Bullet Journaling is Worth The Hype

As summer break was coming dangerously close to an end, I knew I had to make some changes if I wanted to be successful this school year. I’ll be the first person to admit that procrastination is a tough habit to beat. But when your projects are organized, it makes it about a thousand times easier. I knew if I was going to break my life-long habit of academic procrastination, I would have to seriously get organized. For me, the solution was to create a bullet journal. I like to think of a bullet journal as basically a super-agenda. It is a notebook that starts off totally blank, but you organize how many pages you want to give for dates, months, weeks, projects, goals, tasks, really anything you want! Any empty notebook can be a bullet journal. I’ve been keeping mine updated daily since the beginning of August. As we near the end of the semester, I’m astonished at how I’ve been able to avoid procrastinating on assignments. Here’s why I recommend bullet journaling for any disorganized student like myself.



A post shared by @morgies.notes

If you could never keep track of an agenda, bullet journaling might be perfect for you

Many elementary and high schools have a great idea to provide students with a free agenda to keep track of their assignments. It was a great idea, but I could not tell you how many times I would just shove it into my backpack without realizing it was about to get super damaged. Before I knew it, my school-gifted agenda had more food stains in it than assignments. Bullet journaling was different because it was something I had created. I had a unique project– I grew attached to my little notebook the same way you would become attached to your favourite novels or sketchbooks. There is just something so motivating about being able to see your creations and keep working on them. I could never keep an agenda filled for the life of me, but the moment I started bullet journaling, it never left my mind.

What goes into a bullet journal?

Here’s the thing: there is no exact answer for what you personally should put in your own unique bullet journal. That’s the beauty of it! But for me, I knew which parts of my life were pretty disorganized. The system that works best for me is to take some time at the end of each month to reflect on what I’ll need to accomplish in the upcoming weeks. I’ve sectioned my journal with small sticky notes, jotted with ideas for what I want on each page. That ensures that each month (in my case, August to December) has an equal number of pages and gives me a rough idea of what I want it to look like. Every month in my bullet journal has my classes, due dates, appointments, grocery lists, monthly goals, and thoughts that I’m grateful for. See what I mean when I call it my “super-agenda?” 

What if it doesn’t look the way I want?

Bullet journals don’t have to be fancy. I think what stops a lot of people before they even get started is the fear that it won’t look as “aesthetically-pleasing” as we build it up in our minds to be. For me, my bullet journal isn’t full of pastel aesthetic doodles. Mien is kind of messy. I don’t use rulers, and I don’t use white-out. My pages are full of postcard cut-outs, magazine clippings, little collages, glitter stickers, photographs, and gel pen splotches. My writing is kind of messy, and sometimes I spell words wrong. And all of that is okay! It’s colourful and works for me. You don’t have to be an expert in design or calligraphy to start a bullet journal. And you certainly don’t need to buy expensive leather-bound notebooks to be the envy of Instagram. Bullet journals are supposed to relax you– if your bullet journal is leaving you feeling more stressed than before you started, you’ll need to re-evaluate.

The hardest part is getting started

The simplest way to start bullet journaling is to start planning what you want your journal to hold. I was always the type of person who relied on random sticky notes and scribbles on the palm of my hand to keep organized. Bullet journal organization looks a little different for everyone but my day-to-day looks pretty similar. To start your bullet journal, you don’t need anything super fancy. A simple blank notebook and some pens will work just fine until you figure out precisely what it is you want to do. Before my bullet journal became the bullet journal it is today, it was just a blank notebook. I’m also not an artist. Tons of people fill their bullet journal with drawings and sketches, but that’s just not my thing. I went to the dollar store and really loaded up on stickers, glue sticks, and anything that I thought would be kind of cute and crafty.

Bullet journaling is mentally satisfying

The number one reason I pushed myself to start a bullet journal is that, just like so many people, I get really anxious when I have lots to do. As soon as I’m confronted with a deadline or project, I write it in my bullet journal with reminders a few days before. That way, if I forget I have an assignment (university is busy—it happens to everyone), I’ll remember as soon as I open my journal. And because I write in little reminders a few days before, I’m not leaving anything until the very last minute. Bullet journaling, above all, is meant to keep you organized and relaxed. It’s your one place where important things go. As I go through the semester, I’ve found myself less stressed about deadlines because I was planning around them better than if I was just forcing my brain to remember.