This year and last year have been a whirlwind! As a result, I’ve lost track of a lot of things that should have stayed on top of my priority list. Only I didn’t have a list.
After cleaning out our storage closet and finding my old bullet journal (which I lost around the time I lost my day job), I wanted to start it up again. It was pretty much no-frills; black pen and the occasional printed-and-pasted chart, but I really liked it. I decided I didn’t have enough to keep track of and abandoned the idea.
Then I got on Pinterest and saw all of the amazing layouts people are using, and all of the different things people are tracking. I went back through my old (printed and pasted) list of major goals and steps to reach those goals, and I decided to jump back in.
So here’s my pet Bujo (that’s fanatic slang for “bullet journal”). I made a leather cover designed to mimic the Midori Traveler’s Journal style of modular notebook case. (I also made a few more, dyed or color block painted that might be available on Etsy). For my own, I tooled my logo and then used some leather dye my dad had lying around which was picked out by my oldest kid. I think it’s a good compromise between the bullet journal idea of putting everything in one book and the compulsion to put certain things in their own notebooks.
I have revision notes in one book, since they could easily overwhelm my pocket size Moleskine, even though that is where I keep track of the revision process. I may choose to move website, YouTub, and social media notes to another notebook when my current primary book is full.
I also made a few card stock folders, which hold some stickers, paper clips and a magnetic bookmark, just in case.
I’ll go into more detail about some sections and how I use it on a regular basis, but for now, here’s a rundown of the sections:
- Title Page, Symbol Key, Index
- Goals (5 big goals on one page, each goal given its own page w/tracker)
- Books I’ve Read, Movies I Watched, Places I Stayed
- Weekly Fitness Plan (I use sticky notes so I can change it easily)
- Weekly Meal Plan (Also uses sticky notes, or at least it would if I actually used this page)
- Weekly Challenges (Also sticky notes, whatever I want to challenge myself with)
- Financial Goals (with thermometers to fill in as I reach my goals)
- UFOs- Unfinished Objects that I’m knitting/crocheting/sewing, etc that I have started.
- YouTube Ideas
- Website/Blog Ideas
- YouTube/Website/Social Media monthly trackers
- Home Organization Checklist/Challenge
- Gift Ideas
- Monthly event list
- Daily Planners
It looks like a lot when it’s listed out like that, but it’s a lot worse if you imagine keeping track of it mentally!
Unlike a lot of people, I don’t keep track of habits like water consumption, walking, bedtime, etc in my journal. I use an app called Habitica for that kind of thing. I also use the app to keep track of my to-do list. (I duplicate it into my journal as a reminder to get it done, depending on the task. Sometimes they also go into my online calendar.)
I love having a plan and a record, and a place for a daily brain dump. It helps with creativity as well as productivity.
Hopefully that means you’ll be hearing from me a lot more often, and it definitely means I’ll be a lot more organized as I continue this journey as a professional novelist.
I’ve got a few books on the way, in different stages of completion, and I expect to really increase my output over the coming years. More books, the return of #WPW (Writing Prompt Wednesdays), insights into my process, and more!
So with that, I’ll be back again soon!