Today I want to try something a little different and share some examples of monthly spread layouts you could try in your bullet journal. I’ve been bullet journaling for over four years now and the way I bullet journal has changed a lot during that time.
One of the things I’ve always loved about bullet journaling is that I can be experimental and try out new things. If you visit the bullet journal website, there is an example of how the monthly log should be laid out. But there are also a lot of different options when it comes to customising the monthly log and getting creative with it.
Today, I want to share some of the most common monthly spread layouts and also give you ideas on how these can be customised based on your preferences and planning style.
5 Monthly Spread Layouts To Try In Your Bullet Journal
What Is The Monthly Log?
The bullet journal monthly log has changed over time as bullet journalers have adapted it to their specific needs. The original monthly log is intended as a place to map out specific events happening over that month.
The monthly log is something you can add to before the month starts. Noting events which are going to happen. But it is also a place you can go back to. Adding in notable events after they happened. In a way, acting as a sort of memory keeping journal.
The monthly log is a great place to start if you’re new to bullet journaling. This is the master of all monthly spread layouts and consists of a simple list of dates with their corresponding days of the week.
This form of monthly log would usually appear on the left page of a double-page spread. The right-hand page would contain a list of tasks you want to achieve throughout the month. These tasks would consist of unfinished tasks from the previous month, along with new tasks that have arisen from new projects and events.
If you like a minimal style of planning the original monthly log can’t get any simpler. But there are a few small tricks you can use to make the monthly log a little easier to understand.
One of the things I would highly recommend is making it more obvious where each week ends. This was one of the few problems I had with the original bullet journal. It’s hard to see a single week out of the monthly log.
A simple trick I used is to find some way of defining the end of a week. You could do something simple such as drawing a horizontal line across the page at the end of one week. Or look into using multiple colours on your monthly log. You don’t need to get fancy with this; it could mean using a pen and a pencil to create the log. Or a pen and a highlighter. Even something as simple as highlighting the weekend, or writing those dates in an alternate colour makes it easier to see individual weeks.
Monthly Log With Categories
If you have multiple things you want to track in your monthly log, you can separate them into categories. The monthly log stays mostly the same, but you divide the page vertically based on the number of categories you need.
For example, if you have a job and want a specific place in your bullet journal to note down the hours, you are working. This same method could be adapted for other needs, for example, if you are a student. You could have a space dedicated to noting down lectures, tutorials and seminars. You could even combine this with colour coding to help you stay organised.
A few years ago, I combined a monthly log with a tracker for my blog. The combination lets me see the month as a whole, but it also allows me to see the days I would be posting on my blog. The tracker also lets me see various tasks which were related to these blog posts.
I loved using this layout. And it was particularly useful if I was posting many times in a single month. It was straightforward to look at my blog tracker and see what tasks needed doing. Because the tracker links to a calendar, it also means I can organise tasks based on what is more important.
The only downside of tracking blog posts in this way using a bullet journal was when I decided to change posting dates. It was a hassle having to change parts of the tracker. I’ve changed how I track blog posts in my bullet journal to help with this problem.
Monthly Log On Two Pages
Instead of having a traditional monthly log on one page, you may decide to spread it out over two pages. There could be a few reasons for this first because you want more space for each day on your monthly log. If you add notable events as a way of memory keeping, you may want more space in your monthly log.
You may also decide to add some space between each week in the month. Rather than using colour or lines to define a single week, you can add in a break between each week. Extra lines between each week can work well, but it may mean you run out of space on the page.
There is a downside to this in that you may not be able to integrate a tracker or vertically divide your monthly log is split over two pages.
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You may also have the problem that you don’t have enough space on a single page to lay out a full month, even without adding spaces between each week. There is always a chance your notebook isn’t big enough to lay out an entire month on one page.
In the past, I’ve used an MD Paper notebook as a bullet journal. As much as I love using this notebook, one of the annoying things about it is that I can’t fit a monthly log on one page. So I divided my monthly log over two pages, with my goals section at the bottom.
If you use a small notebook, such as an A6 size notebook you may also have to split your monthly log over two pages. I enjoyed using this layout in my A6 notebook. The monthly log fits nicely over two pages. If you like keeping a minimal bullet journal, I would highly recommend trying out an A6 notebook.
Traditional Calendar View
A more traditional calendar view can be convenient if the traditional monthly log layout doesn’t give you enough space to plan out your month.
One of the great things about the calendar view is that you can get creative with the layout. You can use a minimal calendar or go all out with a theme and illustrations. You can choose the size of your calendar and which day of the week it starts on.
The only problem with this calendar view is that it can get technical. It can also take a long time to set up each month. If you want to spend more time planning than decorating your bullet journal, you may be happier using a traditional monthly log.
I’ve used a traditional calendar view many times in the past, and I love how creative I can be with this spread. You can even combine them with some sort of health or blog tracker.
Or you could add space around the side of the calendar to track your most important tasks for the month. With this sort of layout, your only real limitation is what you can imagine up. Though if we’re being real here, the same thing could be said for bullet journaling in general.
Calendar On One Page
If you don’t need as much space in your calendar, you could always try a traditional calendar view on one page. Again the size of this can be changed depending on your needs. Sometimes you don’t need a massive calendar in your bullet journal, especially if you’re like me and use multiple bullet journals for different projects.
If you’re more for the artistic side of bullet journaling, this calendar view could be as simple as just the days of the week, with space to highlight important days. You might not even need space to write on this calendar view.
You can even create tiny calendars which you could include on weekly and daily spreads. These calendars can be customised if you want to see a specific week. Sometimes it can be a hassle if you have to draw out a calendar each week. But I know its a popular thing for some people to do.
And that was five examples of monthly spread layouts which you could try in your bullet journal. I’ve tried to show the main types of monthly log. From here you can customise these layouts to be as minimal or artistic as you like.
There are no real rules when it comes to this. Your bullet journal is unique to you. Sometimes it can be fun looking on Pinterest or Instagram to get ideas from what other people are doing in their bullet journals. But don’t think you need to create anything fancy. A minimal bullet journal layout can look just as lovely as an elaborate one.