Bullet Journal Beginners
5 of 5: What is a Bullet Journal Spread?
Welcome to the final part of my Bullet Journaling For Beginners series! We’ve now covered what a bullet journal is, what it’s used for, how to make one, and bullet journal collections. Now on to the final part of the series – what is a bullet journal spread?
Put simply, your spreads will make up the more classic ‘diary’ part of your journal.
Now first off, keep in mind that your bullet journal is yours to create depending on what works best for you, so there’s no one single answer to the question ‘what is a bullet journal spread?’ I’ve come up with a round up of what I’ve found to be the easiest and most effective ways to create spreads when you’re first starting off – give it a go and see what you think, then you’ll find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s a good idea to take a look at the original bullet journaling method so that you understand where it all came from before you start!
Your Monthly Spread
Your first spread will be your monthly overview; then that’ll be followed by your weekly and/or daily spreads.
To make your monthly spread, lay out your month in whatever way works best for you, then flip back to your future log to see your important dates to fill it out (go back to ‘how to make a bullet journal’ if you need to refresh your memory on future logs). A lot of people lay out the month in linear format, personally I’ve found a classic grid format like the one below is easier to manage. As always, check out Pinterest if you’re looking for some inspiration.
Here’s a simple example of a monthly spread…
And I love these from my.life.in.a.bullet on Instagram – a fantastic Instagram destination for beautiful bullet journal inspiration…
Lots of people like to start the month with some kind of title page, it’s just personal preference. Here’s one of mine…
After your monthly spread you can either move straight onto your weekly/daily spreads, or you can add in some extra pages for habit trackers, to do lists, a daily gratitude list… or anything else you fancy really! If you’re new to bullet journaling, you might find it easier to put all that to one side for your first month, just until you feel comfortable with the basics.
So now it’s time to move on to either your weekly spreads, or straight on to daily spreads.
To begin with, try setting up just your week, then if you run out of space to list your ‘to do’s’ or whatever, flip on to the next page and make some ‘dailies’ too (which just means writing out ‘Wednesday’ for example, and writing your list of appointments and tasks underneath). Below are some examples of weekly spreads. As you can see, you can choose to be a bit creative or to just keep it quick and simple!
If you’d like to see lots more examples, check out my post on my favorite bullet journal weekly spreads.
It’s often better to avoid drawing up your weekly or daily spreads in advance (ie just draw up this week, don’t do next week at the same time). The beauty of bullet journaling is its flexibility – you never really know how much space you’re going to need or how busy your week might get! You also might find that you’d like to adjust your layout for the next week.
In terms of the layout, that’s basically it – but you can keep going with this and you’ll find loads of ideas within the online bullet journaling community to make your spreads fit for your own purposes.
Your ‘To Do’s’ And Diary Format
You can fill out your spreads however you like, and you might find it helpful to incorporate some ideas from the traditional bullet journaling method (but don’t feel you have to use all of the signifiers and symbols – or any for that matter – it can get a bit confusing!).
You could try using a basic bullet point in front of a ‘to do’, and a small circle in front of an event or occasion. When you’ve completed a ‘to do’, make the bullet point into a cross, and when you haven’t managed to complete it and need to move it forward (‘migrate’ it), turn it into a right facing arrow. There are a couple more symbols as you can see below. Again, refer back to the original bullet journal website if you start to get confused, and only do as much as you think will be helpful for you!
Here’s an example of a key at the front of a bullet journal, which can be very handy as a reminder when you’re just getting started.
And here’s an example of a bullet journal weekly spread using signifiers from bulletbyjulia on Instagram. You can see how she’s turned bullet points into crosses when she’s completed a ‘to do’, and marked her appointments with little circles instead of bullet points.
So there you go, hopefully that’s answered the question of ‘what is a bullet journal spread?’ You have a monthly spread, which is a calendar overview, then you have your weekly and/or daily spreads to use as you go along (click here for more weekly spread ideas). Within those you can use symbols and methods from the original bullet journaling method to help you to be more productive and organised.
That completes my series on Bullet Journaling For Beginners! Let me know how you’re getting on -are you enjoying using a bullet journal? Do you have any questions I can help you out with? Let me know in the comments below, and enjoy your bullet journaling journey!
Other bullet journal posts you might like to check out:
Bullet Journal Supplies – Bullet Journal Tracker Ideas – Supplies Organization – Bullet Journal Hacks, 14 Genius Ideas To Steal – Bullet Journal Collection Ideas – Bullet Journal Weekly Spread Ideas – Bullet Journal Bloggers
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Thank you very much for putting together this 5-part series. I’m about to start writing in my first bullet journal and I now feel much more confident after reading your posts. I have a basic frame on scrap paper that I can use and develop according to my needs. Thanks again!
You’re very welcome Christine, I’m so glad this helped you. Good luck with starting your bullet journal, I hope you enjoy it!