Whether or not you have a blog or you work from home or are part of a MLM company, keeping organized and planning for the future is kind of key. I have always failed at this, miserably I might add. I have ALWAYS had some sort of side business going, I’m just a little bit entrepreneurial that way, but I seriously lacked organization (which killed me at tax time FYI). This year, I wanted it to be different. I just incorporated my company which means more government reporting, kind of upping the ante in the professional world, and staying organized has never been more important. Which brings me to today’s post, setting up a business bullet journal. I have a beautiful emerald Leuchtturm1917 from Goulet Pens and as I was considering the uses (I generally use a traveler’s notebook and inserts for my bullet journal), I decided to make it a separate business bullet journal. And today I am going to share how I set it up and what I decided to leave out.
Researching Ideas for your Business Bullet Journal
Before you even begin writing in a new bullet journal, you need to spend some time doing research. That’s right, I said research (and this applies to bullet journaling in general, not just for business). You need to get good collection ideas, spread ideas, inspiration, and figure out what you want to include in your bullet journal and how you want to make that happen. The planning stage for your planner (ironic, I know) is probably the most important step. My go-to is Pinterest or Instagram. While Instagram has some great photos, I actually find Pinterest more helpful in the research stage. There seems to be more content, and they link to blog posts where I can see a lot more info. I make a list of all the collection pages I want to include as I browse. If you aren’t already, come follow me on Pinterest where I share all of my personal planning inspiration that I use in my bullet journal.
Setting up Your Collections in your Business Bullet Journal
Once you know which collections you want, it’s time to grab your list and start setting it up! I am not hung up on perfect, especially in my business bullet journal, but if you are you will want to use pencil first on all your collections. Remember, a collection is something you are going to refer to over and over, so make sure you have put the thought into what you really want and how you need it to be set up.
Collections that I have so far (I’ve only had it a week, so bear with me, it will grow over time) are:
- Year at a glance and writing tracker
- Stats tracker
- Hashtags and Keywords
- Affiliate marketing
- Mileage Tracker
- Sponsors and reviews
- Giveaways and still shopping
- Blog post ideas
- Business and planning routine
I also have a personal collections insert in my main Travelers Notebook, so this includes only business related collections that I need. In between there I have my month where I have October at a glance, accounting (income and expenses that need to be entered into my book keeping) and blog post planning pages.
But what good is a list when you could have pictures and in-depth explanations of each page? Grab your cup of coffee and tea and let’s open up my planner!
My Year at a Glance Collection: Business Bullet Journal
Every good bullet journal starts with a year at a glance (except my personal one, cuz I’m a rebel). My business bullet journal NEEDS a year at a glance so that when I am talking to a client on the phone I can quickly refer to dates and view the plan. I also saw some really neat trackers on both Boho Berry and Tiny Ray of Sunshine (bullet journal GURU’s!) where they track which days they write, sometimes color coded by what they write about. “Cool!” I thought, “But I’m lazy!” So instead I decided to blend the two into what I refer to as ingenious! 😉
This is my year at a glance with a few color codes to refer to. As I write a blog post or do a YouTube video or podcast, I put a little checkmark on the day in that color so I know what I did. It is just a neat way to see at a glance how often I am writing, my slower months, my busier months, and eventually I will use this to cross reference with my stats tracker to see if there are any correlations.
My Stats Tracker and Goal Collection pages: Business Bullet Journal
I needed a place to track stats, stat (what can I say, I’m corny like that) ?. I was also feeling a bit lazy when I set this up, I should have made it two pages so I had more room, it is one of my most important collections, but I simplified it and set it up on one page instead, because I can. On the other side you will see my goals page where I am keeping track of my yearly goals, what I want to accomplish, and then I can see if I actually do it! I am pretty careful what I put here, obviously you can see it is not that full. This is because I don’t want to set unrealistic goals but rather dream big but dream specifically.
My Hashtags and Keyword Collection: Business Bullet Journal
This is one of my favorites, it is saving me SO MUCH TIME you guys, I can’t even. Up until now I haven’t really had a strategy with hashtags on Instagram. I just used the main ones, for bullet journaling for example. As I put this list together however, I took the time to research each hashtag and realized that there was hundreds of thousands of people using the same hashtag, which literally means that there is very little chance of actually being seen with these broad hashtags. Instead, I researched lesser-used hashtags that still are active, but I have a reasonable chance of being at the top of the list long enough to be seen when I post. You can make out that I circled the hashtags that I use more frequently.
I decided to blur this spread simply because I spent hours researching and it is kind of part of my strategy. PLUS I don’t want you to get caught up using hashtags that work for me when you might not get good results from them. I encourage you to find hashtags that are relevant to your niche, and especially your followers. What kinds of hashtags are they using?
My Affiliates Collection: Business Bullet Journal
My affiliates collection is another one that is pretty important. I used to sign up to be an affiliate with everyone and anything and I have since learned that it is better to have fewer affiliate programs I am working with and promote them more actively. I cut way back and this is kind of where I compiled a very condensed list of ones I want to track. The goal of this spread is to see which ones I either need to promote more OR just aren’t working with my niche.
If I could change anything about this collection it would be to have left a few blank spots because I can guarantee in a year I will find more affiliates to add to this list. However, this is the beauty of a bullet journal! If I do add another affiliate page somewhere in the BUJO, I can thread it to this page and just go find it.
My Mileage Tracker Collection: Business Bullet Journal
Next I have my milage tracker, I thought I would like doing the Dr. Seuss quote in bright red but I actually hate it (live and learn right). But the point is, it is kind of an essential spread for me for tax purposes. I don’t often travel for work because I work from home, but we do go on a trip once a year for speaking engagements and I will definitely need this collection.
My Brainstorming Collection: Business Bullet Journal
Next I have my brainstorming collection. I love this spread, it is just so much fun! I hope to put some of those “big ideas” that often come out of a phone conversation or chat with my hubby. I may not always act on them, but they give me good ideas for when my blog is getting stagnant or falling into a rut.
Blog Sponsors, Reviews, Giveaways, Still Shopping and Blog post Ideas Collections
Because these are all mostly blank (I didn’t want to fill them all in just to blur them out in photos) I am putting these all in one. Blog sponsors is where I keep track of my regular sponsors, what they pay, our agreement, etc. Reviews is where I will be just very simply listing reviews that are upcoming or in the works. Giveaways is again, just going to be list style to keep track of which giveaways I have coming and when I agreed to do them. Still shopping is a spread for people I have pitched that I am still working on. I will put their name and email here and keep track of when I contacted them so that I can reach out again. Think of it as my own personal fishing rod, where I am still working at reeling them in 😉
Lastly I have my blog post ideas collection, I left two pages for this because in a creative mood I can list 20 new blog post ideas. I can also have a lull where I think of nothing for weeks on end, so this is pretty important to keep the ideas circulating and not lose an idea for a good post!
Month at a Glance Pages: Business Bullet Journal
I hate setting up calendars, to me it is pretty but I have other bullet journals to manage and no time to draw 31 little boxes. SO I set up a future log for my monthly calendar. Sometimes this will be used as a future log (upcoming posts) sometimes it will be simply a blog post tracker (what I did post) the point is to keep track of what is happening on the blog. On the next page I am going to have a monthly analysis. It will have memories, things that worked and didn’t, whatever I need it to be. I have time set up in my planning routine to fill in these pages throughout the month.
Expenses/Income Accounting Pages
This is SO important for me, because I am incorporated, I have GST filings and business filings to do. I HAVE to keep better track of my finances on a regular basis, because the once a year at tax time is a MESS, and a ton of stress. I purchased an online software to keep really good track however I think this is going to be the middle man for me and so far it is working really well. Every night I go in and write the date and any purchases or income for that day. I convert it all to Canadian so that it is converted on the day it happens, I track paypal fees, anything that might be on my Visa from my bank, etc. All I do is write the amount, a +/- if it was on V or P (visa or paypal) and the description. At the end I have a box for E (entered). I also have a time of the month that I will enter all these on Quickbooks but this way I don’t have to look in two different places and make it such a big thing. I just enter one after another and I’m done!
Blog Planning Pages
I got this idea from Kara at Bohoberry.com and I just love it. I am doing all my lists and to-do’s in my regular list and weekly planner, so that I am not wasting time doing it both places. Instead this is where I plan my blog posts. I write the URL, the date it is going live, the title, the keyword, any research I have done, header ideas, SEO or hashtag ideas, whatever I need. I have a time set in my business routine to fill this in the night before I write so that the next day I can sit down and have a clear plan of what I am doing.
Business Routine and Planning Strategy
This brings me to a new collection. I just added this in the middle of the blog planning pages (which again, is the beauty of the bullet journal, I can do that, I don’t have to have all my collections in the beginning, I just index them, I might put a washi tab or something on this one because I think I’ll be referring to it a lot. Notice there are no times on here, just a routine, I can work from one box to the next, figure out what I should be doing and do it. I have daily tasks, monthly tasks (which I have a day to work on my monthly tasks) as well as a planning strategy and daily routine.
This is hopefully going to help me be more on track of my planning as well as my business. I get up at 5:30am (most mornings) in order to have time in the morning to work. I also do about an hour in the afternoon and a few hours in the evening. Works out to about 6 hours of work a day, but I have to make sure I get up early or else it all falls apart because I still have homeschooling and cooking and cleaning to do!
Business Bullet Journal Video
I was going to try to put a video in today’s post, but this post took me a LOT longer than I had thought and is a lot longer than I had anticipated. So instead I am going to post a video tomorrow in a short and sweet little post that will talk about all of this in case it was just too much to read. So stay tuned and bookmark the landing page below!
Did you know this is part of a 31 day series? There will be a post each day this month showcasing how I use bullet journaling. We will talk about the tools you need and I’ll review some of my pen hoard (including my brand new flex fountain pens, eeeeek!). There will be videos, pictures, hand lettering practise pages, doodle challenges, journaling prompts, some amazing giveaways, and hopefully a TON of inspiration to get you writing in your planner, whatever that may look like for you! How can you get on board?
BOOKMARK THE LANDING PAGE (that is where all the posts will be added throughout the month)
FIND ME ON INSTAGRAM (I’ll be posting the daily posts there)
USE THE HASHTAG: #PlanWithRebecca or #planninginspiration4u on Instagram for a chance to be featured on my page!
JOIN THE NEWSLETTER (if you want an short update on the latest post in your inbox)