Let’s dive in, shall we?
I mentioned in one of my earlier Bullet Journal blog posts (this one) how my weekly spread was a later addition to my system. At first glance, it seems redundant to put bullets in a weekly spread and then again in a daily spread. But there are several advantages that I have found in keeping a weekly spread.
Advantage #1 – When I used to only use dailies for my day-to-day tasks, I used to have a difficult time seeing whether I had accomplished ALL the tasks I needed to that week. Searching through multiple lists of tasks to make sure I got each one done was tedious. So when I put them all together in a master weekly spread, it helped me keep track of these crucial, routine tasks.
Advantage #2 – It also gives me a chance at the end of the previous week (or the start of that week, depending when I get around to it) to do a “brain dump” of everything I need to get done. Literally…everything I KNOW I have to do that week…dumped into a singular list in a singular place. Some bullet journalists have a separate spread JUST for brain dumps. For me, the weekly spread is the perfect place for this.
Advantage #3 – A weekly spread also allows me to keep a running spread of different meetings or day-long events I’m involved with that week. I do add the timeframe of these appointments to my time trackers on my daily spreads. But I only indicate them with asterisks, so I know to reference my weekly spread to see what the appointment entails. No need to rewrite the details…just go back to my weekly spread as needed.
Advantage #4 – I also mentioned this in a previous blog post (also this one) that tracking daily habits helped me remember and actually DO the healthy daily habits I wish to adopt. I used to track water intake on my daily spreads (created these cute stickers). But adding these trackers to the dailies just because a hassle (and an unnecessary expense…all those Avery labels!!). So all of these habits I wish to track were consolidated and moved into the weekly tracker. This became the PERFECT balance of “not-to-tedious” and “not-too-lengthy,” as if my trackers extend beyond a week, I tend to give up on them.
So…here’s how I set up and use my weekly spreads.
The Set-Up: How I Layout Each Week
Of course, the first thing is to show you how I draw out my layout (using my Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen F in Black). One trick that helps me be consistent in drawing out my lines is using the PREVIOUS week’s weekly spread to mark off where the vertical lines should be drawn (one reason why I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE gridded notebooks).
Then, using the metric side of my ruler (because the grids are 2 squares per cm), I mark off where the horizontal lines go. Then…let the line drawing begin!
Then the date header goes in the space in the top right of the spread. Normally, I would use my Jinhao X450 Fountain Pen with a Goulet #6 Steel Nib – Black, 1.5mm Stub, inked with Noodler’s Black ink. But…I didn’t have it with me when I was laying out this week’s spread. So I just used my Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen F in Black and did some faux calligraphy.
*Note: All of the fountain pen items were purchased through Goulet Pens, which is why I linked their site. However, there are many sites out there you can choose from. I just happen to really like Goulet Pens and their customer service! I highly recommend their products (at least the ones I purchased…like their notebook inserts I reviewed here).*
I then use a combination of my Stabil0 Pen68 Minis and Staedtler Triplus Fineliners (in the color scheme pictured later) to add the days of the week and other colorful additions to give the weekly spread some life!
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m using the color GREEN for the month of December.
So the result?
The Weekly Calendar: Time-Specific versus Day-Specific
Now that the template has been drawn, it’s time to plan!
The first step is to go to my iCal and Outlook calendars and see what appointments, meetings, and other time-specific events are going on this week. I add these to the left column of my Weekly Calendar.
The right column of the spread are DAY-specific events. These events span a large number of hours during the day. Either these are things that I am doing on those days, or something a family member is doing and I need to remember.
Tracking Progress: Habit Trackers, Projects, and Routine Chores
The second step is to lay out my habit tracker, projects, and chores for the week.
The habit tracker is just that…as I complete each of these goals/tasks for that day, I fill in the appropriate box. My goals for this year was to be more active, drink plenty of water, and read more. Therefore, I make sure to track these things on a weekly basis.
- The top two are based on the goals I’ve set on my Apple Watch Series 2 Activity Rings.
- Next, I track whether I drink at least 10 cups of water during the day (my “Water Goal”). I use my Atlas Mason jar (an old “Classico” pasta sauce jar) to measure out 2.5 cups at a time (the amount of water in one full jar).
- I also track whether I have read from my Bible Reading Plan that day. I am reading through the “Reading God’s Story: One-Year Chronological Plan” by the YouVersion Bible App. I’m really excited that I will be done with the reading plan at the end of this week!
- As for my “Other Reading” tracker…I have been leaving those spaces blank recently, as I have not been doing much additional reading. But this doesn’t really bother me because I have more than exceeded my 1 book per month reading goal for 2016 already (25 books read over the past 12 months…#WINNING!!).
The “Projects” section is a list of multi-step projects I need to finish by the end of the week (or over a few weeks). By having this general overview of major projects I need to accomplish, I keep my focus on the smaller tasks associated and make sure I’m not forgetting a step in the process. I know exactly what these tasks are for each project now, and no longer reference my “project overviews and task lists” I created.
Perhaps…another post for another day! 😉
Finally, the Chores Schedule helps me brain dump all of the household chores and tasks I need to do that week, while assigning them to specific days of the week. These tasks are then placed on my DAILY task lists. They are also placed on the time trackers as to what time during the day I would attempt to get them done. This has been a LIFESAVER in keeping clean clothes available to my family, maintaining a fairly clean house, and making sure to keep the dust mites out of our bedding…among other things.
So that is the general process for my weekly planning. If there is anything else you are curious about, feel free to leave me questions in the comments below.
Next week, we’ll finish out this miniseries with a look into how I layout my monthly spreads. There isn’t much planning that occurs on a monthly basis, but there are a few aspects of my monthly overview I wanted to share.
But until then…hope life bring you much learning and love, especially this holiday season!