Bullet Journaling - My Weekly Spread

I’ve never been shy about the fact that I am a paper-planner enthusiast.

Those of you who’ve been following me awhile know that that my planner journey has been a varied one.

I was a longtime Erin Condren proponent, but we broke up after a couple dreadful customer service experiences (still a pretty amazing planner though!)

I love, and still love The Day Designer.

I’ve tried KitLife Planner and absolutely love it. I just love what they’re doing with their brand—girl boss, with a dash of “wellness” focus.

I’ve tried Tools4Wisdom (great for the task-oriented!), and looked at about a dozen more).

But. My planner journey’s taken yet another turn towards:

Bullet Journaling

Also known within the inner circle as BuJo. Sounds like a porn-stunt, but hear me out.

I first discovered it through the aforementioned KitLife Planners. I’m on their fab email list, and one of their emails mentioned their upcoming* new A-5 inserts (if you’re a paper/planner nerd, you know what those are. If you’re not, don’t worry about it).

They have a few different styles, and one of them was, “BuJo Bullet Journaling Pages.”

From what I could tell from the image, it looked like pages with dots on them, and I thought, “Hmm, what’s that ...” (actually, it was more like, "What the F is this dotted page up to?") 

Two (or five) hours of Googling later, I was so intrigued that I immediately headed to my local paper store to get me one of these Bullet Journals.

*At the time I was geeking out on Bullet Journaling, the KitLife Planner BuJo pages weren’t available yet, but I just checked and they’re available now!!!

I could go on and on about what Bullet Journaling is, and why I love it so much.

But it’s enough for a whole other blog post. Or twelve. Or 50. 

And I plan to write those posts! Another day.

The really short version is that Bullet Journaling is a way to finally, finally customize your planner completely. If you’re one of those people, as I am, that always feels like the existing planners are close to what you need, but not quite perfect, BuJo might be for you.

Not only can bullet journaling be whatever you need it to be, it can be whatever you need on that particular day.

My weekly/daily/monthly/notes/wordcount tracking pages NEVER look the same twice, and they don’t have to. I can customize everything depending on what’s going on with that particular “thing.”

Lost yet? I know, I know, it’s a lot to absorb, and I'm not even really telling you the what, but that's actually intentional.

I want to show you the how first. I think BuJo is better absorbed "in action" than "in theory," at least at first.

I decided to start with my “Weekly Spread” because it’s the one I rely on most heavily.

Here’s last week’s “spread” before I filled it in.

 

And here it is at the end of the week after I filled it in.

As mentioned, BuJo can be whatever the hell you want. Monthly, weekly, quarterly, daily, hourly, all of the above. And you can be as inconsistent as you want—if I’m traveling, my weekly spread looks NOTHING like this. If I forget to do my weekly spread on Sunday/Monday, I’ll do an abbreviated version of this. If I have a crazy hectic weekend, I’ll break out my weekly spread into weekdays and weekends.

You get me?

Customization, baby!

If you Google “Bullet Journal Weekly Spread,” you’ll get a thousand ideas. Pinterest is another good source.

This is how I do mine.

Left side of the page is divided into two columns. The left column is my Top 3, where I put my most important tasks of the day.

I’ve also been sticking my daily word count in this column, so I can see my writing productivity at a glance, although next week I’ll give wordcount its own column.

The right side is my “life” section. It’s where I note what’s going on that day. Due dates, appointments, birthdays, etc.

Sometimes I’ll get fancy and put an inspiration quote or something on the left hand “margin,” although I think I’m going to replace that next week with the wordcount column I mentioned above.

The right side page in this spread is still the same week, but it’s more of my “brain dump” area. I divide it into the 4 main categories of my life, although you could do one big list, or 2 categories, or 12, or whatever.

My 4 categories are Books / Business / Websites / Life.

Books is where I put the manuscript I’m drafting that week, what edits are on my plate, what future projects I want to make progress on, etc.

Business is all the other “author stuff.” Blog posts, interview, website updates, social media, agent-stuff, publisher stuff, conference stuff, and so on.

Websites is where I track the clients/projects for Last Word Designs, my web design company. The name of our current client’s is blurred out to give her privacy, which is what that smudgy blob is. I should probably blur out for of it, but ... eh, this is it, guys. The REAL look at my life!

Life is, well ... life. It’s tasks I need to remember unrelated to my work life. Buying dog food, appointments to make, travel prep, grocery list, etc.

I do like to add a bit of color, although I don’t like to rely on color coding too heavily, because one of BuJo’s biggest benefits is its portability. I used to hate traveling (or even going to Starbucks to work!) with the Day Designer or Erin Condren. They were so big! My BuJjo though is tiny. The size of a Moleskine notebook. I don’t want to ruin all that lovely portability by having to lug around markers/colored pencils, etc when I travel. When I go to Germany in a couple weeks, I can bring my slim notebook (the BuJo), a pen, and never miss a beat in my planning needs.

So that’s that. And you probably have a million more questions about what BuJo is, and how I use it.

Next week! Be sure you’re signed up for my newsletter to get the latest updates!