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Why hello there rebels!!! I hope your week is going AH-MAZING so far!!! Today kicked off Day 1 in the Light Your Biz Fire Challenge so if you haven’t yet, go ahead and get signed up so that you can get unstuck… like, now! (I don’t mean to be bossy, but I definitely do NOT want you to miss out on the fun!!)
Today’s topic is about how I use my “Bullet Journal Hybrid” to strategize.
What exactly am I strategizing ABOUT? Well… EVERYTHING!! No, really. Everything.
I use my bullet journal for business planning and goal-setting, future projects, long-running lists (like books to read), habit tracking (8 glasses of water a day and 30 minutes of meditation!) I also use it for note-taking, keeping up with expenses and bills, important dates and birthdays, grocery lists, meal planning… the list is literally ENDLESS.
Your Road Map To The Contents ♥ Click To Show/Hide →
- 1 The Importance of Strategy
- 2 The Traditional Bullet Journal
- 3 The Problem (for me)
- 4 My Solution: A 2 Journal (Bullet+Inspiration) System
- 5 OPTIONS: BUY vs. DIY
- 6 Getting Started:
The Importance of Strategy
No matter what your goals are, you will need some sort of plan of action, or at the very least, jumping off point before you can actually achieve that goal.
In order to be as strategic as possible, you have to learn how to see things 2 ways.
- Big Picture. What is the ULTIMATE goal or direction? What is inspiring you?
- Short Term. What are the IMMEDIATE results and how are they measured?
Most people typically focus on only 1 of these areas at any one time. Big Mistake! They either become so captivated in reaching their desired goal that they aim for it and not only refuse to keep up maintenance on the current work they are doing now, but they will also be blind to HUGE changes (even though small) that will make a HUGE impact ON the end goal.
Finding the balance and common ground between these 2 factors have been essential to the growth I have experienced over the past few months.
The Traditional Bullet Journal
A traditional bullet journal is a productive way to rapid log, as well as to plan easily and quickly, the analog (your own 2 hands) way.
I first discovered this particular method one day as I was browsing Pinterest for productivity tips. Because, while I am OBSESSED with journaling, it wasn’t really “doing” much for me. And if I am putting time and effort into something, why not get a little payoff?? 🙂
I started my journal in a simple composition notebook, but that just added to the FIVE other journals I was currently using in my rotation.
Yep, a grand total of SIX journals.. wtf?
And not only that, but the bullet journal just kinda sat there… blank. And there are very few things sadder than an empty journal…
The Problem (for me)
The problem I faced with a traditional bullet journal has to do with my “style” I guess you can say.
I use a journal for literally everything. Anytime I get inspired throughout my day, I love to pour my ideas into my journal. So, a method to actually track and plan WHILE jotting down notes and ideas is ideal for me.
However, the notes that I take tend to be… ahem… a big fucking mess. They are just all over the place. No human could possibly even decipher the hieroglyphics, and I like it that way! My messy creativity is what is comfortable to me and I have no problem at all navigating through it all. Which is exactly the reason I PREFER analog journaling vs. digital. If you are a digital journal guru… send help!
But those kinds of notes (especially when my notes are pages and pages long for each topic I am studying) are not quite fit for the bullet journal system, where the goal is to be short, efficient and productive. I still needed a place to put all my brain dumps without compromising the sleekness and ease-of-use of a bullet journal.
My Solution: A 2 Journal (Bullet+Inspiration) System
Normal journals, in general, tend to be messy, unorganized and where many brilliant innovations go to die. 🙁
My method of Bullet+Inspo journaling gives you creative freedom to express yourself and dig deep into the mess to find those golden nuggets while holding yourself accountable, so that you can actually follow through on those big dreams, goals, and visions.
I widdled my journal “needs” down to 2. I use 1 journal as a traditional bullet journal- filled with goals, numbers, tasks, checklists, planners,etc. and the other journal I use for notes, content inspiration, research, brain dumps, doodling, outlining and drafting blog posts and other “messy” tasks.
With these 2 journals, I get the freedom and messiness that I crave, as well as a more structured journal that allows me to hold myself accountable.
And as I mentioned before, if you wanna be a strategic mother f*cker and have the ability to create whatever outcome you want from your life and business, you need to be thinking BIG PICTURE (ideas, inspiration, notes, research, art) at the same time as the PRESENT GOALS AND TASKS (like social media planning, family duties, etc.)
OPTIONS: BUY vs. DIY
Don’t worry whether or not you have everything you need or access to what you need. You can improvise with any old notebook or paper/pen you have handy.
Honestly, start with a paper napkin if that is all you have, I really don’t care, just start somewhere.
But, if you are like me and want to set it up to last and to grow with you, I will explain how to quick-start with purchased supplies, as well as how to DIY it 🙂
Option 1- BUY
This first option is obviously the easiest route because when you start, everything will be ready-to-go, you just need to customize your journal for your needs. I will give you a jumping off point, but I encourage you to browse other sites like Pinterest for even more ideas. As a side note- I would start as basic as possible and only add what you KNOW you will use at first because you will quickly overwhelm yourself. I created a Pinterest board for bullet journaling so you can check out some of those posts for ideas as well.
You will need to purchase a notebook. I recommend something that is a hardcover as you will be carrying this bad boy everywhere with you and using it a TON. It is also nice to have a strap to hold the covers together. I also prefer a ribbon bookmark, but that isn’t necessary.
The bullet journal I am using now was purchased from Target and I got it because it matches one of my brand colors and I thought it would look so cute in photos. 🙂 Also, it was the only one they had so, Thanks, Universe!
You can check your favorite local store/bookstore or you can purchase the Scribbles That Matter- Best Bullet Journal Notebook on Amazon for only $14.99.
The second kind of notebook you will need is just your standard multi-subject spiral notebook. If you prefer, you can make a binder or folder, but I prefer spiral notebooks to save space. I recommend this spiral notebook because of its durable cover (your journal will go through hell and back…in a good way!) and tabbed dividers.
Option 2- DIY
Of course, if you are strapped for cash, have supplies on hand or just love being crafty, you can always make a set for yourself!
- design your own custom printable pages and add them to a notebook or binder.
- use 2 blank notebooks you have on hand.
- add loose leaf paper/graph paper to any journal or binder.
- create your own custom journal, convert to pdf, and upload it to a print-on-demand service to purchase a hard printed copy of.
The sky is the limit!
Just remember, whatever method you choose, make sure that you are satisfied enough to at least stick with it. Once you work out the kinks, you can change your method as often as you’d like until you come up with the method that feels right for you… JUST START.
To recap- Bullet Journal= rapid planning, logging, tracking, accountability, scheduling and Inspo Journal= notes, research, scribble-scrabble, outlines, mind maps, drafts.
When you sit down in front of 2 blank journals, it might be intimidating with pouring your entire life and mind on paper. Where do you even begin?
When I first began, I just made a list of everything that was important to me in my life and business. I wrote down things like social media management, content ideas, meal planner (I mean, you gotta eat, right?) and even a reading list.
Then, from that list figure out which item belongs in which journal. Here are some of the ways I have divided my journals:
- Index- make sure you page number everything so that you can index it and never lose it. Even if you run out of room on a page, start a new page and log that page # down in the index. Keep a running list essentially FOREVER!
- Monthly calendar (NOT pre-batched, I create a spread for the month as the month is approaching, not in advance)
- Book/reading List
- Meditation tracker
- Meal planning & grocery/shopping list
- Password tracker (to websites)
- Ongoing lists and trackers (like social media stats, blog stats, and content ideas)
- Weekly schedules (the same as monthly, I only pre-batch these for the month. For example, I do all 4 weeks of 1 month on consecutive “spreads.”
- Financials- Income tracker, expense tracker, savings tracker
- Business/Blog stats and trackers (page views, subscribers, social media numbers, social media planner, editorial calendar, campaign/launch checklists)
- Index- Again, here you want some kind of organization so that you don’t loose things. But, you can be more relaxed about it. What I do is create a “theme” for each subject in the spiral notebook and just notate on the first page of each subject as I write. So, if one of my themes are “BLOG POST OUTLINE” I would just start writing and in the index, write down the title of each post I outlined, even if it was 10 pages of outline, I don’t keep track of page numbers, I get a general idea.
- Gratitude Journal- I will write a post about a gratitude journal at a later date… Subscribe for a notification of when that is live!
I hope that by now you understand how my little method of journaling works, why it’s important and how it helps me stay focused on my goals while allowing myself the freedom to explore and be creative.
Do you journal? I would love to hear about your favorite methods in the comments below!
Also, if you could share this post with your tribe, that would be so super amazing!!
As always, take care of yourself, rebel. ♥