Over the years, whenever technology has thrown up another free software program that encourages social interaction and enables diverse voices to be heard, I ask myself how I can manipulate this to meet my needs. Over the years the program keeps being updated with new features and enables uses to work imaginatively.
In this session we will explore how a basic Instagram account can be used to keep a form of Bullet Journal.
To create an Instagram account from the app:
- Download the Instagram app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play Store (Android).
- Once the app is installed, tap to open it.
- Tap Sign Up With Email or Phone Number (Android) or Create New Account (iPhone), then enter your email address or phone number (which will require a confirmation code) and tap Next. You can also tap Log in with Facebook to sign up with your Facebook account.
- If you register with your email or phone number, create a username and password, fill out your profile info and then tap Next. If you register with Facebook, you’ll be prompted to log into your Facebook account if you’re currently logged out.
To create an Instagram account from a computer:
- Go to instagram.com.
- Click Sign up, enter your email address, create a username and password or click Log in with Facebook to sign up with your Facebook account.
- If you register with an email, click Sign up. If you register with Facebook, you’ll be prompted to log into your Facebook account if you’re currently logged out.
If you sign up with email, make sure you enter your email address correctly and choose an email address that only you can access. If you log out and forget your password, you’ll need to be able to access your email to get back into your Instagram account.
In February 2016, Instagram added a feature to make it easier to switch between two different accounts in its app, without having to sign in and out every time.
That has in turn spawned a growing trend for people to keep two Instagram accounts on the go: one that can be viewed by everyone and the other that’s purely for close friends.
A recent New York Post article defined this as “Finstagram” (private) and “Rinstagram” (public). The theory is that the former can be a less pressured way to share photos, avoiding the need to care whether the editing is top notch or about how many likes and comments they get. A private instagram account is ideal if you really don’t want everyone to see the record, for example, of your bad hair days, cooking flops or genius ideas. I have a primary, private instagram account that provides a receptacle to preserve memories of my travels and includes some photographs of family. I also have secondary accounts for specific interests which I enjoy sharing in a community setting.
So what is a Bullet Journal?
A bullet journal has been described as a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system. Equal parts day planner, diary, and written meditation, bullet journaling turns the chaos of coordinating your life into a streamlined system that helps you be more productive and reach your personal and professional goals. With sections to log your daily to-do’s, monthly calendar, notes, long-term wants and more, your BuJo is customized to your life.
How can I use the idea behind bullet journal keeping in my Instagram account?
Well! It may not be in the same form as describe in the video but the possibilities are infinite! You are only really limited by your imagination, especially since you can get all fancy and include videos and story pages in Instagram.
One of the ways I learned about the internet was by following others and watching what they were doing. So I checked out some Instagram accounts that openly state that they are bullet journalling.
By contrast Amy, on her WordPress blog writes about how she uses Instagram as a Journaling Tool. She says that “one of the main reasons I love Instagram, is because it provides an opportunity to record my life through images in a way that no other platform does”. She also says that “scrolling through my Instagram feed allows me to remember the details of certain moments in my life, which wouldn’t otherwise have been documented. It keeps the memories fresh and clear in my mind”.
Instagram takes the focus away from writing, onto photography and composition. It becomes an art form in itself. I have also found that it
- helps crystallise and clarify my thinking
- enables me to affirm to myself my ideas will become a reality
- assists me make strategic plans to make my ideas a reality
(1) One way to get started is to pull out your art supplies and create a bullet list page in a hard copy journal or on coloured page! You might, for example, make a ‘bucket list’ with a difference. You might use a bullet journal template like this to make a list of creative pursuits you intend to pursue.
Shelley Lammer’s 100 Art Therapy Exercises has lots of fabulous ideas. You might challenge yourself to photograph
- 50 unusual letter boxes
- 50 interesting headstones in historic cemeteries
- 50 tree selfies
- 50 things to visit in our local region
- 50 new culinary delights to experiment with
- 50 places to sit enjoy alfresco dining when you don’t want to congregate
- 50 tree selfies (trees do love to be photographed)
- 50 road side altars
- 50 abandoned/distressed buildings
And then! Of course, you head out with your picnic basket, take your photographs and then post on Instagram with brief, bullet point notes to preserve what you saw, thought and wondered.
Later you can refer to these notes when you are writing in more detail in a journal or preparing an article for publication.
(2) The days of keeping recipe notebooks are a distant memory for many of us. Aside from having a meal planner on hand, ready for those moments when you can’t be bothered thinking about dinner, if you kept a record on Instagram you would be surprised how many people would be interested, follow and chat to you. And, just think! You might eventually turn your Instagram ‘feed’ into a book.
(3) Perhaps you want to start an Instagram book group which uses the idea of brief bullet points being placed under photographs of book covers.
(4) Maybe you will go through some family photographs taken on holiday or wherever, make notes and then use these to begin that Memoir you have been promising to put together. Likewise you could photograph all sorts of ephemera and objects which stimulate memories and stories to pass down.
These are just four ideas! To brainstorm and come up with more ideas I have invited some luminaries to join us at the round table to form a council of seven advisors.
- Leonardo Di Vinci make use of Instagram?
- Hildegard of Bingen adapt and use an Instagram account?
- Joanna Field, who wrote ‘A Life of One’s Own’, adapt in this modern setting?
- Ludwig van Beethoven take advantage of what Instagram has to offer?
- Ferdinand Magellan, a man born to sail and conquer, conquer Instagram?
- Louise Bourgeois, who needed to make things, and is famed for her incredible installations, respond?
- Catherine the Great, who faced more than a dozen uprisings in her long reign, make use of Instagram?
Who would you invite to a round table support group?
It would be great if you took the time to share your thoughts in comment section at the bottom of this page.
Some people prefer to keep their account private or have little desire to gain lots of followers, and that’s cool. Using Instagram as a journaling tool means that the focus is on capturing your life the way you want to remember it, not for anyone else. When you choose to make your account private you can moderate who joins you. I highly recommend doing this if you are sharing material you don’t want to have made generally available or if you are doing personal healing work using imagery
Mrs Voldermort is an avatar that this woman uses. Her feed has a strong voice. She uses instagram mainly to showcase her garden and to let us peek into the life of her rescued dog Bing.
Tips for using Instagram
The internet is literally awash with material about how to get the most from an Instagram account. For my part I was happy to create a simple account and then learn as I went along and watched those who I was following. Gradually I figured out what a hashtag is and how to save interesting posts. One of the communities I am in promotes monthly challenges and I find that doing these helps me keep learning.