Bullet Journal Weekly and Daily Logs: October 2016

For the month of October, I’ve stuck with a “Dutch door” type of weekly and daily layout. I have absolutely loved these spreads. In my review for September’s bujo spreads, I had noticed I needed my goals needed to be seen more often for me to keep up with them. I started the Dutch door system for that, with a quick weekly view at the top and pages for the daily logs.

Five columns with a list of dates, goals, tasks, and a calendar for October and a table for habits.

This type of layout needs a lot of planning, and a little bit of prior knowledge for how you use your layouts. I know that I can fit 2 or 3 days onto one sheet for my daily logs, but it can vary. So for my Dutch door layouts, I added in an energy tracker table for each day.

I’ve been interested in seeing what points of the day I feel more energised or sluggish, and how my energy is affected after and between meals. In a way, it’s self-care: I’m seeing if there are any patterns in my eating, sleeping, and energy/fatigue. My uncle was diagnosed last year with Type 1 diabetes, my family has lots of cardiovascular diseases, my half-sister has celiac disease, and many of my immediate family have mental health problems. I figure, in my 20s, I should keep an eye on my body and how it reacts to anything and everything. This type of tracking benefits the most from long-term tracking. I’m happy to report I’ve been doing it for the past month and have a baseline to work with!

A planner with multiple, cut, half-pages being turned and a row of columns across the top of the page.

I’ve done a bit of different structures for a time codex. I omitted it, or used it horizontally, or placed it vertically. I’m still not sure which is the best. I am very, very fond of the vertical layout (which I’ve been using for October 24 – 30) since I make my lists horizontally and can line up the task near the hour I want to do it. But I also like having it horizontally to line up with the table for my energy tracking.

A planner with multiple, cut, half-pages being turned and a row of columns across the top of the page.

I haven’t shown my weekly spread for this week (October 24 – 30), but it uses the vertical time codex, and it definitely works the best for me.

I haven’t been using categories for my lists—at least, not explicitly. I’ve been batching items together and leaving spaces between small lists, and I’ve liked that so far. It feels more spontaneous than putting headers with lists below.

For November, I’ll definitely be using the Dutch door layout again. Having the weekly view for the entire week, from day-to-day, has been such a huge help. I need more detail than what can be seen on a weekly spread on 2 pages. Daily logs are definitely still the backbone of my bullet journal, but the weekly layout—even being that small strip—keeps me aware of what’s coming up. And the habit tracker? The best.

Bullet Journal Spreads: September 2016

We’re reaching the end of the month, so I figured I’d showcase how my new bullet journal setup has fared throughout September. This is all in the new notebook I started (review of the “Productive Luddite” book here!) using a Uniball Signo 207 black pen.

I don’t have a spread of the weekly spread from September 25th to October 2nd since I haven’t finished it yet. I can tell you, though, I’m trying something different: I’m doing a “dutch door” spread, with my weekly whatnots above (in the top window) and my daily logs in the pages below. I’ll definitely be posting a picture, but it’ll be on my Instagram.

Okay. I’m done dropping links. Let’s get started with the spreads!

Monthly

Text reading "September" surrounded by abstract swirls.

I love having an opening title page to the month. This is something I started doing at the end of my previous notebook, but this time around, I wanted to spruce it up. Some might call this a “zentangle” but it doesn’t conform to that trend (which… has been copyrighted. A’ight). I’ve been adding to this abstract doodle throughout the month and I’m still unsure if I want to add colour or not!

September calendar and a chart for tracking habits.

This is my calendar view and my habit tracker. I’ll admit: that calendar view was basically useless. I’ve tried this, a list view, and a larger calendar. But I just can’t seem to find something that works. I’m not sure how to improve on this, so I don’t know if I’ll include a monthly view in October at all.

Weekly

Most of my weekly “spreads” are just one-page outlines of deadlines that week, goals I want to accomplish, and a few have a small calendar view.

A display of the week (September 5th to 11th) with a calendar, a to-do list, and deadlines.

A display of the week (September 12th to 18th ) with a calendar, a to-do list, and deadlines.

A display of the week (September 19th to 25th) with a calendar, a to-do list, and deadlines.

Daily

I like to use as much space as possible on pages, so my daily logs are about 2 days to a page. These are all pretty similar, and I’m thinking of different ways to improve on the spreads. I think the “dutch door” view I’m trying for this week will be the biggest change and will help me figure out how best to do things.

I think for my future daily logs, I want to categories better. I’ve struggled managing my time since school started, because I suck at realising how much time it takes for me to read through mandatory papers and stories and poems. I’m thinking for this week, I’ll use categories. I’m still not sure what categories, however, but I’ll figure out something.

I also miss my schedule/time codex, so I think I’ll bring that back in some form. It was weird trying to use it at the beginning of the semester, but I think it’ll be the most helpful now with classes in full swing.

 

A to-do list from September 5th to 8th

A to-do list from September 12th to 16th

A to-do list from September 19th to 22nd

A to-do list from September 23rd to 25th

This has been a great review of my spreads and what works for me, just through what hasn’t been working for me.

  1. Goals need to be visible daily for me to feel motivated.
  2. Daily logs are improved with categories.
  3. The time codex deserves a comeback.

I’m excited for the new month next week. It’s also my birthday month, and it should be colder, and I’m looking forward to the season.

Bullet Journal 101: Modules, Logs, and Migration

Happy Canada Day, and welcome back to Bullet Journal 101!

Last week, we looked at the basics of a bullet journal. This week, we’re looking at how you can expand out from your to-do lists to create a larger, more complex, and more specialised system for your BuJo.

The official website talks about Modules, Logs, and Migration, but only briefly, so I’ll cover them again here for clarity’s sake.

Modules

Modules include everything in your BuJo. A log is a module. The index is a module. Your habit tracker is a module. All of your collections are modules. Modules are to clothes as logs and collections are to shirts and pants. Logs and collections are modules. Shirts and pants are clothes. It’s a category for all the crap you’re putting in your notebook.

Logs

Logs deal with time-sensitive items. You can create a “Future Log” like the one on the website, where you write down events, tasks, and reminders in a calendar spread for the future, but with less detail than the “Monthly Log.” The monthly log is a list of all the days in the month, and then relevant information is stored there. The BuJo website classifies daily to-do lists as “Daily Logs,” so any tasks, events, and reminders that are linked to a specific day are considered to be part of a log.

Another way to look at logs is to see them as calendars. A four-month semester-long calendar is a semester log. A three-month calendar is a quarter log for your blog or business. A calendar for one month is a monthly log. A series of rows and columns that have a space for each day of each month for an entire year can be used for tracking your habits or quality of life—and this is also a log. A yearly habit log, perhaps.

A large chunk of the BuJo community finds most of their inspiration and creativity inside their logs and collections. You can mix and match, create your own, and cater all of your logs and collections to your specific needs.

Migration

All the information in your BuJo, whether it’s a task that needs to be done or an inspiring quote you noted on a day, needs to be migrated to a more permanent space, like a collection. Migration deals with the list items from your daily logs that don’t have a “done” or “in progress” status. Tasks not done on one day can be migrated to the next day, or they can be scheduled for another day. Signifiers and bullets can tell you whether the task is moved to tomorrow or scheduled farther in the future. Notes and reminders, or quotes you jot down, can be done in the daily log and then migrated to the appropriate collection or calendar.

So let’s say I have a daily log. In it, I write, “Even behind clouds, the sun will rise”—a motivational and inspiring quote. I also write, “Brother visits July 3rd to July 12th.”

At a designated time, maybe at the end of the day or the end of the week, I would flip through my daily logs and find pertinent information to transfer to a collection or a different log. I’d move my quote to a Quotes collection, and write down in a monthly log the days my brother is in town.

Personally, migration doesn’t work for me. It’s an additional step that takes away from my organisation; I’d rather go straight to the collection or log and write down the information.

However, if I have a task or an event written in one daily log that I don’t do that day, or that gets post-poned, I can migrate it to the next day, or I can add it to a monthly or weekly log, or even add it to a collection like “Housekeeping and Home Improvement.” I have yet to find a rational way to cross-reference a monthly log with my daily logs to try implementing migration. Just goes to show that I’m still learning with you!


If you can believe it, we’ve covered the basics already. You now have all the information necessary to go full-force into a bullet journal. You know about bullets, collections, modules, logs, and migration. If you’re confident enough, you can stray from the purist path. If not, I suggest you use the method on the website to see what doesn’t work. Start with the process of elimination.

This week’s challenge

Create a monthly log for July. You can use the design on the BuJo website, or do a look on Pinterest and Instagram for ideas. I have a Pinterest board for the bullet journal in case you need inspiration. Think about how much information you need to include in your log. You can also write out the things you want to display in your monthly log. Maybe a list like the original system will work for you. Maybe you need a column-and-row box calendar instead.

Here is what I’ve designed for my July Log!

Monthly Log July

Next week will feature all the goodies you can have fun with in the core of the bullet journal—Daily Logs. I’ll share some of my own daily log spreads so you can see what I started with and how my layouts changed.

Bullet Journal 101 Modules Logs Migration Expanding Bullet Journal For Beginners