Visual Bullet Journal on the road... documenting one step at a time. June 13 2014

While we were traveling Japan, I wanted to make sure that I could capture all the details that inspired our journey. Each page... documenting a step we took as a part of the adventure.

At home... I have been implementing Bullet Journal system. The system is simple and allows a lot of freedom to how/what goes in. And I have been pretty effective keeping track of everything that needed to be captured, remembered and acted upon. So when I thought of the travel journal for our big adventure, I thought... "why not use the same system and see how it goes?"

While we were on the road, we were using my Traveler's Notebook (usually a go to notebook for travel journal for me!) as a family wallet... so I used MIDORI's Writing Journal with pockets to collect our memory. The notebook was lightweight and had newsprint like grey coarse pages. I liked how the pages didn't feel too precious... It made me feel very relaxed to write, draw, collage what came to my mind without self criticizing how perfect pages looked. Also because my fountain pen ran out of its ink in our mid-travel and I found a pen with a brush tip at my grandfather's house... my writing was little more organic than usual. Bits and pieces of these serendipity... determined the way this journal ended up looking as an artifact.

Contents ended up less "to do list" with square check box... but more circle bullet points to capture the events of the day and my thoughts. Then there were pages with ideas and sketches that were archived in a chronological order along with the page for each day's event... Some big ideas and thoughts were left on the page by itself with a lot of negative space. Looking back... I like that some pages are really packed with layers and layers of thoughts, ideas, artifacts... and other pages with just one thing on the page.

Some of the loose things that did not get glued on the page still had a place to be stored in the built-in pockets. I also wanted to use some of the photos we were taking to be a part of the journal so I splurged on a Polaroid Mobile Printer right before we left the States. It was definitely a risk since I was not sure if it was going to work with our smartphone or camera... It turned out that it was not compatible with my Sony point and shoot camera... but was able to sync with my Android phone (phew...). Each night... after girls went to sleep, I enjoyed looking through pictures to print and document the day in Yakushima. I am a visual person so layering our actual photos with loose paper artifacts I collected with writing and drawings from each day really made this journal close to my heart.

The notebook came with a clear cover protector sheet which I kept while we were traveling to avoid getting it damaged from unexpected spill (it happens pretty frequently when we travel with little ones!). When we came back, I looked through each one of the page..., felt very very VERY nostalgic about our trip... and created a secure closure with Eyelets and String sticker and it felt complete.

There were also tons of sketches and ideations Frido and I did while we were on the island for his Yakusugi project. He captured his thoughts on his sketchbook and I did mine in this journal so I have a feeling that we will be re-visiting this journal pretty soon when we get going to finish the project.

Now I am kind on the mission to make my everyday Bullet journal as visual, thought provoking and emotional stirring as this travel journal!