Bullet journaling instills focus. Online activity generates lotsa notes. A dedicated A5 Slim Jibun Techo Biz embraces the combo for blog planning and followup.
Estimated Reading Time: 18 minutes
Adopting an Eat The Frog approach, I tackled the most tedious bullet journal module first —my online world: blogging, social media feeding and tracking, stats, maintenance chores, reviews —the works.
This article walks through the nuances of each. My rationale for related implementation choices appears within the relevant text section, explaining the length of this article. In my defense, I’ve yet to find a detailed presentation of the Jibun Techo within the context of a blogger’s nitty gritty concerns. My intent: provide that missing link.
Courtesy warning for those loving artistic spreads: you’ll find none in this series. Time with my bullet journal concentrates on planning, not doodling.
Mapping this Series
✦︎ Part 1: Bullet Journal ReVamp: Why
✦︎ Part 2: Jibun Techo B6 Slim Biz Mini → Business & Related Finances
✦︎ Part 3: Jibun Techo A5 Slim Standard → EDwC / Core
✦︎ ✓ Part 4: Jibun Techo A5 Slim Biz → Blogger’s OnLine World
✦︎ Part 5: Accessories; Summary
A Typical Blogger’s Data Flow
- researching and drafting content
- adhering to SEO best / ethical practices
- assigning a post title
- securing and tweaking one or more images
- respecting ALT tags
- formatting for web presentation
- providing crossLinks to relevant published posts on site
- linking to relevant worthy external resources
A belated realization → blogging does not end with posting:
- periodically reviewing older posts for refreshing
- determining potential crossLinks from older to newer posts
- maintaining internal and external links
- promoting awareness of posts
And these involve only the primary steps! Previous iterations of a bullet journal witnessed sections, within one book, devoted to blogging matters. But my 2017 goal = “get online;” learn as you go.” This year’s related umbrella goal: “polish online presence.”
Translation: more data to be corralled, pleading for an exclusive container. I chose the baddest dude in the self-management planning ‘hood, the A5 Slim Jibun Techo — Biz.
Why the Biz, as opposed to the Standard? → Color-Coding Scheme
The colorful Standard competes with the color coding scheme I long ago devised for blog notes. Its contents present Tomoe River paper, inspiring my familiarity breeds discontent mode. The monochromatic scheme of the Biz precludes conflict hassles while gifting magnificent MIO paper.
The Standard’s colorful pages overwhelm my color-sensitive blogging notes. Color-coding involves über-fine Japanese ink pens. The 0.3mm or 0.38mm thin lines (Pilot Juice Up and Pilot Juice, respectively) fight with the Standard’s coloring. In the Jibun Techo Biz, my colors pop as desired.
My Blog Posting Schedule
Exploiting WordPress post formats affords daily posting with minimal brain drains. My posting schedule, noting the day, post format, and assigned ink color:
- daily: quote → author name in black
- Monday: Article
- standard meaty post → light blue
- hit & run text postings
- links → green (i.e. go)
- aside (short post) → dark blue
- Tuesday: music video → orange (1 of 3 favorite colors)
- Wednesday: image → brown (fave #3)
- Thursday: same as Monday
- Friday: inspirational video → purple (fave #2)
- Saturday: see Monday
- Pilot Frixion, 0.5mm
- 0.38mm Pilot Juice or 0.3mm Pilot Juice Up
I switch to a 0.2mm orange Pigma Micron for music titles. Why? A thin line + orange coloring = lotsa luck! deciphering the print on page. The Pigma gives me the desired coloring withOUT visual penalty, courtesy of its noticeably thicker lines. (Weird, since a 0.2mm Pigma should yield a thinner line than a 0.3/0.38mm Pilot.)
This image depicts Editorial Calendar entries from a previous iteration of my DIY month cal, housed in a Jibun Techo Mini’s Idea booklet:
Notice two things.
- Each entry sports a companion red checkmark, confirming its appearance in the WordPress scheduler.
- Tuesday’s entry appears in reddish ink, produced by a Frixion pen.
I switched to orange ink for music entries to promote clarity. I want red used solely to distinguish between planned vs scheduled items, i.e. the red ✓. Why? When I look over the entries to confirm status, the dedicated red pulls my eyes as desired without false-positives distraction. Alleged “minor” decisions can ease or disease ongoing chores.
You will also notice I exploit opportunities to incorporate a few joyful obsessions: quality stationery (Japanese), smooth jazz instrumental and old-school music, and bird photography. Why? What I enjoy, I gravitate toward. I may not “feel” like futzing with the blog on a given day, but I’m always down for delving into my nature images stash and other loves. End result: consistent posting.
A5 Slim Jibun Techo Biz: Yearly Index: milestones achieved
Follower counts, page views, and more change. The OnLine section of my Dream Magnet (a goals-only focused Hobonichi Weeks) lists my umbrella goals and intentions, fleshed out with tasks and milestones per quarter, month, and week.
The Yearly Index bows to the Dream Magnet, providing a nifty progress snapshot. Memorializing statistical milestones confirms progress or alerts me to stagnation. Either way I win because I’m empowered with facts. Facts suggest the need for tweaks, a different approach, or a hold steady continuation of the current plan of attack.
A before the pen view:
The glorious doublespacing, per day, invites multiple entries. The grid coerces organized data entry. Color-coding distinguishes sources —blog vs social network generated figures. The combo presents at-a-glance digestion of milestones, ongoing measurement for the discrete goals established.
Month View → Social Media Content Calendar: Hatching a Plan
In late January, I honored the date-based steps outlined in my Dream Magnet relative to creating a FaceBook Business Page. Because I’m not a FaceBook fan, I long avoided reading articles on the subject. To cure my ignorance about its business page doohickey, I researched first.
Many of the articles discussed planning social media content, an issue never appearing on my radar. Absorbing the articles revealed the underlying wisdom of such planning. In a nutshell, it
- encourages consistency: folks know what to expect when; consistency pulls interested folks as likely longterm fans
- minimizes head-scratching: eases content hunts while increasing the potential for personal commentary — required for “active” engagement
Several articles suggested assigning a theme to each weekday.
The immediate result of the described research? My resolve to devise a paper-based trial run. If successful, I’d implement and maintain a social media content calendar focusing on the barren FaceBook Page, to run parallel with the blog Editorial Calendar.
Tip: considering your own Facebook Business Page? Enjoy breathing room → consider using the appropriate sign up page, to piggyback on the number of friends in your personal profile page. That number transfers as “Likes” on the new business page. No content transfer. This spares you the initial please like my page syndrome, freeing you to flesh out content.
The Trial Run, on Paper: What to Use as Content??
Temporary notes, like mindmaps, litter assorted legal pads. Flipping to a fresh page, I braindumped project steps:
- rifle through databank already on file
- PinBoard, Safari, Chrome: lotsa tips- and tools-oriented bookmarks
- 2017 blog posts: photography, old-school tunes, WritersLife information, bullet journal, how-to’s, and motivational quotes
- resolved legal issues
- fabulous resources found on the web
- repurpose data stores, minimizing workload re SM content creation
- figure out daily themes
- ✓ run it through on paper, first! (e.g. list 50 items per)
I then listed weekday names. Next to each, I considered various nicknames.
- Motivating Mondays: I noticed this in most articles. At first, I considered plucking a video/quote/article from my 2017 blog postings. That would renew the life of older posts while easing my find-content load for FaceBook. But I ultimately chose another option. Why? I see Motivating Monday on countless Facebook pages. I’m not one for following the crowd.
- Monday: ??
- Tuesday Tip: at worst, a brief affair with Google would provide food. (Lawyers prepare for the worst. The Google vibe would cover my bootie if my personal stash did not.)
- ✓ Wondrous Wednesdays: my 🐥 boidies 🐤; nuff said.
- Thursday Thrill: a particularly delightful recent find
- Find-It Friday: 52 weeks in a year, minus roughly 10 for the late start → 42. I could pluck 42 legal subjects of consumer interest, and provide a research trail to the best resources. Bonus: a twoFer → I’d get a new weekly addition for the blog! I’d shoot for 50 entries, yielding content coverage into 2019.
- Silly Saturday: a cartoon, a ‘goofy Pam’ blew it story (never run outta those badboys), or anything else designed to coax smiles
Starting with Wednesday, I had my 50-list within a half-hour, including adding bird names in the Jibun month calendar. I returned to the project list, inserting a ✓ before Wednesday.
With Tuesday taking center stage, I discovered my tips stash held too many hyper-technical items. 10 minutes with Google gave me more community-friendly tips. Within the hour, I’d mapped out every Tuesday through mid-January 2019. Woot!
As regards Fridays, I overlooked the obvious → converting law into consumer-friendly tidbits promised energy drains. But I believe in making the law accessible. I inserted a frowny face before Friday in the project list.
Saturday: I spent a few minutes at YouTube, chasing the now-classic cartoons of my youth. 30 minutes disappeared as I scoured old family albums, looking for Pam pics from back in da day. I avoided EMS transport for gut stitches only by calming my laughter. Like Friday, pinpointing Saturday content would eat time. A “!” preceded that day in the project list.
Thursday Thrill, upon closer inspection, smelled like a forced overlap with Tuesday’s Tip. Hmmmm.
I revisited a step: Monday. 45 minutes later, I remained stalled on Frustration Lane. That’s when I huffed away. The next day, while washing dishes, an idea popped → nostaligia! I finished the housework, then raced back to my legal pads SM Content Project List.
New entry: The M3 Corner: ‘Membah Me? Mondays with a focus on prominent folks and things of earlier decades (Go Go boots, anyone? 😁) Definitely a Pam approach, finding the fun in the mundane. Critical: I love certain nostalgia. What I like feels like fun, as opposed to work! I’d naturally welcome rather than resist related update chores.
Revisiting the Paper Trail inspired a revised content approach:
- The M3 Corner: ‘Membah Me? Monday
- Tuesday Tips
- Wondrous Wednesday
- Thursday Thrills
Thursday morphed into a grab-bag day. Friday through Sunday would be my off days, with one exception. I’d post the answer to Monday’s question Sunday morning. FaceBook’s scheduling mechanism affords the luxury of entering that data on Monday, immediately after that day’s posted query. It would also ensure the perceived-by-others habit of consistently prompt early morning postings. (Precise time TBA, after researching best posting times.)
Food for Thursday sparked a quick round of additional Google ventures. Bottom-line: 90 minutes to
- pinpoint data
- enter the SimpleNote entries via iPad’s Drafts app
- assign dates in the Biz month calendar.
4 days of social media content coverage, through year’s end, consumed less than a day’s handful of hours —MUCH less than anticipated. I presumed a weekend, for actual entry into the Facebook scheduler.
Next issue: what else should populate the envisioned social media calendar? The answer would inform of space requirements.
My primary social media networks
Pinterest, styled as a research engine rather than social media network, triggers no manual notes. When I encounter a pinned resource I want to investigate, I stash it in a secret board.
An IFTTT + Google Calendar combo handles my scheduled tweets. IFTTT also ensures every tweet lands in a dedicated iOS calendar, and tracks individual followers in real time via a DayNote app entry. Link tweets begin life in a SimpleNote or Drafts file, allowing easy copy/paste. Result: all aspects of my Twitter activity preclude the need for manual notes.
IFTTT likewise covers Reddit and StumbleUpon activity → iOS cals. Again, no text notes triggered.
Answering the query posed: The new FaceBook Page would own the month day blocks.
Note: you can arrange an IFTTT marriage between Facebook and Twitter or other networks for automated posting. But, a dilemma materialized:
- Facebook to Twitter: Pictures will appear as mere links in Twitter, as opposed to embedded full pics. Google provided no work-around.
- Twitter to FaceBook: Facebook does not respect the break tag <br> within an IFTTT applet, making for one heckuva funky presentation. <sigh!>
While I continue to nag Google for solutions, hey, it ain’t lookin’ good.
Another concern: Spillover notes? Within the month day blocks, I insert: → 3a, for see block 3a in companion Life booklet. More on that “block” business below.
Within the Life booklet, a note refers back to home base with equal ease: → 02.14, for see the entry in February 14th’s month date block.
Mechanics of the Planned Social Media Content Calendar
Content lives as electronic data. Fine. Expedites copy/paste. For the paper calendar, I create a short phrase describing each planned entry.
Q: But SherlockReena, if you already have an electronic database of entries, why go through the hassle of adding the info to a paper calendar? I thought you hate duplication.
A: I can scour e-databases (I use the term loosely) every time I want to discern scheduling nuances; or, I can take a minute on the front end to add it to my calendar. Plus, this critical fact: paper planning instills intense focus. Focus massages creativity muscles. As a professional writer, I remain on the prowl for new article, book, etc ideas. In this instance duplication serves an ongoing productivity purpose, as opposed to mere shuffling of data for one day’s concern.
I inserted rough draft notes in this Jibun, using the March 2019 month calendar (y’all know dang well I’ll be in the 2019 version by December of this year). Included here as a reminder: don’t treat the factory labels as gold. Exploit every dang thing, as needed.
My brain likes groupings. Hence, the Facebook, iPhone, and Android categories sit atop related hints. The longer descriptions fall under a miscellaneous category.
A5 Slim Jibun Techo Biz: Month View: Final Social Media Content Cal
Nicknamed entries satisfy my paper concerns. The data used for the actual posting resides in a SimpleNote file.
2️⃣ Electronic Data Capture
iPad users: I capture via the System Share Sheet into the Drafts app. Why? Drafts captures the page title and URL. It also permits appending that data to a pre-exisiting file, e.g. TUESDAY TIPS, M3, THURSDAY THRILLS.
I select all → copy, then paste into a SimpleNote file for permanent reference. Why? Drafts does not respect live links. SimpleNote does. Also, SimpleNote data remains as accessible to my ChromeBook as to the iPad. Drafts’ reliance on DropBox provides a far from fluid user experience.
3️⃣ Pens: Pilot Frixion
As scratched-out entries (red arrows) in the following pic confirm, when it comes to planning social media content, Pilot Frixion pens prove the friendliest. SherlockReena first pulled beloved Juice pens out of habit. The oops! slapped me to the Frixions.
Orange = 0.7mm. The others = 0.5mm. I’ve tried the 0.4mm and smaller point Frixion pens:
- intolerable scratchiness
- peekaboo ink flow, and
- markings flirting with invisibility.
4️⃣ March 2018
I’ve readacted answers to Monday ‘Membah Me? queries, used in the cal as nickname pointers to parent Qs.
I provide these details for one reason. I’m out to PROVE the whole content deal is NOT as time-coming, nor as difficult, as a novice thinks.
With enjoyable content established, I’m free to indulge self-promotion via a second post on days I choose.
Jibun Techo Biz: Weeks → Blog Editorial Calendar
One irritant in previous bullet journals: flipping between sections. The Editorial Calendar lived as a month view; all associated notes hung out elsewhere in the system. Frankly, I always chose the month view in knee-jerk fashion: Month → Editorial Calendar. No analysis.
A November 27, 2017 date opens the Jibun Biz Weeks section. This diary crossed my threshold mid-January. December alone presents 5 (unused) weeks, a fact looming large as I implemented this revamp.
My March through December Articleblog postings number 41.
Grabbing the extra December 2017 weeks
All 2017 postings now appear in the December Weeks section, with one floating into the left todo column of the first week in January 2018.
At the time of this snapshot, I had entered only the 2017 blog post titles with publication date.
- My 2018 goals include heightened diligence in maintaining this blog. That includes refreshes of older content. Keeping all 2017 postings in the 2018 container eases those chores.
Follow-up notes will be entered over the extended Presidents’ Day weekend.
Why use the Jibun Weeks section for the Editorial Cal? → Easy!
Serendipity smiled. Because follow-ups and refreshes target only “Article” posts, my Mon./Thurs./Sat. “Article” (late-December forward) posting schedule welcomes doubling columns —for additional note space, e.g.
- Monday → area below ⑦︎: Monday + Tuesday columns
- Thursday → ditto: Thursday + Friday columns
- Saturday → ditto: Saturday + Sunday columns
Bonus: the bottom-most area provides space for noting national awareness days and a few social media tracking figures.
Bottom-line: I enjoy this page only access to the blog post AND its related notes! Spillover notes? → Idea booklet (back cover), “Edit. Cal.” Section. Example:
- in the Week view: → 13 (see Idea page 13 for continuing notes)
- in Idea: → 02.12 (see blog post published on Feb 12th)
Live Weeks-view example, reflecting the week of February 12th:
As usual, I employ coloring (social media network/ promo postings) to keep my eyes on the prize. The first round of promos appear as a black ✓, with ①︎ noting the date. Subsequent sessions will see different colored checkmarks with associated circled numbers. Why? Eats less space. Here, I decided to wait until the full series concludes (Monday Feb. 19th) for more promo activities.
Jibun Techo Biz Gannt Chart: OnLine Activity Tracking
The before-the-pen chart:
Note the Japanese day names. My habit: attack with a 0.5mm Micro•Line pen to overwrite the English equivalent. (Standard = English.)
The beauty of these unique Jibun tracking charts: each day slot includes at least 2 checkboxes! Comprised of 24 rows, double-spacing provides alternating color. Use 2 rows as 1 (for 12 horizontal slots and 4 checkboxes per day), or individually (24 rows, 2 checkboxes per day).
The Mechanics: determine precise needs/desires
I commandeered the January 2018 Gannt chart, converting it to February. A nod to my duh, what me doin???’ I.Q. My initial stab: start tracking Facebook Groups activity. I’m faithful only to a Jibun group (humongous surprise, eh? 😂). My hope: knowing I’m watching me will push me toward consistency as regards other groups.
Reality: as I worked through assorted aspects of these chores on paper, I realized certain matters coaxed tracking beyond did I do a promo post? considerations.
Example: StumbleUpon adores trashing self-submitted pages, treating them like spam. To avoid that nefarious problem, I “buddy’d up” with a few bloggers. We push each other’s content into the StumbleUpon database.
I attacked the otherwise unused December Gannt chart, also converting it to February. With my buddies’ domains added, other items will populate this chart as a need presents itself. By mid-March, I should have a better feel for tracking needs, allowing use of the real April Gannt chart.
With the main Jibun Diary sections behind us, I now turn to the companion booklets, the Life tucked into the front inner pocket provided by the Jibun factory cover.
A5 Slim Life Booklet: Maintenance Tasks via CheckLists
Dub it Forms Central. For the minimalist functional planners among us who relish a planning-only bullet journal, this little $10 guy awakens the hallelujah!! choir.
Each page of the News section provides 10 blocks, in two 5-per columns. Factory numbers, 00 through 99, appear before each horizontal row of 4 blocks (facing-page sets). Total: 400 preconfigured blocks. Me: built-in referencing scheme!, e.g.
- → 44a: left-most block
- → 44d: right-most block
This layout fondles my 2018 intention: polish my online presence. Polish requires keeping a firm eye on multiple aspects of blogging. The numbered blocks form a natural organizational aid.
✦︎ Blog Articles Maintenance Log
Recall: 41 blog articles published during 2017, plus a dozen or so articles in the portfolio section.
Refresh (e.g. adding content, crossLinks to newer Articles) requires by-article-title review. I don’t want the tedium of visiting each Weeks page to access status. I craved a 1-3 page checklist-style glance, answering my primary maintenance questions.
A before-the-pen view:
Turning the book to landscape view yielded the basis for my preferred checklist. My customize-this-sucka chore yielded 2 tasks:
- swipe a highlighter across the page a few times, to create alternate row groupings
- add headers
Why add more alternating rows? My pen-on-paper tracking transpires during evening or night hours. Because my body naturally awakens daily between 4-4:30a.m., as daylight recedes so too do my brain cells. I know me. I’d aim for one line, suffer a mental burp, and hit another line instead. Ongoing irritations could culminate in BuJo avoidance. The added highlighting protects me from me, caressing my eyes and keeping them on the desired line.
The image (awaiting my update notes) tells the tale.
In terms of crossLinks I require only a single ✓, signaling more detailed info in the Weeks view.
Global maintenance chores, such as links checks, also live in this paper condo.
Bottom-line: each landscape facing-pages set houses 32 entries. one glance, maximum information = EASY! Easy = no practical resistance to updating this form on a regular basis = elevated odds of due diligence.
✦︎ Notes per readings, etc pertinent to social media
While online, I encounter good-to-know info, such as preferred image sizes per social media network; best posting times; character limitations in bio and other text fields; etc. This data, given its inherent kinda-permanent nature, doesn’t belong in my consistently-reviewed Daily Log. It merits different stash-til-needed treatment.
The big blocks (News: normal portrait view) spell perfection for this type of data. Plenty of blocks to naturally segregate data, plenty of room for later-added notes as needs arise.
My plan: use the forms at the beginning of the Life (Dreams, Motto, etc) as Index pages, e.g.
- 22b,c: image sizes
- 23a–d: suggested posting times
The A5 Slim Jibun Techo’s Miscellaneous Forms
These forms appear within the Diary itself.
I draw nothing. The provided forms cover my needs. Read: no repetitive spread drawing —busy work masquerading as productivity.
✦︎ My Dream 2018
A 2018 Hobonichi Weeks plays Dream Magnet. General rule: I’m allergic to duplication. For now, this section remains unused.
Aside: This statement produced an entry on my Promises list. See below.
✦︎ Weekly Plan (template): my ideal online schedule
My action steps include indulging Twitter chats. And, Facebook groups love to assign specific promo activity to certain days. Pain-in-the-skleeboop data, meet your assigned ranch hand.
✦︎ Japan Map: ink swatches
Limited to writing tools used in this bullet journal component.
✦︎ Favorite Phrases → Fave Resources
A gentlemen details various aspects of multiple WordPress themes, within the context of highly detailed how-to customization. His generous tutorials gave me the knowledge to create a snazzy auto-updating on-site Editorial Calendar, a customized SiteMap, and more.
The homesite url of this and similar ♫ good golly Ms Molly ♫ resources populate this section.
✦︎ Book/ Movie List → Stats
Followers. Page Views. Contacts. eMail Lists. The WordPress Reader. Multiplied by number of social media networks and resources. I’m still hammering out the approach on this one. Once completed, I’ll post it (triggering another entry on my Promises list).
✦︎ Gifts Given / Received → Supplies Start Date
My mother raised me to give withOUT an inventory mindset. Kindnesses extended to me carve a gleeful slot in my memory bank. For these reasons, I always knee-jerk ignore these specific pre-printed labels.
Fountain pens spoiled me. Among the perks: a visual cue informing of current ink supply. The Tomoe River paper of the 2017 Jibun Techo Standard pushed my fountain pens to a shelf (ink drying wait-state).
Some pens (Pilot Juice Up) offer no quick-glance visual cues about ink longevity. Maybe I have a refill in-house. Maybe not. Solution: I track the date whenever I place a non-fountain pen in service. As time passes, I know to toss a refill into my JetPens cart. Other frequently used items also populate this section.
✦︎ Promise List → Blog promises
Blog entries live here. When I mention anything along the lines of “an upcoming post,” I visit this section, inserting: (published) mm.dd — blog title nickname – description. Why? I want a one-glance view of all pending promises flowing from this blog.
I ignore my Daily Log when deep into blog-related planning. The Biz blog book is open before me. I act accordingly, note wise.
A5 Slim Jibun Techo Biz Summary
• Yearly Index: online statistical milestones achieved
• Month: social media Content planning
• Week: blog Editorial Calendar planning
• Gannt Chart: social media activity tracking: Feb. = Facebook groups
• Idea Book: spill-over notes
• Life Book: Maintenance, etc
Mind’s Assigned Old-School Tune: Davie
A recent tune, echoing the Motown funk vibe, came roaring at me from tv speakers. Source: a car commercial with Matthew McConaughey. Right. On. Time.
Call to Action
My varied hats nod to personal, professional, and online worlds. I tried, HARD, to confine the data pertinent to each facet in one receptacle. I failed. Rather than bemoan that fact, I nestled it, examining all aspects to devise a more comprehensive yet efficient self-management scheme.
My motto: stuff happens; roll wid it so it don’t roll over me.
The year remains young. Your precise self-management plans?