Frankenlite – Frankenlog’s slimmer self (aka Bride of Frankenlog)

Back in November, I unleashed Frankenlog on the denizens of Facebook. Since then, the little format changes that other bullet journalists have made to Frankenlog help to make it more accessible to others. Smitha SP, a fellow BuJo user over at the Minimalist Bullet Journals group on Facebook, created this fantastic layout for Frankenlog that I jokingly dubbed “Bride of Frankenlog.” While this name is thematic and fun, it’s also like 67 syllables and I have a lazy mouth, so over time I started simply calling it “Frankenlite.” This name fits well; it takes less time to draw, and it doesn’t include the tracking of weekly tasks or habits. Smitha has kindly provided this overview of her Frankenlog variant.


Hi, I’m Smitha and I’m obsessed with tweaking and re-tweaking my systems in the hope that they will make me more productive. In doing so, I’ve come to realize that simple works best for me. Hey, life is complicated enough, my planner doesn’t have to be. The simplicity and flexibility of BuJo is what attracted me to it. But it’s not perfect, just like any other system in the universe. It best fits the person who created it, it might fit others as is, but most likely you’ll have to tailor it to your needs.
For one, I loved having a monthly on a single page and liked that Ryder’s monthly log is simple to set up. But, I had one problem that kept bothering me. I had multiple events on one day and then days would go by without any drama. Space crunch. Followed by wasted space. Then space crunch again. I saw Ryder’s video and he writes small and he’s very succinct. I need more than a few words, then some time and place added to remember what the heck it is. I also like to use it as a calendar to look ahead and not just retrospectively like Ryder suggests. I even tried the beautiful two page traditional monthly spread that everybody is used to seeing in planners, but, same problem! Crowded boxes where I had to squint to see what I have and then blocks of white space.
Then on a Facebook BuJo group, I saw Brian’s post about Frankenlog. I was excited to see another productivity trick that somebody had. And it did not disappoint. He had figured out a way to fit his events, tasks, habits all into a spread with a dutch door (BH: The door got left behind). What caught my attention was that he had a small calendar block with letters in them and then explanations of them elsewhere in the page. And that was the light-bulb moment for me. That was exactly the indexing I needed to add to Ryder’s monthly log to make it work for me. A narrower log, wide enough to fit letters of the alphabet. And then a wider column where I could write out the events non-linearly to my heart’s content. Brian aptly christened this ‘The Bride of Frankenlog’! (BH: Now known as Frankenlite.)
I have included a real and not-so-perfect pic of my monthly. I admit I’m no Instagrammer :P, but I hope the pic highlights the utility of such a layout. Brian, thanks for letting me post my version, happy to be a part of the Frankenlog family that hopes to play a part in making people’s busy lives easier!

Yes, she sent me this in January. Like you do everything right away… Geesh…

Tweaking and Re-tweaking

I decided to give Frankenlite a spin for myself in March, but I didn’t want to go without my weekly tracking, so I tweaked her tweak and included everything that a standard Frankenlog would contain. This allows Frankenlite to still fit the “lite” moniker due to is being quicker to create and more minimal in appearance while maintaining all the features of the system.

My Frankenlite for March

_ _ _ _ _

That’s it for today my fellow BuJo Bandits. Tune in again soon when I take Frankenlite for the ultimate test spin… I’m ditching Google calendar for March!

11 thoughts on “Frankenlite – Frankenlog’s slimmer self (aka Bride of Frankenlog)

  1. This is honestly amazing work! I’ve been putting together my very first bullet journal based on your most recent setup from your YouTube videos and this here blog. Thank you for all you’ve done so far to help everyone out, even if that wasn’t your original intent. I hope that one day soon you’ll get inspired to write an update on your latest version of the Frankenlite (I believe you’re at version 1.7 so far). I would love to see a full breakdown of how you have your book set up now. Either way, you rock and thank you. I’ve built my first month’s frankenlite and am working on developing my own system of integrating your dirty dailies. All of the hard work you’ve done so far really helped to speed up my learning curve and I know I’ve said thank you a couple of times so far but it bears repeating. Please stay encouraged and motivated. You are doing the world a great service!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s my pleasure. To be honest with you, I was considering making my own little video for my YT channel distilling what I have learned from your method (if you’d like to call it that), giving you full credit of course. I’m just still a little fuzzy on a couple details (such as what goes behind the dutch door half-page next to the frankenlite tasks). but I think that so far I’m getting the hang of it. I’ll have to experience a bit before I put out into the interwebs what my “findings” are before I do so. It is not hyperbole when I say though that finding your videos were an answered prayer. I have been struggling with finding a way of keeping my ADHD brain in check and remembering all the things that are rattling around the ol’ brain cage for years. I had the GTD book sitting on my entertainment center for months, and it wasn’t until a week or so ago that the idea of bullet journaling just seemed like the right solution. Once I jumped down the rabbit hole, the anxiety of getting everything “just right” unfortunately reared its ugly head again. Now, I’m just going to try something and see how it works. Again, if it wasn’t for stumbling on your video, I’d still be trying to figure out where to even start. At least now I have a really good foundation to build upon. If you’d like, it would be my pleasure to give you any feedback you like on what I’ve observed as an outsider about this awesome method that you’ve designed; I hope that this doesn’t come off as pretentious or anything negative like that though.


      2. Sure, I’d love to hear your feedback. Frankenlog has gone thru many variations and continues to change to fit my needs. I love to see other people do their own thing with it and make it their own.
        FYI, in v1.7 the back of the Dutch door is for random thoughts/memories I write down throughout the month if I think they’re worth remembering. 👍


  2. Hi Brian
    Great concept and awesome compilation. I have a few questions. What are the “+”s in the column on the right of your monthly layout boxes? What are the empty columns on either side of the dates/days colums and the letters on the left of the layout at what seems to be the end of each week? I’ve read a few of your articles and watched your video on depression which hits some notes for me. Your bravery there is hugely commendable. Thanks N

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes, the good old days. It’s been so long since I used this version of Frankenlite that I had to take a sec and review it in order to answer your questions. Lemme give it a shot.

      I think the “+” signs you’re referring to are in the first two pictures provided by the guest author, Smitha SP. If you look at the bottom of the first pic, she has a little comment noting that those are how she indicated completion of daily tasks. She only had two daily habits in this case – a dot and a plus sign.

      That column to the left of the day/date boxes are where I would put letters for weekly tasks – stuff that needs to be done that week but not on any given day. The three boxes at the bottom with the letters (YMB) next to the were used to mark off when I completed those three weekly habits (yoga, meetings, budgeting). At some point I realized that I could just use the same single-box star system for weekly habits that I’ve always used for daily habits. Not sure why I didn’t think of doing that in the first place. Brains are funny.

      Hope that helps! 👍


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