Planner as Bullet Journal: 2018 Jibun Techo: Part 1

Planner as Bullet Journal: 2018 Jibun Techo: (1) OverView


Planner peace … changing circumstances … back to the bullet journal drawing board. Presenting my mindmap, my 2018 bullet journal planner revamp guide.Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Mapping this Series

✦︎ ✓ Part 1: Bullet Journal ReVamp: Why
✦︎ Part 2: Jibun Techo B6 Slim Biz Mini → Business
✦︎ Part 3: Jibun Techo A5 Slim Standard → EDwC / Core
✦︎ Part 4: Jibun Techo A5 Slim Biz → OnLine World
✦︎ Part 5: Accessories; Summary


The best laid plans …

October. 2017. Decision: start plotting my 2018 bullet journal this month. Choose a container by month’s end, then use it daily. Rationale: by the time 2018 hits, I’d have encountered most/all glitches, resolving each to reawaken planner peace.

Jibun Techo Biz: Month view
Jibun Techo Biz: Month view

And glory be, it worked y’all! Until…

… Life played me, Murphy’s Law style. I’m not complaining– we’re talkin’ ’bout a serious influx of work (thanks, blog, portfolio & social media!). The problem: my poor lil Jibun Techo Biz Mini, already stuffed to the gills, could handle no more.

Jibun Techo Standard: Month view
Jibun Techo Standard: Month view

Understand: last year, my bullet journal morphed into third limb status. The time blocks, the Daily Log —hey, right up there with breathing! That reality threatened panic mode. But I shrugged it off, cuz —well, it was downright hysterical! Seriously! The same woman who started the dang thing back in October, to encourage a smooth voyage into 2018 —had her booty handed to her, a mere 1.5 weeks into the new year! Smh. Ya just gotta laugh. 🙃

Besides, the timing had an up side: still in month one of the new year. Hmm, woulda shoulda coulda procrastinated, eh?! 🤣



Hatching the Bullet Journal Plan, via MindMapping

MindMapping my Jibun Techo fueled bullet journal
MindMapping my Jibun Techo fueled bullet journal



I devoted a few evenings to sit still in the boat mode, following my long-gone grandmomma’s oft-repeated admonition. The Lady (capitalization merited, trust me!) oozed wisdom, and I proved a capable student.

Once that think it through, SherlockReena phase completed, I grabbed a legal pad from my Stationery Bookcase, along with six different ink-color pens. My mission: mindmap my way to glory or gory.

Jibun Techo Biz: Week view
Jibun Techo Biz: Week view

After plopping into a favorite tootsies-up-hun! chair, I instructed Alexa to play my Classic Covers playlist. All Motown-era tunes, each presented as a smooth jazz instrumental. Closing my eyes, I visualized my workflow, my movements back and forth during a typical workday.

Putting pen to paper, instinct told me when to reach for a different color. A few hours later, the nitty gritty contours of my proposed analog life greeted me. The colors confirmed: 3 distinct buckets of information. Translation: no overlap. Required, as I despise the mere busy work of ongoing duplication. The next part: what would go where?

Jibun Techo Standard: Week view
Jibun Techo Standard: Week view

Life as a stationery nerd has its perks, including a detailed appreciation of the pluses and minuses of every planner / journal-style book hitting these hands. Only two made the cut over successive years: the Hobonichi Weeks and Kokuyo’s Jibun Techo. The Weeks emerged as my introverted buddy, too small to embrace my full life, yet perfect for one-on-one excursions. It’s singular 2018 purpose: Dream Magnet.

Fleshing Out the Skeletal MindMap

Jibun Techo maintains its gentle grip on my heart.

I flipped to a second page, dividing it to reflect each of the Jibun’s main sections:

  • Yearly Index
  • Standard calendar month view
  • Weeks view: 7 evenly spaced columns stretched across facing pages
  • Gannt chart: 24 rows for tracking, with day numbers spread horizontally over facing pages; 2 checkboxes per day slot

And, the cheap yet luscious companion booklets:

  • Idea: blank grid (around 3mm); 2/pk, about $10, 40 sheets per (Tomoe River paper)
  • Life: the Idea‘s wanna be permanent sibling, spilling forms ripe for repurposing (my preferred MIO paper)
Jibun Techo Biz: Gannt Chart
Jibun Techo Biz: Gannt Chart

‘Tis true: once burned, twice shy. I started this project knowing the Biz Mini would meet a sibling. Thinking positive, I deduced the workload would increase even more. That strongly suggested two siblings, a thought I resisted.

After giving myself two days/nights free of the revamp mission, I returned with an open mind. 2 days later, the JetPens (California) package hit my North Carolina mailbox.

Jibun Techo Standard: Gannt Chart
Jibun Techo Standard: Gannt Chart

Goals & Concerns Throughout the Bullet Journal ReVamp

To get where ya wanna go, ya gotta know where you’ve been.


I can handle the concept of a multi-book bullet journal system. But 2017 hammered a lesson: I will not physically handle the full multiple books system day in day out. I tailored my scheme accordingly.

The EDwC (EveryDay evetyWhere Carry) holds the critical components —what I need with me when I hit the door. Clients call while I’m pushing a cart down a supermarket aisle, chasing local feathered friends at the park, and browsing Barnes & Nobles shelves for writing inspiration. (Yeah, I adore B&N cheesecake. But the cover story holds, n’est pas?! 😂) Stellar customer service mandates fast and efficient answers, where possible. Read: hardlandscape calendar in my shoulder bag. Calls trigger notes. Daily Log? Check!

Jibun Techo Standard: Week: Self-Care Tracker Spread
Jibun Techo Standard: Week: Self-Care Tracker Spread

The strictly Business component comes alive only with that focus switch flipped internally. When wearing my Writer or Attorney hat, the Biz Mini gobbles my as-the-work unfolds notes. It likewise presents the scheme per project / case.

The OnLine World book addresses all needs encountered while in blogging mode, including associated social media chores, tracking, and idea massaging.

Bottom-line general rule: enjoy the organizational prowess engendered by multiple books, without the hassle of outside-carry of each. Convenience = faithfulness = reliable buckets!

No ongoing duplication or migration

Time blocks replace todo lists in my world, eliminating the source of most migration chores. True, I elected to dupe some content to resituate it in the revised system. One-time deals, ok. But repetitive dupes, no way no how.

Jibun Techo Standard: Week: HouseWork Chores Spread
Jibun Techo Standard: Week: HouseWork Chores Spread

All worthy thoughts dump into the same container where each remains, forever → the Daily Log. Result: visual search aide, since I know the precise singular location of all late-breaking thoughts.

KISS worked throughout school years; stick with the simple tried & true

(Keep It Simple, Stupid). Prior to the net, I spent a ridiculous amount of time hawking the shelves of office supply sections and dedicated stores. That habit first blossomed in high school. A-book-per-subject propelled me through the Ph.D. educational level. (Lawyers being lawyers, of course, changed that to J.D. Sheesh.)

Jibun Techo Standard: Week: Personal Projects Spread
Jibun Techo Standard: Week: Personal Projects Spread

Why I fell away from the one scheme that worked, I do not know. But recalling that history instilled comfort with the new arrangement. 2017’s Hobonichi Cousin Avec + (later) Jibun Techo + assorted A5/A5 Slim notebooks schooled me: be careful in dem dere hills! Girth ain’t cool in carry-books land! That lesson permeated my decision-making process. I chose to stick with the Jibun Techo because its wealth of forms live in a featherweight container.

Jibun Techo: Idea Book: excerpt- Daily Log
Jibun Techo: Idea Book: excerpt- Daily Log

This Series of Posts

My Jibun Techo Pinterest board reflects every article found on that subject. While pics remain plentiful, precious few articles detail

  1. how/why folks chose to place abc data into xyz Jibun Techo spread
  2. multiple Jibun Techo books usage

This series presents this writer/ attorney/ freelancer/ blogger’s planner decisions, complete with rationale per choice. My goal: empower wiser planner choices. I also want to ensure folks don’t make my mistakes.

Example: last year, I took one look at the innards of the Jibun Techo Life book, laughed while thinking yeah right, and boogied on down the road. Turns out, that little dude is pure manna for anyone with projects and/or clients!

This particular post provides the background/overview attending the described mindmap and its children, a puzzle-piece list to match needs with planner sections.

Subsequent posts, scheduled for next week, detail usage of the (revamped) Jibun Techo B6 Slim Biz Mini, as well as the two A5 Slim variants: the colorful Standard and monochromatic Biz.

Sneak peek:

An A5 Lihit Lab SmartFit cover saves my bacon on trips to local mom & pop coffee shops —my way of preventing monotony/boredom via a periodic change in work environment. During those excursions, I want access to both my Editorial Calendar and the core/EDwC books. Bonus: the profoundly generous external pockets of the Lihit Lab welcome a dozen plus pens, held securely during transit, courtesy of the rugged/durable Velcro fastener.

See y’all next week, if not Saturday.

Call to Action

We plan. Stuff happens. We re-plan. Perspective, as always, rules supreme. My initial irritation gave way to gratitude. Gratitude fueled my determination to massage my paper brain, removing a potential impediment to productivity efforts. ‘Nother words, it ain’t sumdin til I make it sumdin. I chose to embrace needed changes, rather than resist.

Circumstances may toss your masterpiece. Cuss a few times, then laugh. We created the first one. We can handle rounds 2, 3… just remember your funny bone, tickle that sucka, and ease on down/up the road.


  1. Very much enjoying seeing how you use (and adapt!) the Jibun Techo biz. Reading your entries helped convince me to buy one for myself, and it’s always fun to compare use systems.

    1. Thx for the visit & comment. I concur— big fun comparing systems! Give a holler when it arrives and you start doing your thing. Inquiring minds wanna know 🙂

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