The weekly overview is the most common way to process your information in your journal.
In English this is also called a weekly spread or weekly log
For all those different terms you come across in the planner world, I have a solution; a glossary. More about this later.
First the basics
In this article I'll cover the week overview -the weekly spread-, what it is, whether it's useful and what such an overview could look like. An example of one of my week overviews with cute dogs as theme, you can find at the bottom of this post. If you can't wait to see it ... click here 😊 Let's dive into the world of the weekly spread
There is no weekly spread in the original bullet journal layout
The original bullet journal design by Ryder Carroll does not include a weekly spread. A monthly log and a daily log are used instead. Don't let the term 'log' fool you. This is a term that Ryder Carroll uses in his bullet journal system, but the journaling community more often refers to a layout or a spread.
Because of the hype that arose around the bullet journal and because more and more decorations and versions were applied to the daily pages, the overview is sometimes lost. Because journal users still want to be able to oversee the week in one glance, as the journaling community loves overview and control 😊, the weekly spread was created.
Prior to the artistic development of the bullet journal, the daily overviews were already put together on a weekly basis, because there was no fancy decoration. Just the day and date as the headline with the appointments, tasks and events underneath. As a result, there was no need for a weekly overview. You can see the weekly spread a little bit as the regular calendar we are familiar with.
What is a weekly spread
The name says it all, of course. It's an overview that covers a week. You can choose to make it on one page, but often we see two pages (a spread) used for the week plan.
How extensive this spread is in your planner, is up to you. You can only write a day and date above a section, with your appointments and task list below it. This is actually a kind of daily overview.
You can also divide the days into hours, add weather forecast and use daily or weekly trackers. Just what you need to get an overall picture of your activities.
Why a weekly spread
A weekly layout is super fun and at the same time an efficient way to oversee your week in a glance. You immediately see your important appointments and points of attention, your tasks and goals. And if you want to save space in your journal, a weekly layout is ideal because it covers up to two pages compared to the use of a daily spread. These often take up one page a day, so you're seven pages into your planner.
Examples of subjects for your weekly spread
But you can do so much more with it than I suggested above. I'll give you a few examples of what you can add to your week overview.
- The weather forecast
- All kinds of trackers, like water, sleep, reading, exercises ...
- Eat plan
- Sports schedule
- Study schedule
- Household tasks / FlyLady
- Hourly schedule
- Description of the day (add diary section)
- School schedule
- Weekly goals
- Work shifts
- ... .
This list is far from complete. You will find a lot of inspiration about weekly spreads here and if you like simple layouts better then you will find ideas here for minimalistic spreads.
How often do you check your planner?
In order to benefit from a journal, it is useful that you pick it up every day to see what's on your agenda or what tasks await you. This doesn't have to take longer than a few minutes. Because you take the time to look at your planner on a daily basis, you are more focused on what is important to you and you keep an oversight for yourself. For example, tasks that you already moved five times may not be as important and could become cancelled.
Staying clear about how you spend your energy has health benefits too, because an overview reduces restlessness and thus lowers the stress level. Hey, that's a good thing 😊
So you see, a weekly spread is worth your time and energy and easy to adapt to style, the mood you're in and your available time. It gives you control over your time table and clarity about what's important to you. You see how much time you have available for certain tasks or other matters, so you can realistically access and handle your to-do list.
What else is useful about the weekly spread
The week view makes it easy to migrate.
There are 3 things you can do with tasks you don't handle on a certain day:
- The task can be dropped, because it no longer applies. When you don't complete a task and you have already postponed it a several times, you can ask yourself if it is worth your time. Do you want to spend your energy on this? No... good, cross that task off.
- The task can return to your planner later this week. You want to do the task, but because it didn't go the way you thought it would, it won't work on that day. That's possible. Hey, that's life. It happens to all of us.
- The task is planned further away and therefore switches back to the monthly overview (monthly log) or to the future overview (future log).
The limited space in the monthly overview is only for important information or appointments. It does not contain any task lists.
What is the difference between a daily log and a weekly log
In both a daily and a weekly the tasks for the day in question are listed. The difference often lies in how the spread is structured in terms of layout. For example, a journal week overview is usually made on one or two pages, so that the whole week can be seen. Columns or boxes are generally used for this layout.
Esther, how do you work with weeklies
For me, my 'weekly' varies regularly. It's just in what mood I'm in, whether I make a thing out of it or stick to a simple overview. How I set up the weekly also depends on how busy I am. In this pandemic time (2020) my schedule is a lot more relaxed, so I often make a weekly and daily in one.
But if I have a hectic schedule, I often switch on a daily, so I can make more notes. As I've written before, this is the beauty of a bullet journal, it's as flexible as you are 😊.
Putting your planner aside
I regularly notice in groups on Facebook or posts on Instagram that there are people wondering if there are more like them who fall behind with their planning. That's a sad thing, because it puts pressure on the person to update the planner and that's exactly the opposite of what we want to achieve by using a bullet journal.
Something's shifted somewhere, because the planner serves you and not the other way around. If you didn't use it that day, you didn't need it, or so many different things came your way that it's just not possible to use it at the moment. Life is not a perfect picture and neither is your planner.
Does it happen more often you don't pick up your planner, for days or even weeks, but you still want to get a hold of things. Then choose for a while a simple set-up, just a pen and notebook, nothing more. The day up above and your tasks underneath. This way you can still work on an overview, but it takes the pressure off you to keep track of everything perfectly. A nice quote from "Think it over" is:
If I wasn't such a perfectionist, my life would be perfect.
With a weekly you can see at a glance what to do the coming week, or weeks if you make a few weeks ahead. It's easier to migrate tasks and it can save you space in your planner. You can set-up a weekly in such a way that the use of dailies is not necessary and you can include all kinds of trackers. Whether you choose a weekly with drawings, washi tape or other embellishments or a simple black and white layout without decoration, it should serve you. You should benefit from using this layout. ♥
Everywhere on the internet you can read terms like layout, spread, weekly, migrate, bujo, Leuchtturm etc. I have created a list of the most common terminologies in the world of planners. Do you have any additions? Then I'd love to hear that 😊
Click here to download the list describing more than 55 terminologies.