LIFESTYLE // The Bullet Journal

Friday, 30 October 2015

Like I mentioned last week in my university organization post, I have been using a bullet journal as my go-to planner this academic year. I have tried traditional planners in the post and always forget to use them. Even when I do, I either have to write the bare minimum in them or pay extortionate amounts of diaries with a whole day per page (which doesn't particularly make it easy to see the week as a whole - it's a nightmare!). Anyway, after my summer Pinterest obsession, I decided to work with the bullet journal. All you need is a notebook - any notebook - and a pen. It's a much simpler way to plan and, for me, I have found it works wonders.

I got my notebook from TK Maxx and cannot get over how lucky I was that it was in my tiny local store. It's one of the Liberty organizers from 2011 with a range of lined, plain and grid pages. It's seriously easy tseparate out notes, to-do lists and random maths I may need to do. I'm very tempted to invest in a squared pad next time around, purely from ease of drawing squares but lines work just as well.

Whilst there are lots of variations, I've chosen a very basic approach as follows:
  • 1 blank page for unorganized notes and information for following weeks
  • 2 pages per week
  • Date of week beginning followed by XX/XX configuration for each day. 
  • All squares should have room next to them for the addition of another date if needed.
  • Blank square: to-do
  • Filled square: done
  • Half filled square: in progress
  • Cross in square: no-longer needed
  • Arrow and date: moved to new date
It's relatively simple, but there are a lot more shortcuts to learn if you wanted to do so. I like the flexibility that you have with this style of planner. If I have a really busy day, I have the room for it. If I want to do nothing that day, it doesn't really matter either. 

I separate each bullet into various sections e.g. CHEM, LIFE, BALLET, HEADLIGHTS so I can quickly glance and see what needs my attention urgently. I do think the important point to grasp with this style of planner is to give yourself easily achievable goals. If you know that you won't get 50 pages read in an evening, plan to do it over 2-3. Even ticking off reading 10 pages makes you feel more accomplished and more likely to keep motivated. It's your planner - if you have 15 things to do in one day, that's okay. As you can see, the length of my to-do lists changes every day and no day is identical. 

I find this way of planning my week is easier to see at a glance. I have seen that my productivity has improved since using this simple to-do list method. It's nice to look at your planner in the evening and see that everything you set out to do is done. As a result I feel like I have so much more free time, which as a Masters student, I very much doubted I'd have.

Have you tried a bullet journal? What are your tips and tricks to staying organized? Let me know!


  1. I'm going back to uni next September (hopefully) and this looks like a style of planning that would suit me too. I always need to see my week at a glance rather than just days and I love how flexible this form of planning is! Thanks for introducing me to it!
    Rebecca | The Two Twenty Somethings

    1. It's the flexibility that I love! I also like the fact it works with any old notebook - the days of paying £10 for an awful planner are over!


  2. I've seen and heard of this style of planning before but never given it a try before. I'm a big organizer but I get bored when using a normal diary/planner and end up just using notepads and the calendar for appointments and to-dos. I may give this a go though as this post is rather helpful in explaining it!


    1. I was using a lot of to-do lists before but it feels a little bit more organized keeping them all in the same book. I'd definitely give it a go but there's plenty on Pinterest that probably explains it with a bit more detail!


  3. I wish I could do something like this but I am so forgetful and after a week or two, I forget to use it!

    Natalie Ann xo | Petal Poppet Blogs ♥

    1. I get the odd day where I forget but I've found it much easier whilst I've been at university. I think it's because organization has become an absolute essential!


  4. Very interesting! As a super disorganized person, this post definitely came in useful haha :)

    Emily // Lynde Avenue

  5. Ive never really tried bullet journal but I do own a Filofax and so far so good. I might try bullet journalling the future though. You have beautiful handwriting btw.

    Check out my blog.


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