Bullet journal set-up in busy times

I'm Too Busy For Using A Planner

Don't you use the planner because you're too busy for a journal? However, would you like to use a bullet journal or planner? Then the usage of a stencil or template can be the solution for you. Back to basics with a little help.

A weekly overview in 2 minutes

By using a template, setting up a weekly spread, for example, takes less than two minutes! The video at the end of this article it shows it truly works in reality! This way you can still work with a planner, it looks neat and keep a grip on things, without a huge time investment.

Not in the mood or no time for it

Sometimes I really don't feel like making a big fancy fuss out of my weekly spread. I'd like to make a quick list of what's important to me, a.k.a. rapid logging and leave it at that. I think it's important that I keep an overview, but it has to be doable. Some days or weeks my schedule does allow me to be creative, other times I don't have the time for it. We have to stay realistic, don't we? Stress to keep up with a planner, I do not need that.

Just a quick word, are you a little dizzy from the planning terms? I have a useful glossary made in which the most commonly used definitions in the world of planning are explained. You can download them here. You're welcome 😉

Sometimes it fails its purpose

When I see on Instagram, Facebook or any other social media platform;

  1. first, a future log is set up to create
  2. an extended monthly and then write the same information in
  3. a weekly and then again it is
  4. added to the daily,

I can only think "that's not very efficient. What's the point to that?

If I can combine weeklies and dailies, I will

This is mainly useful for me and even separate from the time I may or may not have to spend on decorating my bullet journal. You can read how I use this in the article: "what is a weekly and a free glossary for you”.

A future log and monthly combined

Besides regularly merging weeklies and dailies, the combination of a future log and a monthly log is also standard included in my bullet journal. So instead of setting up a monthly for each new month individually, I take the information from my combined future log/monthly spread which I add in the first pages of my planner. When a task is migrated to another month or if I have to make a note of an appointment that doesn't take place for another 3 months, then I take the previously set up monthly of that month, instead of first writing it down in a separate future log and then transferring the same appointment to a monthly to be created in 3 months.

Future log and monthly log combined in a planner

How are you using your planner? I'm curious about your version of a bullet journal. Don't get me wrong, I can really enjoy the creative process and turn it into a whole event, but also sometimes I do not 😉.

Rather a plain layout than no oversight

I prefer a simple basic layout and a quick summary of what I need to do, rather than jotting nothing down and feeling like I'm losing control. I find the restlessness of tasks that are haunting me worse than the lack of a nice sticker or doodle in my spread. Then no fancy bullet journal that month, week or day.

Esther, do you write down every task?

In short, when my head is not set to it or it's hectic, I make a weekly, I transfer the information from my combined monthly/future log and only when necessary I make a to-do list per day.

If I create a minimalistic setup, I only write down the non-routine tasks. For example, I know I have to vacuum every day with 4 cats in the house. I don't put that on my to-do list, just like I know I have to brush my teeth every day. If I make a more extensive spread, I will for example include my Flylady schedule in my weekly.

Flylady in my planner weekly

For your information: Flylady is a method to keep your household running smoothly, as far as possible 😉. A blog article will be written about this soon. 

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By keeping it short and to the point in my bullet journal, it's easy to use my planner nonetheless. The bullet journal system works, even without lettering and doodling.

Example of Rappid Logging in a bullet journal

Using a template

I make it even easier for myself by using a template to set up a weekly spread. This way I don't have to check anything, count boxes or put a ruler on the right spot. Within 2 minutes this weekly spread is made and ready for use. My bullet journals are always from the brand Leuchtturm and the pages are dotted with a distance of 5mm. This is where the used template was based on.

Template used in a bullet journal for a weekly spread
Template weekly layout in a planner

Above all, have fun using your planner and let it be beneficial to you!

That's all that matters. If keeping track of a planner is stressing you out, you are not using the journaling method that suits you (at the moment) and it won't do you any good, because most likely your bullet journal or planner will end up unused somewhere in a drawer. That's a shame of your beautiful notebook and of the missed opportunity to create an overview in your probably already busy life.

Do you need inspiration for easy planner layouts, check out my Pinterest board about minimalistic weekly spreads here

Short video using a weekly stencil

In the short video below, I'll show you how I create my favorite simple weekly spread using a template.

Have fun planning!

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