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If you want to get ‘productive with style’, one of the most effective steps you can take is to get your day all planned out and organized. It’s one of THE best things about your bullet journal ritual – simply choose your favourite daily layouts and get all those to-dos from your head and onto the spread!
[Not got started with bullet journaling yet? If so, check out this how to start a bullet journal – your ultimate guide.]
This planning practice works for a number of reasons. Firstly, it helps reduce overwhelm by removing all that mental clutter. You know how it is! When you have a million and one things to do it’s hard to focus because your brain keeps jumping around – worrying about all the things on your plate. But get the day planned and you can free up bandwidth by focusing on one things at a time.
Simple daily layouts help reduce stress and anxiety too. With your plan complete you can see that your busy day ahead is actually realistic and achievable. When you have the confidence that you can make it all happen, it’s a lot easier to crack on and get it done.
Finally, a good plan helps you create that all-important work-life harmony. When you plan everything – including your meal prep, errands, yoga session, time with the kids, social media binges, and your work to-dos, nothing gets left out. As a result, you feel more fulfilled with your life too.
It’s why daily planning can completely change your life.
And it can all happen in your bujo!
But what daily spreads work best and which ones should you pick? And does it matter if your spreads are plain and simple rather than complex and beautiful?
Let’s find out…
Get it planned with these simple daily layouts
One of the best things about bullet journaling is you get to start with the blank page. I love the freedom and flexibility this gives you. With no constraints or constrictions, you can create the daily layouts that work best for you.
That said, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the cool artsy spreads that you see on Instagram, right? When that happens, you’ve got to remember that bullet journaling naturally attracts artists and creatives because of the freedom you have to express yourself on the page. But I’m with you… it can be daunting – especially if you’re not as creative!
I truly love getting inspired and I find some of the spreads beautifully done! I mean when I first started bullet journaling I really wanted to do some complex spreads too just to have my to-do list look awesome! As a result, I was spending loads of time on drawing and designing. But sometimes I didn’t have time to do that. I just didn’t have time to make those kinds of spreads anymore.
That’s when I realized that plain and simple can be just as effective as complicated and awe-inspiring.
No pressure! In your daily layouts, be as creative as YOU like
Some people argue that artistic spreads are something that slows them up from doing their own bujo. As a result, they don’t even bother to do a bullet journal or they feel bad about their own layouts. I’ve seen people say, “My spreads aren’t as pretty as yours”, or “I don’t know how to draw”.
I know I’ve felt like that at times, then I realized how much I was missing from allowing the appearance of my bullet journal to get in the way of my planning and productivity. After all, this bullet journal ritual is such a fun and unique journey that I’ve finally reached the point where I’m happy with just enjoying the process.
And I want to show you that simple layouts can be both effective and beautiful.
Like this one…
This simple spread has a collection of important planning features such as a daily timeline, a place for goals and tasks, and a section to log food choices. The sections are roughly drawn and thanks to a few doodles, the page looks ace!
Here’s another simple daily layout. This one has even fewer boxes and sections, but it’s still perfectly designed to help you get your day onto the page.
I’m not the most artistic person, but with bullet journaling that really doesn’t matter because there are a whole host of tools and stationery you can use to make your simple daily layouts look even more beautiful. For example:
- Add borders with these clever washi tape ideas
- Use stickers to inspire your daily spreads
- Infuse color with these best pens for your bullet journal
- Use stencils to get organized and productive
What to track on your simple daily spreads
In these examples, we’ve shown you how you can create simple daily spreads that track things such as your food log and schedule, but you can use your spreads to monitor anything you want. For example, some people like to include weather, mood, or habit trackers. Others like to add in motivational and productivity quotes. Some love to track self care or the books they read. The truth is anything goes.
So if a lack of artistic talent has held you back from diving into the bullet journal world, I hope this article has given you food for thought. It’s true, creative expression is a great thing and it’s wonderful to create beautiful designs that other people lust over!
But remember the reason why you’re doing this practice in the first place.
Your goal with bullet journaling is about getting on top of your to-dos so that you can free up time and do more of the things you love. If your daily spreads help you to do that then you’re most definitely a winner!
And if you create something beautiful in the process, then that’s just the icing on the cake.
Over to you… what do you normally track on a daily layout in your bullet journal and how do you keep it simple? Let us know in the comments below.
This blog post was originally published in November 2017 and has since been updated and republished.