Bullet journals: A new way to stay organized in the new year

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Color coded to-do lists make it easier to stay organized at the start of the semester

New year, new classes, new you! This semester is the perfect time to get a fresh perspective on your organizational skills. If your previous classes stressed you out a bit, or you missed a deadline, this article is for you. Whether you’re a scribble-your-notes-on-your-hand kind of person or a color-coded fiend, there’s always a chance to better stay on top of things.

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Find new ways to depict your busy schedule on a simple calendar.

Try something new

If you’re finding that generic, store-bought planners just aren’t cutting it for you, you might want to take a more personalized approach. A lot of planners are set up in similar manners, and if they’re coming up short for your to-do lists, this option is perfect for you. Bullet journals have been getting a lot of attention online lately, and for good reason. They offer the user a completely unique way to track their schedule. Simply start with a blank notebook — oftentimes seasoned bullet-journalers use journals with a grid or dot pattern — and the rest is up to you. You can put in calendars, checklists, appointments or whatever suits your fancy. Look them up on Pinterest for some ideas and handy tutorials.

Color coded to-do lists make it easier to stay organized at the start of the semester
Color coded to-do lists make it easier to stay organized at the start of the semester

Stay on top of it

While you’re in syllabus week and not drowning in assignments, take some time to work on your journal. Put due dates in the second you see your syllabus. That way, you’ll be able to see all your deadlines at once so you can plan out what needs to get done. As these are always subject to change, make sure you’re always adjusting. Getting it done all at once and having everything in the same place is a lot easier than drowning in assignments and due dates later.

 

 

Personalize your journal

An example of how you can use your bullet journal to track goals like sleep, exercise or water drinking.
An example of how you can use your bullet journal to track goals like sleep, exercise or water drinking.

Just like you, your journal should be unique. Consider adding in creative pages that will help you keep track of not only your assignments, but your habits, health and goals. Create a blank grid and color in every day you accomplish an objective. Maybe you’d like to take your vitamins every day or go for a run. By the end of the month, you’ll be able to see how successful you were in completing your goals. Another idea could be a sleep tracker: Create a simple graph on one page and color in boxes that correspond with how long you slept. Remember, staying organized doesn’t just mean writing down due dates; you need to be taking care of yourself also.

Have fun and don’t stress

Some bullet journals you’ll find online are practically works of art. With beautifully decorated covers, intricate layouts and detailed drawings and headings, starting a journal may seem a little intimidating. Even if you’re not the most artistically inclined, this could be a fun chance to let your creative side flow. Look up fonts to imitate online to add a bit of flare to your calendars. Experiment with markers, colored pencils and highlighters to color code your responsibilities, which will add another layer of organization to your journal. You could even paste in some cutouts of images or designs you find elsewhere. Really, the possibilities are endless — but you’ll be a lot happier looking at a colorful, interesting spread versus a black and white cardboard cutout.

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