Bullet Journaling for Photographers

At the outset, I should say I’m still rather new to this whole bullet journaling thing, but in the short time I’ve been doing it, I’ve found it to be nothing but immensely helpful, especially as a photographer who also has to juggle a schedule and tasks for her job as a code wizard and her family’s calendar(s). In this post, I’ll detail a couple spreads I’ve come up with to help you balance your workflow, your clientele, and business growth.

First, my most inspired spread: the client tracker. As a photographer, my shoots are scheduled sometimes months in advance, and sometimes mere days in advance. With my regular planner, I could keep track of which shoots were upcoming, but I had no centralized location for tracking where certain clients were in the process. With a few clients, it’s somewhat easier to keep track in my head, but as more clients book, I could easily see myself starting to lose track. I’d get caught up editing client photos and completely forget to send out the thank you packet for my previous client. Nothing major, but things that would definitely hold up the works for me and just added more stress.

I needed a solution. As I thought about different trackers I had seen (savings, mood, habit, etc.), I thought about how I could create one that would work for me to track different parts of my business. What made the most sense was a way to track the process and where people were in it. Let’s run it down:

S: Shoot Scheduled. This box gets ticked when a client books a session with me through my Google Calendar.

E: Emailed. This step and the next one are one and the same, but I like having them as separate boxes to remind myself not to forget anything. This box gets ticked when I email a client to confirm their session.

F: Forms Sent. In the initial email to a client, I also include the forms we’ll be going over at our consult. This gives them a chance to read through them if they want, ask any questions beforehand, and also start thinking of answers to the questionnaire I have for them about themselves, what they want out of our session, etc.

I: Invoice Sent. This one is obvious: when I send the client their invoice for our shoot, I’ll check this box.

P: Payment Received. Another obvious one: when the client pays, I can fill this in.

CS: Consult Scheduled. In the initial email, we’ll start to talk scheduling for this. I like to do in-person consults, both so my clients can get to know me and so I can get to know them and put names to faces. It’s also just easier, I think, to run through questions, procedures, and all that in person.

CD: Consult Done. This is usually the final step before the actual shoot, so checking this box helps me mentally prepare for the shoot: planning what I’ll bring, what shots I want to get; all that good stuff.

SD: Shoot Done. The biggest part!

PS: Photos Sent. After the shoot, I try to have a one- to two-week turnaround on photos, especially if I’ve got another shoot coming up the next week (like I did this past Friday and do this coming Friday). This is easily the next most labour-intensive part of the process, but the most rewarding.

TY: Thank You Sent. The final step! This last box gets checked when I send thank you packets. I’ll be detailing what’s in those in a future post ♥

Next, a much simpler tracker: a shoot schedule. This one is pretty straightforward: as I go through and complete shoots, I’ll colour the date. This will help me track shoots over time and will be beneficial in two ways: I can track growth and see how I’m meeting my goals. Are there months where I have fewer shoots than others? Are those months that could benefit from, say, a day or two of mini-sessions? With this tracker, I’ll have a much clearer picture of how my first year as a paid professional photographer has gone!

Do you have particular spreads you really like as a photographer? Let me know in the comments! And definitely let me know if you recreate either of these spreads and how they work out for you! Feel free to comment here, or tag me in your photos on instagram (@lifeasavoyager). I’d love to see them!

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