Starting a digital journal…

Hello everyone,

I recently fell in love with bullet journals and looking at them online, I then found the world of digital journaling and I am officially obsessed. So, I recently went out and bought myself an iPad and Apple Pencil as a little lockdown treat to try and cheer myself up (it definitely worked!)

After seeing all these beautiful digital journals I decided that I wanted my own, so set about setting one up. I realised that people are selling the basic journal with stickers online but I watched a few videos on YouTube and due to being a little bit tech savvy, thought I could just make my own and save myself a little bit of money and that way I could have exactly what I wanted and the chance to be creative.

I subscribed to a lot of peoples blogs that are dedicated to journaling and they often send out freebie stickers and spreads so I didn’t have to create my own if I didn’t want too.

So, I spent a full afternoon creating my digital journal (it would have taken me longer had I chosen to start from January but I started from May because I was lazy and didn’t want to do the extra work of linking all the pages together when I had obviously missed those months). I will create a new journal for 2021 as I am sure I will went extra tabs and some removed once I have been doing this a while.

To start off a digital journal, I would recommend watching some YouTube videos, the one that helped me the most was by True and Lovely Co. Watch it here. She explains about setting it out correctly, how to link the pages so once they are converted to a PDF and opened on a notes app they all work as well as making it look as realistic as possible.

Then once you have watched the video, you will need;

* iPad, or another electronic device e.g. laptop or computer
* Apple Pencil or another stylus, this is optional put it does make everything a lot easier especially if you want to write directly onto the pages
* Keynote or Microsoft PowerPoint (depending what software you are using)
* GoodNotes 5 or another note taking application that opens up PDF’s
* Procreate or another drawing app is optional depending if you want to draw your own stickers for you pages otherwise you could just purchase some

This is how my basic layout looked on KeyNote after I created the pages that I wanted to export into PDF (they can not be changed after this step so you need to make sure you are happy with the layout and the number of tabs etc) I followed her tutorial as I went along and did it myself, so I won’t explain the process as she does a very good job of that.

This is the very first page and is only there for ascetic purposes. I have the wooden background as if my journal was actually sitting on a desk and then I have a marble journal. Obviously, the journal is completely customisable so you can have whatever you want. I left the title blank because I have more tools to create better images and text in either Procreate or Goodnotes.

This is now my journal open on the first page, as you can see I now have tabs on for things I would want easier access too, for example the months on the right hand side and then different types of paper along the top of the book and a sticker section, which I plan on filling us as time goes on with my favourite go to stickers.

Above is what all my pages look like once I have exported it as PDF, I left all the pages blank because I couldn’t decide if I would actually want them all on dot paper. This is why I have created a dot paper tab and it is easy enough to add in when I want that page. At this point, you do not need to add all the pages you want you only need to add the linked pages. You can add as many pages as you want once you get into GoodNotes or whatever note taking app you are using.

The little video above shows what the journal is like once it is in your note taking app. I click along the tabs and they take you too those pages, between the months I have pages for monthly, weekly spreads. As well as clicking the tabs, you can also swipe along as if you were opening a book, so once you have clicked the month you would swipe to find the monthly and weekly details.

I have information in May so I didn’t want to show that on camera but I think I might do a monthly blog about my spreads before any information goes in and show you the theme for each month. Just to show you how it can be decorated or if you want any inspiration.

Although I am super super new to this, I already feel like I am be addicted to it. It is so therapeutic and I love being creative so I already have a million ideas for themes for the rest of the year, and I must have done something right as my mam sat and watched me for hours creating my journal then went and bought her self an iPad and Apple Pencil so she can create her own, so we have had lessons going on this afternoon as she isn’t the best with technology but by the end of it, I am sure she will be a wizz.

Do any of you have a bullet journal, digital or otherwise?

If you are interested and have no idea how to start, I would recommend going onto Pinterest. You’ll easily get lost down the rabbit hole searching and searching for theme ideas and stickers etc. And by all means ask any questions you might have and I will happily try and answer them.

Thank you for reading,
Katie, xox.