I love blogging about my bullet journal.
But I've never been as excited about my own bujo layouts as I am right now:
It feels like I've found the aesthetic and functionality
that is perfect for me.
The mixture of whimsical details, a very basic and functional layout, and lots of flexibility when it comes to my to-do lists makes this recent series of weekly layouts the one I'll stick with for the foreseeable future.
I've come a long way since I started my first bullet journal at the beginning of 2017 and every experiment, every trial and error, were a step forward to finding new productivity and creativity tricks that suit my life and work - and, hopefully, yours!
The Aesthetic: Outer Space meets Minimalism
Strap in, because this is going to be a long one!
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Weekly Bujo Layout Idea: Star Constellations
I'm a huge fan of science fiction. And ever since I was a child, I adored learning about space, planets, and the mythology those inspired all around the globe and throughout history.
Which leads us here: I wanted that fascination with space reflected in my bullet journal.
I've experimented with star patterns in my bullet journal in the past and have found a way to include them on pretty much every page and spread in my journal for a more cohesive look last month.
The weekly layouts are simple, functional, very flexible, and - at least to me - pretty.
Weekly Layout: Simple Boxes & To-Do Lists
I always come back to these very basic weekly overviews with just enough space for my to-do lists and weekly goals. Since I work from home and for different time zones, my weekend is just as much a part of my work week as the rest, so I like to have Saturday and Sunday as separate boxes.
The first box is a general look ahead at what needs to get done during the week, separated into different categories.
Most weeks, I've got four large categories that I like represented in my weekly journal layout:
Work: Commission pieces, freelance deadlines (but my coffee shop shifts are on a separate wall calendar because they never change, anyway...)
Art: While I paint for my commissions, too (duh), I like to have a separate Art category where I can write down more personal paintings that I want to get done in my free time. This is also where future Etsy illustrations go, or where I write down any speed painting videos I've got planned.
Etsy: New products or large shipments that need extra consideration.
Blog: Self-explanatory, but yes, I try to plan this chaotic shadow realm that's my blog, too.
Not every week needs all four categories. Sometimes, I have too much freelance work to squeeze in blog posts or personal projects, so I'll skip on those. Flexibility is key when being self-employed, and the bullet journal is the perfect tool for that!
If you're completely new to the idea of bullet journals or got overwhelmed by the sheer amount of possibilities, I really love this guide that takes you from the very basics of planning in a journal to the more complicated (but fun and creative!) parts like hand-lettering, decorations, and special page ideas. You can also find a lot of incredibly talented bullet journal artists on YouTube that take you through their monthly or weekly planning.
You can get TWO months of Skillshare Premium access for free as a reader of my blog! So if you're about to tackle journals, or any creative project really, give them a look! I really enjoyed learning calligraphy with their video lessons.
Daily To-Do Lists: Star Doodles
The star constellation daily to-do lists are incredibly simple but I think they look pretty exactly because of that!
Each star represents a task like the classical boxes would in any bullet journal.
Larger stars or the ones at the very top of the day's list represent the most important or time-intensive work.
The constellation theme allows me to combine connected tasks, sub-categories, or chronological order while forming simple patterns.
The result is minimalist and whimsical at once. It's such a simple way to add doodles and artsy flair to a spread without taking much time at all.
Keep it simple for more productivity.
As I'd written about in my Pomodoro Technique Bullet Journal post, I usually give myself three major tasks each day. More, I've found, is often hard to get done.
Those tasks might take several hours each to complete, or are very time sensitive and need to get done on that particular day. Doodling a large star is an easy way of guiding my eye to those major points on my to-do list. For more motivation, I can add related tasks or little Pomodoro session stars to mark the time spent working on each.
Be creative and adventurous in your bullet journal!
What I really enjoy about the constellation to-do lists is how intuitive they are. I didn't need a key or didn't plan ahead - I just started doodling stars instead of boxes. Connecting them and arranging them into patterns came as a logical, natural next step.
I might have been a tiny bit inspired by the flurry of science fiction releases that graced us with their presence lately. A new Expanse book, the next Star Wars movie, me re-reading old favorites; it really was a very outer space-y few months.
The star pattern layouts are my inner nerd trying to be ~aesthetic~ and useful.
By the way: I used my Uni-ball Signo DX in this gorgeous color for the spreads.
Bonus: Inspired by all the outer space doodles, I created this mood tracker page. It's a bit more playful than the simple weekly layouts - personally, I love combining efficient day-to-day planning with more creative and elaborate monthly or yearly collections.
My Favorite Weekly
Bullet Journal Layout of 2017
The very last week of the year is a culmination of all the layouts and doodles I love:
The basic weekly spread and my star constellation to-do lists, but combined with planet doodle drawings for each day of the week.
While I couldn't keep to the relative scale I tried to at least have Jupiter (Thursday) be the largest, the sun only hinted at with some negative space, and our lovely little moon on Monday appropriately small.
These printable full moon stickers were made in the same style - I just wanted a more detailed and bigger version of that tiny moon doodle!
A printable sticker sheet for your own bullet journals or planners is available in my library. If you sign up for the blog newsletter, the password will be mailed to you.
Plans for the future...
I'm not sure if I'll take the time each week to draw the planets - but I'm thinking of at least making stickers! Very simple watercolor planets on transparent sticker paper would look nice on a weekly spread, I think, but I'll have to test different styles first.
Update: A printable weekly layout for different journal formats is now available here!
The drawing style reminds me of my time in art school when we did insect illustrations with just thousands of ink dots... I really like how the individual planets turned out here!
Below you can see Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn.
If you're completely new to the idea of bullet journals or got overwhelmed by the sheer amount of possibilities, I really love this guide that takes you from the very basics of planning in a journal to the more complicated (but fun and creative!) parts like hand-lettering, decorations, and special page ideas.
You can get 2 months of Skillshare Premium access for free as a reader of my blog! So if you're about to tackle journals, planning, a blog, a creative project of any kind, you really need to check out their vast library of well-made tutorials - I've learned so much myself through their videos!
This is not where my space obsession ends, mind you.
If you liked my starry sky habit tracker, you'll love what comes next...
Moon Phases & Stars Habit Tracker
Where my weekly spreads are purposefully quick and simple to set up, this habit and task tracker was more elaborate.
I'd long since noticed that my habit trackers were split into two kinds of habits:
- Habits I wanted to stick to daily.
- Examples: Exercise, writing, as many No-Buy days as possible, taking my vitamins, sketching...
- Habits or Tasks I wanted to keep track of for a monthly overview.
- Examples: How many of those exercise days were Yoga focused, how many were weight lifting? How many Etsy listings did I create? How many blog posts did I publish? When did meal prep get done?
I have no aspirations to publish a blog post every single day. I don't need to lift weights every single day. But I want to track them anyway, and having them in the same group as the habits I really wanted to commit to every single day was distracting.
So for this dual habit tracker, I split them up.
How to use a Dual Habit Tracker
The star pattern habit tracker always looks best when NOT every single day is filled in, so it was the logical choice to track my overall goals and tasks.
Then, I decided to use moon phases to track my daily habits.
It really shows me at a glance where I failed, how some habits seem to always come with others, or seem to be mutually exclusive.
(Btw, my biggest failed daily habit is meditation. Any tips?)
I really like the overall look of this habit tracker layout. It's such a nice mix of whimsical art and simple, minimalist black and white doodles.
But drawing those circles each day did take way too much time, so I created a printable version for 2018.
Also, I switched the moon phases to be on top since the daily habits should probably take priority. I still struggle with keeping to my daily habits (so, they aren't habits yet, haha...) because as soon as something does turn into an actual habit, I remove it from next month's habit tracker. Oh well.
You can find my printable habit tracker version here. They're arranged in duos of 30 and 31 day months so that you can print six pages total and be set for the year.
- For those concerned with the aesthetics only: A simple full moon to new moon to full moon progression is painted on one version of the habit tracker.
- For those that want it accurate, I created a second version with a blank top row instead so that you can fill in the moon phases according to the month. This is what I personally prefer, even if it's more work.
If you shop on Etsy (or Amazon, or Society6 - or anywhere online, really) consider signing up for Ebates to get cashback on your order.
I use them for my own online shopping (recently for my Midori notebook haul!) and if you sign up via my referral link, you get a bonus 10$ when you shop through them.
Project Planning in my Bullet Journal: Constellation Mindmap Layout
One last page for my stars and moons inspired bullet journal: A project overview.
This started as a sort of brain dump page next to my habit tracker as I determined which goals I wanted to focus on in December. Quickly, it turned into a sort of star constellation map, with each project category forming star signs.
A mindmap but with fancy little star doodles instead of just dots. ;)
I'm not quite finished for the month (or rather, year! How is it 2018 so soon?!) so there are still a couple stars to be filled in. Since I enjoyed this way of brain dumping and mind mapping a lot, I've already set up a similar page for January.
My next post will introduce my brand new Midori bullet journal!
After a year of switching from one half-finished notebook to another (since I didn't want to commit to buying a notebook exclusively for bullet journaling until I was absolutely sure I'd stick to it) I finally caved and got myself a Midori MD notebook. Hope you're as excited as I am to see how it turns out!
If you're new to bullet journals, you might want a bit of a basic overview and guide instead of my themed layouts! This beginner's guide to bullet journals covers all the basics and then some!
You can get a complete month of Skillshare Premium access for free as a reader of my blog! So if you're about to tackle journals, planning, a blog, a creative project of any kind, you really should check out their vast library of well-made tutorials - I've learned so much myself through Skillshare!