When I first cracked open my bullet journal I was filled with “the fear”. The fear is what happens when you have absolutely no ideas and ALL the ideas at the same time. It’s staring at a blank page and knowing how much potential it has, but not knowing where to start. Creative people will know “the fear” ~very~ well.
The biggest part of the fear was not knowing how to organise my weekly and daily logs for my bullet journal so that they were the right balance of keeping me accountable, and not being a pain the arse to fill in every day. After a little experimentation, I think I’ve sussed it.
I did touch on my weekly and daily logs over in my first bullet journal post, but I thought I’d go into a bit more detail for those of you who also want a method of bullet journalling that doesn’t require an art degree and waaaay too much time to keep it up.
FYI, my daily log takes about 5 minutes to fill in every day, and the weekly log about 15 minutes – this includes drawing out all my daily spreads for the following week. So yeah, this method is definitely for those of you that like me, just don’t have the time to draw fancy things and write an essay’s worth of content on the reg.
The super-simple but effective daily bullet journal spread
So let’s start with the daily spread. First and foremost, put the day of the week and the date at the top.
Then, split the page into 6 horizontally. In the blank space next to the dots, list the following titles:
- Food & exercise
- Self-care and goals
(You can substitute these titles for other things – I choose these particular topics as they are related to my goals for this month around eating healthier, exercising more and making sure I incorporate self-care into my daily life)
Now, under each section except Notes, create checkboxes. Ahhh, there’s nothing nicer than a big juicy green tick next to a task completed, reminder remembered or goal worked on.
Under Highlights and Self-care and goals, I use the checkboxes for adding numbers against my highlights and little hearts against each self-care activity. For my goals, I have a colour coded system that separates personal goals and business goals.
In the Food and exercise checkboxes, add:
- B for breakfast
- L for lunch
- D for dinner (or T for tea if you’re Northern, I guess…)
- S for snacks
- E for exercise
So you have your layout in place – here’s how I fill mine out:
This section is for those top-level tasks you need to get done that day or key appointments. For example, if I need to do a laundry load, this will go under my tasks and will be ticked off when the laundry is out and hanging on the airer. Tasks can also include meetings, appointments or work I need to do for my business in the evening.
I use this section for any things I need to remember, such as putting the bins out on a Sunday or if there’s anything going on that I don’t have any “actions” for but need to know about – such as an online food shop delivery.
Food and exercise
I often find that what I eat and the exercise I do can have a significant impact on how I feel – so I record it! Plus, eating healthier and getting daily exercise are important goals that I am working on. This log makes it easy for me to measure if I’m on track.
I record my exercise with what it was (e.g. treadmill at the gym), and how long it was for.
It’s good to remember the best bits of the day – this can be a delicious meal you are, something you enjoyed watching on TV or even something nice that someone did or said to you that day. I also use it for the good things I do in the day and how they made me feel.
Self-care and goals
This space is for recording the things I did in the day to work towards my weekly/monthly goals (more on this later), as well as the self-care activities I managed to get into the day.
I also have a self-care inspiration page in my bullet journal if I have some time for self-care and need some ideas on how to spend that time.
This space can be used for anything really but I generally use it as a bit of a diary space to sum up the day – both the good and the bad.
The minimal weekly reflection and plan spread
At the beginning of each week (usually on a Sunday night), I will create a single-page spread called the Weekly Plan and Reflection. This page is a chance to have a general overview of the week ahead, to set goals (and create trackers to monitor them), and to come back to in order to write down my highlights.
Down the left-hand side of the page, create a column that’s roughly a third of the page. Split this column into 7 rows. Down the side in the space without dots, write down the first letter of the days of the week, and the date (e.g. S 3 for Sunday 3rd, M 4 for Monday 4th etc). In these blocks, write down any top priorities or appointments for that day.
On the right-hand side of the page, create a box that takes up around half the page – leaving a gap between this box and the column you have drawn down the left-hand side. This new box is your goals box.
In this box, write 4 goals for your week. I have 2 personal goals and 2 goals for my business but it’s up to you how to split it. Make these goals realistic, and the type of goal that can be broken into smaller parts – these are the goals you can write about in your daily spreads.
Daily goal tracker
Below the goals box, create 4 rows with 7 checkboxes each, one for each of your weekly goals. Above the top set of checkboxes, add S, M, T, W, T, F, S to represent the days of the week. This is essentially a daily goal tracker that you can tick or cross if you were able to work on that goal each day.
On top of your daily highlights, it’s good to have a record of your overall weekly highlights. Every Sunday night, I go over the previous week and fill in the highlights box for that week. It’s a really nice way of reminding yourself of the week’s best bits. Not every week is going to have phenomenal, life-altering highlights – in fact, most of my highlights both daily and weekly are those “little moments”.
Your bullet journal is yours to organise how you wish, but I know how overwhelming it can be to know how to start! So if you are planning to use yours to focus on goal-setting and self-care, give these spreads a try and adapt them as you go along.