I’ve been interested in bullet journalling for a while: my friend is an avid bullet journal user who claims this planning method is key to her success in managing her classes, extra-curriculars and other commitments. When she first told me about it, I gave it a try but ended up only using it for a few weeks. This week, I decided to try again at a drop-in event on campus, and have realized that I didn’t really use the bullet journal’s customizable features: my first bullet journal was not much more than a standard planner. I’m trying again, and for this week’s blog I’ll share some awesome features to include if you plan to give bullet journals a try.
It has been a stressful week full of unexpected turns, assignment deadlines and finals studying. What I loved about designing my bullet journal was that for the first time all week, I felt in control! You need to start with a book of blank pages (lined or dotted pages are fine too), and at first I had no idea where to begin. Thankfully, I had a few resources to work from (see reference #1 below), and have summarized some of them in this post.
It’s suggested that you make one at the front of your journal, so you can mark what it contains when you need to find something quickly. I just made a one-page index, but you can use multiple pages!
You can also create a variety of “logs” such as a future log, a monthly log or a daily log. A future log acts as an overview of all the upcoming months in your journal.
I stuck with a monthly and daily log, since right now I am more focused on planning short-term events like upcoming tests and exams. If you prefer having an overview of future months, looking ahead to the summer, a future log can help you track important dates that are further away.
I feel like I reach my ultimate productivity when I write out what I need to achieve. This holds me accountable! For this reason, many pages of my bullet journal are dedicated to just one or two days of the week. In my old planner, I never had enough space to write down everything I needed to do, and now it’s all in one place! I also incorporated a daily schedule page into my journal. I like this because I can narrow down how much time I want to commit to each task; underneath each day’s column, I added a part to write down anything that was due on that day.
- Other Ideas
After some internet searching, I found a website which provides 100 bullet journal ideas.
One suggestion was gentleness log, in which you can put quotes or compliments to read (see reference #2!). Playing around with this idea, I included a few positive words throughout my daily logs, such as, “You’ve got this!” Hopefully, when I find them in the future they’ll give me a boost to get through these last weeks of the semester. This feature made me realize how the bullet journal can help promote a positive attitude in a way that a simple study schedule might not.
I also opted to have an exam study log. I have written down my exam dates and started filling in all the lecture numbers and readings I have to do with little boxes. The “bullet” part of the journal involves a few symbols that tell you at a glance whether you still have to do something, have finished, or have moved the item to a later date, but the beauty of the system is that it’s customizable to what you want to do. I’ve started to keep track of my studying progress using this log in combination with the printed lecture schedule method I mentioned in last week’s post!
Although I have only started designing my bullet journal, I feel I will continue using it for a while! Have you tried bullet journalling before? If you have, please leave a comment about your favourite feature!