easier, and provides tons of free resources on her vibrant Pinterest boards.
In this interview, Elizabeth gives us a behind the scenes glimpse at how she approaches her personal journaling practice.
When did you start journaling?
I started journaling in college in response to becoming overwhelmed with my workload and hating any other journal I tried. In my search for a good planner, I came across the bullet journal, and I loved how custom it was.
How has journaling impacted you? What has it meant to you?
My journal has impacted me in SO many ways. Personally, it has allowed me to feel accomplished and keep on track of my tasks while also giving me an awesome creative outlet. However, it also impacted me by giving me business opportunities and really being why ElizabethJournals exists today!
Tell us about your personal setup? What type of journal and tools do you use?
My set-up has changed so much throughout the years; however, I generally stick to the same set-up these days. Currently, I use a sage-colored Leuchtturm1917 dotted A5 size. The pens that I use the most in my notebook at Sakura paint pens and Faber Castel PITT artist pens; however, I am known to incorporate paint, my poooli printer, and washi tape from time to time.
My intro pages vary each year, but this year I included a key page, calendex, wishlist, running to-do, houseplant wishlist (I also have a houseplant YouTube, ElizabethPlants!), a few habit trackers, bill and subscription trackers, and a self-care menu. Additionally, I have a few business ideas and planner pages in the back. I generally neglect these intro and business pages, but I do wish I was better about them.
Then I keep a pretty simple set-up each month with a themed cover page and matching weeklies. I keep each week on one page to make my life as simple as possible.
When do you find time to journal?
I used to check in on my journal more regularly; however, I have fallen out of the habit more recently. Generally, I try to check in on it at least once a week and leave it open on my desk or with my laptop at all times. Creating the spreads is a more significant challenge, and I tend to lean towards simple, quick, and colorful so that I can do it last minute when I realize that we are in a new month and I’ve run out of pages. Finding time is honestly the most challenging part more me these days and is pushing me to simplify (which is probably for the best).
Do you go back through old journals? How often do you review?
No, I do not generally review old journals unless I am looking for something specific. I find myself going to old journals to use the empty pages to sketch ideas, or if I am looking for a note, I know I scribbled somewhere in an old notebook, but this is not a frequent occurrence.
What advice do you have for people just getting started?
My advice for bujo newbies is to keep it simple and take it no more than one month at a time. My biggest mistake, in the beginning, was trying to go too hard too soon. I tried to use every layout under the sun and create an entire year’s worth of pages before I even started. This left me with a lot of stress, wasted paper/notebooks, overwhelm, and discouragement. I found that I hated all the trackers, never used half the pages, and honestly, I got so sick of the layouts so quickly that I ended up restarting like four times.
So, I highly recommend you take it slow, forgive mistakes, try new things in small increments, and test simple layouts before trying complex layouts.