How to Use the Alastair Method Weekly Spread

Hello, beautiful people!

I’ve been getting a lot of requests for more information on the Alastair Method, the task-managing method I’ve been using in my weekly spreads lately. Let’s dive into it!

The Alastair Method is named after its creator, Alastair Johnson, and it was originally created for use with future-planning. There’s a great post from Alastair over on the Bullet Journal blog where you can hear all about it straight from the horse’s mouth!

In the original Alastair Method, the idea is that the columns on the left corresponded to the months of the year, and you add events and appointments to the list on the right, marking a dot in the month they take fall in. This saves you from having to worry about having enough space on certain days since it’s all in one long list.

However, I’ve been using the Alastair Method to organize my weekly tasks, using it as a rolling list for things I need to complete throughout the week. Let’s take a look!

On the left-hand side of this spread, I have eight columns: one for each day of the week, and one for a forward migration arrow. In the the Bullet Journal system, that arrow signifies that you’ve moved that task forward, whether it’s to the next day, the next week, next month or even later.

What I love about this method is that I can write out all the tasks that I can think that need to get done this week without worrying about what order they need to be put it or what day they need to go on! I don’t place dots next to them as I go — I simply brain dump absolutely everything that needs to get done, and then figure out when to do them.

Then in the columns on the left-hand side, all I need to do is place a bullet or dot in the column of the day of the week that the task needs to get done. As I move through my week, it’s simple for me to go to each day’s column and scan down until there’s a dot, then look over and find the task that dot corresponds to. As other things come up during the week, I just add them to the bottom of the list and add a dot on the day they need to be completed. Easy peasy!

To see how I use the Alastair Method in action, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to watch the video!

As far as scheduling events as opposed to tasks, you could certainly integrate them into your Alastair Method spread too — just use the circle signifier suggested for events in the Bullet Journal method as opposed to the dot for your events. I prefer to list my events separately in my weekly “schedule” section on the opposite page!

I’ve been using dutch doors in my Bullet Journal recently (you can see how I make them here and here!), but I also want to show you how you can use the Alastair method in a regular, two-page weekly spread.

This is a spread that I used for a while and really loved! I had each day of the work week at the top, where I would write in my events, and since I usually had a little bit of space under that, I did some journaling. I had my Alastair tracker on the left side of the page (still keeping my events and tasks separate, just in a different format), and on the opposite page I had room for a habit tracker, a section to write down a focus for the week, room for weekend plans and pending tasks or items that I was waiting for.

You may notice that I have some tasks in my weekend section here. This is because originally, I was only using the days of the work week, Monday through Friday, with my Alastair tracker. I ended up changing it to the full week tracker I use now when I realized I had home and personal projects that I wanted to list there, too!

That’s the beauty of using the Alastair Method in your Bullet Journal — they’re both totally customizable and you’re free to change them to your heart’s content. 😊

Happy planning!

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