All Ages of Geek Play With Life Studio

Bucket List Journal Kickstarter Interview with Play With Life Studio

Our lives are a beautiful and chaotic mix of dreams, experiences, and moments that etch deep impressions in our memories. Each one of us holds a trove of aspirations and ambitions that drive us, motivate us, and give us purpose. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, however, we often lose sight of these dreams, and they are relegated to the back of our minds, gathering dust. Enter the Bucket List Journal by Play With Life Studio, a unique and thoughtfully crafted tool designed to help you celebrate the time you have and bring your dreams and aspirations back to the forefront of your mind. In the following conversation, we dive deep into the inspiration behind this innovative journal and explore how it can help users immortalize their dreams, goals, and aspirations.

What inspired you to create the Bucket List Journal, and how did the idea come about?

When I was a kid I would wonder what I wanted to do in life and all the adults would tell me: “Well kid you have the whole life to figure it out”. Let’s be honest. It was reassuring but not really helpful. That was until the day I started volunteering as a photographer in the hospice for terminally ill children. It sounds dark but folks there were normal kids who just weren’t lucky and they did not have the whole life to figure it out. That’s when I first met with the concept of a bucket list.

The kids in the hospice knew one thing every single human being gets to learn at some point. Our time is limited.

What the hospice did was to organize incredible experiences for these children, so they made as many dreams come true as possible, so they felt their life progressing. They’d feel joy and celebrate it. And my job was to document and journal it, catch this spark. When they met Santa, saw an elephant, or got the Barbie they dreamed of there was always the spark in their eyes and in the eyes of their families. Many of those great young people passed, but their families had photos of beautiful moments filled with the spark to keep the memory of them.

Meeting with those families, I promised myself to keep this spark alive. In my life and the lives of others. My Bucket List helped me with that in my darker times but for years I’ve been thinking about how to bring this spark to more people, especially adults who might not always acknowledge that our time is limited when they are all caught up at work.

That’s how the idea of the Bucket List Journal by Play With Life Studio was born. The idea of this lifetime journal is to celebrate the time we have.

How does the Bucket List Journal help users craft, store, and reflect on their dreams and aspirations?

With hundreds of hours put into the Bucket List Journal, it is perfect for those who already know what they want to do before they die and those who are yet to decide. The Bucket List Journal is 240 pages divided into Dreams Crafting, Dreams Journaling, and Bucket List. Inside the Bucket List Journal, you will find room for 100 dreams, with space for plans, inspiring self-reflective questions, and memories in the form of photos, quotes, or thoughts! Bucket List Journal was designed to encourage creative Dream Craftings with pages dedicated to seeking inspiration, brainstorming dreams, planning the execution, and self-reflecting on our lives and their progression.

Can you explain the structure and organization of the journal, and how it encourages users to plan and achieve their goals?

The first part of the Bucket List Journal is the Dreams Crafting section, categorized by different types of dreams, filled with self-reflective questions inspiring us to look back and look inside ourselves to acknowledge our needs and desires. It includes examples of bucket list positions from dreamers living all around the world. These inspiration pages are followed by dotted pages prepared for you to brainstorm the dreams you want to put on your Bucket List.

The Bucket List Journal consists also of 100 pages of Bucket List to plan and reflect on the 100 dreams you want to fulfill before you die with a place to plan the dream, tick it off (or drop it), and write down your emotions and lessons learned about yourself. Another 100 pages are there to keep dream-related memories, a Dreams Journaling section. So after each page dedicated to planning and self-reflection, there is a page to scrapbook photos and memorabilia.

What materials and design elements have you chosen for the Bucket List Journal to ensure durability and user satisfaction?

The Bucket List Journal is available in two sizes: A5 (5.82 x 8.26 in, which is 14.8 x 21 cm) or Royal (9.21 x 6.14 in, which is 15.6 x 23.4 cm).

It’s produced only in hardcover with a white foiled soft-touch cover with 3D touch adornment. The material used for the cover is complemented with an anti-scratch layer with enhanced scratch resistance properties, to ensure durability as the journal as it’s designed to be used for years. The hardcover binding is sewn full-paper with tex. 2.5 mm and straight/rounded spine (endcap).

The Journal is being produced by one of the best, award-winning stationery manufacturing companies in Central Europe, made in Poland. This local company named Totem has over 28 years of experience in journal and notebook production as well as book printing.

The paper used for 240 pages of the journal is the Alto Creme 90 g vol. 1.5 g.

Are there any unique or innovative features in the Bucket List Journal that set it apart from other similar products on the market?

When most bucket list notebooks offer you only the function of a planner, the Bucket List Journal by Play With Life Studio is a planner, journal, and album. Besides helping you brainstorm bucket list ideas and plan them, it’s designed to keep the memories in the form of photos, and stickers for a lifetime. Additionally, the Journal comes with a wooden handmade treasure trunk for all the additional photos and memorabilia that you might want to keep in one place.

Why is it important?

The research shows that for Bucket List to serve its purpose, which is to bring you life satisfaction by being your life compass, it’s important to not only write it down but also document and celebrate each bucket list position you fulfill, creating a visualization of your life progression, just like the map of the journey.

Additionally, each Bucket List position starts with inspiring quotations from pop-culture pieces, including movies, books, games, animations, and TV series loved by millions of different dreamers, to encourage you to dream wildly and broadly. Every 25 dreams, you’ll find additional inspiring quotations on bucket lists put there to support the self-reflective questions and a space to think out loud!

How can the Bucket List Journal help users maintain motivation and focus on their dreams throughout their lives?

The design of the Bucket List Journal is based on the current state of socio-psychological research on the impact of bucket lists on mental health and life satisfaction. Physical bucket lists are proven to be a modern tool used in psychology to form our identity, fight the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), create a legacy and accept our mortality by creating something that will outlive us which in this case is the journaled dreams. The Bucket List Journal is a type of filled-in autobiography, it’s a book for the dreamer to write about what their dream is, what are their life aspirations and in the end, what did they achieve throughout their whole life.

The Bucket List Journal is not a notebook to use for a year and then throw out and it’s designed to stay with you for a lifetime. You’ll probably come back to it a few times a year, whenever a new dream idea pops into your mind or you achieve your dream. Despite which way it will be, it’s going to be a meaningful and joyful experience.

What demographic or target audience do you envision using the Bucket List Journal, and how does it cater to their needs?

From the early adopters, I know there are 3 key moments when they need Bucket List Journal and when they benefit from it the most:

  1. Quarter Life Anxieties: Most of us heard about the Half-life anxieties but the first existential anxieties we experience in our lives come between our late teens and early thirties. That’s when we tend to experience anxiety over the direction and quality of our life. It might come by looking a bit like a burnout or depression episode. It’s a great journal for anyone asking themselves questions: what do I want to do with my life? Do I enjoy where I’m going?
  2. Life Turning Points: Some of the Bucket List Journal early adopters are people who’ve recently decided to make important changes in their lives, whether it’s switching career paths, changes in personal life, or moving to the other part of the globe, if you’re about to change something in your life, refreshing your compass while brainstorming your future is what the Bucket List Journal will help you with.
  3. Couples, Families, and Self-Identity Creation: Forming any relationship, building a family or couple bonds, or even a relationship with ourselves is the process of creating an identity. Some early adopters of the Bucket List Journal use it to understand themselves better, and self-reflect on their aspirations and needs while figuring out what they dream of. For some users, it was natural that when they told their families or loved ones, it became a shared journal for shared adventures and dreams, which also helps to build their relationships’ identities.

Can you share any personal experiences or stories that demonstrate the impact the Bucket List Journal can have on its users?

I created my Bucket List in my darkest moment. Many people shared this experience with me when after about 10 months of lockdown, working from home, worrying about loved ones, and struggling to sleep regularly, I started to evaluate my life. I asked myself how I am going to bring this spark of happiness and magic to my everyday life. What am I going to do when I’ll be able to do anything again?

After a night of brainstorming my dreams, I got super excited. I felt like a main character in the movie looking into my future that I was just drafting and I fell in love with all the adventures and aspirations I mapped. Once I moved from brainstorming to planning I felt simple joy, the one I was lacking for months of sitting at home. I guess the lockdown was my reminder of what I acknowledged while working in the hospice as a photographer: Life is limited and I want to live to the fullest whenever it will be possible again.

When the first dream I made came true was to join Google, the second was to bungee jump, and when I fulfilled them I came to the realization that I need those memories, this happiness to live forever. I needed the album or journal to keep those memories and plans with me until my last days. When I created my first copy of the Bucket List Journal it let me relive some of the memories but it also made me craft even more exciting dreams.

What challenges did you face during the development and design process of the Bucket List Journal, and how did you overcome them?

I wanted to make sure the Bucket List Journal will be inclusive of different types of dreams and different types of dreamers. It’s easy to just think that Bucket List is all about travel, whereas I believe it’s not and studies prove that.

Bucket List should envision our future and it’s a complex thing to craft! This is why the beginning of the Bucket List Journal, a Dream Crafting section, is dedicated to different categories of dreams. With many different questions and examples to guide you in figuring out your life compass. That’s also why the design of the cover is composed of the compass rose and 6 different elements each one to represent diverse dreamers.

You might not be an artist but dream about writing a book or selling your painting. You might be a scientist that wants to start a business or invent technology one day.

You might not have any musical education and need to create music. You might work at a corporation and dream about freedom and sailing the ocean.

We are much more complex than what we get credit for and the challenge was to create a journal that embraces that fact. It’s also why there are 100 inspiring pop culture quotes from diverse fictional characters, to ensure it will inspire different dreamers.

How has the reception been for the Bucket List Journal so far, and what feedback have you received from backers and users?

Before I decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign I did a small pre-sale for the early adopters of the Bucket List Journal to improve it before I publish it worldwide on a Kickstarter Campaign. We’re talking about 40 hand-picked users. Additionally, a few of them were gifted to inspiring people such as Mr. Rich Ross, ex-CEO of the Walt Disney Studios, and Paige Hosbein, a marathoner fundraising for Children with Cancer.

The early adopters of the journal share similar feedback:

  1. The Dreams Crafting as a step is the most important to change the mindset. Preceded by a brief philosophical and sociological thesis, the Dreams Crafting section is the moment to meditate, stop for a while and validate our life satisfaction, which is not something we take time for often.
  2. All the early adopters really enjoy different quotations about dreams put on each Bucket List page paired with one of the cover dream symbols. I got a few messages saying that the quotations are just perfectly matching the dream they just wrote down without even acknowledging it at first.
  3. It’s not a Journal to use every day, but rather to go back to a few times a year. Many users told me that after they created the first few dreams from time to time the new dream just pops up in their heads and they know they need to write it down.
  4. I got a lot of messages about what complementary add-ons are needed to get even more from the Bucket List Journal, which is why during the Kickstarter Campaign the Bucket List Journal will be available with a mini bucket list (kind of life synopsis) and a large dream vision board map to hang and look at regularly, but also different stickers sheets and accessories for the scrapbooking and journaling memories.
  5. After seeing so much inspiration coming from the first users I decided to keep growing a community that shares tips and stories of how they made their dreams come true to help those with similar dreams! This month the stories published will be from 3 dreamers who’ve recently: got to an Ivy League university, written a book, and moved to Brazil!

Can you discuss the process of launching your Kickstarter campaign for the Bucket List Journal and the experience of crowdfunding?

After I knew what I wanted to change in the Bucket List Journal and what complementary products need to come with it, the time came to create the Kickstarter campaign. Fortunately, I’ve been an entrepreneur for more than 5 years already and I know a lot of amazing people who’ve done successful Kickstarter Campaigns. One of the people who helped me the most was Albert, a creator of the CircuitMess STEM Box Kickstarter campaign.

I also got to know a few people working at Kickstarter to learn more about the platform. Preparing the campaign is of course much easier than running a pre-launch campaign, which is doing a lot of marketing to reach your potential backers, but so far I find it pretty exciting!

Are there any stretch goals or additional features you plan to introduce if the Kickstarter campaign exceeds its funding target?

Definitely! I believe stretch goals are one of the most fun Kickstarter Campaign features which brings what I particularly love about crowdfunding which is the shared journey towards a common goal! The Bucket List Journal campaign stretch goals go as follows but I might add some more along the way:

100% — unique numbered Seal Stickers 150% — Mini Map of Dreams to collect signatures of journeys commemorates 200% — Beautiful ribbon inside each Bucket List Journal 300% — Dream With Me Card for each order with at least 2 Journals (1+1) 400% — 2 Cotton Pouches for Bucket List Journals or 15 x 23 Photos for each order with at least 2 Journals (1+1) 600% — A3 Map of Dreams to collect signatures and thoughts of commemorates for each order with Treasure Trunk

Although even more freebies will come during the Early Birds which will be the first 72h.

How do you plan to handle production, manufacturing, and shipping for the Bucket List Journal once the campaign is successfully funded?

The delivery will be handled by Envelo (Polish Post) and its partners which is the official national shipping platform in Poland, supported by the European Union. It’s the largest mail-handling company in the country, which additionally provides courier, banking, insurance, and logistics services. Poland Post’s international shipping services are available to over 90% of the world’s population. In case you would be in the 10% somewhere else in the world, I will make sure to get it shipped to you with dedicated service!

What is the expected delivery timeline for the Bucket List Journal, and how do you plan to keep backers informed about its progress?

The Bucket List Journal Kickstarter includes Free International Standard and Tracked Shipping Worldwide and the delivery

Europe: Delivery Can Take Up To 1-2 weeks

South America, Central America, Asia, Africa: 2-3 weeks

North America: 2-7 weeks

Australia, Oceania: 4-8 weeks

The updates on the delivery statuses will be sent via email, but also published on the Kickstarter Community page and the Bucket List Journal Instagram profile.

Are there any future plans to expand the Bucket List Journal line or create other related products?

I plan to create 2 other journals to make an increasing life-satisfaction series. After the Bucket List Journal Kickstarter Campaign delivery, I will start working on the Fuck It Journal, a journal designed to work on assertiveness, setting boundaries, and self-esteem. The last one will probably be the Travel Journal to handle travel plans and memories.

Besides those, the Bucket List Journal itself will come with many complementary products such as Wooden Handmade Treasure Trunks, Sticker Sheets, Washi Tapes, Vision Boards, Mini Bucket Lists, Wooden “check” stamps, Wooden Handmade Photo boxes, Affirmative Cards, Dream With Me Cards and Cotton Pouches. Some of those will be given as freebies during the Early Birds (the first 72h).

How do you envision the Bucket List Journal contributing to the overall well-being and personal development of its users?

The science behind bucket list journaling reveals that the compilation of goals helps in creating an emotional connection to our desires and a sense of purpose. I created the Bucket List Journal to help its users:

  • Form their identity
  • Fight the Fear of Missing Out
  • Create a Legacy
  • Find their Meaning and Purpose
  • Accept their mortality

I hope for the Bucket List Journal to be a lifelong solution for envisioning the future while focusing on the present needs, desires, aspirations, and passions. Recent research shows that creating a bucket list has a positive influence on improving low self-esteem and I definitely experienced it while using my Bucket List Journal. The whole idea of Dreams Crafting is to ask ourselves the question: if I could do anything, what would I love to do before I die? Then it’s a matter of plan, will, and effort to choose on working towards making this dream come true which is by design the purpose the Bucket List Journal serves. Although for a long time, I only shared my Bucket List with close ones, it made me feel that I’m here for valid reasons as I have an adventure awaiting me.

Research shows that the bucket list may contribute to identity creation and increasing self-esteem, providing individuals with a sense of accomplishment and control over their lives. It is also important to make it visual, and physical as checking off items on a bucket list may also contribute to a form of symbolic immortality.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to create and launch a product through crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter?

Share your idea with your friends, on meetups, and on social media, and constantly work on improving your product. It’s very important to meet like-minded people who will fall in love with your product. When I was gaining some early insights and feedback as I was designing the journal, I talked to a man who literally stopped me mid-sentence and said “I want to be your first customer”.

He never asked me about the price or looks, he just loved the idea and felt that he needs it right now. He even took part in the cover’s evolution because since that conversation I knew it was the kind of person I’m looking for, as excited as me about the idea.

How have you promoted the Bucket List Journal and its Kickstarter campaign, and what marketing strategies have you found most effective?

During the pre-launch stage of my campaign I’m focusing mostly on social media marketing at the top of the funnel and email marketing/blogging at the middle of the funnel.

When it comes to social media, I’m part of stationery and bucket list communities on Reddit and Facebook groups. I post regularly on Instagram to showcase my product and tell my story and talk about the problem of the lack of dreaming on Linkedin.

I also use Substack as a Newsletter to educate on Bucket Lists’ impact on Mental Health and share the Bucket List stories of the early adopters!

I’m also working on getting a bit of the spotlight on blogs and media such as All Ages of Geek.

Can you share any lessons or insights from the Bucket List Journal project that have had a lasting impact on your entrepreneurial journey?

I learned to do a lot of research and find top-tier partners to work with, who really enjoy what they are doing. In my case, it was finding the manufacturers for printing the journals and making the wooden treasure trunks. I did a lot of research, spoke with them on the phone, e-mailed, or even visited.

You want to meet someone who really loves what they are doing whether it’s printing, woodwork, graphic design, or text editing, at the end you need to love your product and your partners need to love quality to make your backers love your product as well!

In what ways do you hope the Bucket List Journal inspires and empowers its users to pursue their dreams and make them a reality?

We are given one life to explore and to continue the endless search for ourselves, to solve the mystery of our lives. At the end of the day, none of us, including yourself, knows about your potential, your uniqueness, and what you can contribute to the world. I hope users of the Bucket List Journal will use it to envision their lives and create a compass and a map for their future adventures that will help them discover their purpose and uniqueness. I really want the Bucket List Journal to support its users’ well-being and Mental Health by answering existential anxieties, consciously choosing to live their full lives, not giving it up to FOMO and artificial race towards someone else’s expectations. Taking early adopters’ experiences and scientific research, I’m sure the Bucket List Journal is tailored to empower its users to craft and pursue their dreams.

And so, the Bucket List Journal stands as a reminder to endure the power of dreams and the importance of celebrating our lives. It serves as a bridge between us and our aspirations, an elegant reminder that life is fleeting, and each moment should be treasured. No matter where you are in your life’s journey, whether you’ve figured out your life’s calling or are still seeking your purpose, the Bucket List Journal invites you to pause, reflect, and celebrate your life. So go ahead, grab your pen, unleash your dreams, and let’s craft a life brimming with cherished memories and moments that truly matter. After all, life isn’t about ticking off days on a calendar; it’s about making each day count.

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