I feel a little hypocritical typing this blog post, because while I have a bullet journal, and set it up monthly, I’ve rarely been using it. (I’d like to take a moment to blame my pregnancy here…)
For those of you who don’t know, a bullet journal is a sort of notebook//planner/diary mash up that you can use in whatever way you like- primarily to keep yourself organised. Here is a link to break it down if you’re interested.
I discovered it in 2016 and have used one ever since. I use it to set monthly and weekly goals, keep track of my chores, my to do lists, pregnancy related things and even to keep note of the books I want to read (but apparently, never will.)
Now, I’m one of those writers who scribble notes and to do’s on whatever paper I can find- usually in a random page of a random notebook or post it note- which I will inevitably lose. Case in point the 13 pages of story notes I recently found which I completely forgot existed. Today, I’m going to show you how I use my bullet journal for my writing.
Scattered throughout the bullet journal are quotes- usually inspiration/productivity related to help keep me motivated- this is my quote for the year:
At the beginning of the year, I made some serious goals and deadlines regarding my writing. Now, I haven’t kept up with all of them- pregnancy sort of took precedent- but there are certain objectives I’m still looking to achieve. Whether I can do them this year, or push them back until next year still remains to be seen:
I also use this to keep track of my beta reading schedules, and how long I give myself to make revisions before my next rounds begin. This has kept me on track for the most part- I’m a little behind with beta sessions, but currently have a couple of CP’s reading through Nephilim instead of round 3:
When i’m having trouble sorting through a plot, I’ll always use post it notes to write down scenes/plot points so I can reorganise as needed. I have a board for Nephilim on my desk, but for other WIP’s in the planning stages, I use my bullet journal to keep plot notes close:
(This is from my 2016 NaNovel A Ryder’s Duty, which I haven’t touched since…)
A big one, which spans several pages and different types of spreads- mostly because I have so many drafts of Nephilim.
This was my very first ‘revision,’ spread for the second draft of Nephilim- where I looked at every scene and highlighted the main focus (main plot, subplot, character development, info dump, antagonist.) From there, I could see how balanced my novel was and make revisions accordingly:
For draft three, after my first round of beta readers gave me their input- the parts of the novel I needed to focus on, especially issues which were brought up often, or things that didn’t make sense:
And a simple tracker I used when revising draft four- on the right, ticking off when the chapter was fully revised. And on the left, all the new scenes I needed to add. Please note, I have actually finished revising draft four, I just didn’t fill out the tracker completely. (And I still need to claim those rewards…)
I also use my bullet journal for miscellaneous writing elements such as:
There are tons of ways to use a bullet journal for all aspects of your life, and in the future I plan to use my bullet journal more frequently in my writing journey (and in general day to day life.)
Do you guys use a bullet journal or any sort of system to help organise your writing? Let me know in the comments below.
Good thoughts and happy writing!