20 Bullet Journal Collections For Writers: Finishing WIP’s & Owning Nanowrimo

A Girl Writing On a Notebook, Title Card 20 Bullet Journal Collections For Writers: Finishing WIP's & Owning Nanowrimo

Writing is hard. You’re basically making a new world where anything can happen. It makes sense that you’ll need to keep track of many things, especially for events like NaNoWriMo. Fortunately, I’ve compiled a list of Bullet Journal Collection that can help you finish that impossible WIP & own NaNoWriMo.

Here’s a list of Bullet Journal Collections For Writers that will help you finish WIP’s & Own NaNoWriMo:

  • Brain Dumps
  • Mind Maps
  • Word Count Tracker
  • Writing Prompt List/log
  • Name Log/Collection
  • Story Ideas
  • Idea Log
  • Inspirational Quotes
  • Character Template Log
  • World Building Log
  • Writing Contest Tracker
  • Workshop Tracker
  • Theme Log
  • Editing Log
  • Outline Log
  • WIP Log
  • Playlist Log
  • Book tracker
  • Gratitude Log
  • Exercise Log

You might be wondering if you need everything on this list for your bullet journal.

Short answer: no.

This list and what’s written on it is basically a reference for what you need. See something that can help you? By all means, use it and leave everything else. However, you might want to consider the logs listed here and try it out.

If you’ve ever experienced a list of WIP’s you want to finish but you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, some of the collections here are designed specifically for you to be able to conquer that WIP.

The catch with that is it solely depends on the person using it. Much like the writing process, it differs from person to person. And you cannot exclusively adopt a method that works for others because it might not work the same for you.

The good news is, I’ll be breaking down what each collection does and how it can help you with your writing.

Brain Dumps

The brain dump is basically a collection where you just dump everything in your head.

It’s usually used for self-care, where they dump everything that’s in their head causing them anxiety or such, if you are a writer you will probably want to use for that as well.

So basically, this collection can work twofold for you. A brain dump for anxieties, and a brain dump for dumping everything concerning a story. It can be about character arcs, plot, worldbuilding ideas, or it can be about what makes you worry at night, and what you have to get done.

Either way, it’s a win-win for you.

To do a brain dump, you simply sit down on a chair with a blank spread in front of you and start jotting down everything in your head.

I’ve also written an article explaining the finer points of the brain dump, you can check it out here if you want to learn more.

Mind Maps

If you’re in a rut or suffering writer’s block, you’ll love this collection.

A mind map is a tool that lets you gain other perspectives for a single topic or idea. Making one lets you dive deep into the subject, and single out things you wouldn’t have normally thought of.

Intriguing, right?

The way to do it is to clear a spread in your notebook, one or two pages would do, depending on the size of the map you want to make.

From there, draw the main subject of the map at the center.

Once done, draw a line extending from the main subject drawing and draw the first things that come into mind about that subject. It should be one word/idea per line.

It will basically look like lines branching out from the main subject leading out into a certain aspect of it.

From there, you further break it down by repeating the process with the ideas that branched out from the main idea.

This sounds might complicated, but I promise you it isn’t. If you want to learn more about the mind map, you can do so here.

Word Count Tracker

The word count tracker is a straight forward tracker/log.

You basically make a simple list or collection of how many words you were able to write for your story per day and that’s it. The layout can be as simple or as artsy as you want, what matters is that you are able to keep track of your progress if you had one or not.

Of course, you will basically want to be able to write a set amount of words per day as the main goal of this collection is for you to develop a habit.

The driving factor for this collection is the accountability it gives you. All it presents to you is the data and your results per day. If you did write the target word count, then good. If not, you’ll need to dive in deeper and try to find out why you weren’t able to.

That’s what it ultimately comes down to: Did you do it or not?

Writing Prompt List/log

Having a collection of writing prompts you really love could give loads of ideas. Who knows your masterpiece could lie in one of those writing prompts you just so happened to come by!

Name Log/Collection

It’s no mystery that thinking up character names is one of the more complicated parts of writing a story.

They need to be just right! They need to be something that fits the theme of the story, the personality of your character, and how it reaches your audience. And, that’s not yet for a fantasy character name!

So this log comes in handy for when you’re minding your own business, and the perfect name suddenly hits you!

You’ll also get to collect a bunch of names you’ll be able to use in the future!

Story Ideas

Similar to the writing prompt log, you’ll never know when the plot or story idea for your masterpiece will hit you. Chances are you’re just walking around aimlessly when you get it.

Having a collection of story ideas will make sure you don’t miss it.

Idea Log

It’s not all about the bigger story ideas. Sometimes you need something just for the finer details of your book. This is when this comes in handy.

It lets you organize the type and kinds of ideas that you’ll come up with. You’ll lessen the confusion, and it’ll be easier to go back to an idea and execute it properly!

Inspirational Quotes

I’m pretty sure writers are suckers for finely crafted pieces of writing.

That’s when this collection comes in. If you find a special quote that speaks to you, the one that keeps you going, this is the place to put it.

We all need some encouragement here and there, having this collection will make it easier for yourself to prop yourself up!

Character Template Log

Much like story ideas, names, and all that, developing your character takes time. You also don’t know when the idea for the perfect protagonist or their love interest will come to you.

This collection will let you strike while the iron is hot. While all the details of the perfect character are in your head, you’ll be able to log it all down and save it!

World Building Log

Fantasy is a tricky thing.

You need to create everything from the ground up, and it’s not uncommon that this leads to many plot holes.

Having a world building log will help you overcome that difficulty or most probably reduce the mistakes that you’ll make. This also serves as a great way to draw inspiration from the outside world and record it. Imagine, going a walk and an idea for something great suddenly passes you.

This collection will take care of that!

Writing Contest Tracker

It’s no question that almost all writers want to get better and develop. One sure-fire way to do that is to join competitions and learn from them.

This collection will help you keep track of all the competitions happening during the year, and will help you prepare for them accordingly.

Workshop Tracker

Similar to the writing contest tracker, a workshop tracker will let your keep track of any workshops you want to take or are worth joining.

Writing is an endeavor where you also want to learn continuously. You will never reach the pinnacle of your writing capabilities, and the pros know that as well.

Theme Log

Whether they’re character themes, plot themes, or whatever, themes play an integral role in the formation of a story.

Having this log will let you dive in deeper and develop that theme.

You’ll want to do that, considering themes usually make or break a good book.

Editing Log

It’s no secret that editing is hard. Once the tedium takes over, it’s hard to focus and pretty soon, you’ll need to edit what you edited already.

So, quit while you’re ahead and just log it in here.

Editing is as important – or more important – than the preliminary draft. You need to be at the top of your game.

Outline Log

No doubt you’re learning how to go about writing your story. There are basically two types of writers: the plotter & the Pantser.

The Pantser just writes as he goes, letting the story take control and surprise him.

The Plotter, though, takes into account all the intricacies of the story.

If you are a plotter, you’ll want to have a collection like this to maintain your sanity. It will let you take total control of your story and shape it to however you want.

Personally, I’m a Pantser, but I also have a bit of a plotter in me. I have used this occasionally, as well.

WIP/Work-In-Progress Log

The dreaded WIP’s.

All writers, I’d like to think, have them. And I’m sure, these eat at their minds!

Having them logged, for you to see on a regular basis will likely spur you on to finish them.

Playlist Log

Some writers write with music, some don’t.

If you find yourself among the former, this log is for you.

You’ll be able to organize what song goes better with whatever story you are working on. This could be a great boon to your word count, seeing as it will make your workspace a more conducive environment!

Book tracker

Good writers read good books.

If you want to get better, you’ll need to have this collection and track all the books you are reading.

It’s no mystery why your voice comes across as similar to some well-known authors, it’s because you read them! Reading more of the same will polish that voice, eventually helping you to discover the voice that is just right for you.

Here’s more on the book tracker and awesome ideas you can do for your bullet journal!

Gratitude Log

This one here comes as a remedy for burnout.

It happens, especially when you want something so bad.

The gratitude log helps you release all that pent up anxiety and stress, helping you think and function better.

I highly recommend this log to writers and non-writers, all the same.

If you want to learn more about the gratitude log, click here.

Exercise Log

The exercise log is also something I recommend to everyone.

But, wait. I’m a writer, I do my writing indoors!

Sure, but you might not know that most writers function better when they are in a good mood. The same kind of good mood that comes when you’ve burned all that anxious energy and all that dopamine is running through your body.

Try it out. That’s all I’m saying. I dunno, you might end getting some nice experiences and ideas for your book as well!

For exercise log ideas, click here.

Listed in the bottom is a guide on how to use these collections, for a more detailed guide on starting a bullet journal for writers, please click here!

How To Use The Signifier Key For Writers

The Bullet journal key is the part of the bullet journal where you place all the signs and symbols you want to use to labels each activity.

You place a sign beside the item to signify whether you’re done with the activity or you are migrating it to the next day.

Adding a few symbols that pertain solely to your writing can heavily impact the efficiency of the bullet journal in helping improve your writing habit.

How To Use The Index For Writers

The index is basically the table of contents for your bullet journal.

Here you’ll find where you placed the page each collection. It’s actually imperative for a writer to have this, seeing as the point of the bullet journal for writing is organizing your thoughts.

If you find that the space you allotted for a collection is too little, consider the threading method. For more on that, you can check out what it means in our bujo glossary here.

How To Use The Future Log For Writers

The future log is where you place all the events happening in… wait for it… the future!

Basically, you make a list of events that are coming up in the later months of the year so you have a place to find them in whenever the month ends.

This is useful for writers because you can place deadlines, workshops, and contests here so that you can’t miss it. You can also log any of the goals you might have that will aid you in finishing your story.

How To Use The Monthly Log For Writers

The monthly log is solely focused on a specific month. If you have any plans, events, goals, or deadlines written in the future log, you’ll want to list them here as well.

It helps you keep track of anything you need to do during the month, and will help you divide your attention to certain events or deadlines.

How To Use The Weekly & Daily Log For Writers

Here is where the more elaborate trackers come into play.

While most of the trackers focus on the bigger picture, logs like the:

  • Word Count Tracker
  • Writing Prompt List/log
  • Name Log/Collection
  • Story Ideas
  • Idea Log(Rapid log for ideas)
  • Book tracker
  • Exercise Log

More likely focuses on the finer details of writing.

As you can gather from the name, the weekly and daily logs focus on a week or daily life. The reason I’ve combined them is that most people find that putting them together works better for them… I included.

So basically, the trackers let you can full advantage of Rapid Logging, a technique where you list down all the relevant things that happen to you.

Once again, if you want to learn more about rapid logging, you can check out the Bujo Glossary.

How To Go About NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is an event every November where participants aim to finish a 50 to 60k word count novel in a month.

Yes. It’s a tall order.

Many people fail, and what’s worse, some get a burnout so bad they stop writing for prolonged periods of time.

This event is not for the faint of heart. However, if you do want to go through with this, preparing all year round is a must. And, like I said earlier habit building is the key, and that is the biggest purpose of using a bullet journal.

The Goals Of the Trackers Listed

The trackers and logs listed above are mostly habit-forming trackers and logs. Those that aren’t helping your form a habit, form the bigger picture of your story.

They work hand-in-hand, ultimately allowing you to change your lifestyle into one where writing is at the center and that you are productive all year round.

Sure, it might work if you cram it all in one month, but the logs and collections I’ve listed also help you avoid the burnout by preparing everything for you when November comes.

If you aren’t confident about NaNoWriMo, no pressure!

There are various types of writers processes and it might be that writing a whole book in a month isn’t your style.

It’s ok!


Jm here! I run the Scribbler Planet website. If you're new to bullet journals and journaling, I think I can help you out. I've always had problems with keeping on track with what I'm doing, so when I heard bullet journaling could help I tried my hand at it. Here we are about a year later and I'm glad to say it significantly helped. Here's hoping I can help you do the same!

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