How To Make the Best Bullet Journal (Hybrid): Jibun Techo Biz Mini —Business— 2/5 (Burrowing Owl. North + South America. Snapped @ Sylvan Heights Bird Park, Scotland Neck NC)

How To Make the Best Bullet Journal (Hybrid): Jibun Techo Biz Mini —Business— 2/5



♦️ Pub: Feb 12, 2018 | Updated: Oct 18, 2018 @ | Reading: 10 min. | Words: 2,818 ♦️
Changing circumstances coerced a revamp of my Biz-Mini-Only bullet journal. It now serves the Writing aspects of my business world. Here’s how.

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

Unlike other parts of this series, sensitive data oozes from the Biz Mini. For that reason, only sections/spreads, or spreads used during the “everything” period are reproduced on this page.


The Chameleon: Jibun Techo Biz Mini

Cliff Notes version: needs change, with this woman’s bullet journal mirroring that fact of life.

Jibun Techo Biz Mini (with Creoly Pen Holder)
Jibun Techo Biz Mini (with Creoly Pen Holder)

Poor Lil Boo. There he was, handling everything in my world for a little over a quarter of a year. In walks momma Pam, disrupting his global vibe.


October 2017 – January 2018: The Everything Dude

The size caught my eye. In fact, it blinded me to likely pitfalls. But for a time, I finessed the obvious space limitations.

My saving grace: the long columns forming the week-view section, and companion booklets.


For my money, the big thrill here lies in the double slots per labeled day. I fed top row expenses (red ink) and income (green). To distinguish between the hats worn while earning the income, I used a pink highlighter to color the first block on the top row, signifying Law. No colored block = a writing mission produced the income.

Why pink? Because I couldn’t find a true red, I christened pink “close ’nuff.”

A personal thang: me likey a global view of deadlines. The second row accommodates that desire. I write all deadlines in black ink, using a Pilot Juice (0.38mm) pen. Why? I distinguish between law and writing with highlighting. The Juice has yet to harass me with smearing, feathering, or other woes when a highlighter moves into its ‘hood.

To prevent potential retina rotation to the Nth degree, I use a Pilot Frixion blue highlighter on writing entries. Three reasons:

  1. Additional pink highlighting for a legal deadline might conflict with the red blocks in the expense row.
  2. Of all the highlighters in my possession (read: Staples Jr.), only the Frixion is both pale and discernible.
  3. MildLiners adore heavy puddling at the end of the drawn highlight block. Given the size of these blocks, that degree of puddling proved intolerable. The Frixion is MUCH more polite in that regard.

With this scheme, a quick-glance during review sessions tells me what I need to know.

‘What exactly do I write to note the source of the deadline, i.e. client or project name? I go with my gut. Remember —the name of my planning game is easy. If I conjure a bunch of signifiers requiring a key code, I failed to honor my instinct. When I’m looking at this section, I’m concerned with category as opposed to precise assignment. Quick examples …

Law: If a brief must be filed, you’ll see BRF. Appeal → APPL. Pleading → PLDG.

Writing: If I’m submitting to an online or print magazine → zine; short story → SS; client blog article → blog.

Notice the difference. Law-related entries appear capitalized while writing entries appear in small letters. Why? I know me  I sometimes review when my brain is running on fumes. So I build in multiple visual helpers. Between the coloring and the capitalization, even if my brain is fried, I’ll “get” the law vs writing distinction.


Standard 28/30/31 Block Calendar View

Mantra: I hate the time waste associated with duplications. That explains why you see no details in the Year view.

The same red ink applies to legal entries; light blue denotes writing events.

Let’s say Saturday’s plans include a photo shoot at the zoo with an equally nature-obsessed friend. I write it in purple ink, as I do all personal entries. A green vertical bar appears before it, to signify travel. Traffic signal green = go = travel. Purple = royalty = self-care. No key needed because these color associations appear in knee-jerk fashion in my head.

If you opt for color-coding, think ahead to pinpoint overlap potential. Initially, I write travel entries in green. I soon realized I was primarily concerned with the type of event, e.g. business vs personal vs learning, etc. Thereafter, I started my green vertical bar signifiers.

Be aware: this calendar is severely allergic to pretend dates. Those wanna-do-by dates live elsewhere. This guy dances only with do-or-die dates, i.e. hardlandscape.

Vertical-Weeks View

My initial inclination— use these timelines for time blocking— died a quick death by day 3. I wanted to use the printed timeline, but my day begins around 4a.m., not midnight. I didn’t want the wasted space, so I renumbered the timeline. The Biz fonts are heavier than the Standard’s, reducing such overwrites to something other than a model of clarity.

While I had no craving for journaling, I did want to add notes in these columns. Not every note is time sensitive.

Ultimately, I moved my time blocking to a companion Idea book. Advantages: generous space for associated notes; the precise timeline desired on any given day. Disadvantages: none. Since I was rewriting the timeline in the book, no extra effort engendered by the move.

What I liked: the length of the columns made it easy to establish areas for note categories. Example: personal down by the mood indicators; law between 0-7a; etc.

What I disliked: the narrow width had me running out of space on most days. For a time, I added the spill-over notes to a second Idea. But because the continuation syndrome happened frequently, I found myself flipping back and forth. That means an irritant. I know me. Irritants tend to mushroom, adversely impacting the planning experience. Negativity sparks avoidance. Avoiding the system renders it unreliable. End result: I’d be right back in stress land.

This is what pushed me to a global revamp, as regards my bullet journal system, in January 2018.

Late January 2018: Oh crud, now what??

First question: what part(s) of this life craved a portable analog counterpart?


I seldom work on legal matters outside my home office. That’s held true for more than 2 decades. No reason to surmise that old dog would be picking up a new related trick. Result: law stuff would live elsewhere.


Experience schooled me.

Some days I’m determined to elevate my descriptive prowess. I jump in my car to visit a pedestrian-heavy area. Watching folks walk by, I scribble furiously, trying to detail every item of clothing, hair coloring, etc.

There’s a poster reading “If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door.” Personal opinion: donkey dust absorbed only by lazy thinkers! Unscrew the hinges, chop out the lock, find a few muscular friends. But ain’t no way I’ll accept a door as forever locked without exhausting alternative ways through that door. Given my mentality, I refuse to accept a mental block. Eyes locked on a page, with my brain playing peekaboo from a dingy corner of a lay-away shelf? Ok. Hit Barnes & Noble, ease down an aisle, pull a random book from a shelf, study its table of contents, return to shelf, continue down the Susie, rinse, repeat. Mental block my A.

Within the writing context, those week columns cried out for repurposing. Heck, I could even use month names to umbrella like concerns. Descriptions: February. Single scenes: March…

EDwC Core BuJo?

I’ll spare you the details, giving you the bottom-line. This was my new purpose for the Biz Mini. Operative word: was. Why?

I was out & about. Phone rang. Answered. Client, wanting to know of my availability on xyz date. Couldn’t answer. I’d left the Biz Mini in the car, about 2 miles from my then-location. So much for “appearing” johnny-on-the-spot. A golden opportunity to impress a client with my togetherness, frittered away. I cured that problem with a Hobonichi Weeks order.

Unlike the Jibun, at any size, the Hobo adores my back jeans pocket, and every other pocket I toss at it. No exception. That cured the potential of another caught-off-guard moment. It also answered the main question → the Biz Mini would NOT transform into my EDwC. It became instead my Writer’s BuJo.

Jibun Techo B6 Biz Mini: Delightful Writer’s BuJo

A national writer’s magazine publishes its list of “100 Best Writer Sites” annually, both in print an on-line. You’d think this would be among the first items I’d include in thus bullet journal component. Wrong. With one tap on my PrintFriendly bookmarklet, I converted the online list to a click-friendly (searchable) PDF. Analog has its strengths, but digital wins links. I act accordingly.

The Mini has emerged as my writing “nuances” bible. One week nestles dozens of variations of “the rain fell.” One month houses my interpretations of preDawn squirrel bickering.

My weekday morning routine includes “stillness,” on our front porch. Nature’s first yawn tends to include noisy squirrels and tree limb skipping birds.

Among the other items comprising this BuJo component:

  • character traits and quirks
  • body language cues (memory, from my prosecutor days)
  • Troublesome words (use a vs b when …)
  • each primary character:ideal day; favorite beverage, snack, etc
  • names
  • snippets (conversations overheard)
  • real-life gem lines begging for incorporation
  • short story outlines
  • words to avoid
  • words craving use
  • bridge phrases (paragraph transitions)
  • cars
  • flowers (type significance)
  • prompts
  • news headlines
  • emotions (feel, look, act, etc)
  • backstories
  • flashback nuggets
  • POVs
  • potential WiPs
  • chunk types (openings, endings, etc)
  • character basics
  • character development
  • 12 basic character archetypes —J.J. Jonas, practical perspective; Soul Craft, soul types per categories
  • Snowflake Methodology
  • Literary devices
  • 7 elements of fiction
    Meyer’s Briggs
  • Submissions or their deadlines, queries, and quick tips noted during Twitter chats populate
  • 6-word stories.

→ Yearly Index

This section succinctly summarizes my writing activity, day by day. A slot may include a number, representing the  word count for that day, i.e. number of words I wrote. Signifiers may join or replace the number. The first letter of the relevant writing phase serves as signifier:

  • Drafting
  • Editing
  • Research

→ Month

Welcome to the one place I permit wanna-do’s to hang out with gotta-do’s.

Hard and fast deadlines appear in red ink; nudge-myself-along dates, in orange. Submissions, queries, and the like are reflected in blue.

→ Vertical Weeks

Discussed in previous sections above.

→ Gantt Chart

Warning: I use these charts in a weird manner. The oddness begins with whiting-out the month names.

Within this section, two items muscle their way into Pam’s BFF territory: my Kuru Toga 0.5mm mechanical pencil stocked with 4B lead, and “super-sticky” notes. Using the first column of the day column, I sketch out a character’s progression, with a number inserted on some lines. The notes hold my numbered annotations.

I treat the second day column in a similar fashion, switching by focus from characters to scenes.

→ Idea Companion Booklet (front cover)

Short version: whatever my current WiP (work in progress), you’ll find the details here.

→ Life Companion Booklet (back cover)

Short & sweet: related lists and logs forming my Writing Business Collections.(See lists noted above.)

Jibun Biz Mini Life book: News section
Jibun Biz Mini Life book: News section

This gem gets my vote for most underrated book on the planet.

Each row of blocks begins with a labeled number, 0 through 99. That’s 100 blocks. Multiply by 4, as suggested by the photo. 400 blocks. The mind turns fun cartwheels, trying to exploit the best ways to exploit them.

For cross-referencing purposes, I mentally label the blocks A through D, working across the facing page set. This system, in turn, allows disorganized entries. For example, notes regarding “JimSki” appear at blocks 22D, 54C, and 61A. That, folks, is about as easy as it gets. I’m freed to hit notes as they dawn, nit caring one blip-bloop about keeping related notes together.

As a direct result, a Life Book rounds out each category-focused BuJo component: writer, attorney, EDwC, and blogger. I keep two spares handy at all times, a testament to the book’s incredible usefulness across most (analog) aspect of this woman’s life.

B6 Slim Jibun Techo Biz Mini Summary

The beauty of every Jibun Techo variant lies in its structured flexibility. The week-view timelines embrace not only the obvious, i.e. time blocking, but character-driven concerns as well.

That having been said, for me, personal experience negates the Mini as an Attorney’s BuJo. My usage involves copious notes, meaning extreme reliance on the Idea book. The Mini’s 2mm-ish grid is so small, it distracts during the writing process. I found it so uncomfortable that I trimmed an A5 Slim Idea (about a 3mm grid) to replace the Mini.

Would I purchase a Biz Mini again? Yes and no. I’d revisit the Mini, but only in its Standard variant. The B6 Slim sizing pushes me to the companion Idea/ Life book(s). Adding one or both adds to an already chunky little B6 planner. The Standard, however, maintains its thin profile, even after adding a couple of Idea books.

Last point: what new home did I find for my Attorney’s hat data? The A5 Slim Idea book with a trimmed A5 Muji 6mm Lined notebook. I know of nothing smaller, thinner, nor more efficient. And because I tend to use this BuJo component all by its lonesome, I created a discrete package: 2 A5 Slim Idea books, and the one trimmed Muji, held together in the factory cover provided with the A5 Slim Techo Jibun Techo Biz.

JetPens shrinkwraps parts of orders with stiff cardboard. I saved most. Two, trimmed, live in that Jibun cover, converting it to a hardcover. My version of perfection.


  • Year: Writing Activity Summary
  • Month: Wanna-Do & Gotta-Do Dates re Writing Concerns
  • Weeks: Assorted Lists
  • Gantt Chart: Character / Scene Progressions

Mind’s Assigned Old-School Tune re the Biz Mini: EWF

Among the 4 joyful obsessions fueling my breathing: bird photography and old-school music. Within the context of planning, each component sings its assigned personality.

I don’t sit and hatch the tune. One day, while sitting at my designated planning area hunched over a Jibun, I “hear” the tune play. From that point forward, the tune serves as background as I hammer out specifics in the planner concerned.

♫ The Human Race is runnin’ over me
I punch a clock at 9 and 5
Just tryin’ to make a livin’
A plastic face on satellite TV
Says, “Life is filled with give and take
He’s takin’ and I’m givin’
So I dance
It’s my system of survival (SOS)
Hey, I’m dancin’
System of survival (SOS)
It’s a system of survival
Future revival
Greet the new arrival
At times it’s the only way
I’m gonna make it through this day
Everybody get up
Do your dance
Keep survivin’
Everybody get up
Do your dance
Stay alive ♫

Call to Action

Me messed up. I was sooo committed to my munchkin bullet journal, I allowed that resolve to swallow the yellow caution light flashing in my head. When an influx of new work threatened to swamp me in January, I finally relented, returning to the planner drawing board. Planner / bullet journal peace, restored, via a multi-component approach!

One of my magical intention words for 2018: self-compassion. Applying that empowering concept keeps my footsteps light, even as I climb back up after stumbling onto my face. Hey, stuff happens. So what!

Perspective rules, baby!


✦︎ 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

How To Make the Best Bullet Journal (Hybrid): Jibun Techo Biz Mini —Business— 2/5 (Burrowing Owl. North + South America. Snapped @ Sylvan Heights Bird Park, Scotland Neck NC)
How To Make the Best Bullet Journal (Hybrid): Jibun Techo Biz Mini —Business— 2/5 (Burrowing Owl. North + South America. Snapped @ Sylvan Heights Bird Park, Scotland Neck NC)

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