Bullet Journal Ideas:
Instagram Tracker & Feed Planner
I adore Instagram - it's my favorite social media platform and the ideal place to mix daily life with art, illustrations with bullet journaling, personal and business.
If you're anything like me when using Instagram, you'd like your feed to look cohesive and have a unique aesthetic.
You'd like to (maybe) post more regularly.
But at the same time: Not get bogged down with excessive planning or scheduling apps.
You want to have fun and be creative.
(And you're already into bullet journals, planners, calendars... or ready to dabble in one! I've got a free printable at the end of this post you can use in your journal or just as-is to plan your Instagram feed.)
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Recently, I embarked on a personal challenge: To post three times per day (instead of my usual one post per day, max) and experiment with new kinds of pictures and themes. Instead of a scheduling or preview app, I used my bullet journal to plan ahead and track my progress.
Here's what happened during that one week of doodling & journaling Instagram posts - and a free printable feed planner and tracker if you want to join me!
Why Plan for Instagram in a Bullet Journal?
First of all: It works for all other areas of my life, so why not for Instagram?
I often find that just "thinking" on paper - be it with little doodles or notes - helps me come up with new ideas for illustrations, blog posts, storyboards, and journal pages. To step away from digital planners and schedulers doesn't only make me more mindful and aware of details, but also limits distractions.
Doodling Bullet Journal Layouts
As a bullet journal lover, I automatically reached for my current one (an old sketchbook I'll use for bullet journaling until the end of 2017) and got to doodling! I ended up with two different "Instagram Tracker" layouts and used both to see which one would prove more effective and intuitive.
Soon I noticed that one of my trackers was actually just for six days (yay, maths) and while I liked the playful doodle drawings, I preferred the second, more minimalist layout.
What I want my Instagram Feed Planner & Tracker to do:
- Plan ahead using tiny doodle drawings or notes
- Leave room for important hashtags
- Leave room for days, dates, date-specific challenges or hashtags like #throwbackthursday
- Give me the satisfaction of a habit tracker
- Space for follower numbers or whatever else I'd like to track!
- Some random doodle space for ideas or pictures that I don't want to forget, even if they don't fit in my plan at the moment.
- LOOK ADORABLE.
I ended up using it both to plan ahead (by sketching in posts with pencil, or with pen if I was sure that a certain picture would go up at a certain time) AND to track if I'd actually posted my three pictures for the day. I added a little tracker on top of the doodled pages so that I wouldn't confuse posts I'd only planned with already posted content.
By the way: I love my new Uni-Ball Signo DX pens - they write so smoothly, the black-blue color I chose is gorgeous, and they come in very small sizes like 0.38 and 0.28, similar to my beloved Muji pens - perfect for tiny doodles like these!
Cohesive Instagram Feed VS Repetitive Posts
Ever so often, I get really into cohesive, aesthetically pleasing, pretty Instagram feeds. I try to go for a more uniform look and get a good "rhythm" going in my all-over layout.
The problem I then encountered: Instagram got boring, real quick. Sticking to a layout or planned-out feed while only posting once a day makes the whole social media platform stale and repetitive.
So when embarking on my little Instagram Challenge, I had two goals:
- A cohesive, well-planned layout.
- Room for creativity and experiments.
The easiest way I could see to experiment with types of pictures I hadn't posted before, creative ideas, and more personal content, was to post more often.
When posting three times a day of course there'd be room for the occasional cat-pic, short drawing videos, a selfie, or even food pictures. Upping the number of posts to my Instagram per day loosened up the whole posting experience and had me more engaged overall!
As for the feed layout, I decided to stick to a simple dark, light, dark, light color scheme.
That left me with a lot of flexibility while still looking cohesive:
Dark pictures could be selfies, my sketchbook on a dark table, pictures from a trip to Seoul...
Light pictures: Most of my illustrations on a white background fit there, as well as bullet journal spreads, work-in-progress shots in which the colors are still very light, art close-ups...
The Result of my little Instagram &
Bullet Journal Tracker Experiment
As the days went on, I actually used very little time for posts - the freedom and flexibility of three pictures per day had me make quicker decisions and upload more personal posts instead of only carefully curated (and soon repetitive) pictures.
Thanks to the more frequent posts and planned but varied feed, I got a couple new followers:
Started on November 22 with 3145 followers on Instagram.
Ended the week with 3215 followers, so 70 more!
It's not a huge growth or anything, but definitely more than my previous weeks. I also got to participate in fun challenges like the #meetthemakerweek and, well, got to "meet" other creatives and illustrators with Instagram feeds and interests similar to mine. Getting inspiration from other artists, journalers, and bloggers is always a positive experience!
Another plus: I didn't get distracted by image editing and playing around with filters when I actually should have been planning posts.
The pen and paper, bullet journal planning approach took a bit of the hectic nature out of the digital realm of social media.
Drawing the little doodle thumbnails proved very relaxing - and inspiring for future posts!
Filling out the tracker for each posted picture gave the same satisfaction as my usual bullet journal habit trackers.
Planning Ahead: Using the Planner & Tracker in my Bujo
Once I'd completed that week, I immediately went on to create another Instagram planner and tracker spread. Similar to the previous one, even though I didn't plan on sticking to a 3-a-day schedule.
The seven rows of Instagram post thumbnails work anyway: Be it for two weeks with two posts a day, three weeks with one post per day, or just random posts over random spans of time I'd like to track.
While I plan to keep posting on a frequent, several times a day basis, I don't want to be too strict - and the bullet journal doodles showed me I don't have to. As I took the time to actually sit down, scroll through my camera and VSCO library, doodle ideas and get organized, posting became much more intuitive and quick.
- Back to Basics: A Simple Bullet Journal Setup
- A Month in my Bullet Journal: Creative Doodles
- Bullet Journal: Minimalist Doodle & Habit Tracker Ideas
Instagram Planner & Tracker Bullet Journal Layout
For my printable Instagram planner layout, I went with the same basic idea:
Seven rows of Instagram post thumbnails, a checklist/tracker on the far right to actually mark your posts, room for notes and important dates, and a couple of larger thumbnails to collect ideas for future posts.
With two spreads to a letter size page, you can cut these in half and use them in journals and planners, or just doodle and write on them as they are, no notebooks needed.
The printable file can be found in my password protected library.
You can find more of my handmade, creative bullet journal layout printables as well as stickers and calendars in my shop, Society6, or on Etsy.
If you're looking to buy something from Society6 or Etsy, consider signing up for Ebates to get cashback on your purchases. I use them to shop at Amazon and Rakuten, too, and you'll get a bonus 10$ credit if you sign up via my referral link.