This is exceptionally niche, however, y’all have asked, and I get lots of questions about this, so I’m going to share my madness. There will also be a video posted, walking y’all through my journals, so you can see for yourselves if you want more details, but! Here’s the long and short of it.
Let’s talk about journaling and planning your week!
Now of course, if you are not someone who is writing full time, this will look very different for you. That stated, the root idea is still there, which is, take all of the tasks you have for the week, assign them to a day, and tackle them.
Because at it’s root, that’s what I do.
Now listen! You do not NEED anything to journal other than a place to put thoughts on. This can be a piece of paper or a notebook or a word document. It’s totally up to you. YOU DO YOU! But I’m going to tell you what I currently use.
Crap Journal – The place where you write down all of your crap. I’m just kidding but I’m also serious. This is a journal I throw notes into all week for the next week, like things I need to do, goals, thoughts. It’s not particularly organized, but it’s better than searching for fifteen different pieces of paper, as I used to do. I generally take this notebook everywhere, so I always have a piece of paper to write on, and a pen goes with it.
Agenda – This is somewhere to organize your week based on days of the week. I use a giant one I got from Target, and I love it. I can write down my To Do list in it along with what I accomplish. Use what works for you. A google calendar can also do this for free.
Bullet Journal – Do you need this? No, but I use one, so I thought I would mention it.
Pens – Also arguably not, but I love having a collection of pens in different colors and weights. If you have pens you love, you’re more likely to use them. My favorite are felt tips, particularly those from Sharpie and Papermate.
Highlighters – Another one you don’t necessarily need, but they spark joy. My favorites are Zebra Mildliners. They’re the ones I’m using in almost every video.
Time and Patience – It’s going to take time and patience to figure out how it works best to plan your week. I’m still figuring it out sometimes, based on my schedule. Give yourself time to figure it out.
AND NOW, LET US PLAN FOR THE WEEK
I’ve prepared some handy dandy slides to give y’all some idea, but please note, this is normally written down in my crap journal. Like, I put all of this into the crap journal, and then from there, assign it. You’ll see.
The first thing to do is to figure out what in all you need to do that week. And when I say what in all… I mean ALL. What things do you have in your week that are time sensitive? What things do you have that have assigned days? Do you have emails to respond to? Something you’ve been putting off with the Zon? What about social media commitments? Things in your day to day that are out of the normal like errands?
And of course, your writing and editing goals. Oddly enough, we’ll plan those last! But still, write them all down. Write what you HAVE to do and what you WANT to do.
Like I said, I put all of this into my crap journal, organized in this basic layout. That way, on one sheet of paper, I can see all of my commitments.
Next, assign the important things. Some things DO NOT have a date attached to it, obviously, but other things do. This is just a rough idea, but for me personally, I have Patreon on Thursday and my Newsletter on Friday and I do BuJoing on Sunday and on Wednesday I have early pick up… etc. Assign what cannot be changed.
We’re working in our agenda now, btw.
Next is the regular things that you have to do every week that are NOT time sensitive but you need to stay on top of it. Check your email twice a week. Plan out your week. Etc. These are all the things you need to to tackle.
And now that you have a filled out calendar, it’s time to fill out your writing goals. Look at your schedule for the week! If you have a busy day, don’t plan to write too much! Set yourself word count goals, but also check ins for when you need to be finishing a section!
And editing… try to stay on top of it. A little bit each day goes a long way.
In the end, this is what it should look like, only color coded, because I’m extra like that! You can see in the green by various signed book duties, the pink is my important weekly stuff assigned to each day, purple is editing, and the other colors are different projects. Note how I gave myself multiple days to complete things.
Every week will be different. You’ll always have different commitments. Set goals for yourself that are realistic, but also, set goals you can strive for.
I hope this made some sort of sense.
The video will be coming soon so I can walk you through my journals so you can see how I do my weekly planning etc and how I plan it out in my books.
Next time, we’ll be talking about planning your social media schedule!
Please Note: This post was originally published and share on Elle’s Authoring Chaos Patreon on 26 March 2022.