My essential bullet journal layouts

Many have called Ryder Carroll’s bullet journal system life changing.  He describes it as “The analog system for the digital age”.  Mine is a diary and a place to brain dump and keep all my lists (yup, I’m a list person) – essentially it frees up my mind to concentrate on the job in hand or unwind when work is done.  I also love stationery and this habit happily feeds that desire!

Whether you’ve been journalling a while or just starting out, there are certain types of page you will definitely need.  Ryder recommends a key, index, future log, monthly log, and then a weekly or daily log plus ‘collections’.  I’m sharing with you the layouts for these pages which have worked for me.

For me it’s about the structure and saving time so you wont see doodles and sketches here.  Those journals are beautiful but the aim of mine is to save time, not spend hours making it perfect.  So please excuse the typos etc!

These layouts are tried and tested and made it in the migration across from my 2016 bullet journal.  Of course, the best thing about bullet journals is the ability to make them suit your own style and life, so these won’t all fit with you but they will surely inspire you.


essential bullet journal layouts

I like to colour the square around the task icon when it is complete (rather than turn it into a tick as Ryder does) – I find it more satisfying and it adds colour.





essential bullet journal layouts

essential bullet journal layouts

This year I put the collections I brought forward to 2017 in the front of the journal and I’m trying to keep them together in the index.

Then the second page of index is free for the monthly and weekly logs, which I refer back to less often.  My collections are easier to find this way.







future log

bullet journalAfter I ran out of room last year I have gone with full-length columns this time as my notes are brief and don’t need much width.  I had room for little calendars too.  This spread is invaluable to me as I need to put dates in quite far ahead.



monthly spread

This is maybe my least-used page but still a useful overview and good for last-minute appointments and changes.  Each month, simply copy appointments across from the future log.



weekly spread

I gave up doing a daily spread as it was demoralizing re-writing my task list with little progress each day. I find it difficult to plan around my kids well enough to schedule tasks. So each week, I copy tasks and appointments across from monthly log and migrate any incomplete tasks from the previous week.  The raindrops get coloured-in when I drink water.  I haven’t changed this layout for months so I think I’ve found a keeper!


I look forward to the day I feel I will have time to read books again and list them in my bullet journal!  For now my collection pages are mainly utilitarian.

This one is like a mini Ravelry queue for things I’m making. 






I like to keep track of things I order online so I don’t forget to chase up late deliveries.






I used to have a scrap of worn paper with a packing list (all the things kids need!) but thanks to my bullet journal I have a lovely neat re-useable list.






Here is my cleaning tracker – see more on that in this post .






This is a great little page for noting those things you don’t want to have to remember – like the last time you turned the mattress.  Yawn.

essential bullet journal layouts







Having had major building work done recently, there are a lot of little jobs that need doing and things that had to slide due to budget constraints.  I’m now starting to schedule these to months.







This is my newest page – ideas for updating the colour-scheme in our bathroom.  I’ll never manage to contain it to one spread though!






Another invaluable page now – when the birthdays are and what I’m going to gift.  I do a similar page for Christmas which is a lifesaver!








I have a love-hate relationship with the next page… the layout is great for someone who actually manages to do structured exercise – the little clocks are a fab visual boost. Shame I can’t get in gear with it! ‘One day’ I will need more than one clock per week!







hand-writing and stationery

I keep a reference page for my favourite script font and here is my stationery ‘kit’.

Clockwise from top left: Copper geometric notebook from Sainsbury’s / Dual tip brush pens from WHSmith (x2) / Staedtler chisel tip pigment liner 0.3-2.0mm, black (see Amazon).  The ‘Love’ pencil case is from Wilko.  I also use a Leuchtturm journal (affiliate link):

That should give you plenty of ideas – what are you waiting for?  Go and journal!

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for your bullet journal and the layouts are tried and tested - have a look, you might find the perfect page for your life.

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