Before 2021, I was unaware of the impact that bullet journals could have on your life. I had always seen photos of spreads on social media and all of the fun doodles that decorated the page, but I never really looked into what the contents of bullet journals were. I’ve found out through watching numerous YouTube videos all of the different kinds of spreads you can make in your journal to help and motivate you in life. From spreads that help you map out your busy days, to ones that help you appreciate the little things in life, there are so many spreads to choose from. I’ve laid out a few of my favorite spreads that help me get my life together but also allow me to express myself creatively. Not only are bullet journals a creative outlet, but they are also a helpful tool to help you navigate through this crazy life.
Mood and mental health spreads
One of the main reasons I began bullet journaling was to track my moods, thoughts, and emotions. I wanted to see how I was feeling over time tangibly and aesthetically, as that motivates me to get the journaling done. Doodling the pages and making them into mini art pieces is a therapeutic way for me to express myself while working towards the goal of tracking my mental health. Mood trackers are a monthly must for me, and I suggest them to anyone who wants to dip their toe into bullet journaling or mental health-focused journaling. They are one of the most popular types of spreads that I see online, but for a good reason. They’re a great way to track how you’re feeling while not being too taxing, as most of the time you just color in a doodle or shape based on the mood of that day. A fun challenge-like spread is to write down one thing you love about yourself every day. It’s a great way to see just how great you are! A go-to I always resort to is a gratitude log. They help me realize all that I'm blessed with in life and are always a joy to look back on.
Nostalgic and fun spreads
Bullet journals double as a helpful tool and a nostalgic time capsule. Some of my favorite spreads like this are monthly playlist spreads where I jot down my favorite tunes of that month or highlight reel spreads where I lay out the best things that happened that month or week. While I have yet to try them, there are film-related spreads as well. I’ve seen many Pinterest posts of spreads where people record their favorite movies, shows and characters at the time. I’ve seen this with books too, where you can even add rating and favorite part sections. I think these are fun, easy and light-hearted spreads that you can look back on in the years to come to transport you back to that time in your life.
Adulting and lifestyle spreads
We’ve all got our schedules piled high with schoolwork, extracurriculars, hobbies, friends, families—the list goes on. On top of that, we are entering adulthood and are having more responsibilities placed on our plates every day. I have found certain spreads to help me immensely when trying to organize my life. Budget plans and trackers are a must for me. There are many ways to set up this kind of spread, and you’ll have to mess around with a few to see which works best for you. Financial spreads work wonders for college students and young adults, as you can see right in front of you where your money is going. I’ve also seen spreads where people track their online orders and deliveries or even their content creation schedules if they are in the social media realm. There are also birthday spreads, grocery planning spreads, fitness trackers— the possibilities are endless!
No matter how much I have grown to love bullet journaling, there are still days when I don’t even feel like making my favorite spreads. Some days, I will accept that and not even try, but others, I will look to fellow creators for inspiration. Some of my favorite bullet journal content creators are AmandaRachLee and Caitlin Da Silva on YouTube. Not only do they offer creative inspiration in terms of design and aesthetics, but they also remind me of all the benefits that bullet journaling can have. Scattered throughout various social media platforms, you can find ideas for spreads, themes and just about anything you can imagine. I suggest looking to YouTube or Pinterest when you are in a creative rut or can’t seem to figure out what to create next.