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Bullet journaling and how it can help your studies

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Published: 27 August 2021

Bullet journal

Life as a university student can involve a lot of different things to think about, remember and act on.  

You could have lots of classes, any number of assignments, free courses to go to and much more.  

When you put that on top of work and home life, you can see why it’s so important to keep a plan of what you’re doing.  

That’s where bullet journals come in.  

What is it?   

It’s quite common for students like you to have lots of different notebooks for each module, class and assignment.   

That can get messy and confusing, which is the problem bullet journals try to solve.   

It’s an organisation system that puts all your things into one easy-to-read place.  

Why is it called a bullet journal?  

The name comes from the use of lists, and symbols, that you’ll find in every version of this kind of notetaking.  

Instead of writing everything out, you summarise it in a short word or phrase and include a bullet point that gives you more information.  

These symbols or ‘signifiers’ can be anything you want and it’s best to experiment with the ones you find the most useful.  

But common bullet points include:   

  • Priority - *
  • Inspiration - !
  • Reminder - -- 
  • Task – o   

You might want to come up with symbols for a deadline, quotes, family tasks, university things or anything else.  

Whatever signifiers you choose to use, make sure one of the first pages in your bullet journals lists them out so you can refer back whenever you want.  

What are collections?   

Simply put, collections are anything you add to your bullet journal.  

After your signifier page, you can pretty much write whatever you want. That could be a calendar, to-do lists, goals and actions, savings, daily schedules and more.  

Each of these counts as a collection.    

The index  

The other thing that makes bullet journals different to the regular way of taking notes is the index.   

This is normally written over a few sheets of paper at the front of the journal and lists out all of your collections and what pages they’re on.  

Make sure you leave some space blank so you can add new collections when you create them.   

For example, one index entry might be ‘Dissertation ideas p10-15'. That would take you to the part of your journal where you write down all your thoughts for your research project.  

Once you have all of that in place, it’s simply a case of starting to write. You’ll find it takes a little time to get your bullet journal just how you want it.  

Plus, there will be some collections or signifiers you use that you decide you don’t need.  

But try it out and see how much more organised your life can be.  

For tips and ideas on how to create and organise yours, check out the original website Bullet Journal 

We’d love to see the styles and designs you create. Share them with the community on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #WeAreSunLon.