If you are anything like me, your bullet journal is your companion. It helps you get through the day and prepare for tomorrow. You can log your present and save it for the past. And above all, it helps you collect your brain and keep you together. Perhaps your journal is bare-bones, with the simple set up that Ryder suggests. Perhaps, like me, you’ve gone a bit wild with the bullet journal doodles, borders, and other delightful riffraff. One thing is for sure: the strength of the bullet journal is the ability to adapt to each person’s individual situation, and the key to utilizing this is to experiment. Trying new things is a good exercise for your mind, and it can help you unlock your bullet journal’s fullest potential. So here are 22 bullet journal spreads that everyone should try at least once to become a productivity whiz.
Bullet Journal Spreads That Rock
Level 10 Life
The Level 10 Life is one of my favorite things to share with everyone because it is such an amazing little diagnostic tool. I have one in every one of my Leuchtturms. It helps you take an honest look at some of the aspects of your life so you can strive for a well-rounded you. Everyone should do this every six months or so to check in with their goals and touch base with themselves.
Sometimes it's hard not to focus on the negatives in life. An affirmations log is similar to a gratitude log, but with one small difference, it's all about you. In a gratitude log, you may write something like "my boss congratulated me on a job well done." Whereas, in an affirmation log you may write "I am really good at my job." It's a subtle shift, but it can work wonders for your confidence.
A Year in Pixels
Keeping track of your mood will help you better quantify how you feel, and give you a reference point if you ever need to explain your mood to a medical professional. Keeping a year (or month) in pixels is a quick and fun way to keep track of how you felt.
Master Grocery List
When you go grocery shopping, do you write down your list on a little scrap of paper? Do you forget essential ingredients all the time? Well, there is no better way to tackle this issue than with a Master Grocery List! This permanent list allows you to build your grocery list from a template every time so you won’t forget those pesky oddball items. My Master List has quickly become one of my favorite and most useful spreads in my bullet journal. Get some Post it Note flags and give it a shot!
The Recipe Bank pairs beautifully with the Master Grocery List. The idea is that you have lots of recipes and their ingredients listed out on big flags in your bank, and you can reference them quickly and easily while meal planning. Then you can flip to your Master Grocery List and jot down a week’s worth of meal ingredients for your shopping trip. It’s also a fantastic way to try new recipes that you’ve been hoarding on Pinterest. It’s a double whammy!
Keeping a habit tracker has been phenomenal for building positive habits and breaking down bad habits. I am able to monitor the time between habits and keep an honest account of my growth. Some months I don’t do very well with exercise, drinking water, avoiding soda, etc., so I’m able to see a downtrend and work extra hard to make the next month better. I would highly suggest that everyone who is trying to break bad habits give this spread a shot. Besides, it will give you an opportunity to flex your Staedtler muscles.
If you bullet journal, it’s likely that you already keep a form of a monthly spread/list/calendar. I added it here, though, because there are lots of different varieties that exist and you shouldn’t feel restricted to only one kind. For me, I rock out the calendar style because I like seeing the traditional layout with all the weeks in neat little rows. Some might work better with Ryder Carroll’s monthly list format. Some might come up with something new entirely! My point is that you need to experiment, even if just for a month, and you might just be surprised with what you find. And if you are a stationery addict like me, it becomes a playground for any new supplies (like my water brushes or Pentel Pocket Brush). Who can argue with that?
Personally, I've always preferred weekly spreads to daily setups. Dailies can work great, but by using a weekly bullet journal spread I am able to spend a bit of time at the beginning of each week and not have to worry about finding time every day to set up.
It’s great to set your tasks to certain deadlines, such as by the end of today, tomorrow, next week, or next month. But where do you put a task with no particular deadline? Enter the brain dump page. This is a place to store all of your oddball tasks that generally need to be done, but with no specific timeline. It’s great for things like adding decor to your home, cleaning out a closet, beating the rug, or other miscellaneous stuff. My only caveat would be to remind yourself in your monthly spread or set up the spread near the end of your journal so you can avoid forgetting about it.
If you are struggling to figure out a problem or brainstorm your next project, give a mind map a try! A mind may is a simple bullet journal spread that helps you visualize the goals you are trying to accomplish.
Summer Bucket List
It’s one thing to have a big life bucket list with parachuting and whatnot, but it’s wonderful to have bucket lists that you can achieve right now. That’s why I use seasonal bucket lists! As the seasons change, I excite myself for all of the wonderful fun that season has to offer and encourage myself to get out of the house. For example, in my summer bucket list, I had things like “go swimming” and “go stargazing”.
Life flies by so fast, and it is so easy never to stop and appreciate all the positive things that have happened - keeping a memories page forces you to take a bit of time at the end of every month to remember all the good. I love to pull out an old bullet journal and have a nice laugh about a funny memory preserved forever on my memories page!
Birthday Time Capsule
Your bullet journal is a beautiful keepsake for your future self. What better way to wave to your future than by leaving a note on your birthday? Create a birthday time capsule to give yourself a yearly check-in and wink towards older you. And it only comes once a year, so it’s really easy to do. I like to do mine with some flourish, so I used my Pilot Metropolitan and fancy Noodler’s ink for my most recent birthday. It’s a special occasion, after all!
If you are a student, this is an essential bullet journal spread. The idea is that you write down some basic information about your ridiculously expensive textbooks so you don’t forget important details. That way you won’t get dinged with fees when the semester is up or you can be proactive about selling them and getting some money back for your trouble. This textbook tracker would have saved me lots of stress and cash if I had thought it up a few years before, so don’t make my mistakes!
You have a dream vacation, right? This handy little bullet journal spread can help you prepare for it early! Track your budget with your end goal in mind and make it a cheery reminder at the same time. Who said that you have to wait to plan out your big trip? Start early and get ahead with a budget tracker! (Psst…. this also works for any other big purchase, like a house or a new computer…. just sayin’!)
Whether you are a pro at cleaning or a complete disaster (like myself), having a cleaning calendar is a handy way to organize your cleaning. Keeping your home in a roughly tidy fashion is really quite easy if you clean a little bit each day instead of in gigantic stressful batches. Plot out certain days for certain types of cleaning, and while you’re at it, knock out some of the big stuff on a monthly basis! Get your house under control with the help of your handy little bullet journal.
Weight Loss Tracker
Losing weight is hard, and it is easy to get discouraged. But, keeping a visual tracker when you can easily see the progress you've made can make a huge impact. When setting out on a weight loss journey it is important to have goals, and it's also important not to keep moving the goal post. Keeping a tracker helps you stick to your goals and not be too hard on yourself.
Goals and Rewards
My goals and rewards spread has been wildly helpful in motivating me to do good things with my habits. I set a measurable, achievable goal and a reward if I hit my mark. Knowing that a guilt-free lipstick is waiting for me at the end of a string of good behavior really helps me push through and promote good habits. The bullet journal is the perfect place to keep your goals and rewards, and you can draw up new spreads as you grow and change. You should give it a try and see how it can help push you toward better habits!
You created a bullet journal for you, not for someone else. So put your mark on it by including an about me spread. You can include whatever you want on this page, just have fun with it. Additionally, creating an about me page is a great way to highlight what you are currently feeling good about.
Find What Works For You
These bullet journals spreads might not work for you, and that’s okay! Don’t feel bad if one of the spreads I’ve raved about just isn’t doin’ it for you. Trying something new is extremely important for growth and self-understanding, so it’s a victory even if one of the spreads was a dud. Remember that your bullet journal is for you, so don’t let anyone else tell you what it should and shouldn’t be. Just be flexible and willing to try new solutions to old problems, and you will find your bullet journal running at maximum capacity of awesomeness. You got this!