6 weekly layouts I tried
At the very moment I started my Bullet journal, 18 months ago, I knew that I would add a weekly log to the system created by Ryder Carroll. I’ve always been using weekly planners, and planning on a weekly basis really helps me to visualize the upcoming days and get everything organized more easily than on a whole month.
My weekly layout have change a lot during my bullet journal journey, sometimes for a matter of style, but always to better fit my needs too. Here is a retrospective review of 6 weekly layouts I’ve been using from my very first bullet journal until today.
1. First attempt
My first attempt to use a weekly layout was as simple as a sticky note: I had a lot of these on hand, the neon color allowed me to highlight my weekly task list (and I have an unavowed love for post-its…). A sticky note for all the tasks planned for the week, and some space beside it for all my appointments, events and deadlines.
This was just the start of my adventure with weekly logs, and it was ugly but still efficient. Starting with something as simple as this helped me realise the high potential of the bullet journal system to finally get things done. Starting doing things was already a big change for me, as I’m super lazy and a professional procrastinator… But soon enough, I felt I didn’t have enough space to manage everything on a single, tiny sticky note. I definitely needed more room for my weekly log!
Once I was convinced of the bullet journal potential, I wanted to go further, prioritize tasks, and have several sections in my task list. So be it.
This second attempt to a weekly layout is super simple and monochromatic (well that didn’t change since that time!). It’s a lot inspired by the ones Kim (Tiny Ray of Sunshine) shared on her blog. I created something like a table, with 3 sections: the biggest one for random tasks, the upper right one for events and appointments, and lower right one for house cleaning tasks. Separating the house chores from the rest of my to-do aimed to better manage them, and fairly distribute them between me and my boyfriend. The spare space below the table is notes: appointment addresses, ideas…No need to screen pages and pages of dailies to find the right info that way!
Once again, the layout is pretty simple and minimal, but included everything I needed to have on hand at that time. But as my needs were constantly evolving, I dropped this weekly layout to create something else, a little bit more advanced.
3. Focus on the food log and habit trackers
After putting the house chores on autopilot with a simple weekly routine, my next goal was to better take care of myself, and to focus on my diet. I had tried a monthly food log with poor results, so I decided to include it in my weekly layout, and my habit trackers followed.
I splitted the spread in two columns: one for events, master weekly task list and a trackers section, and a second one dedicated to my food log. Once again, this week at a glance spread is combined with daily logs for… well, daily tasks!
Using a food log has been a positive experience, and helped me work on my body complex (but this is another story…). I used this weekly layout, including the weekly food log for more than 4 months, before I came back to something more simple, sending the food log and the trackers back in my monthly collections.
At the end of 2016, I opened my Instagram account. As my first goal was to share the “daily life” in my bullet journal, I desperately needed a way to get things scheduled more accurately to be able to release content on a regular basis. At this point, I took some time to head on Tiny Ray of Sunshine’s blog to get some weekly layout inspiration.
I basically designed a new weekly layout from Kim’s weekly layout #18 to answer that need, and included a mini calendar on top of the spread. It’s divided in two columns: first one for events, second one for my editorial calendar. The spare space once dedicated to the food log is used to split the tasks in sub-tasks.
Using this mini calendar made me realized that I needed a system that would allow me to plan everything in advance, including my daily logs. This step truly initiated the transition into a week on two pages layout.
After having experimented several weekly layouts, and making them evolved for nearly 12 months using my bullet journal, I’ve made my way to something I’m sticking to for the moment. When I was using a weekly+dailies combo, I tended to skip days because I was too lazy to set them up (yep, I’m that kind of girl!)… I now use 2 layouts, depending on my needs and my mood, and they suit my one and only need: being able to plan my tasks in advance.
(Hey! The next 2 layouts printables are available for free here. The Q3 printables will be released next week !)
I completely changed my planning system to answer that need to plan ahead, and started to use a layout that looks a lot like some classical horizontal planners. I left some space on top of the first page for my master to-do list, and created some sort of a big table as a weekly planning: one line for each day of the week, splitted in two columns. The left column is for events, the right one for tasks lists.
I did something special for the week-end as well: each day of the week-end has its own event section, but the task list sections are merged in a unique, large space.
This weekly layout allows me to see my whole week at a glance. It’s just perfect for the busy weeks, for which I need to plan everything in advance. I still use it from time to time, and this is the layout I use in my homemade work bullet journal. But to be honest, I was lacking space to organize all my week-end tasks…
6. Vertical working week layout, full spread for the week-ends
Most of my days (like almost everyone else) are dedicated to work. Even if I manage to spend some time on my personal projects during the working week from time to time, most of my big tasks are made during the week-ends. So I once again changed my weekly layout to fit this routine.
A large space is dedicated to my weekly master task list. I sometimes categorize this task list when I need to focus on a specific project (it’s mostly related to this blog to be honest!). The double spread is divided in 5 columns for the 5 working days of the week. Each column features a section for events, deadline and scheduled IG posts, and the spare space is dedicated to my daily to-do. This week at a glance view allow me to organize my tasks, spreading them evenly on the days, and design my schedule depending on the upcoming events too.
The page right next this working week spread is my week-end layout. I use one page for the week-end, and it’s usually full of my personal projects tasks lists!
(If you’re reading this line, you deserve a medal for having been through the whole post!)
When I started my first bullet journal, a year and half ago, I though I wouldn’t be able to make changes in my layouts. Just because I’m the kind of person who will use the same pen combo for a 250 pages notebook… Change is not really my thing!
But it would have been a great shame to stick with my yellow sticky note all this time, and I wouldn’t have experienced the whole point of the Bullet Journal system: its versatility. You can start simple and make your layouts evolve to adapt them to your needs, and improve them page after page. Change and experiment are good, and my weekly layouts are still a work in progress, even if they don’t change much these days!
And if you can’t get enough of weekly layouts, head on Tiny Ray of Sunshine’s blog for more inspiration!
– Leuchtturm 1917: Medium, softcover, squared
– A5 Muji Notebook (squared)
– Erasable Muji pen (0,4)
– Muji pencil
– PaperMate Flair M, black