If I can do it, anyone can!
By Sophie Isbister, Contributor
The new semester is upon us, and the dates, deadlines, and textbook chapters are piling up as fast as you can say “Reading break please!” We all know that the best way to stay on top of things is to write them down and then follow up. But who actually does that religiously, and all semester long?
If you’re smart, you already have an agenda-book. Maybe you bought it at the Douglas College Bookstore, maybe you got it for free from the fine folks at the Douglas Students Union. Even if that is the case—if you’re like me, you still have no idea where to start.
I’m clueless at planning, and moreover I’ve always found traditional agendas to be limiting for my needs as a busy student who holds two jobs and also tries to have a social life. My hectic schedule is what led me to “Bullet Journaling.”
In a nutshell, a Bullet Journal (or BuJo) is a deconstructed agenda. It is typically a blank journal with a hard cover and pages that are dotted in a grid formation. Instead of having the days, weeks, and months laid out for you, your BuJo lets you make it up as you go along. The pages don’t take long to fill up: you can lay out your weekly spread on the day you typically plan out your week (I do mine on Sundays—or I play catch-up on Monday morning before class), and you can create spreads for ongoing projects such as health and fitness goals, or a vacation you’re planning.
You can take the long view with your BuJo. When you first set up your blank book, it’s recommended that you reserve the first few pages for something called your “Future Log,” which is where you write out the year in calendar form and record important dates like your registration time, or tuition due dates for the Winter 2018 semester. These are dates that you won’t record in your daily or weekly pages until they come up, but that you don’t want to forget.
Bullet Journaling allows you the flexibility to use your agenda like a notebook, sketchbook, or a regular agenda—wherever your creativity takes you. If you’re the type of person who stores all your assignments, important dates, and precious thoughts in a notebook in list-form, then you are probably already Bullet Journaling! I’ve latched onto the process pretty easily since I was always that person with important info scrawled on receipts that filled up my purse and backpack. With BuJo, I keep my frenzied ramblings—and even some of my school notes—all in one stylish place.
The preferred hardware for pros who BuJo is the Leuchtturm 1917 (which sounds more like some kind of industrial machine than a notebook), but you can use anything: A Moleskin notebook, a wire-bound college-rule, a pad of graph paper, or even a handful of printer paper. The point of the BuJo movement is not the medium you use or the content you create, but the process you use. I ended up investing in the Leuchtturm (found at Chapters for $24.00; official Bullet Journal version available for $33.00) because I like to doodle in Sharpie pens.
If you’re thinking about starting a journal of your own, but you want the option to control how it looks, I recommend checking out the Bullet Journal tag on Instagram or Pinterest. You’ll be inspired, but don’t worry: If the beautifully designed BuJo examples online seem out of reach for you, you’re not alone. My BuJo is a hot mess, and it works just fine!