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How to Bullet Journal for the New Semester

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

Organization is a constant struggle bus for, like, at least 90% of us. It’s one thing to do a deep uprooting of everything that’s disorganized and tidy it up, but a completely different ballpark to stay organized. So how do we do it? Turns out, there’s a cute little way of staying organized called ~bullet journals~.

What is a bullet journal? Often times abbreviated to “bujo,” it’s a handy-dandy, personalized journal you create that you use to organize all major aspects of your life, and I’m going to teach you how to make one! Even though it takes time to set up, it’s worth the effort. Plus, it’s SUPER cute and you’ll get maybe a thousand compliments on it.

First things first, you must get a journal. There are ton of options out there. Wander into a TJ Maxx or peruse online shopping, such as Muji. Really think about what type of person you are. If you like to create your own images and run with your creativity, maybe opt for a mostly blank journal. If you like a lot of guidance and pre-printed graphics like calendars, get a journal with just that. The world of journals is your oyster, my friend.

Next, it’s time to create a few staple pages. The first is a few blank pages set for a table of contents. If the journal isn’t numbered to begin with, number as you fill the pages. This will help you navigate what will become the abyss of your journal and you can fill it out as you fill up your journal. The second is a legend. This is a set of symbols and their meanings. It’s where the “bullet” in “bullet journal” comes from. The different bullets signify areas of your life. Here is an example:

Notice the variety! The owner of this bujo has a few generic definitions for the symbols, but at the end has one for “poetry.” This might mean something about poetry is a big enough aspect of this person’s life to include that as its own category. I encourage everyone to do the same for the aspects of their lives.

After deciding on a legend, it’s time to fill the journal up. This could be filling out the calendars for due dates of assignments, creating a weekly agenda, writing up pages for budgets or article pitch ideas, etc. Be sure to add the page number and title/premise of the page on top. Here is an example of someone’s spread. They include a little graph in the corner for tracking their sleep and study time, indicating this is a part of their life they want to maintain.

Finally, decorate away. Most of the fun of a bullet journal is the fact that it’s CUTE. Go ham with stickers. Watercolor your heart out. DOODLE A LOT. The most important thing to remember it to make it as personalized as possible. This will motivate you to come back and add on to your craft.

I hope this helped guide you through how to make an organization system that works, is consistent, affordable, and effectively adorable. Happy Fall Semester!


Image credit: Tom Haverford being the way he is, bullet legend, bullet journal spread, bullet journal spread 2


Her Campus Utah Chapter Contributor