While I wouldn’t argue that the daily spread in my bullet journal is everything, I find that I’m much more successful in my daily life when I use it. If I plan my day in advance and review it at the end of the day, I’m much more likely to achieve this goal through daily spreads.
Daily Spreads History:
In the past, I’ve used several different kinds of daily printables, searching for months and trying to find one that fit all my needs. It was an unsuccessful process in the long run. If there is one thing I’ve learned using bullet journals and printables, it’s that almost no daily reflects the same set of priorities that I value. For instance, in this example below (purchased from Etsy), you can see how important the schedule is. You can also see how much I did not use the schedule or the notes/ideas/memories section. What I valued in this printable was the prioritization of goals, the weather, my to-do list, and the water tracking.
My Daily Spread Today:
These days, I created my primary daily spread in my bujo using Laura Smith’s How to Create Printables course and reflects the things important now. They represent the things that I care about tracking in my day to day life. There is no guarantee I’ll feel this way even a month from now, but for the moment, I value other aspects and habits that I want to track.
In many ways, I’ve kept and/or adapted what other daily printables do, starting with the schedule. In my daily spread, the schedule box is relatively small. I use it to track appointments or gym classes I hope to attend. My daily schedule is generally not that variable, so I’ve wound doing time-blocking on a full week spread. The time-blocking Passion Planner weekly spread shows a more detailed overview, but my schedule is full of repeating things like “morning commute” or “work” and doesn’t need to be on my daily spread.
The next boxes are daily expenses which I have unfortunately fallen out of the habit of tracking (and my spending reflects that level of carelessness when it comes to tracking my expenses). I left it on my daily spread so I can remind myself to stay on track and transfer into You Need a Budget account.
Priorities – Most Important Space:
The essential box, however, is my top 5 priorities box. I may not always hit them, but I do at least try to note the top 5 things that I should do that day. It’s both an adaptation of top 3 goals and a reflection of the four months that I tried out the Productivity Planner. These top 5 priorities give me the chance to feel like I’ve accomplished something (even if it’s only one thing off the list). It also serves as a record of what I value at that given moment in my life.
The gym schedule box is where I track the fitness classes that I’ve taken (or more often than not, where I track what classes I’m thinking about trying) or the time I’ve spent at the gym. Unlike my original printable’s focus, it’s located higher on the page since I’m working on improving my health. It also does not include the water tracking which I was prioritizing at that time. These days I drink 125 oz of water daily and track it on my phone, using the Water Minder app. Additionally, I track my WW healthy habits on a weekly printable that I made that includes Fitpoints, non-scale victories, water, and my daily SP breakdown.
The two bottom sets of trackers are my favorite parts of my daily spread. The media tracker tracks what I’m reading, watching, and listening at any given moment and illuminates fun patterns. For instance, the days where I’m clearly binging a tv show or addicted to an artist. I know I spent the first six months of 2017 listening to either the Hamilton soundtrack or the Something Rotten soundtrack thanks to my daily spreads.
Part of this interest in tracking my cultural intake emerges out of my desire to pay attention to whose representation takes precedence in the works that I consume. I actively seek out shows with more women and people of color as a scholar of gender and cultural studies since I’m keenly aware of their underrepresentation.
The balance tracker incorporates some of my favorite aspect of other people’s tracking ideas when it comes to the smaller things. I use the memory box to record something of note each day, good or bad. Most recently, I tracked my excitement at telling a potential employer that I could not possibly take a pay cut or make a lateral move, salary-wise. It was a good memory overall. On the other hand, when I had a health scare with my cat in early July, I tracked how much I enjoyed spending time with him, marking a worried and sad memory. In this case, Rory turned out okay, but I can’t disassociate that feeling of helplessness and worry from playing with him that day.
The happiness tracker resulted from the determination I feel to figure out what matters to me. It also exists as a reminder that I can always find some small happiness in all days. Finally, the gratitude space stands out as a reminder that gratitude matters even at a low moment.
For me, my daily spread emphasizes the fleeting aspects of life. However, it also gives me space to mark moments and to show that what I do and what I prioritize matters. I feel satisfaction and accomplishment on the days in which I focus on the daily spread.
What do you include in your daily bullet journal tracker? Let me know in the comments.