Monthly spreads are a common fixture in bullet journals. You can use it for so many functions – a planner for special events, a guide for your priorities for the month, or a tracker for some habits you want to keep an eye on.
So what is a monthly spread?
A monthly spread is simply a monthly layout. It’s like a planner page that helps you organize your month.
It is usually presented in a calendar form or list form of the month’s dates and days. This gives you a brief overview of the events and tasks you have in store for the entire month.
The main agenda of the monthly spread is to give you a quick overview of your schedule for the month. You can then reserve the details of your appointments, events and tasks on your weekly spreads.
Why use monthly spreads?
- It allows you to quickly check for availability in your schedule.
- You’ll see your planned events, appointments and tasks in just a glance.
- You don’t miss out on special events.
- It reminds you of your goals and the direction you are headed for the month.
Monthly spread ideas that you can copy in your own bullet journal
When you’re using a bullet journal, you can customize your pages according to your needs. Compare this to a printed organizer where the space available is too small, or it lacks some details, or the layout can be boring.
When I first started, I felt somehow intimidated by how colorful, and creative other people’s bullet journals were. But then, I discovered that some spreads were easy to copy too, and I could just get more creative in time.
Hence, these monthly spreads are here to show you different layouts which you can copy on your own bullet journal, or serve both as a guide and inspiration when you create your own spreads.
Let’s get on with it!
1. One-page calendar
The most common monthly spread you will see is probably the one-page calendar, such as this.
To do this, just layout your own calendar. Add a fancy header on top – be creative with it!
By simply marking the dates where you have appointments or events, it will only take a few seconds to see whether you are free or not on a particular day.
2. Full-page calendar
Maximize your calendar space by filling up one page just for it! That page on the right side will contain nothing but the calendar! Then put your header, doodles, or notes on the left page, just beside it.
The calendar is in a landscape format. If you are more comfortable with that, then why not?
3. Two-page calendar
Need more space to write? Then the two-page calendar spread is probably the best!
Instead of occupying just one page for the monthly calendar, you’re dedicating two pages for it. And that’s why you’ll have more space!
Of course, you may design it as you wish. As you can see in this spread, simple doodles did the trick!
4. Separate squares
Another way to present a calendar-like spread is separating the squares. It still has the feel of a calendar but with gaps in between like this one.
It has a neat and minimalist look – very easy to make especially when you’re a beginner in the bullet journal system. At the side, you may insert some habit trackers.
Just select the most important habits because with the calendar occupying the entire page, you have just enough space left for some trackers. So pick which are the most important for you at the moment.
5. Clean lines
If you prefer something effortless but creative, simply use a highlighter to set off the dates from each other, just like this!
It makes a pretty but straightforward presentation. Then simply doodle around to create an even prettier layout!
6. Vertical columns
If you’re looking for some twist to the usual calendar layout, this is it!
Make vertical columns such that instead of the dates going from left to right, they go from top to bottom. Then write the days of the week, month and year on the sides.
Decorate your pages with doodles or washi tapes and it’s as creative as the usual calendar layout.
Indeed this is one unique way of presenting a monthly spread. Never thought of this really, but I will surely not forget about this style!
7. Horizontal bar calendar
The idea is to create a calendar that looks like a bar chart. I’m sure you do not see this kind of layout everyday, but I think it’s worth trying!
Maybe you’ll need a smaller handwriting to fit everything in this layout, especially when you have many events or appointments for the month.
8. The original
This is actually the original monthly spread created by Ryder Carroll, the inventor of the Bullet Journal system. It’s a popular monthly spread for those who prefer minimalist bullet journals. It’s simple, effortless and clean!
Simply write the dates and the days of the month at the left side of the journal, from top to bottom. Then, you have the rest of the line to place your notes.
In this example, the weeks are separated by a dotted line. It goes well with a habit tracker on the next page.
9. Two categories
The dates and days are written like the original monthly spread but it’s at the middle of the page. This serves as the page’s divider – so you can categorize your notes.
This sample layout is an excellent spread if you’re a Mom and you have to stay on top of your schedule and your kids’.
You can also use this spread to separate your work appointments from your personal appointments.
10. Traditionally Diagonal
Here is another creative twist on the original monthly layout.
Line your page with a black washi tape, but instead of the usual straight, do it diagonally. Using a white pen, write the dates on the washi tape.
You can instantly tell it is minimalist, clean, and unique at one glance!
11. Separate by week
This minimalist and simple layout is also inspired by the original monthly layout, but it’s split into weeks.
In this sample, a simple dotted line was used to separate the weeks. But of course you can doodle other borders or use a washi tape to act as week separator.
12. Traditional monthly spread with mini calendar
This lemon-themed layout combines the elements of a mini-calendar and a traditional monthly spread. Since you already have the mini calendar, there is no need to indicate the days on the traditional monthly spread.
13. Circular monthly spread
This is a very creative and I must say, a unique way to monitor your events and appointments for the month. You can leave it as is or add some colors and doodles around.
Place your notes inside a frame so that it will look organized rather than scattered. And feel free to add your creative touch into it – like in this sample spread, using doodles or icons on some events.
14. Colorful semi-circle
This takes up two pages but if you’re a color addict, I’m sure you’re going to love it!
Isn’t it beautiful?!
This space-themed monthly spread uses planet drawings, and the way it’s colored just makes it really stand out!
Use whatever theme you love for your semi-circle. But if you like what you see, you can always imitate it in your own BuJo!
15. Traditional monthly spread and tracker combo
This is a really complete monthly spread in just two pages!
Maximize your journal space by combining a traditional monthly spread (at the left side) and a habit and mood tracker (at the right side).
You can even squeeze in a mini calendar at the top left corner, and an inspirational quote at the top right corner. If space still allows for it – add a space to write the things you’re grateful for everyday!
This monthly spread doesn’t have much decor or color, not even doodles, but you can see how complete it is despite its minimalist feel.
16. The monthly overview
Just like in the previous sample, this monthly spread is another layout you’ll love when you want something complete – containing almost every important thing to track in a month.
There’s the calendar – just enough space to track events and appointments! You’ll see here just how efficient those little colored bullets can be.
You don’t have to write the whole event which can take up all the space. The colored bullet will immediately tell you what’s up on that date.
You can then use the remaining space to take note of other stuff like important dates, things to do, highlights of the month, finances and even a mini-calendar for the next month!
17. Text-heavy overview
Here’s another simple monthly spread!
In this layout, instead of listing all the dates of the month, or using a big calendar, it’s just a mini calendar. But, it’s comprehensive with the monthly goals, list of to-dos and important dates to remember.
Here is again a proof that you don’t have to be too creative. But your monthly spread should be enough to guide you on what you need to do, and of course, it’s good to add a little something to motivate you!
18. Decor with a theme
Having monthly themes for your BuJo surely does allow you to use similar designs for your layouts during the month – including the monthly spread. It also makes designing easier when you know the theme that you’re following.
So that’s another way you can create your monthly spread – making it within the boundaries of your chose theme.
Like for February, the month of love, you can go something like this! A simple two-page calendar with happy hearts designs!
19. Scrapbook style
If scrapbooking is your thing, well, you can design your monthly spread like it!
This is a simple two-page calendar, but the designs are just like how a scrapbook is.
20. Grateful heart
One thing that stands out in this monthly spread is the page solely dedicated for the things you’re grateful for.
Being grateful is truly one of the best habits to learn to be happier in life. Having a whole page for it forces you to really think about what you’re thankful for because you have to fill it up!
Also, have you noticed in this spread the presence of Memories lane? This person does give importance to the experiences that she creates!
Indeed memorable events should not just be forgotten. This also helps create happy thoughts when you remember them – especially helpful when you’re feeling down or lonely. So I think this would be a lovely addition to our monthly spreads!
Feel free to experiment!
You know the best thing about bullet journals? It’s very flexible and you can craft your spreads to fit exactly just what you need.
That being said, your layouts will turn out different from others’. Some elements could turn out similar, but others will just turn out different.
And that’s okay. It is your BuJo – don’t forget that!
So, in creating your own bullet journal monthly spreads, remember to think about what you really need. Then let these sample layouts give you ideas on how you can incorporate those in your monthly spread.
And of course, when it comes to designing, you can simply copy the designs here – tweak them to make them your own. Doodle, use washi tapes, make it like a scrapbook, use colorful pens and pencils – it can be anything!
Do not hesitate to experiment and try out new styles and layouts. You can completely mix everything up! And, you can use a different monthly spread each month!
Looking for more ideas for your bullet journal? Check these out!
- 20 Creative Bullet Journal Monthly Themes
- Bullet Journal Key: 20 Classic & Simple Designs
- BuJo Habit Trackers to Inspire Building New Habits