I’ve been having a blast setting up and using my bullet journal to keep my writing projects on track. It keeps me focused and helps me adapt to my changing goals. If you want to know how to set up and use a bullet journal for your writing goals, check out these two posts. You can see examples of my minimalist journal setups.
If you’re already set up and wondering what comes next, this post is for you. I love setting up new collections. A collection is just a place for related things to be stored. It can range from tracking things to list making to idea drafting to novel planning.
Because I use mine for writing and personal things, I’ve been setting up new collections to help me start house buying and wedding planning. That of course has gotten me in the mood for finding new writing things to record. Here’s a few collections you can set up in your bullet journal to drive your writing goals.
You can make this as simple or as artistic as you want, but create a tracker for your reading habits in the new year. As writers, we need to learn and gather new ideas. The best way to develop our skills, besides writing more, is reading more! Use this tracker to list out or artistically design all the books you read.
In reading, we are bound to come across quotes that we like from the book or ideas that stem from certain passages. Keep track of them in a specific location. You can create quote trackers for each book or you can keep them all in one space. It’s up to you.
We can’t write if we don’t take care of ourselves. There are millions of different self-care practices you can track such as meditation, water intake, sleep, showers, eating, workouts, and more.
I write for a few different publications here on Medium and sometimes I forget the tags associated with each one. So I don’t have to go look for the submission requirements every time, I have a centralized collection of each publication and their tags and requirements. This makes things easy when I want a fresh idea or write a post that I think would be better served on a publication other than mine.
Speaking of publications, use a collection to track the posts you write for each publication, when you submitted it, and whether they approve it or not. You can also use a similar collection when you are submitting pieces of work outside of Medium such as magazines, editors, or publishers. Know when and where your work is going so you can manage how you move forward with that writing project.
Here’s a place you can manage the money spent on your writing projects. Maybe you purchased a new writing or grammar software. Perhaps you want to track how much money you spend on office supplies. You can also track the money you spend for hosting your website or the money you bring in from Medium, your blog, or other writing projects.
A bullet journal is a great place to write down your goals for visualization purposes. The more you see your goal, the more you’re reminded to work toward it. Keep this page bookmarked, make it pretty, and know where you’re going in the new year.
This one can be broken up into many different collections, depending on what you need. You can track your progress on writing projects such as Medium articles, short stories, and novels with a simple habit tracker format. You can also use it to keep tabs on your novel by recording things such as character descriptions, plot descriptions, outlines, title ideas, research sources, and more. You can also track how much time you spend on writing, words accomplished, scenes completed, and other book specific tracking to help keep you focused on finishing your novel.
Social media promotions
Are you trying to market your work, either from Medium or elsewhere? Make sure you are utilizing social media. If you can’t keep track of where you’ve posted, when you’ve posted, or how you’re promoting your work, this is a great tracker to have. You can keep tabs on the handles or hashtags needed for each post and where the content is best promoted throughout the weeks and months surrounding the publication.
If you have a large enough notebook, there’s nothing against a short journal entry collection. Some people like to have a one sentence a day recap, some like to list out one word, or you can create doodles for each day. Sometimes a creative project away from your writing project can give you inspiration.
Brain dump or freewrite
I always keep several pages open for these, or create a new one every time a page fills up. Here’s where you can just dump all the ideas that don’t have a home yet. Maybe you came up with a new book idea, blog post topic, or general thought. Instead of trying to create a new collection every time you have a new idea, create a brain dump page where you can freewrite to your heart’s content. Once you have a few ideas that can be clumped into a collection, create a new page and migrate those ideas over.
There are endless possibilities for a bullet journal which is why so many people flock to the flexible format. Create your own tracker, discover your goals, collect your thoughts, and watch your writing goals come to life. Stay on track to make 2020 your best writing year yet.