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bullet journaling

Student Life

Bullet Journaling to Help You Get Organized

April 22, 2021

A recent survey done by Greenfield Online found that 47% of students felt they didn’t have good enough organizational skills to succeed at college. 54% felt that if they had been better organized, they would have ultimately achieved a higher grade. The fact is that your organizational skills can have a direct impact on your success.

This is why it’s important to find a system that works for you. Bullet journaling is ideal for this because it follows your own system and is all kept in one single notebook. You can use your bullet journal (BuJo) to brainstorm, make to-do lists, create timetables and schedules, and set yourself reminders. This will help you get your college work done and achieve the grade that you deserve

What is bullet journaling? 

The bullet journal was first developed by the designer Ryder Carroll. It is a unique method of organization using a journal containing dots rather than lines. Since the method was brought to the public in 2013, it has gained a big following on social media, and has also had a successful Kickstarter campaign. All you need is a pen and notebook. The main features of a bullet journal are:

  • A table of contents or index
  • Rapid logging – using simple symbols to help organize your tasks
  • Logs – your to-do lists, including timescales
  • Collections -your ideas, organized in a logical way
  • Migration – an efficient way of updating your lists and tasks, moving forward items still to do

Keeping logs

Your logs are one of the most effective ways of organizing your college work. Making these lists is an easy way to get your priorities straight and manage your time every day. If you get into this practice and make it a habit, new and more complex tasks won’t seem so overwhelming. This will be easier if you keep a tidy workspace around you. Being organized promotes a positive mind set, and will help your mental wellbeing to be free from clutter. To help you keep track and get organized, bullet journaling involves using rapid logging symbols to help you keep track of what you have done and what you are still to achieve.

These symbols are:

  • Task
  • Note

     X    Completed

     >   Migrated

     <   Scheduled

     ⭘ Event

For each task you have listed in your log, marking it with a symbol will help you to keep track. When you migrate tasks to a new to-do list, you can decide whether they are still a priority, or whether to simply remove them from your journal completely. 

Building Collections

The collections in your bullet journal will make up most of your notebook. These are your thoughts and ideas, and can be on any subject you choose. Many people keep track of sleep patterns, fitness, phases of the moon, poetry ideas, restaurants to try, or books to read. Having a section for keeping track of your student finances could be extremely useful too. You may find it helpful to make a collection for each subject that you are studying. You might want to list research you are undertaking, or papers that you are intending to read. You can also have a collection simply for brainstorming, using it as a creative outlet – an effective type of personal therapy to help you focus your ideas and give them clarity. 

Bullet journaling is an organized but personal way to keep track of your life. As a student, your journal can be a valuable tool in helping you to get your work done and stay focussed throughout the school year.