ALERT THE PRESS! I’m sharing all my bullet journal ideas today in an effort to simplify my life and switch into a planner that stops my manic overworking tendencies.
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Y’all. I’m tired. So tired. The kind of bone-weary tired that I assume you feel at the age of 80. And I’m tired because I don’t know how the hell to slow down.
Some folks numb their feelings of inadequacy with alcohol. Others with drugs. And still others with food. (I totally used to do the food and alcohol thing in my early twenties.) But me? These days, I’m all about numbing with work.
That’s right! You know when you hit the end of your day and just take some time to chill? That’s when I plan out a new project. Or that’s when I try to write four blog posts so I can get ahead. It’s when I try to do more work because I don’t like to take the time to figure out if I’m doing things that actually matter and are helping me achieve my goal.
I have to keep moving or the anxiety catches up.
Anxiety, much like depression, is a liar, by the way. I know that. But still, I run away from it as much as possible.
So, in an effort to slow down the crazy energy bursts or manic feelings of needing to move, I’ve decided to change planning systems. I wrote about this in January, and it’s the main reason that I switched from the Passion Planner to a bullet journal in a traveler’s notebook.
And for the most part, that system is working. But I think I need to keep changing in order to fix a couple of things.
Firstly, the traveler’s notebook I’ve been using is pretty clunky. In fact, it’s huge. I don’t necessarily mind it, but for the summer, I want to streamline it a bit. I’m also doing the Bank Boost class from Yes and Yes, and I feel like it’s a good time to pare down my wallet, which I carry inside my traveler’s notebook.
Secondly, I’m in dire need of bigger pages. At least, for now. There’s a lot of stuff going on, and the administrative/backend part of being a blogger and writer is currently requiring more space to track and plan.
So, I’m moving into a bullet journal in a Leuchtturm 1917 notebook.
Just like all the cool kids.
And today I’m sharing my bullet journal ideas. I’m not sure if these will be viable ideas for everyone, but I know that they’ll keep my hectic life in order as well as help me slow down a bit and think more big-picture when it comes to planning.
Ultimately, my goal is create a planner that enables me to see everything that’s going on so I don’t over-schedule myself without realizing it. This could be a mental thing that no planner can solve, but I remain optimistic. So, with that, here are my bullet journal ideas.
Psssst! If you’re interested in seeing my planning journey, check out these planner posts!
Bullet Journal Ideas
001: A running weekly to do list to get a bigger picture of what’s up.
As it stands, I put to do list items on a day and hope that I get it done. That doesn’t always happen, and if I get behind early in the week, I spend the rest of week behind. But I think if I create a running to do list for the week and just tackle things when there’s time, I’ll be able to get more done, and I won’t live or die by the schedule.
This habit of putting things on days is leftover from the Passion Planner, and I used to think that I needed hourly spaces to block out my time. But in an effort to slow down and feel more relaxed and less stressed, I’ve moved away from using hourly spaces. It’s now time to stop thinking that I have to do things on certain days, especially when there’s already a lot of hours spent at my day job.
And I’m hoping this gives me a space to do some journaling and record my day more. Part of me thinks that every day is basically the same and not worth noting, so that’s a very good reason to slow my ass down and pay attention.
002: A future log to get a snapshot of the rest of the year.
What’s the point of keeping a planning system if you’re not going to plan? The future log will simply be a place where I write down what will be happening in the upcoming months. I’m a plan ahead sort of person, and if you’ve ever tried to text me on the fly to see if I can hang out this week, you know that’s not happening.
What can I say? I’m old and finding a time to hang out with my friends is nearly impossible. Everyone is so stinking busy, and everyone has time conflicts.
So, I like to write down upcoming stuff as soon as I know it’s going to happen. I have to have a place to keep that so I don’t miss stuff like gigs, hangouts, deadlines, meetups, and pretty much everything else that goes on in life.
Though, I should note that I will probably miss your birthday. I’m not a birthday celebration person, though. I feel like birthdays are best spent alone making insane and quixotic plans for the fantastic person you will become.
I realize I’m probably alone in this.
003: Splitting days into home and blog/writing tasks.
Once, roughly one million years ago, Rachel Wilkerson Miller posted a spread in her journal on Instagram, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It keeps her home and work obligations on the same day, but separates them.
Now, I will not be putting day job stuff in my bullet journal, unless it’s marking the days for holidays and semester starts. I have a small bullet journal I use at work for lesson planning, and I think that system plus the digital planning I do works for teaching.
But I will use this idea to separate house chores and blogging/YouTube/writing stuff. Basically, I’ll be separating the Marisa Mohi stuff from the The Marisa Mohi stuff, if that makes any sense.
(I am mostly the same person in real life as I am online, and I would argue I’m more myself online than I am in real life. But real life Marisa has dishes to do, and online Marisa has blog posts to write.)
004: A budget/financial planning spread.
I mentioned that I’ve been taking the Bank Boost class, and I’ve actually been earning more money recently than I ever have in my life. However! It’s worth noting that there are moments where I still have the spending habits I had when I was a broke-ass, black-out drunk bartender in grad school.
Which is to say that I spend money like I’ll never anymore.
Naturally, this is not ideal.
So I’ve been working on healing my relationship with money. I know that sounds super weird, but I’ve always felt like it was a bad thing and something you’ve had to outrun. I don’t want to feel that way anymore.
So I’ll probably write down my progress in the Bank Boost course as well as information from the financial books I’ve been reading. (Not Dave Ramsey — and there will probably be a post in the future about money books for creative folks.) And I’m probably going to need to have some money mantras right next to where I track my no spend days.
005: An editorial calendar for my blog and YouTube.
Hi. It’s me. Marisa. I live and die by the editorial calendar. So know that I will naturally be keeping this in my planner.
I’ve shared what my editorial calendar looks like before, and I kept it in my Passion Planner as well as my traveler’s notebook bullet journal. I know I’ll need space for post brainstorms, and space for actually planning out what I’ll post and when.
I also probably need to do an editorial calendar for sharing content in the future. One of my goals this year was to share more content from online people who are making really good stuff, but here we are at the end of May and I still haven’t done it.
So, I’m not sure how I’ll go about planning that, but it’ll happen some day…I assume.
006: Word sprint tracking.
Maybe I won’t be tracking sprints. But I do want to track my writing. I don’t know if this will take the form of tracking how many words I write on a particular day, of if I’ll just put an X on the days I do write.
Or maybe I’ll track the days I work on specific projects? I mean, I love this word count tracker, but shit, you guys. I’m not going to do that.
Of all the things in this bullet journal that I’ll be doing, I think this will be the most evolving as I use the bullet journal. I also know that it will be a place where I track some writing experiments that I have planned for the summer. And I’m not even going to worry about it until next month, just because June’s teaching schedule promises to be hellish.
Side note: Do you want to see me write on a train? Because I’m going to do it.
007: Blog and YouTube administrative tracking.
Summer is a notoriously low traffic time in bloglandia. People are busy on vacations, and there’s stuff to do outside so they miss a post or two. That’s why I think I need to take this summer to do some things that I’ve been meaning to do forever.
I really want to set up a password-protected resource area for writers and bloggers, and I definitely need to get my Pinterest under control. There’s some SEO stuff on YouTube that needs to happen, and I have like 80 e-courses I want to take to get my game on point.
So, I need to set up a project spread for each of these things, so I can track where I’m at, and give myself the time and space to do all of them. This is another thing that probably won’t happen until July though.
Tell Me Your Bullet Journal Ideas!
Are you on Team BuJo? What are the best bullet journal ideas for writers? How do you track writing?