We chat to Kimmy about her creative inspiration, advice to newbies and her thoughts on whether the bullet journal system works.
The bullet journal method is an impressive and fully customisable organisational system. Originally designed by Ryder Carroll, your bullet journal can be whatever you need it to be: a planner, to-do list, sketchbook, diary, all of the above. It’s for anyone who’s yet to find the perfect diary or productivity system for them.
We’re big fans of the bullet journal method and are quite in awe of the bullet journal enthusiasts who are creating inspirational spreads and sharing them with the #bujo community.
Today we speak with the exceptionally talented, Kimmy from Bumble Bujo about herself, the inspiration behind her creative spreads, her advice to newbies, whether the bullet journal system works and much more!
Interview with bullet journal enthusiast, Kimmy from Bumble Bujo
Tell us about yourself, who is Kimmy and where did Bumble Bujo come from?
I’m currently a stay-at-home mum of three young kids. I have a background in finance but I’ve always had a passion for Arts and Crafts. I started my Instagram account @bumblebujo because I wanted to find a place where I could share my work and joys with other like-minded people.
My friends have always known me to be creative, but they didn’t always share the same passions as me. Being able to share and inspire people within the bullet journal community, and having my work appreciated has been so rewarding for me.
Have you always used a paper diary/planner?
I have used all forms of planners, whether they be paper or digital. At the beginning of every year, I always pride myself in finding a pretty diary/planner, which I could use to organise my hectic life.
But a few months into the year, I would always abandon it. It never had quite the layouts that I needed, and I never felt motivated to utilise it. I always ended up turning back to digital planning. However, typing out my to-do lists and events on my phone never felt satisfying to me. Nothing can ever beat the tactile feel of pen to paper, so I end up turning back to a paper planner. Then so my vicious cycle continues.
How did you discover bullet journalling and what made you want to give it a go?
Like most people, I first stumbled upon bullet journalling while I was randomly browsing Pinterest late one night. I came across a beautifully hand-drawn spread, it piqued my interest so I clicked on the link and it opened up a whole new world for me!
From that moment on, I fell into an aesthetic bullet journal abyss! I resurfaced a week later having binge watched and frantically reading all the blog posts about bullet journalling. I couldn’t get enough. The more I saw, the more I knew that this system was exactly what I’d been searching for.
The first ever spread created from Kimmy.
How long does a spread usually take you and what’s your favourite type of spread?
My spreads vary so greatly, it’s really hard to gauge just how long they take. It’s really all dependent on how intricate I want to make my illustration. But on average, a weekly spread can take me a few hours to do. I don’t mind spending the extra time because I only create one weekly spread a week, so I want to make sure it’s pretty enough to make me want to use it for the week.
My favourite type of spread to create would probably be the monthly cover page. It’s a spread that is done purely for creativity rather than functionality. The monthly log and weekly log spreads are pages that I try to find that balance between art and function. However, the monthly cover page is something that I can really indulge in and just have fun with. I tend to spend more time drawing up my monthly cover page because it usually involves a more intricate artwork. But I love the time spent creating it, it really is my form of mindfulness.
What spread are you most proud of — or your favourite? Can you share it with us?
It is so hard to pick which spreads are my favourite. I feel that they were all created with love and functionality in mind. They all helped me somehow, whether to make me more productive or to help me release some creative energy.
But if I had to pick one, I would say it’s my floral birthday wheel. It was one of the first few spreads that I’d ever created. I love how pretty it turned out, as well as being so functional. I forget birthdays all the time, so tracking everyone’s birthday like this helped me remember each month whose birthday it was.
Your spreads are so pretty and creative, where do you find your inspiration?
This is probably one of my most asked question. I find inspiration from everywhere, including Instagram and Pinterest. I usually like to think outside the box and create something that I feel would be a little different to everyone else.
Each time I’ve decided on a layout, which I wanted to create for the week, the end result is almost always completely different. What I envisioned in my head doesn’t always correlate onto paper. This is what I love most, this ever-evolving creative process.
In your opinion, does the system work, or should users stray from the system and customise their bullet journal to work for them?
The bullet journal system is such a fluid and flexible system, I think anyone can customise it to fit their needs.
The foundations of the system is to set up your bullet key, an index to reference future spreads and a future log to write down all future events and tasks. Anything after that, you have free reign to make it anything you want it to be. The system is so adaptable, I believe that anyone can benefit from using it.
Has the bullet journalling system changed the way you plan and organise? How?
Yes, most definitely! I used to write my to-do lists on scrap pieces of paper all over the house, eventually I’d lose half those pieces of paper. But being able to consolidate my to-do list with my planner, I feel like I have more of a grasp on my hectic life. Writing my tasks in my weekly spread motivates me to get those task done. There is something so satisfying about getting a task done just so I could colour in that little square.
If there are people who want to use the bullet journalling system but are not so creative, should they still give it a go? What advice can you give them?
I think everyone should give bullet journaling a go if they feel that it might be the system for them. A bullet journal is a productivity tool, and functionality should always come first. There are many different styles of bullet journals like the minimalistic, the artistic and all the styles in-between. It is not a requirement that you need to be creative to keep a bullet journal.
The original system created by Ryder Carroll is very basic and bare bones. However, if you do want to make your bullet journal pretty but you don’t know how to draw, you can always use other aids. Many people in the bullet journal community love using stickers, washi tape and stamps to add personality to their bujo.
Do you have a favourite notebook brand?
I am currently using the Scribbles That Matter notebook in A5 dot grid, and I absolutely love it. They created their notebook specifically for bullet journaling, providing page numbers, key page, index page and a pen test page at the back of the notebook. The paper is buttery soft and very thick at 100gsm. The pages barely ghost and bleed from most of the pens and mediums that I usually use to create my spreads. I highly recommend it.
What’s your favourite paper format: blank, ruled, grid, dot grid, seyes…?
Without a doubt, it would have to be dot grid. I had never used this format until I started bullet journaling and I don’t think I will ever go back to using anything else. The dot grid is great for helping you write straight, but the grid isn’t invasive enough to distract from your artwork.
Your Instagram account is very inspirational! What sorts of people follow your account and what do you think appeals to them about bullet journalling?
Thank you so much! In all honestly, I’m very surprised that I’ve been able to resonate with so many people, it’s been amazing. I think the sort of people who follow my account are people who are interested in bullet journaling but haven’t quite taken the leap yet. I think I help give them inspiration and motivation to finally take the leap and make their own bullet journal.
I think what seems to appeal most to people about a bullet journal is the customisation of it. The fact that you can draw up your own spread and make it in whatever theme you feel like at the time. But if it’s not working for you or you’ve gotten bored of it, you can change it up and create something completely different the next week. The versatility of the system is its greatest asset.
What is the one stationery item you couldn’t live without?
Such an incredibly hard question! I feel that every stationery piece complements one another. You can’t use one without the other. But if I had to really choose, I would say my micron pen. I use it for all my drawings and some of my writing. If I could use just one item for bullet journaling, I probably could just use my micron to create everything. It’s such a versatile pen.
Kimmy will be providing tips to get started with your bullet journal and answering the top 10 asked questions relating to bullet journalling on Wednesday 11 March from 6pm — 7:30pm at Milligram store at Melbourne Central. Find out more here.