Throughout this crazy time in our lives, it’s essential that we take the time we need to check in with ourselves and to periodically escape the chaos of life. For me, on of my favorite ways to escape chaos is to work on my journal.
In previous posts, I talked about how much journaling helps me to keep track of everything going on in my life. I use the bullet journal system, which helps because it functions as a to-do list as well as a way to check in with myself. However, when I find the time to work on it, I usually spend more time than I’d like to admit scrolling through pages and pages of social media (and Pinterest especially) trying to find the perfect bullet journal spread to recreate in my own notebook. I’m much more of a minimalist than I am an artist at this point, and so when I see those photos of beautiful artwork covering entire journal spreads, I appreciate their effort for a moment and then move along to find something within my skill level.
Since I’m always on the hunt for a minimalist, low-effort journal spread that works for my life, I wanted to share some of my favorite journal pages, and hopefully it helps someone out there on their search!
This was my cover page for 2020. I shared a photo of it in a previous post as well! I originally did this because I saw something on social media similar to it, and decided to recreate it myself. I ended up adding the border around the edge of the page because I wanted a bit more of a separation between this year’s journal and the previous year’s entries.
This is an example from February of my most common page this year. I didn’t plan on making these pages the way they ended up, but then I ended up mostly creating these daily schedules while I was either at work in the mornings or during class, when I didn’t have any of my washi tapes or colorful pens with me. However, this style really ended up working for me! Each page is very simplistic, gets straight to the point, and acts as a place for everything I need that day to land. For me, the pressure to make each page visually appealing can seriously impact my productivity. I also just don’t work as well with so many visual distractions taking away from the important things on the page!
The best way for me to track all of my homework for school and all of my long term projects is to use the page layout on the left. It helps me to break my to-do list into sections, and in this page my homework is divided by class. I also have a column on the right of each goal where I can write down the deadline for each long-term project.
The page on the right was a more fun page I did sometime in March when I couldn’t imagine what I was going to do with all of my free time! I made this list so that whenever I felt down or bored, I could go find something fun or creative to do to ease my mind. However, I didn’t expect it to become one of my favorite pages! I really like how the title came out, since it’s so simple but also fun and colorful! A lot of my journal ended up being black and white, so I do like to throw in a pop of color every so often to change it up. I also like how this list is just straight to the point. Whenever I make lists, I leave empty space at the bottom, because it seems like there’s always something that I forget and have to go back and add later on!
For the design of this month’s cover page, I used the exact same concept of my 2020 cover page, but I decided to simply add less to it to make it more visually appealing and reduce the distraction. I love the way this spread turned out! It’s similar to monthly spreads I’ve done in the past, but without any of the things I just didn’t use, like copying the month’s calendar into my journal. I just didn’t ever write down my tasks in the calendar, and I don’t have many events and dates I need to remember. I also used to add a gratitude log for each day of the month, but I realized I just don’t enjoy flipping all the way back to the beginning of the month to do it. So, cut out all the clutter, and this is what I had left! At the top of the page on the right, I have a simplistic goals list for the month. I’m definitely planning on adding more to this as I go, and possibly changing it to have separate goals for each week too, so that I don’t have to flip to this page too often. At the bottom of the page is a list of books I’d like to read or finish reading this month. Because I have plenty of free time now that my exams have just finished, I’m planning on reading many more books and adding to this list!
Finally, here is my layout for this week! This is the first time I’m using this exact layout for my weeks, but it’s been helping me finish out this semester, so I’m sure I’ll continue using this layout in the future! On the left I have a giant to-do list for the week, and it’s separated into three sections – school/work, self-care, and home.The section for schoolwork also has all of my schoolwork divided up by class! On the right, each day is divided up so I can add any events going on or things that have to be done on a specific day. I can also use the space to write down any notes or random thoughts I want to remember for later!
The only things I’m thinking of changing about this spread is maybe adding a sleep tracker, a habit tracker, or a gratitude log section in my self-care section of my to do list. I usually use my bullet journal as a way to track my tasks, but I’m figuring out how can incorporate more self-care into my weekly spreads! The other thing I plan on changing for next week is the style of the page on the right. I’m not sure how I feel about it being so divided up, and I want to make it appear slightly less boxy for next week, and possibly add some subtle pops of color too!
That’s all of my favorite pages so far in my journal! I would love any feedback on the journal, or any ways I could improve the style or function of it!
I hope you enjoyed!