If you’ve ever visited my Pinterest profile, you know about my obsession with planners. Heck, if you’ve ever talked to me about my day for more than five minutes, you at least know about my obsession with to-do lists! Well, a lot of people have told me (especially through Pinterest) that witnessing my obsessive planning actually helps motivate them to keep on track with their to-do lists as well. I thought I would try to spread that motivation to my lovely readers! 🙂
SPOILER ALERT: You are about to see a lot of pictures of my planning techniques. Don’t worry though, I’m only showing what’s necessary (I’ve covered my personal planning in a different blog post, and even though some things have changed in regards to that, I’ll only cover my business planning here).
I got into planning in middle school. I wasn’t full-on using a store-bought planner or bullet journal, and I wasn’t decorating anything with cute stickers or lettering. But I was definitely getting into making an effective use of the agenda given out to everyone in my school. At first, I would only write down things like assignments, tests, etc. because my teachers required us to do so. Then, it became something more.
I started using the margins to write down notes about each homework assignment (ie. “only do odd #s” “due 1/22 but might change” etc). The one time that I accidentally left my agenda in my eighth-grade locker overnight and forgot everything I was supposed to do for class, I realized that writing things down absolutely helped me remember them. From that point on, I was hooked. I started writing to-do lists in 9th grade, and in my junior year of high school I stumbled upon my first “cutesy planning” YouTube video. I was OBSESSED. That very same day, I went out and spent all of my money ($35 to be exact, which to a teenager is a hell of a lot) on a “cutesy” planner.
My planning style has definitely evolved since then, and I want to share it with you now in the hopes that my style motivates you to get in the zone of finding your own planning style!
My Business Bullet Journal
This Leuchtturm (don’t ask me to try to pronounce that) notebook was honestly the best organization purchase I ever made! I use this thing for all of my business planning, and it has kept me super organized thus far. Keep reading to find out how I use this journal.
The beauty of bullet journaling is that everything is customized to your style (because you have to draw it all in). This is what my monthly spreads usually look like; I can change them at any time, which I love. But for now, this spread is working for me.
- monthly calendar in boxes (’cause I’m a very visual person)
- color-coded dots (with color key at the bottom) to denote events/appointments
- event description module on the right side of the page for event details
- notations of when I need to post to different social media accounts
- sticky notes for blog post ideas (it’s important that they’re movable!)
My weekly spreads are usually set up with minimalism in mind. Just like my old-school agenda days, I like to keep things relatively simple when it comes to to-do lists, goal-setting, and weekly events. Here’s what my weekly spread usually looks like:
- a space for the events/tasks happening each day of the week (I’ve played around with how to structure this, and this is the best layout I’ve found so far)
- a space for tasks that have to get done this week but not necessarily on a specific day
- a space to take down important notes during meetings or phone conferences
- a space to keep track of my digital/social media marketing checklists (I have the specific daily, weekly, monthly, yearly marketing checklists on a different page in my journal; see below)
- a space to keep track of my habits throughout the week (used to make sure that I’m trying to better myself and reach my goals)
My digital/social media marketing is really important to me; without it, I wouldn’t be getting as much traffic to the site or to my photos. Below is the spread I created listing what I need to do each day, week, month, and year to reach my marketing goals.
The pretty quotes and lettering are as important to my bullet journal as the spread layouts themselves. Part of the appeal to bullet journaling is that it motivates you to get things done efficiently, effectively, and with joy. My joy in getting things done also comes from seeing the motivational quotes and aesthetically pleasing designs that I include at every turn of my journal. I’ve even created a spread to look at when I’m feeling particularly uninspired.
Bullet journaling isn’t about creating a formula; that’s what regular planners tend to do. My school agendas were the same way, and it worked for a long time. But that kind of system just doesn’t help me anymore. I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: I am a creative soul. I have to be creating something in the spaces around me in order to live fulfilled, and bullet journaling allows me to literally create things that I can carry with me and keep at my finger tips at all times.