pencil on journals

“Bullet journaling” for success

The summer before university, I started thinking about how I would stay organized and on top of things. I had always used a planner, but I was having trouble finding one that was organized the way I wanted.

One day, I was mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest and came across “bullet journaling.” I was intrigued and wanted to know more about it. After some research, I decided to give it a try. What I liked most about it was the idea that I could create all the “spreads” (as they are called) I wanted and lay them out exactly how I wanted. Now, I’m in third year and still use this method to keep track of all aspects of my life.

How to maximize bullet journaling as a student

Creating the spreads for a bullet journal can be different for each person. As a university student, I started with a monthly calendar spread and weekly spreads to keep track of tasks. The monthly calendar allows you to insert all your deadlines for assignments and the dates for exams. The weekly or daily spread allows you to break down your tasks and events for each day. For a student who already writes to-do lists, this spread will seem familiar. The more you become comfortable with spreads, the more you can branch out with them. For example, consider including a spread to plan your budget if you’re not living at home, to track certain habits you would like to implement and maybe even to track your GPA.

Why it’s more than a planner

What I love most about bullet journaling is that it allows me to prioritize my well-being and keep track of more than just schoolwork. It’s very easy as a university student to disregard all other aspects of life and solely focus on school and completing the next assignment. That said, we’re all still humans who need more out of life than just studying for exams. That’s why I make a point to stay up to date with my bullet journal — it allows me to make sure I’m still living a well-balanced life as a student. It’s a way to remind myself to prioritize my physical and mental health. This can be done with habit trackers, which allow you to track healthy habits like exercising, self-care and cleaning. It’s also possible to track your sleep and maybe even have gratitude entries in your daily spread. This is the perfect way to combine a planner with a journal. It allows you to manage everything in one place.  

It’s not just for artsy people

When I started researching bullet journaling, I was intimidated, because pictures of these beautiful artistic spreads would come up. I want to stress that you don’t need to be a great artist to make the most of your bullet journal. That being said, if you do love to doodle and express yourself through art, it’s an excellent way to relax your mind. Creating your bullet journal can be a great pastime. However, that doesn’t mean that your bullet journal has to be beautiful. There are many examples of very minimal spreads that you can use if you’re not an artist per se or you’re just getting started.

I would just like to finish off by saying that this article is based on my personal experience with bullet journaling. A quick Google search will show you that a bullet journal is very versatile and can be used for other purposes. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to set up your spreads or how to use your bullet journal, I highly recommend scrolling through Pinterest and YouTube.

Biomedical Science Student Mentor