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About 6 months ago, something popped up in my Facebook newsfeed that changed the way I live. (Think I’m being dramatic? I’m not!)

It was Ryder Carroll‘s original Bullet Journal video:

Hmm…that’s simple enough, I thought to myself. After all, I’d been carrying journals around with me since college. But Ryder’s system was so much more purposeful than anything I’d ever done before. Organized, methodical, and goal-driven.

Since then, I’ve been using my Bullet Journal daily (read: All. Day. Long), and I’ve become a part of the “Bujo” community, joining Facebook groups devoted to different aspects of the system, reading blogs on the topic, and compiling Pinterest boards full of practical uses and inspiration.

What’s so great about a Bullet Journal anyway, you may ask? I’ll tell you. Since using one…

  1. I’ve become more productive. If I think of a task, it goes on a list, and if it’s on a list, it gets done.
  2. I’ve felt more clear-headed and less overwhelmed. I’m the type of person who will lay awake at night thinking of all the things that need to get done the next day. But journaling those things helps me stay focused, not stressed.
  3. I’ve been reminded of my own creativity, because there’s a lot of room for that in a Bullet Journal.

I could go on and on, but for now, I’ll stick to something totally practical: a basic tutorial for creating what I’ve discovered is my favorite “weekly spread,” with lots of helpful tips and tricks.

Some people like daily to-do lists in their Bullet Journal, but I’ve found that I do better with a weekly view of things: the kids’ lessons, doctor’s appointments, events, E+S tasks and conference calls, household chores… Being able to see the whole week at once helps me figure out how to squeeze everything in, which days are overbooked, and what can be moved around.

So whether you’re completely new to Bullet Journaling or just looking to try a new spread, here are the steps for putting together an easy weekly spread that you can make as simple or elaborate as you like!

 

Materials

Bullet Journal Weekly Spread 1

I’ll be using:

  1. Leuchtturm Whitelines Link Black Pocket Ruled Notebook
  2. Pilot Precise V7 RT Retractable Rolling Ball Pen
  3. Crayola Super Tips Washable Markers
  4. Ruler
  5. Pencil
  6. Scrapbook paper, double-sided tape, thin-tip Sharpie markers(optional)

 

Draw in your columns

Bullet Journal Weekly Spread

A Bullet Journal is one of those things that’s super personal. Looking into someone’s Bujo gives you a glimpse into their life, their personality, and their quirks.

For some people, straight lines are not a priority; for me, they’re everything. That’s why I’ll take the extra time to measure things out and use a ruler to keep my lines straight and parallel.

For this particular spread, I create three equal size columns on two adjoining pages. My journal is a Leuchtturm with Whitelines, which means the pages have white lines that are barely discernible in a photo, but I promise they’re there.

Leave three or four lines’ worth of space up top to label your week (week of May 9-15, in this case). The columns don’t need to run the full length of the page unless you have truly crazy to-do lists each day of a dozen or more items. I like to leave 10 or so lines free on the bottom (for weekly tasks unassigned to a particular day and notes).

The last column I divide in half vertically, so Monday-Friday have full columns and Saturday+Sunday share a column (it is the weekend after all!).

 

Label the days of the week

Okay, so you’ve got your basic layout. If you’re not one for frills, go ahead and write in the days of the week at the top of each column (I like to start with Monday, rather than Sunday).

If you’d like to try something *fancy*, many Bullet Journal enthusiasts are BIG into washi tape. I haven’t jumped on that bandwagon yet, but what I’ll experiment with is bits of leftover scrapbook paper:

Bullet Journal Weekly Spread materials

If I find a pattern that appeals to me, I’ll cut little rectangles to fit at the top of each column with my paper cutter and use double-sided tape to adhere them. 

I started this week off with a bad cold, and I just needed something cheerful to get me through a busy week, so rainbow stripes it was! I used a thin-tip Sharpie to write a letter representing each day of the week on the scrapbook paper headers.

Bullet Journal Weekly Spread 4

 

Label the week

Bullet Journal Weekly Spread 5

Remember that space we left up top? Now it’s time to go back and write in the week. I like to use a pretty cursive script and a little fauxligraphy here, but do whatever you like! You could even type up and print out your heading using the font of your choice.

If you’re planning to practice hand-lettering in your Bujo, may I suggest starting with pencil?? I’ve made the mistake of just “going for it” a few times and HATED the results!

You can find lots of inspiration on our Fonts + Hand-Lettering Pinterest board.

 

Go crazy! Add illustrations.

Bullet Journal Weekly Spread

A friend recently told me she couldn’t do a Bullet Journal because she wasn’t artistic enough. No way!!

A Bullet Journal is all about making it whatever you need/want it to be. It’s a completely flexible system. If you have the time/energy/desire to be creative here, there are so many sources of inspiration. Just check out our Bullet Journal Pinterest Board.

If that’s not your thing, you’re not alone! There are plenty of people who Bujo in only the most pragmatic way (yes, I just made “Bujo” a verb). Check out someone like @minimaljournal to see what I mean. Totally practical.

I enjoy doodling, so I’ll usually add a little something extra up top. Last month it was raindrops, umbrellas, and rainbows. This month it’s FLOWERS!

Not sure how to draw the thing you’re thinking of? Do me a favor: go to Pinterest, type in “illustration” + {whatever thing you’re trying to draw}, and find someone else’s drawing to use as a guide. Draw with a pencil. Erase if you must. But above all, make it fun, not stressful!

If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to label your bottom sections however you like. I prefer a spot for “tasks” (like “hem those damn curtains, already!”) and one for “notes” (where I might jot down the details of an upcoming appointment when I schedule it this week).

 

Add (more) color

Bullet Journal Wee

I have lots of fancy art supplies around that I could use in my Bujo, but the honest truth is that I get the nicest results from my kids’ Crayola markers. We’ve got a 20-pack of washable “Super Tips” that have great intensity without bleeding through to the next page.

 

 

Fill it in!

Bullet Journal Weekly Spread

All right! Now, who wouldn’t take pleasure in keeping track of their week with a spread like that? Plus, it took me about 20 minutes to put this one together, even with all the little extras. To me, a 20-minute investment is well worth the sanity-savings in the week to come!

Here’s one more example of this spread that I posted to Instagram, where I also included 8 boxes at the bottom of each column to help me measure how many glasses of water I consumed each day:

 

Are you putting together your own weekly spread? Use the hashtag #evieandsarahbujo or email it to hi@evieandsarah.com and we may feature it! Can’t wait to see your work!

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