For our “X Questions With” series, we’re speaking with talented individuals from around the world who have inspired us with their creativity and passion. If you have a story to tell or someone you’d like to see profiled, let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!
Today, we’re chatting with Thanh Nguyen, an avid journaller who has recently adopted the bullet journal style. She is also working on a blog about sustainable fashion, so be sure to stay tuned for more to come from this creative Canadian! Her website will be found at www.eccentrality.com.
For more from Thanh, check her out as @eccentrality on Instagram and Twitter.
1) Please tell us a little about yourself
Name: Thanh Nguyen
City: Calgary, AB, Canada
Places: Lived in Canada, Korea and Australia. Traveled to Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico, Cuba, New Zealand, and the USA.
Passions: Various forms of art such as fashion, cosplaying, manga, and food porn! I absolutely love a good dance party and will be the first to attempt to belt a tune at karaoke. My current obsessions include Snapchat and YouTube. So much YouTube. Current guilty pleasures include K-pop. I have had Black Pink music stuck in my head for the past month. Still not sick of it yet!
Education/Training: Fashion Design and Merchandising
Creative Works: Working on a Fashion blog. Release date will be January 2017.
Favourite Quote: “I will follow you to the ends of the Earth, just not over it.” =D
2) How did you hear about bullet journalling?
I stumbled across this type of journaling after a failed attempt of trying to create the perfect journal/diary. Blogs on productivity and creativity have really brought to life what I use today as my personal bullet journal.
3) What aspect of this style of journalling appealed most to you?
The designs and ideas that I came across were quite elaborate, but I love that it isn’t defined by one style. You can set it up any way you see fit. It was a better alternative to my original attempts at a journal. So many hours wasted on Photoshop…
4) As a lifelong journaller, was it difficult to adopt a new method of journal-keeping?
Honestly, I have been an avid journaller since I was young. Over time it has evolved into pseudo forms of bullet journaling. It got to the point where I had multiple journals to keep track of different parts of my life. Transitioning to this type of journaling was the next step in simplifying life and staying organized.
5) Have you found yourself becoming far more organised since you began your bullet journal?
Most definitely yes. I have seen the difference it makes when I am not looking at my journal and just assume I know what I need to do for the day, compared to when I am looking over my daily, weekly and monthly tasks. The days I don’t glance at my journal are days that I have forgotten a small but important task.
6) Can you detail the layout of your journal for us?
I need to see the bigger picture as well as the details, so I have created a format that allows me to have an overview of the month and week, and then a detailed checklist of to do’s for each day.
You will notice that there are two different languages used throughout the pages. It’s a mix of Korean and English. I am trying to keep up with the Korean I learned a few years ago. I hope to incorporate more languages over the years.
I also include a page to record my spending as well as a few pages to track my sleep, eating and other habits to gain awareness of areas of my life I should improve on.
Of course I have pages dedicated to my monthly goals and review of the past month. It’s easy to lose momentum, so it’s a great way to remind yourself of successes and what needs to be worked on.
That is my journal in a nutshell.
7) How do you “jazz up” your journal entries?
My journal layout is fairly simple compared to the ones I have seen online. They are gorgeous, but far too time consuming to “jazz” it up and make it look well designed. As far as “design” goes I actually use sticky notes I have collected over the years to try and make it somewhat aesthetically pleasing. I am also using all the stickers I bought from way back. So it can seem a tad childish, but it brings back memories. They are mainly anime stickers. Haha!
8) What sorts of things do you keep track of in your bullet journal?
My journal is a tracker of sorts for me. My partner and I are vegetarians and zero waste lifestars in training, so it’s a good way to see our progress. One day, we will be masters! I keep track of food I have consumed, when we threw out garbage, days I am stressed, fun events and funny moments in life. Of course I use it to make appointments too. It’s an all encompassing journal for me.
9) For someone looking to try out bullet journalling, all the videos, tutorials and inspiring Instagram pages can make it seem a bit daunting. Do you have any advice for someone wanting to try it for the first time?
Ultimately it comes down to what you need the journal for. What is the purpose; what do you need to focus on/record/track? Use the tutorials and images of other people’s journals as inspiration and incorporate ideas from other journals into your own. Whether it looks “good” or not is not the sole purpose of a bullet journal, at least in my personal opinion. In the end, it is a great way to keep yourself organized and a way to hold onto something for yourself to read in the future.
10) Aside from bullet journalling, what are your favourite hobbies? Do you have any projects on the go that you’d like to share with us?
At the moment I am designing a simple website to showcase a fashion blog based on sustainable alternatives to fashion – your own closet. It’s set to launch in January 2017. Fingers crossed!
About Paperblanks: At Paperblanks, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at paperblanks.com.
This is great! I am also a lifelong journal writer and a collector of beautiful notebooks. I believe she is right and there is no one set way to bullet. The pattern is there, you just need to adapt it to fit your needs. I actually took my ultra paperbooks vertical day planner and re-vamped it for my needs. Primarily because I decided to do the bullet method AFTER I purchased the planner and put my name in it. So I have done some things to it that may not go over well here, lol. I am looking forward to going back to the analog method of keeping track of my life. It was waay to hard in 2016 using my phone calendar and trying to keep track of ideas. For me it is faster to write than to type on my phone. Look forward to more posts from you keep up with the dual language. love your stickers
Thanks for your insight! We would love to see how you’ve repurposed a dayplanner as a journal! If you would be interested in sharing your story with our readers, please send us an email 🙂
All the best for 2017!
The Paperblanks Team