Cynthia, a political science student from the United States, is well-known in bullet journaling circles on Instagram as @cynthiabujo. Cynthia's Instagram page features a variety of journal spreads and designs, showcasing how journaling is a great form of self-expression and relaxation, as well as an organisational tool.
We chatted to Cynthia about journals, her favorite stationery, and hand-lettering:
How did you learn about bullet journals, and what prompted you to start keeping a journal?
I had a close friend who introduced me to bullet journaling back in 2017. I had always made daily to-do lists, and growing up I was very interested in arts and crafts, so bullet journaling felt very natural to me even from the beginning.
Can you tell us a bit about how you got into the habit of keeping a journal? How do you develop a good journaling routine?
Establishing a routine yourself is essential to keeping a bullet journal. For example, I typically plan out my next day's tasks the night before, and then in the evening before I go to bed I will update my trackers. Most importantly though, I believe that it's important to find what spreads work best for you in your journal. When you make the spreads that work for you, you'll naturally gravitate towards your journal and will use it more.
I saw a caption on an Instagram post of yours in which you mentioned a political theory class you’re taking. I hope that’s going well! Can you tell us about your studies, and as a student, how journaling helps you to stay organized?
Thank you! I'm currently finishing up my first year of college, and I'm studying political science. I'm studying remotely this year, but I'm looking forward to moving on campus for my sophomore year of college next year. :) I use my journal to keep track of my class and work schedule as well as the daily tracks I have to do. However, my journal also serves as a mechanism for de-stressing and unwinding from a stressful day of classes.
Your spreads are all so unique and creative! How do you find ideas for different spreads and themes?
Pinterest as well as the accounts I follow on Instagram give me so much inspiration. I also get inspiration from objects I see in my everyday life - food, animals, plants etc. Additionally, my schedule will determine what kind of spread I need for that month. For example, if I know that I'm going to be busier with school, I might opt for a more minimalistic theme.
What are your favorite journaling supplies? Can you tell me a bit about the stickers, washi tapes and cut-outs that you use to decorate spreads?
I have so many favorite journaling supplies, but the three pens I use almost every time I journal are the tombow fudenosuke hard tip, pigma micron plastic nib, and a black gel pen. Some of my other favorite pens are a white gel pen (to cover up mistakes), highlighters and a variety of different colored markers. I love to decorate my weekly spreads with monocolored washi tape (especially washi tape with a grid pattern) and stickers from different etsy shops. Additionally, I love to decorate my weekly spreads with printed photos I find on pinterest.
You’re also really great at creating hand-lettered designs! How did you learn hand lettering? Can you share any tips with us?
I started hand lettering a little bit before I started bullet journaling, but bullet journaling has given me a lot of hand lettering and calligraphy practice. If you're just learning how to do hand lettering and/or calligraphy, I recommend first practicing the up and down strokes of the letters, and then moving onto the letters. Be patient with yourself, and know that it will take time to develop your skills and eventually find your own style.
Thank you to Cynthia for answering our questions and sharing your work with us. Be sure to check out @cynthiabujo on Instagram.