If you know a daily planner is right for you but are struggling to find the right layout, I’ve included a variety for you to try out in this post. Even if you’re looking for a daily planner rather than bullet journaling, I always recommend trialing a layout first before you go and spend potentially a lot of money on a planner layout that might not actually work for you.
Some things you might include in your daily planner
- Pomodoro tracker
- To do list
- Top 3 priority tasks
- Quick tasks
- Daily journal
- Daily review / rating out of 10
Past blog posts to help you decide what to plan where in your planner:
- Daily versus weekly planners: which is right for you?
- How to choose the right daily planner for you (7 things to consider)
- 52 Life admin tasks to add to your planner this year
- Setting up a new planner: 70 Tasks to add
- 30 Sections to include in your weekly planner (I did this post for a weekly spread but many of them can be added to a daily spread as well)
Supplies for creating bullet journal daily spreads
Row & Column stencil
Instead of counting boxes, invest in a row and column stencil. See this post for reviews of 5 different brands offering stencils like this (and which one is my favorite).
An erasable pen (specifically the Pilot Frixion erasable pen), is a non-negotiable for me. I never bullet journal without it.
Quality bullet journal & a draft bullet journal
The reason I say both is that I use cheaper notebooks to draft layouts, before setting them up in better notebooks (usually 160 GSM thick paper), where I add color, stickers etc.
Browse more than 80 bullet journal notebook reviews here.
I like to use the Poppin ruler because its thick and heavy so it doesn’t slip easily – it stays in place when I’m ruling lines.
I usually use the Frixion erasable stamps and the Happy Planner checklist stamps.
7 Bullet journal daily spreads to try this week
Mentioned in the video:
- Row and column stencils – different brands compared (and which one is my favorite)
- I showed the Moxie Dorie Bullet Journal Ruler in this video
- Favorite erasable pens
- Free printable daily planner (existing blog subscribers can login to the free printables library here).
- How to resize any printable to suit any page size
- My ecourse showing how I make printables
1. The essentials
If you want to try daily planning, start simple! The layout below has what most people consider to be the ‘essential’ sections:
- Top 3
- Hourly schedule (I did 8am to 10pm but you can of course choose whatever time intervals work for you)
- To do list
You can easily tweak the size of any of the sections if you need to add something extra e.g. a shorter checklist and then add a box for fitness underneath.
2. The open ended layout
If you don’t know where to start or what sections you need, go broad.
The spread below has a simple morning, afternoon and evening layout with 4 different sized boxes for each time interval. You could use these however you please, and you might not use an entire row of boxes for the same thing for each time interval.
- Top box – priority tasks
- Larger box – for appointments
- Smaller box – meals
- Bottom box – notes & reminders
3. Task based daily layout
If you’re tired of daily planning layouts that include a timed schedule, try this layout instead:
- Top 3 priority
- Pomoro’s tracker
- Appointments & Reminders
- To do checklist
- Daily review
4. Work / Life Balance
If you still want to schedule out your day but instead of doing it by intervals, you only schedule out things that need to be done at a set time. I created this spread if you’re aiming for work / life balance with sections for:
- Priority box
- Time & task / appointment
- Grateful For
- To do
5. The classic workday layout
A classic for a reason, if you’ve been shopping for a daily planner you’ve probably seen a layout similar to the below with a schedule and a to do list. I created this spread with a weekday in mind so you can put your work tasks in the schedule section that runs from 7am to 5pm, and then an evening section for your personal stuff (as the personal stuff probably doesn’t need to be scheduled down to the hour).
- Scheduling layout – leave 2 rows per hour if you want to do a half hourly schedule or have large handwriting
- Evening section
- Focus box
- Quick tasks
- Notes & Reminders
6. Categorized & Focused
If you want a very structured layout where each ‘thing’ has it’s own section, try this layout.
- The schedule starts at 6am through to 10am so you can schedule every waking hour
- The must do box features a top 3
- Quick tasks for when you have a few minutes spare to squeeze even more into your day
- B, L D for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Pomodoro tracker – either color in or cross off the boxes where you successfully completed a pomodoro without breaking your concentration
- Daily review box (including a rating out of 10)
I made this layout with a university student in mind but you could also use it if you’re self employed, or as a weekend planner if you’re working on a side hustle and have limited time.
7. Priorities & Time based
If you want the best of both – organizing your day by time and by priority, I created this simple layout.
- Must do
- Should do
- If I have time
I ordered the must do box beside the morning – following the ‘eat that frog’ principal where you do the hardest / most important task first.
You could increase or decrease the size of the boxes depending on how you structure your day. If I was going to use this on the weekend I’d make the morning box smaller and the evening box bigger as I go to bed late and like to sleep in.
Save time drawing up spreads
Once you find a daily planning layout you like, save time by turning it into a printable. I use Affinity Publisher and my ecourse includes a tutorial on how to make daily planners (among many other tutorials for making printables!)
If you still want to use a bullet journal, you can resize printables and paste them into your notebook using a glue stick or washi tape. Tutorial for resizing printables to any page size is here.
More bullet journal spread ideas
- Planner Inspiration: 10 Rainbow Weekly Spread Ideas
- 10 Bullet Journal Landscape Page Orientation Weekly Spreads
- 15 Quick and Simple Vertical Bullet Journal Weekly Spreads
- 10 Quick horizontal bullet journal 2 page weekly spreads
- 25 Ideas for your Bullet Journal To Do List Spreads
Bullet journal tips
- 8 Ways to use highlighters for Bullet Journal Spreads
- Best stencils for bullet journal daily, weekly and monthly spreads
- Drawing bullet journal spreads on paper versus digitally on an iPad: whihc is faster?
- 50 Themes for your planner or bullet journal spreads
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