Viv, better known as @mondaymorningdesign online, is a passionate journal creator and stationery enthusiast. Her stunning spreads and signature style are an inspiration to more than fifty thousand Instagram users, with whom she regularly shares journal ideas and stationery inspiration.
We had a great conversation with Viv, discussing her passion for all things stationery, and her tips for journal beginners:
Can you tell us about how you became interested in stationery and journals?
I’ve always loved stationery ever since I was a kid! I remember going to the Sanrio Shop and would buy markers, pencils, cute erasers, and even bought a planner once (at the age of 8!) I used to scrapbook, make collages, and journal a lot when I was younger, too, but stopped as I got older. It wasn’t until I discovered the Bullet Journal that I started journaling and being creative again.
When did you start keeping and regularly updating a bullet journal?
I discovered the bullet journal in 2019 and instantly fell in love! I love how creative I could be with it while also being productive and organized. It was my creative outlet outside of my office job. When my work hours changed, I couldn’t dedicate as much time as I wanted to on my bullet journal so I stopped using it for about a year. Then I started again in 2020 when I moved to a new town, thousands of miles away from home.
Journaling has become such a big part of my life that I feel lost without it now. It’s become an extension of me. I don’t have any plans on stopping any time soon!
What would you consider the primary purpose of your journal to be? Do you also use a separate planner?
I’m using many different journals at the moment! My main one is my bullet journal which I use for appointments, events, tasks, trackers, and now memory keeping. It’s what keeps me organized and on track!
I also have an art journal for more creative spreads when I’m in the mood for it; a travel journal which holds my travel memories, big life events/milestones, and finance tracking; and another notebook for project planning. I don’t use each one every day, but they all serve a purpose. I don’t have a separate planner, but I am definitely itching to add that into my stack!
How do you recommend a beginner gets started in the world of bullet journaling?
My best advice is to start minimal and with the basics! First, find the purpose/why you want to start a bullet journal. Do you want to be more organized? Keep track of habits? Journal or keep memories? Use it as a creative outlet? Or maybe it’s all of the above. Once you know your “why,” then think about the types of spreads you want to create. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top and full of art and doodles. Just lay down the foundation (layout) without worrying too much about the look of it. Then, add decorations as you wish.
People often think (and have told me) that they can’t bullet journal because they aren’t “artistic or creative enough” and it just breaks my heart. I remind them that anybody can start one. I know how overwhelming it can be to see all of the beautiful and creative spreads on IG or Pinterest, but try not compare your journal to others. Yes, absolutely use them as inspiration, but don’t let it stop you from ever starting.
Focus on your “why” and you will see the wonders the bullet journal will do for you! I also recommend reading The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll (the creator of the Bullet Journal) or visiting their official website on how to get started with the basics.
You've created beautiful spreads, including mood boards and reflection pages. Every spread is different, but it seems that you've carried a similar theme throughout your creations. Where do you start in developing your own journal style?
When I first started bullet journaling, I started minimal but quickly got sucked into feeling like I needed every single theme and spread to be unique and creative. It veered from my original intention of keeping things simple. When I came back from my year-long break, I came back with a fresh mindset.
I wanted my bullet journal to serve me and to have my journal work for me — not the other way around. I started simple then slowly played around with different styles that developed into what my style is now: minimal and neutral with touches of intentional layering. I love what it’s evolved into but it definitely doesn’t stop here. My style is going to keep growing and evolving with time, and that’s what makes me most excited!
You also have a great skill for handwriting and lettering! Can you share tips for anyone who wants to improve their handwriting?
My only advice is to practice, practice, PRACTICE! You can find handwriting and lettering drill sheets online. Over time, you will find what feels right to you and you’ll develop your own unique style. Lately, I’ve been focusing more on monoline lettering (vs. brush lettering) and I prefer this style much more. It’s minimal and clean and feels more natural to me.
Lastly, one of our favorite questions -- what is one must-have stationery item that you couldn't go without?
Without a doubt, a good fineliner! It is an absolute game changer. A quality quick-drying, no-smudging fineliner makes all the difference when creating spreads or doodling. I could not live without them!
Thanks to Viv for sharing these wonderful answers with us. Be sure to check out Viv's Instagram.