8 Ways I Use My Bullet Journal As A Reader & A Blogger

Ways I Use My Bullet Journal As A Reader & Book Blogger

 

Back in July I talked about how I started bullet journalling mid-month and here we are (well, as I write this) at the end of August and I have to say, with a full month of bullet journalling under my belt, that I really think this is a system that will work for me. Mine is super simple and not all pretty and creative but I would get way to hung up on that so a more simple approach definitely works for me. Literally the most I do is like use pretty colored pens — these ones actually. I’m using a journal that I had lying around (from one of my spontaneous journal purchases) so I would just get started with it but the pages are thin so the pens bleed through sometimes and I think I’d like to purchase one of these that are apparently all the rage in the bullet journal community.

I’ve found that I really like having all my lists in one place. I really like having the birthday calendar I made for each month to glance at every month to be more intentional about that. I made a tracker for some habits and things I want to work on because I am such a person who likes to check things off so it feels really nice to fill in my little bubble that I completed it for the day. It works SO well in helping me work on my goals.

I also have random pages I’ve really come to love like “Things To Look Up” because I always have random things that I want to research or look up and I always forget what they were. I love having various to-do lists in there but having a MASTER TO DO LIST that encompasses like everything — things I might not have a set start day for but that I want to do. It’s just a system that REALLY works. I don’t use all the things I see others do but I just put in it what I think I truly want and aligns with my life.

Anyways, I’m not at all an expert so this won’t be a post of tips or anything like that because I’m still a baby at this but I figured I would share things I’ve used it for as pertaining to my life as a reader and book blogger. (I highly suggest you check out Pinterest and just type in bullet journalling and you will find a wealth of info on how to start and ideas if you don’t know what it is and are curious if it would be a good system for you).

 

8 Ways I Use My Bullet Journal As A Reader and Book Blogger:

(no pics of these pages because like they are reaaaaaally ugly and not creative or fancy…just me writing these categories at the top of the page..maybe some little circles to track stuff. BOUT IT. Nothing to see. lol)

 

 

1. Books To Get From The Library: This might seem like a random one but EVERY FREAKING TIME I go to the library I know there are books I wanted to get out but I can’t remember half of them. And then I end up on Goodreads or on my library wishlist which is sooo inconvenient while I’m there but now I have a list that I can look at before I go or have in my purse while I’m there and, when I go to look for one, can make notes on if it’s in the library or if I will have to interloan library it.

2. Monthly TBRs: I’m always so off and on about doing Monthly TBRs on the blog or on Instagram so I really like that I can quick jot down a list of books I’m planning to read before the next month begins. It helps me remember any library books I have out or book club books or whatever. It also helps me when I can’t choose from what to read — even though, as a mood reader, I’ve totally thrown caution to the wind and gone off my TBR list…like a lot. I do like the idea of going through the notebook to see how many I actually ended up getting to.

3. Series To Finish: This has been SUPER useful for me. I was trying to keep track of it via a Goodreads shelf but it just got so hard to keep messing with and taking books off and putting them on and blah. This is great because I put all the current series I’m in the middle of and it’s so easy to cross it off if I finish or add a new series if I start one.

4. Comics I’m Reading: Pretty self explanatory. I like keeping track of what comic series I’m currently reading and make any notes to keep me updated when new stuff is released.

5. Reading Stats: I’ve never really kept many reading stats before in my life but I’ve been kind of curious to look at, especially after I wrote this post, what genres I’ve been reading. So for every book I read I make a little circle and then I fill it in with a color that corresponds to whatever genre it is (they are pretty loose genres because I’m simple). I also have been keeping track of some other stats like male authors vs. female that I’ve read and stuff like that. I would LOVE some other ideas for interesting things to track. I can see myself really tweaking this for next year based on what I find interesting/helpful to track.

6. Reading/Blogging Goals Progress: This is where I track these goals I make at the beginning of the year. It’s been really nice because I realized recently I’m SO visual when it comes to my goals and I like seeing the progress I’ve made (or not made). When I make goals and resolutions I typically forget about a lot of ones or they get pushed back but having this page (and doing my mid-year check-in) helps me sooo much. I need it right in my face.

7. Blog Post Idea Dump: This is where I literally just brain dump even the dumbest ideas for the blog. I’ve seriously filled sooo many pages. Before I would have tons of scraps of papers and random notesbooks with ideas jotted down, a notebook on Evernote (my faaave digital note-taking system), 100s of unfinished drafts in WordPress with post ideas and like one sentence for what I wanted that post to be. I’ve made this new system where I now use this to dump every idea (and it’s typically always with me) and then I only put the winners in my Evernote notebook that I actively want to work on and KNOW what I want to do with. Sometimes I still go for my Evernote if I’m on my phone and it’s more convenient to type into my app but I always transfer it to my bullet journal. I think this has also helped me do some brainstorming OFF LINE. I can take my notebook and really develop or brainstorm the ideas further without sitting on my computer looking at Evernote and getting easily distracted. DEFINITELY a winner of a system for me.

8. Blog Improvements: This is where I put more administrative/maintenance and behind the scenes blogging stuff — aka all the things I hate and put off for forever. Things like “make my about me page prettier” “go back or format/make prettier graphics for old posts that still get lots of traffic”Β  orΒ  “figure out WHY THE HELL my email notifications when I get comments on my blog are no longer working” — still haven’t figured out that one. I miss getting individual emails every time someone comments..always made my day to read them throughout the day.

Things I might like to implement:

Books Read In X Year: I was too lazy to go back and list all the books I read from January through July when I started this but next year I would like to keep a list of books I’ve read throughout the year. I have Goodreads for that when I want to glance over but sometimes I just like that stuff written down.

Quotes: I already have a dedicated quote notebook that I’ve used for yeaaaaars so I’m still waffling if this is something I want to also go in this notebook. Maybe I could use this because I always have it with me and then transfer it to my quote notebook?? IDK IDK.

Books Recommended By Friends/Elsewhere: I typically just auto-add to Goodreads but sometimes I like to keep track of just WHO recommended it. I know I can do that on Goodreads but I’m not sure if I can do that from my phone and also it’s REALLY hard to find someone with the auto-fill in especially if they have a popular name. Especially for my New to the Queue posts it might be helpful to remember why I added something to my TBR — like from a person I know, a magazine I saw it in, a blogger whose post I saw it in that piqued my interest.

 

Soooo that’s what I’m currently using it for as it pertains to reading stuff and book blogging! It’s probably not that super interesting and I probably do not make bullet journalling all that appealing because I don’t have pretty stuff (seriously go search on instagram and Pinterest) but I’ve really enjoyed the system and will keep going with it!

 

Do you bullet journal? What kind of reading related or blogging stuff do you put in yours?

 

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. For your reading stats maybe you should track the countries the authors are from? I did that a couple of years back and it was really interesting. And it made me want to choose more texts written by South American authors or Middle Eastern authors etc.

    I keep journals for everything. I write quotes/thoughts from every book I read as I’m reading it and it’s become a habit but a really beneficial one. E.g I have separate journals for Shakespeare’s histories, tragedies and comedies. Bullet journaling was difficult at first but I enjoy it now.

    • Ooh that could be an interesting thing to track!

      I think my biggest stumbling block with bullet journaling was overthinking it at first and thinking I had to make it a certain way like everyone else. Learned quickly it works as a system based on what youuuuu want

  2. I started bullet journaling back in December 2015 and I got super fancy with my layouts, then I relized I couldn’t spend all that time every day and I experienced some burnout. Finally, I decided to rewatch Ryder Carroll’s video (the creator of the bullet journal) and read his instructions on bulletjournal.com and I went back to basics making my journal finally work for me. I currently have a separate bullet journal for my readings because I like to write my thoughts on the books there instead of Goodreads, I’m planning to write a post about it very soon. In the meantime, I’m going to bullet journal all your list ideas, because they are so good! πŸ™‚

    • Yeah I realized quickly that I am not artistic to make that stuff and it would not be beneficially for me to try bc I would get hung up on it and it would take me so much time. I know for others it becomes part of their creative outlet but that’s not me at all! I’m okay with that…with my simple and ugly system haha

      Ooh can’t wait for your post!! I always enjoy reading about other people’s bullet journal systems!!

  3. This post was fantastic! I have heard about bullet journals from other people in the book community, and have always wanted to start my own but never really knew where or how to start. Your ideas are perfect and I think I might now be able to start my own bullet journal!
    I love your blog too by the way! So pretty, and your posts are always good to read πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the great post!

    • Thank you! Definitely check out Pinterest bc there are some great “getting started” posts (also I like the blog boho berry). even though I don’t do the artsy creative part those posts really helped me think of things I might want in mine. If you have any questions I can try to help! My advice is not getting hung up on what others have or do with theirs and do what will make the best system for you! πŸ™‚

      Thank you for all the kind words for a Friday morning πŸ™‚

  4. I currently use a Happy Planner by MAMBI. I love being able to future plan in a regular planner, but I love the fact that it’s ring bound. I can take pages in and out whenever I want. I also add a bunch of note paper at the end so I have a place for all of my random lists.

    • I’ve heard such great things about that planner! I really should check it out! Isn’t it always great when you find a thing that just really works for you??

  5. I keep telling myself I need to track my series in my bullet journal … looking through my books read, it’s amazing how many series I have on the go! I tried doing a separate journal just for books and blogging, but I think I have to just integrate it into my regular journal. It’s just nice having everything in one place.

    • It’s seriously ridic how many series I’m in the middle of! Some it’s been years since I’ve read the first book and it’s like maybe I should just officially break up with the series?

      I had always had blogging and life separate in a planner but this has been pretty good thus far!

  6. I love bullet journals!!! I am new to book blogging and really enjoy reading your posts. You have great ideas!! Thank you for reminding me that I can post more than just reviews.

    • Aw thank you! Honestly I think that’s the only reason I have been blogging for 6 years is that early on I realized I would be so unhappy and unfulfilled personally if I just wrote reviews. I really think it’s the secret to blogging is to do what YOU want to do and not what everyone else is doing. When I started largely it was a lot of reviews that people were doing and I was more interested in other content as well and it’s worked for me. I have some friends that really just love writing reviews and that’s 90% of their content! Its really all about you and what you want to pour your time into writing! At least in my opinion!

      Anyways, I really appreciate your kind comment and going to head over to check out your blog! Welcome to the community! πŸ™‚

  7. I’ve been bullet journaling for a few months. I have a basic reading log, wish-list, blog post idea dump and a spread for a six word stories challenge i’m doing.

    • Ooh I have a wish list too and I was all excited about it bc I always think of random things I want or need and don’t have a place except my (forgetful) brain to store it….but somehow I haven’t even used that spread. Maybe I haven’t wanted anything recently lol or I just forget to even put it in there! Maybe once summer ends I will use it! My life has been so hectic

  8. I haven’t gotten into bullet journaling–I might try it when I start a new notebook module in my refillable journal–but I really like reading about what people are doing (and getting pics of spreads my BFF Nicole has made). It’s funny you have so many reading things because I do all of that exclusively on goodreads now. I do like having a notebook at all times to write down random thoughts and have a “master” calendar I can glance at instead of my tiny phone one–I also use that to track when to cross-post reviews/social engagements/work deadlines. Right now I have an unwieldy to do list that I re-write every week or so when it gets too messy. I think I’m going to look at the bullet journaling site to see about making something a bit more manageable.

    For your email notifications have you tried completely removing/unlinking whatever service you have and then re-adding all of your info? Sort of like a reset?

    • I do sooo much reading stuff on Goodreads..honestly most everything because it’s just so much easier and everything is there but I’ve learned there were certain things I didn’t like tracking that way — like the series stuff (seriously so annoying to remove and add and keep it up to date) and my library list (when I had it on Goodreads I was adding like EVERYTHING to it and it was overwhelming so now I just write down my top priorities that I think about every time plus like I said I enjoy writing notes if I can’t find it and will have to ILL it). Also with goals my reading goals…I’m so visual with them in a way that Goodreads doesn’t provide for me. The way I track them just helps my brain so much. But yeah, overall I also track WAY more on Goodreads because there is so much data there and it’s easier.

      I think you might like the weekly spreads of bullet journaling (I currently don’t do any of the calendar type spreads because I have a brand new planner I had just bought before I started bullet journaling and I don’t want to waste it) because the whole thing of that is that you transfer things still on your lists to the next week or month or whatever type of spread you are doing which seems like is kind of what you do re-writing it anyway. I think the best part of bullet journaling is that you really can make it your own and what works for you…in a way that a typical planner never did for me. I’ve always had tons of notebooks for different things but I like having like the ONE notebook that I carry with me everywhere.

      TBH I only did very bare minimum checking into my email issue over the summer because I’ve been kind of checked out in general (I know it’s happening to a few other bloggers I chat with too) but planning to really figure it out if I can soon. That’s a good idea to look into!

      • Yeah. I have to experiment more while I’m finishing off the notebook I have. I’m using a fauxdori right now which I love but sometimes I’m just like really tired of my bag being so heavy. Maybe I’ll try a smaller one next time. I don’t know. Too many notebook options!

  9. I love my bullet journal! I have only been using it for a few months, but it really works! And I’m in the process of writing a big post and making a video about book blogging for book bloggers. It’s just such a handy way to plan, track, and brainstorm for my blog! Great post, Jamie!

    • Ooh can’t wait for your post and video! Will be so helpful to see other things book bloggers are using it for esp because maybe it’s something I hadn’t thought of yet that would work for me!

  10. These are great ideas! I’ve wanted to start bullet journaling since I heard about it, but everything I’ve seen is so pretty and creative and I know I wouldn’t be able to do that. Also, it seems really time consuming to start it? But I think like you, keeping it simple may work best for me.

    • It honestly didn’t take me that much time to start it. I took an hour or so to plan one day what I would want to go IN it. I searched examples of other people’s to see if I could find things I didn’t think of or things that might spark an idea for me. Then on another day I started it. Because mine is so simple I don’t think mine took that long to start compared to all the really beautiful and elaborate ones. You can do it if I can do it! πŸ™‚

  11. I haven’t tried bullet journaling, but I’ve been looking for a way to be more organized, especially at work, so now I’m inspired to try it!

  12. I absolutely love this post. It’s a good one!

    I usually write down most of all these items as well, but I like to use sticky notes (which end up all over the place…not always helpful), or make a quick note in my phone. I should definitely use this idea and keep them all together in a journal.

    Do you ever find it hard or overwhelming to keep track of everything you have in one journal? I normally like to keep things separated, but it would probably make the most sense to keep it all together in one notebook.

    I especially like the idea of writing down books to get from the library. I was just there the other day and had to log into my goodreads account to look at some of the books on my to-read list. That’s funny.
    I also like the idea of writing down log ideas too. I randomly get blog ideas when I’m out in public or not near my desk and then I write them down and they’re everywhere.

    I think I need to write and keep everything in one journal. It’s probably the best idea.

    • Thank you πŸ™‚

      Oh my gosh yes that’s me — everything on random papers or post-its or on my phone or in other notebooks and then some stuff in my planner. SCATTERED EVERYWHERE.

      I honestly, as of right now, don’t find it overwhelming to have everything in one notebook. At first I thought I might but so far I haven’t. You also make like a working table of contents so you can easily find stuff which I’m sure helps when you really fill it up. I think the best part is that if you find there are certain things you would prefer to be in a separate notebook you could always do that! I was at first getting hung up on how everyone ELSE uses it but I think the thing I’ve learned is to use it how it works for YOU. So if that means like a certain group of things need a separate notebook…do that!

      I’ll be curious what you think if you start one! Pinterest and Youtube and Instagram are great resources to get ideas! I got SO many ideas for things to include in my own. Also bohoberry.com

  13. I’ve seen bullet journaling on Pinterest but I had no idea what its all about. Reading your post makes it a little more clear. I will enjoy other people’s journals but I am way to all over the place to put my life in a journal. Kutos to you for doing it! Don’t worry about it being pretty I’m sure it’ll get better with practice.

    • Haha I thought that about my life (being all over the place) but somehow it works for me! But I think that’s the best part about finding a ~system~ that works for you…what works for you might not work for somebody else!

      Haha and I don’t know that mine will ever get pretty! I’m zero percent artistic and I’m not sure I have a desire to fulfill any sort of creative outlet in my journal but THANK YOU FOR HAVING FAITH IN MY ABILITIES πŸ˜€

  14. I really like this! I feel like it would be super useful but TIMMEEE. Time is one thing that I lack. UGH. I WISH I COULD DO ALL THE THINGS, but alas,… I cannot.

    • Yes I think that’s why I chose not to get in on the creative aspects I see because I feel like I can’t justify spending hte time on it. Once I got the initial setup done (which did not take me long bc lol it’s so simple and just me literally writing the name of each list or page with a pretty colored pen)..I fell like I don’t spend anymore time on it other than checking off things on the list or adding things. Like you would a planner or to-to list.

  15. I’ve never done a bullet journal, but I might start doing one in the back of my planner where there are tons of note pages. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. I really want to start bullet journaling! It looks like such a fun way to keep your thoughts and to-do list sorted. Thanks for giving us a little peek into your one πŸ™‚

    Nihaad – Read & Seek

  17. I LOVE using my bullet journal, as a person and also as a book/lifestyle blogger! It’s just so easy to have everything in one place that is so customizable and that you can fit to your own personal style! And I love my bullet journal or brain/blog post dumps too.

  18. i don’t bullet journal but this totally makes me want to! i love all the things you are doing with it. i am definitely more of the simple mind with things like this – i have a planner and i’m not on board with stickers and things like that, the most i do is pretty pens, otherwise i’d be too crazy and like want to start over when it didn’t look good or i made a mistake.
    i am forever forgetting who recommended books, i know you can do it on goodreads but i always forget!

  19. A picture would be awesome!

    I love my bullet journal too. I’m halfway between pretty and simple. I don’t really have an artistic bent but it helps me to add little drawings and use some handdrawn fonts.

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