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Using A Bullet Journal for NaNoWriMo!

IMG_3924Have you heard of a bullet journal? Well, you can click that link if not, but basically, it’s a blank journal that you fill with every avenue of your life. Want some way to track weight loss? Make a page for it. Need a physical weekly planner? Cut out a cardstock template and trace your month! Gratitude tracker, to-read lists, or a birthday calendar? It’s got you covered. 😉

Bullet journals are amazing for keeping an orderly life, but they’re also incredibly cathartic to create. It’s like adult coloring books, except you feel WAY more accomplished when you’re done, because you designed it and then get to use it however you please!

Last year, I had one journal I used for everything, including NaNoWriMo. Here are some pictures of a few of the pages I created.

DISCLAIMER: Most of these spreads were borrowed from Pinterest, Facebook groups, and the all-mighty BoHo Berry. 🙂

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But over the course of 2017, that journal has dissolved into merely a budget planning tool. A way to keep track of all of my utilities and expenses, in one handy book.

So I bought a second bullet journal, simply for NaNoWriMo! Yaaaaay! Blank slate FTW!

I read a LOT of writing reference books. And I lend them out like… well, like any other book I own. >.> So my goal with this journal was to create one easy location where all the best nuggets of information are gleaned. A spot where I compile everything that made me say, “Ohhh, THAT’S how you do it!” That way, when I lend my books out, I won’t miss the information. 😀

I’m dividing this journal into sections. The beginning are my NaNo word trackers. I’ll probably do another post on the sticky note one alone, cause my sister devised it, and it’s ingenious. The next section I’m tackling is character reference, but I plan to have plot and world-building sections later in the book.

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It doesn’t matter to me how long this journal takes to create. Ultimately, it’s for my own personal meditation, a physical task to distract me when I’m tired of writing.

But I highly recommend you look into some kind of bullet journal if you have trouble with motivation or staying on task. Because honestly, after you spend two hours making a weekly spread, there’s no way you won’t look at it every day to admire your handiwork. And thus, you get stuff done. 😉


Do you have a bullet journal? Are you enticed by the idea? Let me know in the comments below!! (Also, if you have suggestions for my NaNo Journal, I’d love to hear them! I have almost 200 blank pages to fill! 😀 )

As always, you can DM or email me to start a private conversation. I love hearing from you guys!


  • getoutoftherecliner

    I use my bullet journal for everything and it’s pretty vanilla. I dig out old ones to read my notes on what I was reading, etc., all the time. I love your idea of pulling together all those how-to-write golden nuggets so they’re in one place and easy to find.

    • Rebecca Thorne

      Yes!! First, find a journal you’re head over heels for. Something filled with potential, that gets you excited whenever you pick it up! I prefer Baron Fig journals, specifically this one: https://www.baronfig.com/pages/confidant (the one pictured in my blog post is the “flagship” size). I think their paper is higher quality, and nothing bleeds through, so I can be as heavy with the ink as I want without it “ghosting” to my next page!

      My sister prefers this journal: https://www.amazon.com/Leuchtturm1917-Medium-Size-Hardcover-Notebook/dp/B002TSIMW4 It’s a really good option too, and has faster shipping! 🙂

      Or you could always go to the classic Moleskin, available at your nearest Barnes and Noble. While the quality is the least of the three (at least in my opinion), the convenience can’t be beat! My NaNo journal is a Moleskin for that reason!

      Once you’ve got your journal, number the pages! That’ll help you find your spreads later on. Then create an index. You can tackle your journal one page at a time, or divide it into sections. My original journal was an experiment, because I wasn’t sure what I’d like to use it for. I found out the weekly spreads were super fun to look at, but very time consuming to create… especially when my iPhone arguably does it better. So I dropped that pretty quick! But my sister LOVES her weekly spreads; it’s a quiet time for her to concentrate every Saturday night.

      For my NaNo journal, it’s exclusively for writing. But since I use Scrivener to organize my novels, plotting in this journal wouldn’t help me. Hence why I’m filling it with the best writing reference lessons instead. That’s a fun way for me to be creative, and to reinforce the information… like taking notes in a classroom! 🙂

      Because I know what I want my NaNo journal to become, I’m dividing it into sections. I’ll probably start the plotting section on page 80, and maybe world-building around page 120. That gives me lots of free space to add as many spreads as I want for each section!

      I’d recommend taking a look at Pinterest (see link in blog post above!) to find some spread suggestions! Pick out maybe five that you absolutely adore, and just go for it! Remember, your bullet journal is an expression of yourself; if you find you HATE a spread you’ve just tried, tape it to the next page and pretend it doesn’t exist. 😛 Move on, and eventually you’ll get the hang of it!

      Basically, just like in writing, the best way to get started is to sit down and START! <3

      Best of luck, and let me know if you have any other questions!! 😀

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