Minimal Bullet Journal–The REAL Thing

I love my bullet journal, and I’m always looking for new ideas for spreads and monthly set ups and stuff. BUT, I can’t draw for shit, my handwriting has been described as “chicken scratch” and I really am not interested in watching someone spend 10 minutes adding pictures of daises to their bullet journal.

I tried doing a search for “minimal bullet journal” and even the people describing themselves as “minimalist” are using fancy calligraphy and stickers and talking about which pens they use to get their drop shadows on their page titles…

That’s not what “minimal” means. It’s certainly not what I’m looking for when I checking out minimal bullet journals. So for anyone else feeling lost and alone in a wasteland of bullet journals that double as art journals and scrap books, here’s a real minimal bullet journal.

My Minimal Bullet Journal

Click on images to view full size.

Standard Bullet Journal Spreads

This is the stuff that’s kinda integral to bullet journals. If you want a bare minimum bullet journal, you use just these spreads (and the index) and you’re done.minimal bullet journal 2
Future log–nice and simple.

 

minimal bullet journal 5
This is your basic monthly spread, right out of the original “How to Bullet Journal” video. I don’t need a full page for monthly tasks, but I haven’t found another monthly layout I like better, so I’ve stuck with this so far.

 


It’s a new year, so I don’t have much in the way of daily logs yet. Right page is a last minute new collection that would be under the custom spreads heading if I had thought to take two different pictures. Anyway, it’s meant to be all the books I’ve read half of and always “meant to finish”. I’m going to try to finish them this year, instead of getting new books. Wish me luck.

Custom Bullet Journal Spreads

minimal bullet journal 1
This is the first two spreads after the index. As you can see, just simple text, nothing fancy. Left page is life goals, which I re-write every year. Right page is “Week in Theory”–all the activities and appointments that repeat every week, done in pencil so I can edit easily.

 

minimal bullet journal 3
Left page is my 10 year future log. I really don’t need a full page for it, but some stuff that I want to remember is happening more than a year out. So I record it here. Right page is goal progress tracker. Lot of bullet journals have trackers. This one lets me record my progress on some long term goals each month. My goal trackers are the one area where I don’t do bare minimum and actual spend some time on layout and shit.

 

minimal bullet journal 4
I have a lot of problems with executive dysfunction, so the left page has a list of things I try to do routinely–morning routine, evening routine, weekly routine, and monthly routine. Weekly is Sunday stuff, Monthly is first Sunday stuff. Right page is kind of a backwards birthday day. I don’t know when anyone’s birthday is anymore, but FB and Skype keep sending me notices about people’s birthdays. So as they happen I’ll write them here so I know them for the future.

 

bullet journal tracker
Left page is my other tracker. This is a more standard bullet journal tracker, writ large, just tracks what I’ve done each day. Yes, that’s a lot of goals. Which is why this is where my commitment to a minimal bullet journal breaks down a bit. I just can’t track all this stuff any more minimal than this. Right page is music wishlist. For a couple years now, since I actually had a bit of disposable income, I’ve been saying that I need to start buying all the music I keep listening to on youtube. Well, here’s where I’m building the list of stuff I want to buy.

Take What Works, Discard What Doesn’t

The basic premise of a bullet journal is that you can use what works for you, and if something doesn’t work, do something different.

If you like all the fancy stuff, go for it! But if, like me, you alternately intimidated and annoyed by all the “how to bullet journal” videos that make itl ook like you need an art degree to bujo, this is for you. Minimal bullet journal.

Tools

It’s apparently become a thing to talk about the tools you use to make your bullet journal? Part of minimal bullet journal for me is not worrying about ” do I have my bullet journal pen with me” when I sit down to write a log.

I use a pen. Usually a black on, sometimes a blue one. Sometimes a pencil because they are handy.

My notebook is a big spiral bound thing I picked up at Walmart. It’s sturdy enough that I’m confident it will last a year, I like spiral bound more than traditional binding, and if you ask me who made it I have no clue. It’s teal, which isn’t my fave color but was better than black.

(That said, when I was drawing in my trackers I really understood the appeal of the dotted German-name-sounding journal a lot of bujo folks rave about. The dots would really make the complicated layouts easier.)

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