When you look past all the fuss in the bullet journal world, a bujo is a very minimalist tool. Pen and paper ... could hardly be any simpler 😉
You would like to use or start using a bullet journal, but without going overboard. Maybe you don't like decorating, you don't want to spend that much money on it or you think you belong to the non-creatives.
And yet you'd like a little more than just listings as the original bullet journal system was once intended.
Setting up a spread doesn't have to be difficult, as you can see in the examples below. Nice and simple, but not boring.
Table of contents
MISTAKES I'VE MADE THAT HAVE COST ME A LOT OF MONEY
In 2017, I came across the planner scene and all the fun designs that come with it. I hope with this blog post I can save you those mistakes.
The first mistake I made was; immediately start with all the spreads that most journaling people used.
Starting with those spreads wasn't the mistake, but not thinking first what I wanted to use a bullet journal for was.
This led to unused tracker pages. Not using my journal consistently because it was too much work.
Buying pens, markers, washi tapes, little printers, etc., because I thought I could journal better with those.
Wrong ... now I know that my bullet journal helps me too, when all I do is tackle the paper with a pen.
Decorating, above all, is a fine creative hobby, but has nothing to do with organizing your daily activities.
By the way, it's a hobby I enjoy, but that's not the point here.
Buying more than one notebook because they are all so cute. Choice stress. Oh, a limited edition of a certain brand, katsjing bought some again.
Oh, new color sets of certain markers, whoops, another euro spent. Not to mention the many rolls of washi.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still happy with my goodies. Then, when I zoom out, I didn't need them to put the bullet journal system to my own situation.
SPREADS USED BY ALMOST EVERYONE
Apart from the key and index page, almost everyone has a monthly, weekly and/or daily overview.
Need help getting started with a bullet journal? These previously written blog posts help you get started on beginning your bullet journal:
3 SIMPLE BUT FUN BASIC MONTHLIES
At the top write a mini calendar with perhaps some decoration around it. Under the calendar write the information for that month.
As you can see in my case, I filled in my parents' wedding day, in addition a few birthdays. I also always note when the GFT and paper are collected.
This monthly setup is ideal when you want to have a full calendar-like layout on one page .
It saves space and still there is room for notes and tasks that need to be done in this month, but have no date attached.
When I have tasks that don't need to be done by a certain date, but I also don't want to forget them ... I create a 'rolling task list'.
Here I note, for example, that I want to go to the library that month or that I need to make a visit to the junk yard etc.
That way, the to do's stay on my radar and I don't have to keep migrating to another day or week.
More about migrating and other terms, you will find in this blog post.
3 EASY AND EFFICIENT WEEKLY OVERVIEWS
When I don't have too many to do's on my list, I use a weekly and daily in one.
I generally use a two-page weekly overview for that. You can also include a rolling task list in a weekly, as described above for the monthly.
The weekly below still has a minimalist design, but this spread has just a little something extra.
This allows me to write down my top 3 things I want to focus on that week here. This will help my productivity.
And I have a weather tracker added. There is nothing as changeable as the weather, but I like to have some idea of what the weather is going to be like over the next week.
The spread below is a weekly on 1 page. Again, I chose to give my top 3 priorities a place.
Even though it's a whole week on one page, there's space left for a small notes section.
3 QUICK HEADERS FOR YOUR DAILY LOGS
After I took the picture below, I realized that I didn't use a ruler for this setup. So the picture is not quite right 🤦
By dividing your page into blocks, you keep an overview. Just a pen and you have a handy daily on paper.
In this day's outline, I have a water tracker included, in addition to a block for notes and errands I want to run.
The little weather tracker on the top right and a box for my focus subject of that day, makes it an efficient spread.
When I have a lot of time-based appointments or want to work with time blocks I set up a daily schedule with the hours divided on the left.
I almost always use a time table with a half-hourly breakdown. An hourly format, is too tight for my scheduling.
MY MESSAGE TO YOU
I've written it many times on my website, but I want to tell you again.
A bullet journal should support you.
As I write this blog post after 4 years of bullet journaling experience, I want to shout it from the rooftops: "do not let them get to you".
Use a journal for what you want and when you need it. Don't decorate or maybe a little.
No one else is using your bullet journal or planner. So, put it to use for your life, your planning and benefit from this simple but oh so effective system.
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