When and how you journal is a very personal thing. It has to fit in with your life, your time limitations, and what you want to get out of your journal.
After I have set up a new journal, my journaling falls into 4 main sections: Monthly, Weekly, Daily and Miscellaneous.
On the weekend before a new month starts, I sit down and lay out my monthly spread. I will often theme this around holidays or events that fall in the month ahead.
My monthly spreads normally contain:
- Monthly Calendar (traditional or circular layout)
- Goals for the month
- Habit Tracker for the month
- Social Media Icons (to track followers on various social networks at the beginning of each month)
At this point I will refer to my future log and pull across any important dates/events into my monthly calendar.
I will also add in a master to-do list for the month. This allows me to migrate everything not achieved in the previous month and download anything flying around in my head!
Read more and see some examples of monthly spreads here.
Once the month is set up, I can then move on to the week ahead…
Generally, I lay out my weekly spread on the Sunday prior to the week. I really like that this gives me time to sit down and think about the week ahead and what I need to do to make it a great week!
My weekly spreads normally contain:
- An area for each day Monday to Sunday
- An area to plan meals for the week
- Social media icons (as above)
- Weekly habit trackers
- Weekly to-do list
- Order tracker for my online shop
Once the week is set up I can then add in detail of events/to-do’s for each day, populate the Social Media data and migrate any to-dos from the Monthly master list into the Weekly to-do list. My weekly spreads generally takes up 2 pages in my journal.
Read more and see some examples of weekly spreads here.
While I don’t regularly use a daily spread, I find them useful when I am working from home as having a brainstorm session at the start of the day helps to make my time as productive as possible.
When I don’t have a specific daily spread, I do try to check in with my journal each evening to mark off items I have achieved during the day, add in any thoughts/feelings and review what I have planned for the following day.
Read more and see examples of daily spreads here.
In addition to all of the above, I will also add in other pages when the mood or need arises. These can be anything from a purely decorative page (which I find particularly de-stressing to create), to project pages or collections such as film/book/goal challenges.
(By the way, whatever you want to create, there is usually a stencil available to help you 😉)
Again, Pinterest and Instagram are great places to find inspiration for these types of spreads.
Sometimes it doesn’t happen…
All of the above is in an ideal world… I find that if I take the time to work on my journal, I feel more relaxed, organised and efficient. Sometimes, however, life just gets in the way and other times I just don’t feel like picking up a pen. The great thing about the bullet journal system is that it allows for these times – because you create the pages, there are no blank days or weeks staring back at you when you take time out. And then, when the mood takes you, just pick up a pen and start again! Your journal is FOR YOU, no one else is judging it. So do what works for you and, more importantly, what you enjoy!
Take time to review and change it up!
Each month I complete a monthly review. What have I been enjoying, what would I like to change? This can be for your life as well as your journal!
Because I only set my journal up a month in advance, I can take what I have learnt from the review and change it in my next months spread and focus!
We have a handy monthly review printable to make the whole thing easy: