Bullet Journal Walkthrough

"Best Novelist" nomination
How Self-Publishing Saved My Life

As a creative professional with a lot of different projects up in the air at any given time, I’m always looking for ways to improve my productivity and better organize my workflow. I’ve tried a number of different methods, and the latest iteration involves what is known as a bullet journal.

A bullet journal is simply an analog method of tracking your life. I find that the mental process of writing something out longhand is distinct from typing or other digital record keeping, so the creative process of making the journal itself, while not terribly time consuming, is part of the process.

Here’s the basic structure of my journal.


The first spread in my hardcover journal is the index to the rest of it, and I present it here in four columns.

The first column is for quarterly, monthly, and daily logs. The second is for project tracking. The third is for lists. And the fourth is basically everything else.


At the highest level I’m tracking everything quarterly; this fits both my general production schedule and the fact that I’m starting this journal at the beginning of July, the first month of the third quarter.

On the left page of the spread you can see each of the three months of the third quarter, where I’ll add long-range notes and scheduling information. On the right you can see my third quarter goals:

  • Release Open Proxy
  • Finish Galvanic Century Fate Core
  • Consistent Twitch and YouTube content creation
  • 12 short stories
  • 6 working class creative episodes.

The mid-level are my monthly spreads. On the left we have the days of each month with whatever events or notes are necessary. On the right we have a wordcount tracker, and color coded trackers for any other habits that I’m trying to build consistency with, as well as my weekly Twitch and YouTube schedules for the month.

As you can see I spent much of the first few days of the month engaged in administrative nonsense, so I haven’t actually had time to write anything, stream, or practice my pixel art skills.

Finally, we have the daily logs. These are mostly checklists of what each day requires, random notes, and other events.

These logs form the basis of the journal’s activity tracking, to-do listing, and general note taking. I’m sure the style and format will evolve as I get used to them and figure out what exactly I need to do to make them useful in the sense of my own personal workflow.

Project Tracking

I’m also using the bullet journal to track the progress of the different creative projects I have up in the air at any given time.

Pictured here is the page for Open Proxy, tracking its development through the process of pre-writing, revision, cover design, layout, release, and marketing.

It still needs a little work, I think, but you get the general idea.

Michael Coorlim

Michael Coorlim is a teller of strange stories for stranger people. He collects them, the oddballs. The mystics and fire-spinners, the sages and tricksters. He curates their tales, combines their elements and lets them rattle around inside his rock-tumbler skull until they gleam, then spills them loose onto the page for like-minded readers to enjoy.
Michael Coorlim

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