second year of the four/five year journal

Last year on my birthday, I started a DIY four/five year journal (the four/five is because there are places to write for four years, but enough room in the top to add photos from the year before last - I only did that with January so far, but I'll keep adding to it as I go through this year).

Some thoughts so far:

* Using a ruler to make lines on graph paper is not my style. Freehand is way more wobbly (wabi sabi!), but that only makes it more me. Changing the marker I used each month is also a nice very me touch. I also experimented with washi tape, but I'm not sure I liked that effect.

* Because adding photos is important to me, I changed up where I added the date bar (top or bottom - you can see August is on the top and November is at the bottom here). I didn't figure that out until a few months in, so the first part of the journal is a little top heavy. Oops.

* There's a lot of blank pages from last year because I fell behind on marking off the dates. (I tried to doa  month at a time, but some months it took me awhile to get to - April-May, I'm looking at you!). Also, I didn't bring the journal with me to Thailand because weight. I'm planning on printing out photos (and using our gratitude journal) to fill out August. November is going to be prints of the mood ring poems. I'll do the same with the other gaps in the journal. (Since I did a 365 this year, and the year before, I have photos for every day that I just need to collage and print out.) I'm really not worried about it, because I got the marking off out of the way last year and now I just have grids to fill out as I go through this year.

* Blank pages are not the end of the world. I just kept going when I could. Making it into a routine helped a lot. (I journal in the morning while I'm drinking my coffee. Last year, I spent a lot of that time writing out dates and marking lines, this year I won't need to do that.)

* Even with the blank pages, it feels like I got a lot of last year journaled and that makes me very happy as I start the second year. (The bottom right hand photo is my birthday, which is so far the only page that has two grids filled out.) This is a fun project!

* The journal I used isn't holding up all that well (the binding is peeling apart), which sucks. It was difficult to find a journal that would work, so I will patch this one back together as best I can, but I am not recommending the journal anymore. I may need to find another one to put this one into, which will suck. I'm hoping that patching it together will work. Adding photos seems to be the weight culprit. I want this journal to last.

* If I were going to do this again (which I will probably do in three years, when I'm done with this journal, or earlier if I have to redo this particular journal because the binding just won't hold together), I would make a handmade journal with watercolor weight paper and a ring binder, like this journal I made (except bigger and with heavier weight paper on the inside). Yes, that would be more work (and more expensive) but it would be a sturdier option. (Another possibility is to do a monthly set with these watercolor journals, but I'd worry about months getting lost.)

Overall, I'm very glad I had the idea to start this four/five year journal and I love it!

I think last year I inspired a few people to start one (on New Year's) and I hope this year I'll inspire more.