When you’re juggling classes with other life responsibilities, staying organized is key. But admittedly, it can be hard to stay on top of the daily flow. Enter bullet journaling: a popular system of organization and note-taking. Bullet journaling is a trend that has swept the nation—and for good reason. It may be just the thing you need to stay on top of your busy schedule. Here’s everything you need to know about getting started.
What is A Bullet Journal?
The bullet journal is a system for organization, note taking and anything else you can think of. In a way, it’s like a mind dump—all of your thoughts in one place. Bullet journaling is a method of organization that is very personal and highly customizable, which is one of the reasons why it is has become so popular. Another appeal of bullet journaling is its simplicity—everything is in one notebook, in one easy to access place at all times.
While there are hundreds of add on pages and related bullet journaling accessories out there, don’t feel pressured by all the fancy stuff. All you need to bullet journal is a basic notebook and a pen. Later on, you can add colored pens, organizational tape (“washi tape”), stickers and whatever else you like.
How to Bullet Journal
The beauty of the bullet journal is that you make your own rules. There are dozens of coding systems and journaling techniques you can find online—or you can make your own. However, the basics of bullet journaling revolved around something called Rapid Logging—Rapid Logging is a system for quickly recording information. It consists of four basic components: topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets/symbols.
– Number your pages. Since your bullet journal will be chock full of information, you need some kind of navigation system. Hence numbered pages. Go through and number your pages whatever way you like. Depending on your notebook, you may have to number your pages by hand.
– Create an index page. Once you’ve numbered your pages, start your notebook off with an index page. This will be your primary way of finding things When you have a new thought, task or whatever else to record, don’t skip pages to start a new section. Instead, go to the immediate next page—this way you don’t waste any space and don’t create any unsightly gaps in your notebook. Simply record each new thought in your index with the corresponding page number.
– Add topics. Whenever you start a new page or thought, add a topic in the top outer corner of your page. The topic is simple a short, descriptive title. These titles will help clarify the content in your notebook. Record every title and its corresponding page number in your index, as mentioned above.
– Create bullets. Here’s where the “bullet” in bullet journaling comes in. Bulleting is a type of efficient short form notation. Each bulleted item should be a very short, objective sentence. You can design all kinds of different bullet point symbols to notate certain meanings. In traditional bullet journaling, tasks are represented by “•” while events are represented by an “O” bullet. Various other symbols are incorporated to indicate the status of any object.
- X = Task Complete
- > = Task Migrated
- < = Task Scheduled
And that’s it, those are the basics! As you started really filling in your bullet journal, this and other organizational systems will become second nature to you. The more you use your notebook, the better you’ll get with it. Your bullet journal can contain anything you want—it’s entirely up to you. Keep track of homework and to-do lists, mark down school holidays, write notes, keep diary entries, sketch and do whatever else you want with your notebook. It’s meant to not only help keep you organized, but to inspire and motivate you.
Give It Time
It takes a while to build a system that is efficient and comfortable for you. Give yourself at least a few weeks to get used to bullet journaling. Once you do, you’ll love how much time and stress you save by having everything in one place.
Planning out classes and homework? Show off your bullet journaling with the Strayer community! Tag your bullet journal photos with #StrayerUniversity or #LetsGetItStrayer to share!