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Bullet Journal Spreads for Writers

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Recently, I have gotten really into bullet journaling, specifically bullet journaling for writers, and it has honestly changed my life. If you’re not familiar with the concept, a bullet journal is kind of like a customized planner, but it can be much more than a planner. The system was originally created by Ryder Carroll and accommodates pretty much anything you want to put in a notebook.
Bullet journaling is most often used for planning everyday life, but it can also be used for organizing almost anything else. I have several spreads in my journal to organize my writing and publishing, and I’ve decided to share them since they have really helped me to stay on task and get things done.

I’m just getting started in my bujo journey, but here are some of the writing-related spreads I’ve personally been using and a few other bullet journal page ideas for writers. I’ve separated them into categories based on the type of spread, and I’ll provide some links at the end of this post for general information about bullet journaling.

Brain Dumps

A brain dump is a page or pages set aside for brainstorming or collecting ideas as they come. For writers, recording story ideas—hooks, snippets of dialogue, character traits, etc.—is crucial; otherwise, they might slip away. A brain dump is a great place to do this.
You can also use brain dumps to come up with ideas for marketing your books and author brand.
My blog post ideas brain dump spread
Brain dump spreads:
  • story ideas
  • social media post ideas
  • blog post ideas
  • author newsletter content
  • book titles

To-Do Lists

A to-do list is one of the simplest spreads you can create. Many bullet journalers have daily, weekly, and/or monthly to-do lists covering all manner of tasks. I have daily to-do lists, but I also like to have to-do lists for each of my book releases to make sure I don’t forget one of the important steps in my book launch.

To-do list spreads:
  • writing (draft, revise, send to betas, send to editor, send to proofreader)
  • book production (format eBook, format print book, commission cover artist, write blurb)
  • publishing/book launch (set up preorder, send to distributors, contact bloggers, deliver ARCs, promote on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram)
  • website creation (WordPress installation, WordPress theme, about page, contact page, books page(s), blog)
  • email marketing (email service provider setup, newsletter signup form(s), welcome sequence, link in back matter, reader magnet)

Trackers and Logs

Trackers and logs are bullet journal staples. Many bujo enthusiasts use habit trackers to mark off when they complete a daily task, mood trackers to record their emotional states over time, and a slew of physical health trackers to monitor their periods, daily steps, water intake, and more. Examples of logs include gratitude logs, future logs, and daily/weekly/monthly logs (like you’d see in a typical planner).

Many aspects of the writing life lend themselves to tracking and logging.

A project log I tried out
Tracker and log spreads:
  • word count log
  • project(s) log with moveable sticky notes
  • writing habit tracker (write a certain number of words per day, write at all, get up at a certain time to write, spend a certain number of hours writing)
  • marketing habit trackers (post to certain social media everyday, send emails weekly/monthly)
  • reading lists (TBR, books read)
  • author business expense tracker
  • royalties tracker
  • time spent writing
  • TV shows to watch/watched (for inspiration ;) )
  • blog post schedule
  • social media posting schedule
The word count log for my current WIP

Reference Pages

Writers have to keep a lot of information in their heads, whether it has to do with a particular story or series or the craft of writing in general. Reference pages can be helpful for keeping certain types of information close at hand so that you can always find it quickly. They can also be information banks that you reference when planning new stories and characters.

Information about the zodiac signs to help me plan characters
Reference spreads:
  • character names
  • character occupations
  • character traits
  • personality types
  • settings
  • series bibles
  • story information
  • character bios
  • story/series outlines
  • grammar/punctuation rules
  • frequently misspelled/misused words
  • plot structure paradigms (three-act structure, hero’s journey, key scenes)
A spread to help me remember how to order adjectives

Bullet Journal Resources

Do you have a writing-related bullet journal spread to share? Or maybe you know of a great bullet journal resource I didn’t link to? Comment below and let us know about it!

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