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About a month ago I started bullet journaling, and instantly fell in love with the simplicity of the method. I have been a long-time planner junkie, and had already purchased a couple of planners for personal and blog use this year, when I decided to give a bullet journal a try. Not only did I instantly love a bullet journal, I found it very quickly eliminated my need for a planner. I ended up gifting one planner to my daughter, and then using the other one exclusively to track my salon appointments and expenses.
This blog grew a lot in 2015, and I knew I wanted to have an editorial calendar/blog planner to assist in my organization and productivity, but I couldn’t really decide on one that seemed like a good fit for me. Once I discovered bullet journaling, I knew this was the answer to my blog planner dilemma, too.
I ordered another Lechtturm1917 notebook, and the rest is history! I didn’t have a lot of preconceived ideas about how to set it up, but I knew there were some specific functions I needed a planner to fill.
Bullet Journal Blog Planner
There is the typical index, like my regular bullet journal, but I rely on the ribbon bookmarks to keep my current place in the notebook.
I started out with a mission statement, and some written goals for 2016. Actually, I wrote 2015 and had to covertly change the 5 to a 6. I hope that isn’t an indication of how the rest of my year will go, but the beauty of a bullet journal format is that mistakes happen and it doesn’t really matter.
I did a monthly spread, which doubles as an editorial calendar. This is a fluid plan of what I am going to post on what day. Nothing is set in stone, but it gives me a good guideline. I also left the space on the write to jot notes. I am a fan of bullet journalling organically, and just adding as I go, so I only did a month at a time, and will just add pages chronologically as I go.
I am also doing dailies in my blog planner. This page basically functions as my to-do list. I try not to give myself more than 3 or 4 things to do, and I don’t write my dailies out more than a day or so ahead of time.
I have had some of the most brilliant ideas for blog posts – and forgot about them before I wrote them down. I dedicated an entire page to blog post ideas. One of my biggest “blocks” when writing is coming up with a fresh idea, so this gives me some great prompts and ideas.
This year I started monetizing my blog, which is exciting, but can be difficult to keep track of. I added this income and expenses page to keep a running tally, and to keep myself accountable to filing receipts.
I use a scheduler for my social media, but it is still very time-consuming to find content and fill up my scheduler. I started jotting down web sites and Facebook pages that enjoy and regularly share from so I can just go down the list when I schedule. This page has been really functional for me, and saved me a lot of time!
One aspect I really enjoy about using a bullet journal vs. a traditional blog planner is that I can add notes as I go. When I get a sponsored post, sometimes it is really hard for my mind to retain and organize the details, and it has been frustrating to try to keep track of everything, By being able to write detailed notes directly in my planner, not only is it easy for me to refer back to the instructions, but the exercise of writing them down helps me to “get them straight” in my own head.
These are the 3 pens I use in my journal. The first is the Faber Castell artist pen. I resisted the hype over this pen, because I already have a collection of Micron pens, but the Faber Castell pens have India ink, and are perfect for the pages of the Leuchtturm1917. I prefer the Microns for sketching, and Faber Castell for writing.
I have a few of these Pilot Metropolitan fountain pens that are my “daily writers.” One is a fine nib, and one medium. One has a black ink cartridge, and one is inked up with Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki ink, which is Deep Blue.
For the bit of color I add to my journal I use these Prismacolor colored pencils. I love how smooth and vibrant they are.
I am working on adding a few more things, like social media tracking, and a page of all the affiliate programs I am enrolled in with user names and passwords. The thing about a bullet journal – especially using one as a blog planner – is that you can customize it to maximize your own productivity. Because that is really the point – being productive! Some people get caught up in how pretty their handwriting is, or how artistic they are, and allow it to paralyze them into not using a bullet journal to it’s full potential. Don’t do that – just journal in your own style!
Whether you are a blogger, or whatever your “job” is, how do you stay organized? Could a bullet journal blog planner work for you?