Not long ago I wrote an article about how to start a bullet journal. I had just heard about it myself. I ran right out to the store to find the supplies I wanted and got started.
Let me tell you… bullet journaling is one of my new favorite things ever. It keeps me organized, allows me to be creative away from my laptop, and honestly it’s very relaxing and enjoyable. I love my escape into bullet journal time. Not to mention it also gives me a good reason to buy pencils that come in a fancy tin box or drool over paper products I have to have. It’s ok. Me drooling over paper products doesn’t surprise my husband one bit. He’s obliged in most cases because he sees how much I love doing this!
So down to the details! When I first bought the journals, I bought these 3 pack travel journals. [Another time I’ll share my review of them and my first month of bullet journaling.] My intention was to use them as 3 seperate life areas. One for everyday mom stuff. One for the blog. One for the business. I was able to get the blog and life one’s easily but am still trying to decide how I’d like to set up the business one.
Here’s what the 3 journals looked like. This post is going to cover how exactly I’ve used my journal for organizing my blog. You’ll see the pages and what I use them for and I’ll explain what I like and dislike about the book. So stick with me!
After creating the life journal first, I decided that I would do the index page last. Because you’re constantly adding pages and spreads…. so I wasn’t sure how I would handle this. So I wrote a title and let it go for the first little while. Once I got the pages filled out, I went back and added the page names… but I didn’t number the pages so I’m sure this was pointless. It looks pretty though so we’re all good.
I added a key page and an accounts page. Just to keep everything together and a place to reference how I wanted to organize my own thoughts.
Next I drew up a schedule of the blog posts. I post twice per week on Tuesday and Thursday. I use Trello to keep my brain dump of blog ideas then I go back and use the calendar to move the posts around to see how they flow. I already had an idea of what I wanted to post so I added those posts into the schedule on their proper days. I still didn’t really follow it [due to vacation] but this gives me a guide at least.
This page is my favorite of all thus far. I’ll admit, I was in a total zen late at night coloring and just enjoying the process of this page. It’s not for the faint of heart. Anyways, I am using the page as inspiration for next months. Thoughts for next month’s schedule. I love this! I’ll likely do this again but with variations.
I can’t just sit down and write a blog post without sort of outlining it first. I could type it. But somehow I prefer to brain dump with handwriting. I make bullet points and draw arrows and basically flesh everything out. I’d been randomly writing in another journal but it was jumbled, out of order, and didn’t serve a purpose other than writing my thoughts down. So I decided to use these pages a little more strategically. That’s when I added these spreads to my bullet journal. I can still outline but I also can track the success of the post and start getting an idea of what’s shareable and what resonated with my audience. I added a little extras box for planning printables, giveaways, etc.
Side Note: I left a few blank pages after this just in case I wanted to add something. Or for those times when a blog post comes to you and you just have to get that thought out. I didn’t want to mess up the flow of the journal so I left a few blank pages. If I never fill them, I’ll just use them as reflection pages or quotes etc.
You know when you’re in the store and you have this fabulous idea. I created this page for those pop up thoughts. Just jot it down quickly and move on.
Here’s the big page. The TO DO list. Keep your running list here. I prefer to have a running list vs. a daily to do. I find when I write them daily and I don’t get them done I get too discouraged. So I keep one list and work off of there. If you wanted to plan daily tasks you can go over to my Bullet Journal Pinterest board and see a ton of great ideas for weekly spreads.
Do you track your social media numbers? I didn’t used to but I’m trying to get a better feel for what content my reader enjoy and what prompts engagement and follows. So I created this fun page to track how I’m doing. These are June’s numbers where I missed an entire week due to a vacation with no internet connectivity. I had [sort of] tracked stats before I made this spread so I added those numbers to the bottom of the page. I’ll need to figure out how I want to keep this running for stats tracking spreads. Stay tuned.
Hashtag heaven! I’m currently trying to figure out which hashtags work best for my audience. SO… I started collecting and breaking them down into pods. Sometimes I mix them together. Sometimes I use only the hashtags in one pod. Either way. This reference guide is so much easier when I’m planning my posts than coming up with them off the cuff.
I’m involved in a TON of facebook groups where bloggers and business owners network. Many of these groups have prompts throughout the week. The more I engage and share and answer and ask questions the more attention I draw to my blog. This has also brought me some amazing clients for iDo Collective. So many people promo and run. I do my very best not to do that. But sometimes find myself not sure what to say when the prompt arrives. SO… I did a little digging [oohh… fun stuff coming here too… not telling yet though] and did some research into what prompts are shared and came up with a 9 prompts that repeated themselves in many of the groups. I created these pages to help me plan for those so that I knew what to say. I just wrote the thought but I could essentially add the content and links into these squares if I wanted. So far this has helped me a better group participant.
As a newer blogger, I am looking for partnerships that will help me build my audience. There are tons of great posts out there that are massive lists of places to submit your work for publishing. BUT… these lists only help me a little bit because I really on have interest in a few of them. Before the bullet journal, I had a bunch of random notes in my journal circled with a star. This helps me to compile and track locations to submit based on sites I believe would be a good fit for my work. I created two pages so that as I ran across places I could add them. In Trello, I track when I sent the submission and what the rules for pitching and following up are. I create cards for each entity and add the email address and a copy of the pitch and schedule the follow up date.
I’m always looking for new plug ins or places to promote. Again, you can find huge lists of places to promote your work… but you have to be aware of your niche and that platforms niche. Be sure you’re a good match. So water down the huge list to the places that your work fits. Then transfer those to your journal for safe keeping.
I am getting to the point in my blogging adventure where it’s time to create my media kit. I have a template created in Canva but as usual, I really needed to draw it out on paper first so that I could begin creating it digitally. I keep the ideas here. I’m going to create a multiple page kit as well as a single page snapshot and see what I use the most. Again… just another step in my blogging adventure.
Alright! For right now those are all the pages I’ve created. I am in the process of creating products so I don’t want to reveal [yet] those planning and design pages. I’m adding a few other pages as the month goes on… I’m sure we’ll have a follow up post!
How can you use a bullet journal for blogging. What elements would you include that I haven’t?
Are you just learning about Bullet Journaling? Check out my last post. At the bottom there’s a little shopping guide for you with products that will help you get started.
If you already bullet journal for your blog please share your favorite tips and tricks for staying organized and having fun with your bullet journal.