I've used a weekly visual budget tracker, where I log my expenses and fill in the bar as I spend up to my discretionary target.
Over the years I’ve cycled through many iterations of layouts, experimenting a lot with what I need or don’t need. I get so excited about the endless ideas of what I could include in my planner that sometimes I’d be overloaded. Despite this, over all the trials, there were a few things that I always went “home” to in my planner:
A weekly view, to have an overarching idea of what I am working toward in the week
A focus on to-do lists, to free up my mind to do bigger problem solving and innovating
“Areas of requirement” to do things like track my habits and money (because you can’t change what you don’t know), or funny quotes, doodles, and stuff I should check out
Color and personality, but not necessarily a lot of decoration – because what’s pretty is more fun to look at and use
A place to keep my notes and lists where I can find them! I kept trying for years to get separate notebooks for everything and… I always went back to one.
So, what can I live without?
A daily spread – sometimes I use them for really busy days but I see my time as very connected from day to day, so it’s hard to see what I need to do when disconnected
Pre-drawn layouts – I actually enjoy the process of drawing my spread every week, because I can instantly adapt to the nature of the time period, making tweaks in real time without waiting until I get a new planner.
A written schedule for the day – I live on Google Calendar which is also accessible on my phone, so it is not necessary on paper. I just include after-work reminders to help me structure the day
“Notes” pages and other things like contact pages typically found in planners – they’re just never where I want them!
After many iterations and inspiration from Kim, my current layout looks like this
So you see I’ve designed my weekly to reflect the things I want in a planner – priority To Do’s for each day, a row of journaling or focus, tracking my eating, budget, things to check out, and other tasks for the week. It’s got just the right amount of structure and flexibility I need to be at my best. And, I’m open to this changing in two weeks!
What have you figured out you need or don’t need in your layout?
Jessica is.a Minnesotan handlettering artist, leadership educator, and bullet journal blogger. She is passionate about working with people to uncover their personal power and potential through connection, creative planning, and calligraphy. You can find her at a local ice cream shop, teaching, on Instagram (@prettyprintsandpaper)
I only use a daily spread sometimes, too.
I have to have a monthly calendar and daily pages. I also need a master list somewhere and a place for notes.
This might be a duplicate comment. If so, just delete.
I need a monthly calendar, a daily page, a master task list and a place for notes.
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