A month or so ago, I wrote a brief review of the Bullet Journal system, and of how I’ve found it to be really helpful in keeping my household duties and side projects in order. My review focused primarily on the standard ways that you can use the book to get yourself into the habit of journaling, and then briefly addressed how the process of bullet journaling can be tied into your style of submission. Because my intent was never to combine my bullet journal with my submission portfolio, I didn’t go into too many ideas for spreads that you could put in the journal, however the bullet journal itself is a fantastic way for subs who have trouble writing to keep track of their interests, limits, wants, and needs, as well as general reflections. Since the more standard layouts (daily, weekly, monthly spreads) for bullet journals are fairly easy to find on the internet, I want to talk less about how to use those common spreads, and more about ways that you can create spreads specifically for your submission.

Today, we’ll go through the two spreads that I’ve made for scene reflection.

Why use the spreads?

Reflecting on what transpires in a scene is an important, easily overlooked part of aftercare. While most aftercare focuses either specifically on your physical needs, or a combination of physical and emotional needs, reflection is really important for focusing and developing and understanding the psychological aspect of submission. Through reflection, you can create clear paths of communication with your Dom/Top, and you can focus on activities and aspects of submission/bottoming that you find yourself struggling with.

Choosing a Template: The Checklist

I have created two different spreads for two different styles of reflection. The first spread, the checklist, was designed specifically for integrating new aspects and activities into your routine. You’ve got the opportunity to list multiple activities—either completely new or activities that you’re revisiting—and to use the scene that’s transpired as a springboard for how you felt about it. Simply write the activities that were new, or that are being reintroduced into your routine, and identify what your comfort level is.

Download the Checklist Spread Template

 - 3 Designs Available

This is also a great way to chart how your feelings about certain activities change over the course of several sessions or even several years of practice. If you find yourself falling out of love with an activity that used to be a favourite, it’s important to be able to identify that and to express that to your Dom so that he/she can adjust the plans for future scenes accordingly, if desired. On the other hand, if you’ve struggled with an activity, and in the middle of a session, something finally clicks for you, having the checklist can help you express that.

The second half of the template is a general reflection page. I left it free form so that you could have the freedom to focus on whatever aspects of the scene you feel specifically need to be addressed. You could make it short and sweet, or, if you’re more inclined to writing free-form, you can continue on to another page in your journal.

Choosing a Template: The Guideline

The second template that I made was originally designed as a way to expand on the checklist, but in reality, it can be used just as easily for a  quick, overall reflection of the scene. The information that you put in each box can focus as lightly or as heavily as you want on either the physical aspects of the scene, the emotional aspects, or both, but the most important part of this template is the “next time” section.

The “next time” is where you’ll want to give yourself the opportunity to explore what comes next and how you and your Dom can improve each other’s pleasure. So, if something didn’t go quite right, if the mood of the scene was broken, or didn’t go as smoothly as you or your Dom would have liked, this is the place where you can talk about it. Jot down your ideas for improvement, add activities that you can try to incorporate, and express what doors you think may shut or open for you in the near future.

Download the Guideline Spread Template

 - 3 Designs Available

Combining the Templates

In addition to choosing one template or the other, you can easily use both. Instead of writing a free-form reflection in the checklist spread, you can subscribe to the reflection guidelines of “I felt, I thought, I liked, and next time” for each activity. This is a particularly nice thing to do if you’re reviewing a specific kind of toy, or if you’re trying more than one new activity out at once. By breaking your reflection down into any of the applicable parts from the guideline page, you can help yourself identify specifically which activities are budding/waning interests, which areas are a struggle, and what your expectations are for yourself the next time you and your Dom play.

Designing your Own Spread

The most important rule of the Bullet Journal is that your entries and spreads have to be quick enough and easy enough that you want to spend the time doing them. If you love the idea of having a spread to review and reflect on scenes, but neither of these spreads fit what you’re after, then making your own is definitely the way to go. The key elements of the pages essentially break down to:

  1. Defining activities as necessary
  2. Creating a safe space for you to reflect on those activities
  3. Making sure that you can use the page as a starting point for dialogue between you and your Dom/Top if necessary

Do you have ideas for Bullet Journal spreads that can be used for submission? Think you’ll use one of these spreads or something like it? Share below!

Until next time,

Kallista