Today I’d like to welcome guest blogger Caitlin Scott. Cailtin is the face/person behind ‘Sunshine and Stationery’. She’s an avid Bullet Journalist, fan of the calendex and a lefty (like myself, fight the power) who does calligraphy! I can’t stress how impressive this is. Caitlin has built a solid following on her youtube channel, which I encourage you to subscribe to, and also instagram where she shares layouts, setups tips and tricks to get you started.
So with further ado… here’s Caitlin
I always love reading posts by people who use clever intros, but this is my first guest post so I’m going to just jump right in!
Tell us all a little about yourself and your blog.
My name is Caitlin and I’m known as Sunshine & Stationery around the internet. I’m from the east coast of the US but I’ve been living in France for almost 3 years. I’ve taken a bit of a roundabout path to get to here: I went to school for ASL interpreting, but have lived in Spain, and now France, working as an English Assistant (if you couldn’t tell, languages are a passion of mine!). Since coming to France, I’ve been working toward being a certified English teacher here — I’m currently doing my Masters in Education and will be working as a student teacher in a middle school for the 2017-2018 school year!
I finally figured out what to do with the extra spread I had at the end of June! I’ve seen several people do seasonal bucket lists, so I thought I’d give it a go ☀️💛 [EDIT: and I totally forgot…this is my 700th post! 😳🎉] . . . . . . #leuchtturm1917 #bucketlist #summer #bujobeauty #bulletjournalcollection #bulletjournal #bulletjournalcommunity #bulletjournalinspiration #bulletjournallove #tombowdualbrushpens #stationeryaddict #showmeyourplanner #plannercommunity #planneraddict #plannergirl #plannerinspiration #moderncalligraphy #handlettering
The creation of Sunshine & Stationery actually came from living here in France. I’ve always been a planner, but when I found Bullet Journaling at the end of March of 2016, I also found a community of like-minded people. My work schedule made it so I didn’t have a lot of time to be social in person, so this was a great outlet; and Bullet Journaling itself has led to me developing other creative hobbies! ( For example, I taught myself brush calligraphy and have been experimenting with making lettered prints on watercolor backgrounds as well as making my own notebooks.) I started by following other people and eventually decided to post some of my own work. I’m currently on Instagram and YouTube, but lately I’ve been playing around with the idea of starting a website or blog…it could be fun!
How did you ‘discover analog’?
I would say I’ve always been analog at heart. I’ve been a stationery collector since I was a kid. I’ve got letters that date back 25 years from pen pals and friends. My favorite season is still back to school shopping because it means getting a new planner and notebooks! I was actually using a planner (a Moleskine week-on-one-page with notes on the right side in the A5 size) when I discovered Bullet Journaling. Bullet Journaling just let me rediscover my creativity while still allowing me to be the hyper-organized paper nerd I always was!
Are you exclusively analog or does digital still feature in your workflow?
My love for all things paper does not preclude me from embracing the digital age, though. As a teacher, I would drown in paper if I kept everything analog; I rely heavily on things like Google Drive, Apple iCloud, and Evernote to help me organize digital documents. I also go through phases of diligently updating my digital calendar (however, my paper calendar is always up-to-date, no matter what!) One of my favorite apps (used in conjunction with my planning system) is Tick Tick for making lists — I love the calendar view!
What are the analog tools you’re currently using?
My system is in flux at the moment…it’s the summer, so I’m brainstorming the changes I want or need to make for the next school year. However for the past year, I have used several items pretty consistently:
- My personal bullet journal: I prefer a bound notebook with a dot grid; I’ve used Leuchtturm 1917 A5 size journals exclusively so far. They usually last me 4 months although my current journal will probably last me at least 5.
- A work & university bullet journal: this past year, I used the A5 Navigator from Start Bay Notebooks to house four inserts (a planning insert featuring monthly and weekly spreads for the school year; a university insert for important information; and a lesson planning insert for each of my two main teaching jobs)
- I also use a variety of pens. My preferences have changed since I started, though. I currently favor a 0.5 point Ink Joy Gel Pen (or a Pilot G-1, 0.5 point) for my main writing needs, a selection of Tombow Dual Brush Pens for color coding, drawing spreads, and brush lettering, Pentel Touch Sign Pens for lettering (soft nib), and Microns for drawing out spreads.
Everyday carry / day 26 #Planwithmechallenge So…I don’t ALWAYS carry everything with me. But let’s be honest, I usually do – especially for work/uni/etc. Today, I’m going to work a camp for a week, so I need some supplies! Coming with me: • my #bulletjournal • my #sidekickbujo (a la @tinyrayofsunshine ☀️) • my passport #travelersnotebook • a pencil case with my color coding #tombowdualbrushpens and a handful of others • my main pencil case with all my other pens and supplies! (I’ll share more on my story 😉) . . . . . . . #bulletjournalweeklylog #minimalistbulletjournal #travelerscompany #travel #leuchtturm1917 #plannergirl #planneraddict #stationeryaddict #inkjoygelpens
I’ve also recently added a few other notebooks to keep track of information, notes, and data for things related to the home and my health (Can you tell I’m not a one notebook kind of girl? I’ve tried, but I always end up adding in others!).
Do you prefer pen or pencil?
While I do use pencil a fair amount, I have to go with pen! For one thing, I’m a lefty and writing in pencil for long stretches always ends with me sporting a slightly bionic-looking hand….
Have you ever had any bad experiences with stationery?
Perish the thought! However, in all honesty, I’ve been burned once or twice by notebooks not holding up to repeated usage and sticky notes or washi tape that either leave a tacky residue or that don’t stick well! It doesn’t happen often, though, and once I find a product I really like, I tend to be pretty loyal.
You’re only allowed to use 1 pen/pencil and 1 notebook for the rest of your life, what are they?
This is just cruel! But if I must choose (under duress…), it would be a Leuchtturm 1917 dot grid A5 notebook in grey and a black 0.5 Ink Joy Gel Pen. I love how the LT1917 holds up and the paper is great plus the Ink Joy is one of the fastest drying gel pens I’ve ever used which is key for us smudge-prone lefties!
Do you use any analog ‘hacks’?
I’m going to take ‘hack’ in a fairly broad sense…one of my favorites is to use a split future planning system: I use a four month Calendex (this was traditionally the amount of time I would use one journal…I may have to adapt this in the future) with a three month Future Log (the traditional Bullet Journal system) because I’ve found that a more visual layout helps me with more near-future events while I can get away with a list for things that are further in the future since I don’t usually have that many that far in advance.
I love using Brain Dumps and a Sidekick Bullet Journal for getting things off my mind or noting them down quickly (read: messily).
I also like to use strategic color: I pick a color for all my monthly stacks that is also used to mark the edges of all the pages in that month. I further use one color scheme per week so that I can visually differentiate them. I’ll also use my color coding colors when creating collections (for example, I use yellow for travel and I’ll usually create my travel spreads and packing lists using that color).
What was the very last thing you wrote down? No cheating!
Ok, so I’m pretty sure the absolute last thing I wrote down was a YouTube task list at the back of my bullet journal. I’m in the process of revamping some aspects of my channel and have found that a quick and dirty list (read: messy, not pretty, but functional) keep me from getting lost in the process!
What other stationery blogs would you recommend to others?
Oh, man! This is a tough one because I have a lot of stationery interests! But I’ll try (I’ll even sort them for you!)
The official Bullet Journal site because you can’t beat going to the source! Not only does the site explain the system, the blog (the Bulletjournalist) has some great articles that show how other people are using it!
Kara Berry’s site, Boho Berry, was my first introduction to the creative, arty side of bullet journaling, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention her. Personally, I prefer watching her videos (bullet journaling is just so visual!), so I really recommend her YouTube channel!
My other favorite for innovative ways of using the system has to be Kim of Tiny Ray of Sunshine! She is also the sweetest person and one of the best advocates for positivity and inclusivity in the community.
Alexandra Plans is a great resource for teachers who want to use a bullet journal as part of their planning!
Now, I realize there are a TON of other great resources and inspiring folks out there, but I’d never be able to list them all…so I’m not even going to try. I will leave you with just a few other links for my other favorite type of stationery channels (because YouTube is my jam!), though!
Traveler’s Notebooks & Junk Journaling:
Mits of My Life Mits is one of the reasons I got into Traveler’s Notebooks and Junk Journaling. I love her junk journaling videos!
My last recommendation would be Job’s Journal – his spreads are so creative and I love his voiceovers!
Wow what a great, insightful read from Caitlin. Caitlin, you need to start a blog! Just go and do it.