Let’s face it, as writers you and I both know that there is a plethora of journals somewhere in your home. Don’t lie. They’re addicting and alluring and we’ve all bought them, but never knew what to do with them.
As a writer, we spend a lot of time looking at screens. It could be a word processor, Pinterest, Amazon, or any other programs and sites now widely available to us, but it is good every once in a while to detach from that screen and feel paper again. Go ahead, grab that journal you really loved, but didn’t want to waste. I promise that this will be worth it.
Let’s start with a basic definition. A Bullet Journal is a journal that is broken up by bulleted lists. These lists could be anything at all. They could be your TBR, you to do, your thoughts and desires, or your daily gratitude. It is a journal that should be kept nearby to jot down ideas and reference when need be. Blank page journals or grid line journals are recommended, but find what works best for you.
Your To-Do List
Everyone has a huge list of things to do these days. It can be overwhelming and tiring, but by making a list of these things you can relieve a small amount of that stress. It helps you to step back and think, I can totally get this done. Also, I think it takes some of that weight off your shoulders and puts it on the paper.
You can do this daily, or you can do this weekly. I am often forgetful and a horrible procrastinator, so I took to making a weekly outline. Breaking the week into seven segments that correlate with the day of the week allows me to jot down all that needs to be done that week and leaves room for things to be added.
You can jot down your daily word count goal and later write what you actually accomplished. You can jot down deadlines (if you’re like me and remember them wrong all the time), RPG game dates, dates with the SO, and other small things that need to be done.
Your Idea List
We all have this problem. We’re hard at work on our new bestseller when the idea for another best seller comes rolling along. It’s shiny and new and all the impossible things you never could have dreamed of.
Know where it’s going?
Right into your bullet journal. Don’t let yourself be led astray by shiny, new ideas! Carve out a few pages dedicated to that that day’s, week’s, or that month’s list. Jot them down and anything that comes along with them so that later, when you run out of ideas or finish what you were working on, you have a list of inspirations waiting.
This also gives you time away from an idea. That time will allow you to detach yourself from the idea and look at it with fresh eyes once you return. If you still like it once you get back to that idea, you know it’s good. Strike out the ones that seem like garbage with an X.
Your Whatever Lists
Here is where the Bullet Journal starts to get fun!
Dedicate entire pages to lists. You could list things that inspire you, things that you’re grateful for, new songs you suddenly love, authors that you need to read, or authors that you love to read. Make the pages pretty. Make them completely your own.
Have fun with these journals. They are not only planners for your life, but outlets for your creativity and, often, frustration. Go ahead and buy that pretty pen set or those calligraphy markers to decorate your pages.
Oh, and stickers. Stickers are fun! You can reward your good writing days with gold stars, kinda like when we were in grade school. You can reward other, daily activities with stickers, too. Reward your daily water intake or your daily exercise with a pretty sticker. It could be Disney princess stickers if you have the room. No one has to know but you and the cashier that sold you the stickers.
Add quotes that inspire you or move you. As you flip through the pages to find your spot, you will come across these lists, the quotes, and all the flashy stickers and doodles you’ve added. It will surely bring a smile to your face.
Recap: What to Add to Your Writer’s Bullet Journal
- A To-Do List: Monthly, Weekly, or Daily
- Word Count Goal (And if you achieved it, missed, or surpassed)
- Plot Bunny Page, AKA The Shiny New Idea Page
- Inspiration Lists
- Anything Else You Think You Need
Start a bullet journal to keep accountable for your word count, your books read, books to be read, your deadlines, and (the one I need most) your gratitude. The Bullet Journal is amazingly customizable for the individual’s needs. With it, you can focus on the things you need to tackle and track your progress as you go. You will be able to look back on times past, see what you accomplished and what you had to do. That knowledge will help you make changes or stick with what’s working. Stress won’t stand a chance if you manage your life one step at a time.