Color me unimpressed with my own ability to keep a schedule when it comes to this series. I hope the rest of May will be much better.
What Is A Daily Log?
The Daily Log or daily list is a staple of the system as shown on the official website. A place to keep things you want to get done that day, appointments, notes, tasks that come up, minor tracking, and even journal-like entries.
It can be as simple or complex as someone wants and has many variations.
Using The Daily Log
Using the Daily Log is simple. For one that looks like Ryder’s from Bulletjournal.com, all you have to do is place the date and possibly day of the week at the top of a page or below the last Daily Log. From there you just use rapid logging and the occasional longer entry until the day is done.
Get a new story idea while working on something else? Just note down the idea with the right symbol and you’re good to move along with what you were doing.
Feel like writing a diary entry at the end of the day? Just write whatever symbol you’ve devised to signify those entries start the entry right under it.
Food tracking? Just find a spot that works log it with the appropriate symbol.
The more you use it, the more aware you become of what you need it to do for you.
Variations In The Daily Log
It seems like there are as many variations of the Daily Log as there are people who use the Bullet Journal at times. That isn’t wrong, there are a lot of variations. So many I couldn’t even begin to list everyone and the tweaks each person makes to them. However, this series is about the basics of Bullet Journaling. So it seems fitting that I cover three basic and minimalist variations to the system. Split pages, timelines, and pre-drawn Daily Logs.
I would’ve also chosen to cover the Ryder or Traditional Daily Log, but that can easily be found on the official website and I have a post coming up within the next couple of months detailing how that style can benefit Bullet Journalists. So let’s get the show on the road, starting with Split Pages.
Split Pages are a variation not because there are any special changes made to the original Daily Log itself, but because the pages are split as the name hints at. They lend themselves really well to the continual nature of the Traditional Daily Log. If you run out of space all you need to do is continue the Daily Log in the next column and go about your business.
This makes Split Pages a no muss, no fuss style. One that can fit in easily in a range of sizes from A4 down to B6. However, this variation is hard to do in A6, pocket, and other small notebooks. Most people find that there just isn’t enough room.
Timelines on the other hand, while used by many, require a bit more forethought than Split Pages. For one, they take more time to set up. That’s just a fact. It may be a few seconds or a minute for the simplest ones, but it’s still more time. So they aren’t for people who dislike spending time setting up their Daily Logs. But where they may fall flat on setup time, they excel in customizability.
They can be as simple or as complex as the Journalist wishes them to be. Color coded to high the stratosphere or simple changes in crosshatching that allow the Journalist to use one pen. Even just lines connecting tasks/appointments/events to the time slot in which they were done. They can go across the top of a page, be a box on a page, and be done vertically either to one side of down the middle of a page.
However, like Split Pages, it can be a bit hard to implement Timelines in smaller setups.
This leaves us with the last variation, Pre-Drawn Daily Logs. Pre-Drawn Daily Logs are a hybrid between Daily Logs and Weekly Logs. Some even think of them as being a Weekly Log style and not a type of Daily Log.
They can span two or more pages in a Split Page style or include Timelines. They can be vertical or horizontal. For people who don’t tend to vary the amount of space their Daily Logs take up, they’re a great way to get things done without spending time worrying about setting up Daily Logs during the week. But using them does mean the person needs to set up extra space if they run out of room. There’s also a lot of wasted space if the whole section isn’t used or the Journalist skips a day entirely.
What I Use
Out of all the variations, I find that the Traditional Daily Log is the one that works best for me.
It’s a no muss, no fuss sort of setup. A few minutes to look over what I did the previous day and look over my weekly log for tasks that can be broken down into small chunks, then 30-seconds to write the daily heading and I’m good to go. However, I am toying with the idea of a Timeline when I feel I need. Variety being the spice of life is more than a simple cliche, it helps me to find variations on the standard Bullet Journal format which work for me.