Journaling Journeys #6: Bullet Journaling & Self-Employment

by | Jul 22, 2020 | Journaling Journeys

It’s instalment number six in the Journaling Journeys series already! I’m so happy that I’ve managed to invite 5 lovely people to share their experiences of using their journals and planners in their varied lives. Today I’m very excited because I’m featuring Cat Byrne from Gatto Web. I asked Cat to give us a perspective on Bullet Journaling and self-employment and in this post she tells us how she uses a simple, but still creative, style of Bullet Journaling to organise her busy life. I first came across Cat listening to her Creative Leap Podcast which I love. It’s a podcast all about people turning their hobbies and passions into their business which is exactly what she’s done with her passion for web design.

Cat Byrne of Gatto Web talks about how she uses her Bullet Journal

About Cat

I’m Cat and I’m the founder and designer behind design studio, Gatto. As well as offering branding & website design services I also offer educational resources all about design and some about organisation! As I’ve been running my business for full-time for the past 5 years, I’ve had to find ways to organise my work as best as possible and methods which really work for me too. It took my a while to find my preferred method but now I am a die hard Bullet Journal user and I couldn’t live without it.

What Kind of Journal do you currently use?

My favourite Bullet Journal and the only one I’ve used is the standard Leuchtturm 1917 dotted bullet journal which I believe was the first place to offer the Bullet Journal system. The first one I had was a present from my mum who knew I was a bit of an organisation addict and since then it’s become a staple for my business planning. I keep using the same one because I love the size of it and it comes in amazing bold colours.

How did you Begin your Journaling Journey?

I’ve always loved a good journal for planning my days and tracking the work I needed to do and always gravitated towards journals with a to-do list style system. I spent so much money on different journals which showed tasks in different ways and at one point I even bought a binder and made my own printable sheets. But with all of these things, they either weren’t quite right for the way I worked or they took too much effort.

When I eventually got my bullet journal, I loved that I had complete freedom in how I could plan and I could make a system from scratch which helped me plan everything I needed to and wasn’t based on the way someone thinks I work. I’ve been using the bullet journal system now for about 4-5 years and I couldn’t use anything else!

Cat Byrne's beautiful Bullet Journal

What areas of your life has journaling had the biggest impact on?

I only really use my bullet journal for work but it has completely transformed the way I work in such a positive way. Previously, all the diaries I used split all of your tasks into days of the week and this just never worked for me – I found if I didn’t want to do something on the day I’d chosen when planning then I felt like I was doing something wrong. I now plan my weeks separated into projects I’m working on which gives me much more flexibility for planning and I can choose when I work on creative things or admin tasks.

Cat Byrne primarily uses her Bullet Journal to support her Self-Employment
Processed with VSCO with a1 preset

Were you surprised by anything when you started Journaling? How did your journaling process change or develop? 

When I first got the bullet journal, I jumped in with all of the spreads I found on Pinterest – I did a monthly spread, a yearly overlook, a habit tracker – everything I could find! I quickly found that a lot of those things weren’t used and I had spent hours working on pages which just didn’t work for me. Over time I’ve found that actually all I need is a weekly spread for my tasks and a few trackers for work goals like my social accounts and income. I love that I can just focus my time on the pages which are actually helping me be productive instead of procrastinating with pages I don’t even use.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to start a journal? 

Don’t worry about making it look pretty! A lot of people have asked me how I make mine look nice and say they don’t want to start one because it wouldn’t look as pretty but for me that doesn’t even come into it. Of course, as I’m a designer I do have a bit more of a creative eye and like to use nice colours! But it would still be life changing for me if I ignored all the nice looking elements and just focused on simple pages.

Cat Byrne talks to us about how she uses her Bullet Journal and self-employment

Anything else you want to say about your Journaling Journey?

I would say keep experimenting with different ways to work and don’t get stuck with a method you’ve seen someone else using! We are all productive and our brains work in different ways so you just have to discover how it works for you.

Do you think you could use Bullet Journaling for Self-Employment? Let me know in the comments!

I hope this post is useful for you if you want to start using Bullet Journaling for self-employment to help you organise your precious time. I definitely think it’s a great way to go in terms because of the flexibility it offers! Remember to pin this post for later to save it!

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