When you’re starting out with a Bullet Journal it can be hard to figure out which spreads you should be including. There are the core pages that pretty much every journal uses and there are more specialist pages that you can use if you want to track or achieve more specific things. One of the biggest questions you have to answer pretty much straight away when setting up for the first time is whether you’re going to use a monthly, weekly AND daily log all together in your journal. You’re unlikely to need all three so this blog post is here to help you decide which ones are going to be the most useful for you and your planning style.
Why You Probably Don’t Need All Three
When you’re starting out you might think that a monthly, weekly and daily spread is all required for a Bullet Journal to be ‘correct’. That’s definitely not the case. In my opinion your Bullet Journal doesn’t have to contain all of the core essential spreads to still be useful. It’s unique to you and if one of the typical pages doesn’t work for you just get rid of them. There’s no point forcing yourself to use pages you’ll leave blank or that don’t serve your planning purposes. You might want to have a go at using all three but there are a few reasons I don’t personally feel like it’s necessary.
1. You’ll end up with a lot of crossover
There seems to be very little point in writing the same task in three different spreads. You might want a larger task to then be broken up into smaller ones but I feel like two different spreads is definitely enough to do this.
You don’t need the same task on three different pages. There’s just no point. Often it will be enough to just include it on one spread. In my experience if I’m putting lots of unnecessary information in my Bullet Journal it’s not as useful a tool for me, which brings me on to my next point.
3. It makes filling in your Bullet Journal more time-consuming
Very few of us have enough to fill in three Bullet Journaling spreads that essentially cover some of the same period of time. We might end up just copying the task for the sake of filling in the space which just adds more work to your planning. In my opinion if your planning is taking so much effort that it’s actually taking away important time from the other tasks in your life (that the plan is supposed to help facilitate) then it’s not productive or useful. In that case you’re likely to stop using the plan all together.
So which spreads should you actually use?
The Monthly Log is probably the most important
I don’t really recommend you get rid of the monthly log. Splitting up a year into twelve tidy segments is the easiest way to split the time up and work towards bigger goals. It gives you enough of an overview without going too far into the future (that’s what your future log is for) and by setting up a month at a time it allows for flexibility in the way that you plan. You can also track a lot of things on a monthly basis like habits or moods.
So we’re keeping the monthly log. That means we have to choose between either Daily or Weekly Logs:
If we’re going to keep the monthly log then ideally we’ll be letting go of either the daily or weekly log. I don’t think one is particularly better than the other in general. In the end it will be up to your and your planning style but here are a few bullet points that might help you decide which will suit your life and planning style better.
Reasons you should choose a Weekly Log for your Bullet Journal:
- Allows you to plan ahead in a structured way.
- More space to plan ahead than by using only the Monthly Log
- Encourages you to use your bullet journal daily as there will be space for each day.
Why you should choose Daily Logs for your Bullet Journal:
- More freedom to plan on the day or the night before – less structure.
- More flexibility to planning. If you need more space to plan one day then you can allow for that.
- If you don’t use your bullet journal daily the gaps won’t be obvious, it’s easier to skip days of planning without leaving empty space.
I’ve used both daily and weekly logs in the past. I rarely used both at the same time. As my life has shifted from one style of routine to another I’ve found that daily and weekly logs compliment my productivity in different ways. When I had a structured work week and a lot of tasks to complete I found a weekly log worked a lot better for me to stay on top of everything I had to get done. Now I have more freedom and flexibility I like to keep that style in my Bullet Journal too to allow for inspiration to take me and put my efforts into the things that I’m feeling most inspired by. If I go back to a more structured lifestyle I’ll likely switch back to using weekly logs.
Still can’t decide?
In this case my best advice is to try using both for a week (or even a month if you have the patience) figure out which one you turn to more and think about how you use them differently. Does the daily or weekly log serve you better? Which one actually seems to help you get more of your tasks completed?
You might even decide that you still need both. If you have the time and patience to do both then that’s up to you. If you create them to have different functions for example weekly for tasks and daily for more journaling then do it your way. Bullet Journaling is all about creating a planner that will best fit you and your lifestyle so go with what feels right.