A blank page in a dot grid notebook = so many possible spreads! If you’re not sure where to start (or you have the other problem – too many spreads and need to narrow it down!) these are the 7 (I think) useful spreads you should add to your bullet journal.
1. Packing List
One of the first printables I ever made was a packing list as it takes a long time to rule up the page and write out everything you need. So if you’re going to do it, make it worthwhile and add multiple columns either for multiple trips for yourself, or to keep the entire family’s packing list in the one place instead of everyone wasting time writing out the same items.
2. Favorite meals list
You could just write this list out but… if you put each meal on sticky notes and color coordinate them (e.g. green = chicken, blue = seafood etc.) then you’ll have a functional and colorful spread. Doing meal planning will be quick as you only need to transfer the sticky notes and can easily rearrange if your plans change.
3. To do list
But not just any to do list, don’t just dump everything on the same page. I like to use an entirely separate notebook/s dedicated only to lists. And within those notebooks I have separate pages for each list. I prefer to use a discbound notebook for my lists so I can organize / cluster lists by category (blog post lists, shop product ideas lists etc.).
I also print some useful printables and add those to my discbound notebooks e.g. cleaning checklists. I mainly use the ARC A5 notebook, Happy Notes classic and the Happy Notes mini. The reason I use discbound notebooks is that I can add, remove and rearrange pages as often as I like.
For lists that aren’t going to change very often like books to read, I go to a bit more effort to add some color and make them look prettier. I also put them in my good bullet journal notebooks (the expensive ones with better paper like the Archer and Olive.
Related Post: Bullet Journal notebooks with the best paper (my top 7)
Some lists I think every bullet journal / planner should have:
- Cleaning chore chart (categorised by room and another for seasonal cleaning tasks)
- Life admin to do list (download one for free here)
- Favorite meals list (if you don’t want to use the sticky notes method I mentioned earlier in this post)
- Books to read
- Things to do when bored
- 10 minute, 15 minutes, 30 min and 60 minute lists
- Things to learn
4. Last time I did list
Use this for anything you need to do, but not very often. E.g. the date you last updated your will, cleaned the air con filters, reviewed your mortgage interest rate etc.
More ideas for things to track in these posts:
5. Monthly planning
Most people seem to do an annual planner / future log and a monthly calendar, but they skip over the monthly planning page.
Some of the things I include as part of my monthly planning:
- Brain dump life admin & reminders – all those random / annoying things like visit the dentist
- Brain dump to do list (for my shop and blog)
- Projects (and when I intend to work on them e.g. focus on goal 3 on the 3rd week of the month. Or spread the steps involved in that project among the days of the month). I used to do this on paper but would change things so often that I switched to using Microsoft Excel. I use a gantt chart style format for this (download my template here). I use a similar format for annual planning too (download my template for that here). if you do want to do this in your bullet journal, you should definitely use erasable pens
- Meal planning
I usually use a minimum of 4 pages (sometimes more, sometimes less – depends how busy the month is and what page size / notebook I use).
6. Habit tracker
If you’re not using a habit tracker… why?? One of the most useful pages! It’s a quick, efficient (and can be pretty!) way of tracking not only habits but little recurring tasks / reminders you don’t want to waste space in your planner e.g. reminder to do a face mask twice a week
If you want to save time and / like the look of a printable rather than hand-drawing, you can find a tutorial on how to resize to suit any bullet journal notebook in this post.
7. Password Log
Not adding a picture to this post (for obvious reasons!) but a password log is so handy. You won’t realise just how many passwords you have until you start writing them down.
More planning tips
- Choosing sections for your planner: what to keep in your weekly planner versus a household binder
- 10 ways to save money when buying planner supplies
- My all time favorite planner supplies
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