HOW I USE MY BULLET JOURNAL AS A BLOGGER + MY EXACT LAYOUTS

BULLET JOURNALING FOR BLOGGERS • lifestyle blogger, shannon silver essellesse, talks how she uses her bullet journal as a blogger

Bullet journaling has changed my life.

It is something I wish I started years ago. I got into it right after we went to Half Moon Bay last year and it was a game changer.

I love that you can literally make it yours. Whatever it is you want to use it for, you can.

I remember when I first got started, I was SO INTIMIDATED by it. I am sure you’ve seen the beautiful Bullet Journal layouts with watercolours, & gorgeous writing… it’s more like art work instead of a journal.

BUT- that is only one aspect for it! If you are more artistic {I’m not!}, it’s a great outlet for that creativity. When it comes to my Bullet Journal {or bujo }, I take a much more minimalist approach.

The first thing I did when I got my journal was text my friend Gitana. She made me feel instantly more comfortable and basically told me to make it mine. She showed me examples of hers {we have a similar approach} & I was ready to dive in. She also wrote a really great post on getting started into it here. It’s basically the advice she gave me, so if you are getting started, I recc going there first and then back here.

One thing I struggled with a lot was my content calendar. This is awful, but I found I was ignoring my virtual calendar. On the flip side, I found when I wrote something down, it was set in stone & I never missed it.

These days, I ONLY use my virtual calendar for events I need to be at or calls I need to be on, strictly for the reminders. Anything else is in my bujo.

Before we get into everything, THIS is the exact Bullet Journal I use & I highly recommend it. I also have about 5 other journals but they each have different tasks so I’ll make different posts regarding those. They all work in synergy with each other though. So whenever you hear me talk my bullet journal, my bujo, or my content calendar, this is what I am talking about!

There are 3 major things I track in my BuJo & I made formats for them all.

{ ONE }: My Monthly Content Calendar

{ TWO }: My Weekly & Daily Tasks

{ THREE }: Meal Planning & Grocery Lists

I used to plot my instagrams for the month but as mentioned here, I’m taking a much more organic approach to instagram so nothing on that {other than the occaissional #spon} is planned. I don’t even plan my times on it anymore. I post when I want. That said, if you want that layout, let me know & I will make a separate post.

I find all three categories work really well together. First things first, I dedicate my Sundays to this.

So for example, I made ALL of these layouts yesterday {1/27}. Every Sunday, I do the grocery planning & weekly/daily layout and on the last Sunday of every month, I do the next month’s content calendar.

Since it was the last Sunday of the month, let’s talk my content calendar.

My Monthly Content Calendar

MONTHLY CONTENT CALENDAR BULLET JOURNAL LAYOUT • lifestyle blogger, shannon silver essellesse, talks how she uses her bullet journal as a blogger

This is exactly what it sounds like, my month in content.

As mentioned above, I use another journal and that’s where I write down ALL my blog topics. Basically, whenever I have an idea, I jot it down. On the last Sunday of the month, I basically sit down with that journal and my bujo & play Tetris and lay everything out.

This calendar is blank for the sake of this post {if you want to know what it says, check the blog!!}

On top, you may see where it says KEY: with a bunch of highlights. Again, it’s blank for the sake of the blog post, but those are all categories. So write out your blog categories: recipe, beauty, fashion, etc & highlight. From a macro glance, I know immediately how my week is laid out.

A category I have is recipes… more on that later. But it’s very helpful for me to know exactly what recipe I am posting and when. That also very much affects the next sections in my bujo.

Logistically speaking, I found the best layout for this was a 5×5 square. Weekends stay the same for the mostpart with Lazy Luxury & xx SLS so I wasn’t stressed about having that on a seperate page.

Lastly, I have a notes section, so that’s basically all my notes / thoughts / goals with that month.

Moving on to the Meal Plan & Grocery List:

WEEKLY GROCERY & MEAL PLAN LAYOUT • lifestyle blogger, shannon silver essellesse, talks how she uses her bullet journal as a blogger

This takes up two pages of my bujo. The first page, I plot out everything I am making & when. Then, I supplement it with the groceries I need.

The first thing I do is I go through my content calendar and see what recipes need to be made or photographed & fill that out accordingly.

Then, I fill in the blanks with other dinners / lunches that can use similar ingredients.

Afterwards, I fill out the grocery list! I then take a photo of it to reference when I am at Whole Foods.

A few notes: for photographing, I always do it in the day for the natural light, so I write it in blue. I also use this to plan lunches for Erik. If I have an event or dinner date with a girlfriend, I’ll write that in so I know I don’t have to worry about dinner that day {& will generally avoid shooting blog recipes that day}.

Logistically, I have each date in a 5×5 square & each category in a 5×10 square. I found this worked the best & was aesthetically pleasing. For the Grocery List, I generally write it as I go but for the sake of the post, I showed my usual categories.

& lastly, the weekly / daily planner

WEEKLY & DAILY TASKS LAYOUT • lifestyle blogger, shannon silver essellesse, talks how she uses her bullet journal as a blogger

After that’s plotted out, the next thing I do on Sunday is set up my week. It takes up at least 2 pages {4 max depending on the tasks}

On the first page, I put all the blog post topics for the week at the top. I write exactly what was in the monthly calendar there.

Then, I list out my goals & tasks that MUST get done that week. Some are work related, some are Japanese related, some are personal, some are home… whatever NEEDS to be done that week, I put it there.

Then, & I LOVE this section, I have a “Looking Ahead” section. There, I put all the blog posts that are queued for the NEXT week. That leaves me with a clear snapshot on the week & I can now plan my daily tasks accordingly. This is also helpful with #spon deadlines.

These tasks are blank now because I do them every morning with coffee {as mentioned here}. It’s the last part of my morning routine.

Basically, it’s my to do list. I write EVERYTHING I need or should need to do {all while cross referencing the goals/tasks of this week}. & hence the name bullet journal, they are all with bullets that look like this: •

When a task gets done, in RED, I make an X through the bullet. I never cross things out because I want to clearly see what it says.

If something does NOT get done, I make a > through the bullet still in RED. I also write in a few words next to it why it didn’t get done. This keeps me accountable and disciplined… but also as the day goes, some tasks just lose priority or end up not being needed. If they still need to get done, then they get migrated to the next day.

Logistically: this is really easy and there’s no system to it & the layout kind of speaks for itself. Very minimal. I also keep a colour theme for the month. So January was blue, February is Black, March will be Green, etc. I always keep them dark colours {& if a month has some roll over, like feb had Jan & March, it reflects in the monthly calendar too}.

JAPANESE HIGHLIGHTERS: LOVE THE PROPUS ONES! • lifestyle blogger, shannon silver essellesse, talks how she uses her bullet journal as a blogger

And finally, let’s talk equipment!

Three things I very much reccomend are:

highlighters

small ruler

good pens

As far as highlighters, I LOVE these Japanese ones. I discovered them when we went to Tokyo in 2015 and am just obsessed. They are neon pastels but I love that the tip is clear so you can see what you are highlighting! I also love these Japanese highlighters {sense a trend? 😉 }. They are called “mildliners” and much more muted. I have the full set of them but like the pastel ones the best.

A ruler is a must, especially with a dotted book. It keeps things in line and makes drawing the squares a trillion times easier. It also keeps things aesthetically pleasing and “in it’s place”. I also find using it kind of therapeutic. I stole this small metal one from Erik but here is a great one.

& good pens! Basically, you don’t want the pens to bleed through the paper. I love my Gelly Rolls but some of the fancier ones bleed. As far as Gelly Rolls, I find that these are the best: solid & metallic. I’ve also been using these KACO pens. I like all the colours, the tip, and they don’t bleed at all. The pens from Muji are supposed to be fantastic as well and are next on my list. {unrelated but I am obsessed with their cotton squares!!}

I used to really like a thicker point: think .7 or 1.0 but these days, I like it a lot more thin, I find it just looks better and bleeds less as I highlight it.

It’s also been much more helpful as I practice my Hiragana.

& finally, the journal itself. Again, I LOVE my Leuchtturm 1917. It’s super high quality, the pages are numbered, great paper quality, has a bookmark, and elastic to keep it shut. I also love the Miliko ones. They have a binding & come in a set of two but the paper is nice and thick. I use this one for my GOALS journal so I can vouch for it. It’s a great cost effective option and you get two!

I know this post has a lot of info, so here is a quick recap below. Basically, it’s my exactly layouts & links to the supplies needed without the words.

Monthly Content Calendar

MONTHLY CONTENT CALENDAR BULLET JOURNAL LAYOUT • lifestyle blogger, shannon silver essellesse, talks how she uses her bullet journal as a blogger

Meal Planning & Grocery List

WEEKLY GROCERY & MEAL PLAN LAYOUT • lifestyle blogger, shannon silver essellesse, talks how she uses her bullet journal as a blogger

Weekly & Daily Tasks

WEEKLY & DAILY TASKS LAYOUT • lifestyle blogger, shannon silver essellesse, talks how she uses her bullet journal as a blogger

equipment needed

bullet journal: Leuchtturm 1917Miliko {set of 2}

ruler

pens: solid gelly rollsmetallic gelly rollsKACO assorted pens

highlighters: propus • mildliners {full setpastels}

I hope this was helpful!! If you have any other questions, let me know.

I’ll do more posts on my other journals which include: my goals journal, my blog posts journal, my recipes journal, my “personal” brain dump journal, & maybe even my Japanese journal if that’s interesting to anyone.

I know it sounds like overkill to have so many journals but trust me, it’s a game changer.

I used to do it all in one notebook and it was just too overwhelming. Having each one have a task just keeps me more organized and they all work in synergy with each other {with the exception of my Japanese one which is purely for my studies}.

Any questions, just let me know!!

xx SLS

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