Fun Goal Planning with Bullet Journals: A Messy Way to Map Out Your Vision

We all need a vision for our lives. Having a vision isn’t something only for leaders or business owners or people with fancy titles.

We all need a vision because we are all leading our own lives.

A vision doesn’t have to be big or fancy. It’s important because you are important and your heart and work in this world are important.

A vision might be raising kids that are prepared to enter the world as responsible adults.

Or transitioning from a corporate career to being a business owner.

Or re-gaining your health and physical endurance.

Or paying off the house.

Or buying a home.

Or starting a writing group and mentoring young writers.

Or learning a new language to better communicate with people in your community and aid you on travels.

A vision could encompass all of these things.

In this three part summer series, I’ve tried to lay out a simple, more creative way of identifying your vision and putting it out on something you can feel and see. As said in a previous post on getting unstuck and refining your vision, “Business notes are forgotten and seminar binders are put away in a drawer, but there is staying power with a visual reminder of goals.”

I love the way some people write out long, detailed documents outlining their vision.

That process is not quite for me.

Enter my three-step process that is more playful than prescriptive.

In the first post in the summer series, we played with painting, drawing, and sketching the prayers and desires in our hearts.

Then we took a bit more of a refined look at vision through the creation of the vision board.

Any of these things can be done on their own, but I like to mix them all up. The vision board ends up being where I document my overarching vision, while the bullet journal is where I lay out the plan.

Any of these things can be done over the course of the summer. For example, one could take the vision board, put on the foundational paper and play with adding and layering the images and words over the course of a few weeks or months.

Today, I’m using the bullet journal to take off certain things from the vision board and plot them out with more detail.

Here is a picture of my board. Let’s pull a few identifiable goals off this board: becoming a home owner and growing the stationery line of The Creative Season business.

Before we get into some details, I’ll share the overarching vision for my life: When I look back from the end of my days, I want my life to have been in the service of adding beauty and grace to the world through my relationships, through hospitality in my home, through practical expressions of my faith, through building a sustainable, creative business and finally, mentoring others to create beautiful lives right where they are with their gifts, abilities and resources.

There’s a certain generality to it, yet within it are the boundaries that define what I will say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to.

For the stationery line of The Creative Season, my goal is to serve others with beautiful, memorable stationery to stay connected with the people that matter most to them. I want the recipients of the greeting card line to have a sense of joy and happiness at receiving mail that is encouraging and beautiful and deepens trust in relationships.

So, with those goals, I start making lists of titles, dates, etc. in my bullet journals. It’s not detailed and it’s not terribly analytical. What do I need to do in order to get where I want to go? In order to create a life that brings beauty and joy to others through my home and my business, what do I need to do? Who are the people who enjoy mailing cards to stay connected to people?

And away we go.

Usually, the bullet journal is made up of mind mapping and lists. I write out numbers needed, who I need to reach out to, how I need to personally and professionally grow to meet those goals, etc.

Other pages are more specific, such as laying out specifics for the stationery (size, paper type, sticker design, graphic designer, colors, etc).

The journal is where I hash out the ideas, timelines, budgets, the things that need to get done, etc. etc. I can flip through it and mark off what needs to get done, while quickly identifying where I may be falling behind.

In the bullet journal there is color and washi tape and doodling. The process is a bit messy at times, but it’s one of those organized messes where one knows where all the pieces are!

I hope this series helps you. I’ve spent an awful lot of time writing about my process, but in doing so, I hope you are thinking about YOU and your goals and overarching vision for your life!

If you’d like to hear/read more about creative visioneering and goal setting, sign up for The Creative Season newsletter. If you have questions, email