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Ultra-Streamlined Style for bullet journal

I might have a little time here and there to do creative designs with my journal. But usually I just need it to help manage the day. What's the fastest way to manage a bullet journal? As with many things in life, it depends. Let me offer an overview of the Universal Journal ultra-streamlined style.


The Universal Journal style intends to help you spend as little time as possible setting up and using your bullet journal. It's counter productive to get burned out on a tool that's supposed to help you avoid burning out. This graphic recaps the basics. Check out some other posts on the topic. Bullet Journal Ultra-StreamlinedEfficient workflowDecluttering your JournalStreamlined Color CodingPrintables
Thanks for visiting Universal Journal. Got any minimalist ideas you'd like to share with the rest of us? Please comment here.

Weekly spread with expenses tracking

So I've never used a weekly spread before but have kept an eye out for ideas. With the way I've used the dailies and monthly spread it just wasn't needed. But with combining a few things to make bullet journaling easier it's now time to try an experiment. So how to do this in a minimalist fashion while getting maximum use for my time? Multi-tasking.

bullet journal weekly expenses tracker

In this set up I'm combining a weekly overview, short term (weekly) future log, and expenses tracking. I'll keep the calendar related stuff in the bottom half of the page and financial stuff in the top half.

The weekly overview will use only keywords for events or tasks. The details will be either in my monthly or daily logs. This is only an overview. The short term future log is what makes this worth the effort for me. This way I don't have to take up space in my handy two column dailies for stuff later in the week. In my routine the daily log is created the night before. I was using Rolling Weeks for short term future logs, which is still a good idea even if I'm trying something else right now.

Within the same month, the monthly spread serves as a future log as well. Anything beyond the current month gets put in the official future log.

Keeping track of expenses is an irritating responsibility but it must be done. I'm currently working on a new printable tracker which has some stuff organized by weeks. It was surprising to find how useful it was to see the data laid out comparing a week at a time or week to week. Dataviz works! (affiliate link) In this set up the financial info won't be vizualized as yet, though I may eventually need a way to do that. For now the info will be plainly written out so I can at least see the numbers on a weekly basis.

So there you have it: a 3 function, minimalist weekly spread. What method do you use for tracking expenses? Comment here and be sure to subscribe to the UJ Newsletter!

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Minimalist Bullet Journal Future Log Workflow

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In this ultra-streamlined approach to bullet journaling, it's not only the layouts and designs that are minimalist, but the techniques for using the system as well. The flow of your tasks, appointments, etc. from one module to another can be tricky. Or it can be simple. It's all a matter of how you manage these things.

In my journal, most items end up in the daily log for the day I intend to handle them. That may or may not happen on the actual day assigned but the most important thing is I don't lose track of stuff. The daily log is the last stage of a task/event filtering technique. T…

Streamlined Weekly Log

Not everyone uses a weekly log in their bullet journal. For those who do, here are three variants on one streamlined design. Each is an elegant 6 column spread with plenty of room for daily tasks an ample space for other information.


Variant 1: by kerrystudies on tumblr

Variant 2: by northernplanner on instagram

Variant 3: by u/ghostsco on reddit

Do you have other ideas for a weekly log? Comment here and be sure to subscribe!


DIY Add a paper pocket to your journal

Got a plain old notebook? There are plenty of options out there and you may not find one with all the features you like. But journalers are already familiar with customizing their journals and we tend to like that. Here's a super easy DIY option for a pocket.


Not everyone needs a pocket in their journal. If you want a pocket but don't have one, here is a very simple method using one Legal or A4 size sheet of paper and double-sided tape. (Affiliate links included.)



The Universal Journals are printed by Lulu.com Any print on demand service will be limited compared to a traditional printer. As capable as Lulu.com is (with quick turn around, worldwide availability, lots of product options for customers, and more), there are lots of things journalers might want in their Universal Journal that Lulu just can't do. At least not at this time. But this also makes for ideal customization. Make it your own.

Got any other ideas for adding a pocket to a book? Comment here. Be sure to su…