How To Journal In 2022: Stationery Trends & Predictions For The Year Ahead
Sally Angharad Booth is a Material, Design and Trend Consultant. But when we asked her to share her predictions for stationery trends in 2022, her answer wasn’t quite what we expected…
In fact, it was better than we dared to hope.
Sally’s whole ethos is all about looking for trends for ideas and inspiration, rather than following them as a set prescription that changes each season. And we love that concept.
So, we hope this conversation inspires you to do the same. We sat down with Sally to find out what her biggest surprise was from 2021, her predictions for the stationery world over the next 12 months and the one big tip she wants to give to journaling fans like you.
This is how to journal in 2022.
What happened in the stationery world last year?
Before we can predict what’s to come, we need to look at what’s happened so far.
If 2020 was the year that the world stopped, 2021 was the year that we brought the lessons of slowing down to life. As Sally explains, we went from information overload and too many options to developing a more sustainable outlook and becoming far more mindful about what we’re buying.
“[People are asking] do we need all of this? And how can we choose in a more mindful way and be more selective? There are so many options out there now... but how do you then filter that down and choose what's right for you?”
The pandemic expedited that process. Trends and themes that were already starting to pop up in conversations in the stationery world sped up far faster than expected.
As we all spent more and more time at home, we became more aware of what mattered to us. From sustainability to recycled materials, brand ethos and mindful purchases, previously alternative trends became mainstream.
We started to make more mindful design choices
As we start to look for deeper connections with the brands we’re supporting, the same goes for the products we’re choosing to have in our homes.
The best products are always the ones we actually use. And as Sally shares, simplicity plays a big role in that.
“It's almost like it's a natural instinct to reject too much choice and just want to go simple. And I think, in spite of how it looked like people had lots of time during the pandemic, for some people it probably was the busiest they'd ever been... juggling and balancing personal life with work life, and those boundaries really crossing.”
As our work, school and personal lives all merged together, so too did the tools we used to manage them. So it’s no surprise that bullet journaling became even more popular over 2021!
This was the design hero of 2021
There was one common theme that ran through every facet of the stationery world last year. What was it? Quality.
“A real focus on quality. Really beautifully made products with high-quality materials used.”
Sally explains that it’s a simple luxury that ties everything together. That’s what enables us to make more sustainable choices that last longer, whilst still bringing a more minimalist feeling into our lives. And that’s something that’s not set to change anytime soon.
The biggest stationery trend for the year ahead...
This next theme might well be our favourite trend. Because it speaks wonders about how far we’ve all come.
Sally’s really seeing how many more people are speaking out more and being more confident.
“There's a real sort of need and craving for people just expressing who they are, being really confident and bold with their choices”
Stationery trend: confident design
The beauty of stationery design is that it gives you the space and freedom to experiment with different design styles, without giving your entire home (or wardrobe) a dramatic makeover. It offers a fun and affordable way to introduce a bold new colourway or a maximalist pattern into your life.
Sally told us about a trend called Connecting, which is bright, expressive and confident with a retro feel…
“There's a sense of nostalgia. So these bright colours aren't necessarily new. We've seen it before but the way the real saturation is coming through is really bright. It's almost that people are just craving to be quite eccentric. And quite confident.
It's a bold, confident use of pattern, I suppose quite maximalist. Of course, there'll be people who don't go that way. That's definitely a big trend that I see, especially for smaller projects such as stationery.”
Stationery trend: confident choices
It looks like next year will see a shift in the way we use our stationery too. We’re expecting a shift towards stationery that is both simple and functional, rather than the traditional workbook-style planners that we’ve seen in the past.
“If you're given something that's beautifully designed and simple - like the dot the grid notebook from Yop & Tom - something that is beautifully designed and functional but gives you ownership of how you're going to use it... That's really important.
It's almost like we've tested out all these things and we know that people want autonomy. We know people like to have that variation. One day, you might want to make a super long list and the next day maybe you don't. So it's trying to create those products that are functional and simple. But flexible.”
The number one tip for journaling fans in 2022
Sally has one big tip for you next year, and we couldn’t be happier to hear it.
“Don't feel the need to fit a mould”
Instead, she’s encouraging you to be really honest with yourself about your journaling practices.
If you’re following a pre-formatted notebook, have you enjoyed filling out that section? If you’re into list-making, why not give bullet journaling a try and go about it in your own unique way?
You don’t have to shy away from structured journaling. Rather, be honest with yourself about how it feels. As Sally said,
“I love structure, but it's about it being your structure.”
The best thing you can do for creative journaling ideas
Stuck for creative inspiration to help fill your bullet journal? Sally has an idea to help you.
“Shake things up [...]. Try to look at things from new perspectives and be open about where that might take you”.
Go to different events. Watch something completely random on TV. Try a new art exhibition. Take yourself to a music concert. Pick up a different magazine every month. You might not love every single thing you see but it’ll almost always spark a fresh idea and get that creative inspiration flowing again.