What to include in your bullet journal?
Firstly a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has supported us so far by buying one of our journals- we are truly blown away by the response! Shipping is starting next Monday (16th November 2020) so hopefully you shouldn't be waiting too much longer if you have ordered. And on that note, if you receive one and would like to leave a review we would absolutely love this. Please tag us into your review on facebook, instagram or twitter (our links are on our home page) or there will a page for reviews on here.
So then, since we have launched we have had quite a lot of people ask what they are supposed to put in their journal, or if there is a standard list things you HAVE to include.
The thing is though, this is exactly why I love journaling so much- as there is no exact list. You can include entirely what you want- and ultimately only what helps you. Remember - your journal is for you and so what is the point of wasting time on lists and pages that are not useful??
Turning to my own experience, I do have my own list of usual spreads that I include month after month- but again, this is entirely of my own choosing and after two years of journaling (with many wasted pages over the years with stuff I just didn't use at all!) I have identified what works for me.
Like most bullet journalists, I also have certain things I always put in when setting up a journal for the first time- that I simply cannot live without! For example I always have a future log- running for six months from the date I start the journal. This is basically a yearly calendar where I can record all my events in that time. Only running for six months tends to work for me as I go through journals so quickly (often every three months), so for other dates which may come up outside of that I tend to note these down in my brain dump pages and then move them over when I start my next notebook. If you use a journal for longer though it may obviously be helpful to have the full year set out.
Example Future Logs:
I also always have a yearly overview with just the dates/weeks as this is so important to me in setting up weeks, checking days etc- I refer to it all the time.
Turning to each month then, whenever I look at planning my next one I always have a list of what I'm thinking of including as it helps me keep track and see what I have left to do. It also stops me from forgetting anything (as my list has grown over the years)!! I tend to pop my list just in my brain dump if it's not full up, but I know lots of others have double page spreads dedicated especially to this as well including mood boards- almost like you are decorating! However anyone chooses to do it, again it's up to them. I just don't usually find I need more than a list which I cross bulleted off as I go along. So after deciding a theme my standard list for each month goes something like this:
- Monthly cover (just with the name of the month and a small calendar for reference)
- Monthly overview (where I have a larger calendar which has space for tasks/appointments etc as I go along)
- Brain dump - ALWAYS!
- Habit/mood/running trackers - whatever takes my fancy that month but always habit and mood...
- Shopping/meal plan
- Gratitude log (to remember moments each day)
- Photo memories (collected during the month)
- Challenge pages (doodle/lettering ones that can be found on instagram/facebook journal communities)
- Weekly spreads (setting out each week with space for tasks under each day/weekly to do list etc)
- 'Goodbye month' spread- this is where I reflect on how things have gone that month...I still haven't found a perfect layout for this so the content and style changes!
I try and stick to the same theme throughout the month but this doesn't always happen....
An example month (with most of the main pages above):
And you'll be relieved to hear that's about it....apart from of course anything random that comes up during the month that I fancy making pages for!! I always try though and have my initial pages up to my weekly spreads at least ready for the 1st of each month so I have a clear start and don't feel pressured to rush. This is why I usually start planning my next month spread's though around the 20th of the previous....but I know people who are far more organised than me and plan months in advance. I'm just not that person haha, as much as I try!!!
And by the way, I realise there will be questions about the content and style of these in more detail but I will cover each type of spread in upcoming blogs posts as there is far too much to say for each in one sitting!
In the meantime if you have any questions you can always pop over to my personal instagram page to have a look through different examples (@bujo.forlaura). Please also feel free to contact me on here or drop me an email at email@example.com and I'll do my best to help.
For now though, have a lovely evening!