A good weekly spread is the backbone of your bullet journal and will probably either make or break the habit. If you find them too complicated or tedious, it will be hard to keep at it. If you are not happy with the way they look or how creative you can get or the space you have to express your thoughts, you might get discouraged and not stick to your new ritual. . How to get it right? Well, find a set of layouts that you like and understand your needs and goals. Are you a minimalist, the creative type, do you delve in watercolour, or do you want to explore them all? Check out these 10 super simple weekly layouts for your bullet journal and decide for yourself what suits your needs best.
In my experience, I have found the horizontal spreads to be the best if you prefer to jot down memories. The horizontal format gives you the space to write short sentences or bullets, and, depending on the size of your journal and handwriting, leave room for creative space.
In the next four spreads, you will see the same theme in four different varieties. Same basic layout, four entirely different looks.
Boxes denote the space for your weekly goals and each day. Instead of boxes, you can choose lines, or separate the daily space with the day of the week in your favourite brush lettering font.
You could try the same format, boxes and all and add some tangle patterns as a design element? Doesn’t take long and creates a distinct look for that particular week. Find the instructions to this pattern in my tangle pattern post.
Again, I used the same format again, this time added some fancy washi tape and created room to track water intake, meals and active time.
If you have some lightly coloured craft paper, you can also use this to create a stunning spread using the same structure.
How to deal with the tail end of the month?
What to do with the end of the month? How do deal with the gaping white space that needs to be filled? First of all, don’t panic. As I learned in design school “Don’t be afraid of white space. The page elements need this space to breathe.” Secondly, I started to use the extra space for either some creative outlet or a mini reflection on the month. This will help you greatly when you do your year-end reflection. The more you make yourself aware of what happened each month, the less often you look back at the past year not remembering how it went by so fast. No more blank spots and more memories which all in all help you perceive time to progress a little slower.
Weekly spread with habit trackers
Ok, we have finally left the same-old horizontal pattern behind and added creative and tracking spaces to the sides.
This is a weekly spread one-pager that tags on a page with goals, trackers or whatever you want to add to your page. Not to forget space to give gratitude, my favourite tool to staying mindful, and appreciative of the blessings in my life.
Vertical weekly layouts for your journal
The vertical layout is ideal if you want to highlight your appointments, and jot down simple notes. It is the perfect way to gain an overview of your week.
In the simple weekly layout above I decided to hand-draw my lines, which give the page a distinct freestyle look. See the spread below that features accurate boxes which I drew using a ruler.
This layout provides lots of space for notes or trackers while clearly structuring your week. I love the simplicity and contrasting beauty of the black cursive versus rigid grey lettering.
This layout focuses on giving you an hourly overview of your day. It could also be used to track how you spend your time and see where there are “pockets” of time that you could use more efficiently.
Whether you are a seasoned bullet journaler and already have your favourites, or are are about to find your style, it is always fun to try out something you don’t usually do. What I love about journaling is that I can fit it exactly to my needs. If I am feeling minimalistic, i’ll go after that style. If I need to focus on tracking anything, in my case usually water intake, goals, gratitude and exercise, I can do that. Care to share which weekly layout you prefer for your bujo?
Mistakes, they are bound to happen. Maybe you misspelled a word, or a line is too long, or it does not look as pretty as you had hoped for. No matter your experience level you probably have had or will have to fix mistakes in your bullet journal. Let’s get creative, take out the magic bullet journal wand and fix mistakes. It is actually very simple and here are four different ways to fix mistakes in your bullet journal. Let’s get started.
The first method is the one where you can get really creative and gives you the most options.
Try to colour-over or colour-in lines that might have gotten messed up.
- Washi Tape
Simply stick Washi tape over your mistake
- Craft paper
Find a piece of craft paper or newspaper/magazine cut out, cut it into the right size and glue it into your journal.
Or you can also use smaller pieces of paper and make it a theme:
- Draw over
Similar to the colour method, you can try to draw over your mistake.
- White out
Use White-out to cover up your mistake and then try again
Simply add a cute sticker
Add pages to your bullet journal
If you are eager like me, you might also had a time when you realized that you planned too far ahead in your bullet journal, but forgot to leave room for a double spread. *guilty* Check out my solution of how I added a double spread to my first bullet journal.
Live with it
This is actually one of my favourites. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, i was surprised when I realized, that I can live with some of the mistakes. I simply write “Oh no!” or “Oups!” next to and then laugh about it. Every time I see it again, I have to chuckle. It works every single time.
Yes, it might have to happen. If all else fails, you can always rip out/cut out the page or glue pages together. Personally, I find the other methods much more charming and authentic though.
It is human to make mistakes or not being entirely happy with how a page looks. Don’t fret, leave the perfectionist be and keep practicing. The more you do, the easier spreads and trackers will flow from your pen. I promise.
How do you like to fix mistakes in your bullet journal? I would love to hear from you.
Have you ever wondered how so many bullet journals are lovingly adorned with beautiful banners and why they look always crooked when you try to do draw them? This is totally me. And that is exactly why I am writing this post today: to help you hoist your banners and let them fly high all across your bullet journal. And without further ado, here is how to draw banners. Five different ones to be exact.
Why do we like banners? They help you structure a page or give emphasis to a headline. They are eye-catching and all in all so much fun to draw.
1. The Classic
Start with a rectangular box. Then add two small triangles to the top. Now add the flaps. Make sure the flaps end higher than your box’ baseline. If you want you can now add texture to the flaps and darken the triangles (back of the flap).
2. The Classic – variation
As the title suggests, this is a variation of the first banner I showed you. With this one, I chose to curve the base box ever so slightly. Follow the steps as prompted and you can’t go wrong.
3. The Wrap
This one is a little bit more advanced, but you can do it. I had to fiddle around with it at first, but it did turn out nicely. Make sure to stagger your first two boxes. Then, connect them in a Z like way from the end of the top to the beginning of the first. The flaps are similar like the ones above but achieved differently. The bottom lines almost look like a swoosh.
4. The Single Fold
Start the single fold with a slight bend to your base box. You can let this end in a forked flap if you wish. Next, add your upper swoosh (would also work on the bottom). Finish your
5. The Scroll
Start your top line almost like a lower-case letter e with a very long tail. Then add your vertical V-shape to create the side of the flap and close up your base box. Make sure the lower curve of the box matches as closely as you can to your upper curve. Add two vertical lines to finish off the scroll look and et voila, you did it.
A few more tips: Test your headline size and length before you set your banner in stone, so to speak. Penciling in the headline and box size helps a great deal. You can also create your favourite banners on one sheet, and draw them in a nice “fat” black. Keep this sheet handy and you can use this to trace your next banner into your journal or similar medium. Never forget, have lots of fun and keep practicing how to draw banners. It’ll become second nature in no time.
Have fun practicing how to draw banners.
It has come to this. You have started your bullet journal or been looking at other people’s successes with their journals and couldn’t help yourself but feeling utterly envious of the simple ease with which presumably all the bullet journalers skillfully master their fonts and headlines. I hear you, I have been there, and I have searched many times for “brush lettering tutorial”.
I’ll be super honest with you, what you see online is so often the most perfected version of itself, in this case, brush lettering or faux calligraphy. Don’t get me wrong, I utterly admire all those wonderfully skilled artists out there that have mastered the skill of calligraphy and the art of brush lettering. I know from my own experience, it takes a lot of practice, patience, diligence, not giving up and bit more practice. Yes, and let’s add a bit more practice, please. After all, practice makes perfect. I have yet to come across a single brush lettering tutorial that shows the struggles the artists face.
And of the topic of being honest, I did study graphic design, a long time ago and for that, I had to take courses in calligraphy. Even so, brush lettering IS hard. Creating elegant swirls and holding the pen do come easily to me, yet my lettering is often not as perfect as I would like it to be. Nevertheless, I do not mean to discourage you. On the contrary. I am writing this post about brush lettering for you, to tell you to just dive in, hang in there and/or not give up. You will get there, all it takes is practice and accepting the stage you are in.
Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #1: Tools
To get started, you won’t need to rush to by fancy paper or pens. Don’t get me wrong, I love fancy stationery, but there are less expensive options out there for sure. What you will need:
- Brush pen or Crayola pip squeak pen, brush and watercolor
Yes, a brush pen is probably best, but before spending money on a pen you probably run dry just by practicing your letters, you could practice the technique of holding it and varying pressure just as easily with a Crayola pip squeak pen. I borrow my daughter’s pens sometimes. Oops, another real-life trick comes out.Brush lettering tutorial:
Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #2: Paper
The smoother the paper, the better for the pen. But again, don’t worry about buying fancy paper if you are just practicing with a practice pen. The exercise is just as effective. Tracing paper also helps, if you have that handy. Using lined paper also helps at first to get the hang of writing straight.
Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #3: Technique
What do brush letters consist of? In short, thinner upstrokes, and thicker down strokes and some transitions in between. Let’s try.
Practice simple up and down strokes and fill a full page. Get a good feel for the pen and how much pressure it takes to create thinner versus thicker lines. Go and practice now. Once you feel confident, try to put up strokes and down strokes together in a waveform. Practice and fill another page.
Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #4: Practice
I know you can’t wait to progress and get to use this font in your bullet journal. But again, think of the four P’s: grab your pen and paper and patience, and practice. Ok, I’ll give you two letters to practice the combined up and down strokes: n and u.
Done? Great, let’s move on. Let’s progress to the next level: curves.
The trick with curves is to not rush it and control the amount of pressure to the pen and angle you hold it in. Practice some a’s, e’s, c’s Now you can add strokes to curves like in the letter d, g or q.
Again, take your time, pick up the pen from the paper very briefly, if needed, and keep going.
Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #5: Make things easier
Have a look at your favourite brush lettering style and get familiar with the shape of each letter. Practice the flow of the letters with a regular fine tip pen to get the shape into your muscle memory. When this feels familiar switch to the brush pen. Fill pages and pages with your letters.
Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #6: Cheat
Use a pencil to sketch out the word on your page. Either use a brush pen right away or add a second line next to your down-strokes to mimic the thin-thick effect and then fill the gap between the two down strokes and voila, you have created faux calligraphy. Yay. By using a pencil you see how much space the word takes up on your space and where you want your swirls to land.
Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #7: Practice makes perfect
Do you see how many of these letters look uneven or have too little variation in the thickness of the stroke? It is because this takes a lot of practice. I can’t stress this enough. Practice makes perfect.
Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #8: Large font
Another trick is to try a larger font first. The change between thick and thin strokes is way easier to master in a larger font. When you feel confident in lettering larger words, try your hand at smaller fonts.
Whenever you feel like it, start transferring your new skills to your bullet journal. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It is all part of the process. Thanks for reading. What do you struggle most with when it comes to hand lettering? Let me know, I would love to know how I can help you.
Have you tried to incorporate a new habit into your life to improve your quality of life? Or maybe you have tried to increase, let’s say, your daily water intake using a habit tracker? If you are like me you probably have tried out new habits and failed at times and succeeded in some others.
Using a habit tracker, what did you find? Is it just one more thing on your to-do list or are you struggling with finding the perfect app or system that works for you? Well, your bullet journal is a great place to start. I’ll show you 80 ideas for habits to track using your journal. With a journal, you have total control over how your “app” will look, everything you want to track is in one place and you will create the perfect system that fits your needs. Do you need more reasons for starting to track your habits in your bullet journal? Glad you asked.
Benefits of using a habit tracker
For a new habit become second nature to you, it takes on average more than two months for a new behaviour to become a real habit. If you absolutely want a number, experts say that 66 days of performing an action daily a new habit will set in. This all depends though on each individual person and circumstances.
Using a habit tracker will
- Make it likelier to achieve your goals
- Give you a sense of everyday accomplishment and a feeling of being in control
- Show you how you are doing with your goals
- Offer insights into new ways to adjust if need be
“The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C Maxwell
If you are looking to create a series of new habits, experts recommend to work on one at a time and then build on the established habit. Let a habit be the trigger for your new habit. For example: When you wake up, drink one cup of water. When you mastered that, you can add the next habit, such as practice your daily affirmations. And so on. Stack your habits so to speak.
How to track your habits
When it comes to tracking your habits, it is all about your personal preference. Use whatever system that works best for you and that you enjoy the most. Remember, tracking takes determination to keep going, just like your new habit.
Here are a few ideas for tracking your habits:
- Bullet journal
- App on your phone or computer
Habit Tracker Ideas for your Bullet Journal
Depending on the tracker and habit that you want to cultivate, you can use a daily, weekly, monthly or annual tracking system. Some work better than others. I just created a double page with all the things I want to track this year. Somewhere during the process, I realized that I should have opted for a monthly tracker spread though.
If you would like to increase your water to eight glasses per day (approx. 2l) you might feel more motivated to track each glass of water you drink. Therefore a daily tracker in your weekly log might be most helpful. For most trackers, a monthly spread works really well.
Here is a list of ideas of habits to track:
- Reducing Screen time
- Bullet Journal
- Call/write to one friend or family member
- Get outside
- Get up by (X)am
- Go to bed by (X)pm
- (X) hours of sleep
Health and Fitness
- Minutes walked
- Supplements and Vitamins
- Record weight
- No smoking
- No processed sugar
- Meal planning
- Food prep
- No soda/pop
- Calorie intake
- Water intake
- No alcohol
- Body lotion
- Face cream
- Mop floors
- Load/Un-load Dishwasher
- Clean counters
- Clean bathrooms
- Water plants
- Grocery shopping
- Change bedding
- Quality time with kids
- Reading to child(ren)
- Playing outside
- Quality time with partner
- Spending time with pet
- Cleaning litter/feeding bowls/Cage etc/
- Wash Car
- Vacuum inside of car
- Declutter interior
- Check oil
- No spend
- Track expenses
- Monthly savings
- Track income
- Pay bills/debt
- No eating out
- Playing instrument
- Creative writing
- Create blog post
- Read emails
- Take pictures
- Fill Social Media channels
- Learn something new
- Sign-up for e-course
- Email marketing
- Plan material/posts/content for next quarter
Whatever habits you decide to track and what kind of tracker you use, remember to keep the goal in mind and make the ride as motivating and enjoyable as you can. And if something does not work for you, tweak it. Never give up on your dreams and trying to improve your quality of life. It’s all about you!
Shoot me a message or comment in the section below what habit trackers you like to use and find the most helpful.
New Year, New You. This is absolutely possible and you are the only person who can renew and reinvent yourself. With every new year, comes the chance to look back on your last year and set resolutions on how to do/be/get better in the new year. Are you also one of the New Year’s resolutions setters? Or haters? How many people are actually able to keep up their resolutions? Or how many times have you heard or thought: New Year’s resolutions don’t work, goal setting is impossible, I just can’t stay motivated or “It is too hard”? Let me share five simple secrets with you how you will be able to achieve your goals this year and be excited to keep working on them. Yes working. The way to living the life of your dreams is work, but it should be fun, and it is definitely worth it.
For the bullet journal enthusiasts among you, I have included four spreads that you can steal to dream big, plan and achieve your goals in 2019!
Secret #1 Set inspired goals
When you start this process, allow yourself to dream big. Put every single goal, dream or wish you can come up with on a piece of paper, in a bullet journal or your preferred method of noting things down. Make sure though that you write it down. The act of putting words to a page, even if it is in digital form, allows your brain to let go of the thought and stops your mind from spiraling ineffectively about the same idea.
Now, look at your list and assess your thoughts and cross check them with your values and what will really bring you joy and fulfillment. Let go of the goals that you might think you have to strive for, or what you observe others do. Pick the top three that you feel excited about. This doesn’t mean you cannot achieve smaller goals on the side, but if you chose too many projects, you will most likely feel overwhelmed and be tempted to give up. Selecting the most important three goals will help you stay focused and on track. Remember, this is supposed to be fun as well.
Secret #2 Be realistic
While it is great to have big dreams and harbour them, it is also important to stay realistic. I would love to have my own digital product line and sell them successfully to thousands of people, but I realize that I will probably not be able to achieve this in this year. I have a full-time job and a family. It is more realistic for me to aim for creating and launching one digital product this year. This does not mean though you should refrain from setting the bar high. Go ahead and challenge yourself and don’t let fears hold you back. Stay true to your values and passions, consider the time you have available to work on your goals and the resources you can devote to them.
Secret #3 Be specific
Now that you have selected three goals, think about what success would look like. Play out the scenario in your head and try to capture the feeling you have when your dream has come true. Now, write down your three goals and be very specific how you describe them. Avoid any vague descriptions. This is one of the main reasons why most resolutions fail. Let’s say eating more healthy is your goal. What does this look like? Eat fewer carbs, less meat, more vegetables, decrease sugar? Consider what and why this is important to you. When you describe your goal in detail it is much easier to break it into actionable steps.
Secret #4 Take inspired action
How excited are you to start working on your goals right now? Very much? Can you see the steps you need to take to reach your goals and fulfill your dreams? Write down the steps you need to take on your way to success. The more steps you build in for you, the easier the process will become. Even a marathon runner takes each step at a time. Many small steps will bring you to the finish line.
Build in times to rest, to treat yourself for reaching a milestone making sure you have fun along the way. Along the way, have check-ins with yourself: “Does this goal still inspire me”? Circumstances and goals can change along the way. Don’t hold on to things that don’t suit you any longer. Rather adjust and tweak.
Secret #5 Hold yourself accountable
After you dreamed up your top three goals, envisioned success, evoked them using specific words and defined the steps you needed to take, you are now ready to hold yourself accountable.
You can do this in a variety of ways:
- Tell a friend and ask them to hold you accountable and cheer you on.
- Set milestones within a timeline
- Set a to-do list in your weekly bullet journal spread and make sure you work towards them.
- Reward yourself for reaching milestones (i.e buy a set of new brush pens that you are only allowed to use when you have reached a certain point. Make it interesting for yourself)
With each new point, I cannot quite make up my mind which is the most crucial step in the process, probably because they all depend on each other. And this true for this step as well. I am tempted to proclaim this as the most important step.
There will be times where you will want to give up, where you feel a lack of energy to pick up where you left off, where you feel overwhelmed or try to convince yourself that your goal is no longer important to you. This is your mind trying to trick you into going the path of least resistance. Don’t despair, this is normal. Just know that such a phase might hit you, I am in one right now. Push through. Your dreams are worth it!
Are you ready to rock 2019? What will inspire you to take action and hold yourself accountable? In order to achieve your big dreams this year, you will need to commit yourself to your dreams and goals! Work on them every day and you will succeed! You can do it!