Is a Bullet Journal the Answer for Blog Editorial Planning?

It’s no secret that I like my tech gadgets. I’m never very far from my iPhone, laptop, and/or iPad. But for years I’ve struggled to find a way to manage my blogging editorial calendar (and my other task management) with technology. For some reason, despite my love of technology, I’m just a paper lover when it comes to my organizing my work and my life.

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I’ve recently taken up bullet journaling to organize my calendar and to do list, and it has been working so well that I decided to try applying it my editorial calendar as well. I’m using a large classic Moleskine notebook for my regular bullet journal, but decided I needed the extra large Classic Moleskine to handle my editorial calendar for the four blogs I’m working on. The journal is divided into four sections, one for each blog, with washi tape bookmarks to mark where each section starts.

Blog Editorial Bullet Journal

The foundation of my notebook are the monthly calendar pages. I use Post-It notes (small ones, cut in half) to schedule items, and then when the item is published I write it on the calendar in ink. It allows my calendar to stay flexible and for me to visualize as I am planning and move things around to accommodate changes or additions.

In addition to the date grid, I have space in the leftover area for noting events and themes during the month, as well as an extra column down the right side that will hold Post-its for articles that are waiting to be scheduled, or that I can write notes in.

I knew this system would work for me because I’d used it previously in purchased spiral bound calendars. It became too cumbersome because it meant having to haul a separate notebook for each blog, though, and I gave it up. The bullet journal means that with a little work I can create a notebook that contains calendars for all my blogs in one one book!

Blog Editorial Calendar Bullet Journal

Some of the rest of the ones in my editorial calendar bullet journal are partially or wholly inspired by other bloggers. My favorite thing about bullet journaling is that I can take an idea someone else shares and then adapt it to work better for how I think or work.

In between each monthly calendar page, I have a page (loosely based on one by Kara at Boho Berry) that lets me write notes and summaries for each month. I can refer to this later for reference when planning for the same period the next year, or when having planning sessions to set goals.

Blog Editorial Bullet Journal

At the beginning of each blog’s section, there are a few record keeping pages. The “blog plot” page is designed to show at a glance when (and what, through color coding for categories) I have been publishing. This page was adapted from Kim at Tiny Ray of Sunshine. Her version is a two page, 12 month version, that goes the other direction on the page. I preferred to make mine heavily gridded and only needed to make 6 months since that is all that is in my journal (four blogs times six months take up a lot of pages).

Blog Editorial Bullet Journal

The statistics page for each site is a variation on one that I’ve been using in my smaller bullet journal to track my websites. I had a hard time remembering to use it with it being in that journal. I’m hoping I’ll be more consistent with it being with my other blog planning material.

Blog Editorial Bullet Journal

The article index is a way for me to track where bullet journal notes and graphics files are for each article. This is adapted from a page I saw on Boho Berry, but I added the “files” column. It’s important to me to track graphics since my articles contain so many.

Blog Editorial Calendar Bullet Journal

This page is also an update of one that I’ve had in my smaller journal but never remember to use. Hopefully with all of my blog planning and tracking being consolidated into one place, it will all get used much more reliably.

Blog Editorial Calendar Bullet Journal

One of the reasons that people think they “can’t” bullet journal is because they don’t like their handwriting. Well, I’m one of those people! But if you looked closely above, you may have noticed that a lot of the titles and numbers weren’t handwritten. The secret is doing as much as possible with stamps! It’s a bit slower than handwriting, but the end result is much prettier. Plus, creating pages that are “typewritten” through stamping makes it easy to tell what on the page is your content and what is just the page’s template.

So far my must have stamp sets for this journal have been:

Blog Editorial Calendar Bullet Journal

What do you use for your editorial planning? Paper or pixels? Are you happy with it?

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14 Responses to Is a Bullet Journal the Answer for Blog Editorial Planning?

  1. ss20ts January 3, 2017 at 2:19 am #

    i’m a paper gal. i use tabbed dividers in binders though. i wonder if you could just print journal pages like this out and pop them into a binder or journal with rings…..seems like that would be faster….seems is the key word though. i guess if you have to create it from scratch in illustrator or photoshop, it’s not necessarily faster….you could print out a bazillion copies though……thinking out loud here…

    • Nancy Nally January 3, 2017 at 2:24 am #

      I actually did try a 3 ring binder for a bit – there’s tons of printable pages online. I found it not nearly as comfortable as the bullet journal- and not nearly as portable. But it’s much lower effort than sketching it all yourself if you can find pro tables you like.

  2. Susanne January 3, 2017 at 6:51 am #

    I just had the one scrappy blog so I used Scrapbook and Cards Today’s sketch planner. It worked great as I could put the blog post title or subject in a date block on the date it would publish and then I added marks to it noting steps of completion. I could see needing more pages to bullet other items you need to track. I may incorporate a small bullet journal in my purse planner this year.

    • Nancy Nally January 3, 2017 at 9:09 am #

      There actually are blank note pages in each site’s section as well. It’s why I could only fit 6 months in the journal – so I could leave room for those pages. I use them for outlining, project checklists, etc.

  3. Eleanor Diane Cook January 3, 2017 at 8:00 am #

    I love bullet journaling. Instead of Post-It Notes, I use Post It tape. As a writer, I find that I’m a pen-aholic. I could go on for hours and pages about the different pens I use and my preference for fountain pens, etc. But I won’t. My “favorite” pen search came to a screeching halt when I found the Pilot Frixion erasable pen. I have a dozen of the black clicker pens due in tomorrow to add to my online store. I’ll be adding the other colors in the future. They come in eight different colors and are totally awesome. The erase well so I can fiddle and faddle until I find the right words or image to convey.

    Okay. I’m done.
    Thanks so much for sharing

  4. Cindy deRosier January 3, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    I use a 2-year monthly planner and write blog posts in pencil. When it’s published, I color the date in with red. I’m constantly rearranging and rescheduling though, which means a lot of erasing. I love your suggestion of using post-its until the posts go live.

    • Nancy Nally January 3, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

      I came up with the post-it idea in self-defense because I move things around A LOT on my calendar lol

  5. Margaret January 3, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    I don’t do numerous blogs or work for companies, just crafting for my own pleasure, for gifts, and for occasional sales. But I have kept a paper planner for crafting, separate from my iCal for the rest of my life. I’ve just discovered bullet journaling and have ordered a dotted hardcover journal, so I’m going to start keeping lists and calendars in it. The post-it note idea is brilliant!

  6. Cari Weizenecker January 3, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    I actually never thought of keeping a journal for my scrapbooking. I have lists that disappear. A nice journal to jot down notes, dates of a trip and ideas may help organize me for the next crop. I feel like with each trip and holiday I get further behind with my scrapbooking. I also like the post it idea, when you get pictures developed a quick sticky note with them may help track the dates, notes, where it was. 🙂

  7. Gabrielle McCann January 3, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

    I’m very tempted to try bullet journaling

  8. Michelle Price January 3, 2017 at 11:37 pm #

    Such a great idea about the post-it notes! I’m forever erasing and crossing things out which doen’t look pretty!

  9. Laura B January 4, 2017 at 11:37 am #

    Because old fashioned paper just plain works sometimes! A bullet journal feeds a creativity need in the making process. I’m thinking about trying to use one. I’ve been following planner people and just can’t get into the whole planner lifestyle thing. (And that what it seems to be A LIFESTYLE.) It seems their planning consumes their life with all the talk of stickers, weekly layout spreads and EXPENSIVE binders to keep it all in adorned with fancy pen clips, tassels and paper clips. Not to mention the (again EXPENSIVE) tote bags of pens, tapes and stickers they feel the need to drag around for “planning on the go”. I can’t afford to shell out that kind of money and time to keep track of my life.

    • Nancy Nally January 4, 2017 at 11:44 am #

      It does seem to be a lifestyle – that is a good way of putting it. I am currently experimenting with using a Happy Planner with my 13 year old daughter. She is autistic and needs to learn executive management skills like time management. Plus she has fine motor skill issues so working with the small space to write in and handling stickers, etc, is good therapy for her. I’ll report soon on how it is going!

  10. Libby Hickson January 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

    Fabulous, Nancy! I’m going to have to put something like this in my bullet journal. After Creativation. All things begin for me AFTER Creativation. 🙂

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