What to Do, What to Do
I’ve always been a to-do list maniac. I use lists in every aspect of my life, but I especially use them in my writing. I have written about my incessant list making here.
My problem has always been lots of to-do lists running around on different pieces of paper, but somehow I needed a way to keep them all together. Then I heard about the bullet journal.
Bullet Journaling 101
After almost a year of using my bullet journal, it really does work with how my mind thinks. I like being able to flip back to the beginning and see my goals for the year.
The downside of the bullet journal is that is doesn’t let you plan far ahead, like a traditional pre-printed planner does. I typically keep my planning ahead on Google Calendar and then transfer the writing aspects into my journal every month. However, in 2016, I’m going to try to put these calendars in the front of the bullet journal for the whole year.
Bullet Journal Contents
I do not keep my "day job" to-do’s in my bullet journal. I have a separate planner for that at school. Here are the features of my writing bullet journal.
- Table of Contents
- 12x12 page. I list the titles of books that I wrote and the titles of books that I revised.
- Writing goals for the whole year. I break these down by picture books, middle grade, business, professional reading
- Month by month goals
- Lists of mentor texts by category. I have found this is the best way for me to keep up with my mentor texts lists without losing them. At the end of the year, when I fill up my book, I will transfer them to a Google Sheet. In bullet journaling speak these are called “collections”.
- Monthly to do list. This usually just includes big projects I’m working on.
- A book of stars. This is a list of celebrations—no matter how small. Last year I posted about my “book of stars.” I just did a monthly page in my bullet journal. When I am discouraged, I can look at those pages and see that I’m making progress, little by little.
- Picture books read
- Books and Audiobooks read
- Writing project to-do lists. I break up a larger project into chunks and write down the list of to do’s.
- Weekly or daily to-do lists.
I moved this year and changed jobs. While I didn’t come anywhere close to meeting all of my writing goals for 2015, I did keep my sanity. I was able to make lists of places I’d applied for jobs, dates they followed up, lists for what needed to be done for our move, and important phone numbers. It was all together. I was also able to keep writing.
Nitty Gritty Supply Details
I prefer the Leuchtturm 1917 with dots. The pages are already numbered, it has a built-in ribbon bookmark, and elastic closure where I clip my pen. The downside is that is expensive, but it’s lasted me a whole year. So, in my opinion, it was worth the money.
I am a member of the Bullet Journal Junkie Facebook group. This group is great about posting pictures of their bullet journals. Almost all of them are more artistic than mine. My book is more function and less frill. But it works. And this group is a great resource for finding out where to get deals on supplies and how to think of to-do lists in different ways.
How Do You Bullet Journal?
Are you a bullet journal junkie?
If so, please let me know how you use yours. What types of lists do you make?