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When I started my first bullet journal, I tried to follow the system laid out by Ryderr Carroll as closely as possible. While I knew this organizational system is meant to be customizable (it’s what makes it so special!) I also wanted to make sure that I was starting off on the right foot.
My productivity is very important to me, which is why I preach the benefits of bullet journaling on my blog. Keeping a journal has been one of the best decisions of my life. It has truly helped me stay focused on my tasks and has helped me reach my goals.
Aside from that, it’s made me a more positive and secure person. I now feel more calm and centered. Life is more organized and much less chaotic.
I have my daily spreads to thank for that. Some people love their weeklies, but I’m a big fan of the daily layout. It’s what motivates me to complete my daily tasks so that I can accomplish what I need to.
After all, each completed task gets you one step closer to achieving your goals.
How To Use a Daily Layout to Improve Productivity
I’ve experimented with different spreads and finally found something that works for me. I’m sharing it below in hopes of helping others. You can take what you like about it, and then create a spread that fits your unique needs (or you can copy mine!).
In all my years of keeping a planner, I have come to understand that you MUST concentrate your efforts on tasks that are actually going to help you accomplish an important goal.
Simply keeping yourself busy with tasks that are not that important are only going to waste your energy, inflate your motivation, and get you closer to giving up on your dreams.
It’s called “busy work”. While these things do sometimes need to get done, they shouldn’t take priority over your more important and often more difficult tasks.
For instance, clearing your inbox first thing in the morning might seem like a good idea, but is it getting you closer to your goals? Or is it simply making you feel like you’re working hard when in reality, you’re just wasting time on a menial task?
Use the Most Productive Time of Your Day Wisely
Mornings are usually the most productive time of the day for many people, including myself, and using those precious hours on non-priority tasks is just plain wasteful.
This is why I create my daily spread every morning. Every day, I figure out what my most important tasks are, based on my weekly and monthly goals.
Today, writing this blog was my number #1 priority. So, I broke down my tasks from most important (#1) to least important (#5). All of the tasks I wrote down in my bullet journal were all going to help me accomplish my #1 Goal.
Doing it this way helps to ensure that I spend my energy working on my top priorities, instead of on things that simply aren’t going to get me any closer to my professional goals.
When these tasks are completed, I can move on to less important tasks in the “Additional Tasks” section.
Below you’ll find my daily spread. It’s easy to create and not at all time-consuming. Sometimes I use washi tape and stickers to add color to the spread, and sometimes all I use is my black erasable pen. It all depends on my mood!
You can see that I designated a separate space for “Errands“, “Exercise“, and “Hydration“. This way, I don’t mistake an errand for a top-priority task or get derailed by it. This helps me to stay focused.
I also like to track my exercise and hydration, because I’m trying to get into better shape and be healthier, so tracking my progress pushes me to get my water and workouts in. Try it!
As for the gratitude log you see at the bottom of the page, I learned a long time ago that writing down what you’re grateful for can remind you of all the thing you take for granted.
Keeping this log has helped me to understand just how blessed I am and how lucky I am to have loving people in my life, a roof over my head, and everything I need to live a happy life.
And that’s it! That sums up my super-easy daily spread. It’s so simple – anyone can do it.
Daily spreads have pushed me to become a more productive person. I get FAR more done now than I EVER did before I started bullet journaling. I hope it helps you, too!
Check out the daily spread below by @theletterlingo. She made a compartment for her assignments, her trackers, an inspirational quote, and a notes section!
This daily spread by @plusbizarre is another example of how a daily bullet journal layout can help draw your attention to your priorities, to what you should focus on for the day, what you should be grateful for, and what you should remember to track.
As you can see from my spread below, I am not an expert drawer- far from it! It’s just not one of my talents.
I’m definitely a minimalist when it comes to my bullet journal. I love a minimal bullet journal spread because it’s functional and also because I like the look of a clean and neat spread.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy an artistic colorful spread, however. I think they definitely have their place in the bullet journal. I think they’re better suited for monthly and weekly spreads, though.
I admire all the bullet journalists out there that create interesting-looking spreads. I find them so inspiring.
It’s just not realistic for me, however. I know it’s not realistic for lots of people.
That’s why I think it’s so important for you to see that you don’t need to be an artist to start a bullet journal – that’s a limiting bujo myth and mindset! A bujo is supposed to be an organizational system first, after all.
Don’t ever think that you don’t have what it takes to keep journaling, because you do!