I've been using Bullet Journal for a little over a year now. So far I love this system. It's very flexible and easy to adap to my style. I like simple and minimalist layouts. And there is a huge number of followers with lots and lots of custom mods.

For my bullet journaling I'm using A5 Rhodia Webnotebook with dotted rulling. It's quite afordable with excellent ivory paper which has no bleedthrough what so ever, even when using fountain pens. It has soft touch (but not elastic) Italian leatherette cover. Its only downside is - the pages are not numbered. I have been using Leuchtturm 1917 notebook before, but I find that the paper is thinner compared to Rhodia's and it shows significant bleedthrough.

One thing in the original Bullet Journal system that kind of didn't work for me was the monthly spread. Since I do most of the planning in my monthly spread, I wanted it to be more visual and gave me better overview of the month. So I came up with this alternative take on monthly spread. It's not that different from the original way of doing things.

So let me explain things step by step.

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Components

CalenGraph / Components

Timescale is just 2 rows of hours, where a full hour mark is followed by a half-hour mark (in separate cells). You can tune the hours for your liking, but this is the setup which worked for me:

  • First row: from 6:00AM till 5:30PM
  • Second row: from 6:00PM till 5:30AM

At the start of the timescale are 2 circles, signifying which row of hours you are using when marking an event.


Date/Day of the Week is just like in the original version of monthly spread - a column of corresponding dates and days of the week.


Task list is a list of tasks and events for the given month. Just like in the rapid loging, you use dot for open task and circle for event. When you place a digit or a letter in the circle, it means that this event is marked in the graph part on the left side of the spread.

Bullet types and meanings

So now lets take a closer look at the graph part (left side) of the spread.

Hollow circle means, that you mark the start or the end of the event in the hour or half hour on the upper row of the timescale.

Filled circle means, that you mark the start or the end of the event in the hour or half hour on the lower row of the timescale.

Hollow triangle means, that you mark the start or the end of the event in the hour +15 minutes or half hour +15 minutes on the upper row of the timescale.

Filled triangle means, that you mark the start or the end of the event in the hour +15 minutes or half hour +15 minutes on the lower row of the timescale.

If you connect start and end of the event with line, that means that the event is continuos. If there is no connecting line, the event is discrete.

If you put an arrow from the start of the event, that means the event is continuous, without known end time.

Putting it all together

After learning all the meanings of the bullets, let's put it all together.

On the right side you can see an example with a few marked events.

Event #1 is a recurring event, which occurs every wednesday on 7:30PM till 9:30PM. I usually mark this way my practice events for the month.

Event #2 has two discrete times 8:30AM and 5:30PM. I use this event, for example, to mark times when I leave my car to be serviced and when I pick it up.

Event #4 starts at 10:15AM (hence the triangle bullet) and ends at 11:00AM.

Event #5 starts at 7:00PM, but the ending time is not known, I estimated it to be around 9:00PM (arrow length). I usually mark this way, for example, a party with friends at the restaurant.

CalenGraph / Components
CalenGraph / Components
CalenGraph / Components

So this in a nutshell is the way I usually do my monthly spreads. Hope this will be useful for somebody :)


— coldmoon


© coldmoon. 2016.

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