Planner and journal pages that are gallery-worthy works of art are all over social media. Whether your planner or journal is a homemade bujo, ring planner, or simple Traveler’s Notebook, you’ve undoubtedly come across versions of it on Instagram and other social media that made you feel like yours is inadequate. They might have even left you feeling envious of the social media version.
The planner and journal worlds have exploded in recent years and collided with the scrapbooking and art journaling worlds. It’s an exciting time in these communities with so much creativity flowing. But there is also a pervasive sense of something lacking and envy among planner and journal keepers.
Social Media is a Highlight Reel
Scrolling through Instagram for planner inspiration, you’ll see professionally lit pictures. They highlight luxe inserts with expensive sticker kits, washi, and drool-worthy hand-lettering. Searching for journal page inspiration yields the same professional pictures of pages fit for a master’s journal.
These planner and journal pages are all wonderful to look at – a treat for the eyes and so inspiring. But for many in the planner and journal communities, they leave them feeling like their pages are lacking. Many planners believe if they just had X, Y, or Z planner all of their organization problems would be solved. Many feel their planner is ugly and they don’t want to use the system they spent so much on because it doesn’t look like the ones on social media. Journal hobbyists find themselves discouraged when their pages don’t match those of the professional pictures they see day after day.
I’m not finding fault with the professional planner and journal pictures. I love looking at them. I’m also not finding fault with anyone who wishes their pages could look like those beautiful versions. Instead, I’m asking if this applies to you, remember social media is usually a highlight reel and not real life. How many professional accounts on social media are sharing their rough drafts or practice art and journal pages? How many are sharing their true personal planner or first attempts at a bujo spread?
Artists Showcasing Their Work Didn’t Begin as Masters
The professional accounts are building a brand – and that’s wonderful! I wish everyone could make a living through planners and journals! But what that means for you is that you’re often viewing social media as a consumer without realizing it. These professional posts can most often be viewed as any other type of advertisement. We’ve all seen commercials portraying an ideal life promising it could be yours if you would buy the advertised product. Professional planner and journal spreads are not so different. Of course they’re beautiful, but they’re often not a true representation of the average personal planner or journal.
When you’re on social media, don’t judge your pages against those of someone who earns money or swag with theirs. Let what you see inspire you! Use the spreads as inspiration to build your skills. Incorporate the ideas you see into your own pages. But don’t envy the pages you see. Remember you can find contentment and peace with what you already have. You won’t become magically organized by spending next month’s rent on a high-end binder (yes, some cost that much!). Likewise, buying a new art journal with the finest Japanese papers won’t increase your art skills. Buying a dozen planners or journals isn’t going to make you a more effective planner. In fact, it will most likely make you a far less effective planner and journal keeper.