Bullet journal your way to success

If you’ve been on Instagram or Pinterest lately, odds are you’ve come across pictures of meticulously organized notebooks and calendar pages decorated with whimsical drawings and bright colors. At first glance, they might look like art, but these eye-catching images are actually bullet journals: a helpful productivity tool gaining popularity among students who want to keep their thoughts both organized and aesthetically pleasing.

Bullet journaling has been around since 2013, but it has only recently become well-known through the power of social media. A quick search of the “bullet journal” hashtag on Instagram reveals over a million posts. The numbers speak for themselves: bullet journaling is a system that anyone can use. It’s easy and intuitive, not to mention pretty, and can be easily adapted to suit people’s needs.

Visual learners can no doubt appreciate a bullet journal’s attractive layout, and large tasks may feel less intimidating when they’re written in bright colors and adorned with drawings. Associating tasks with images can also help improve memory, which is extremely beneficial to busy, forgetful students.

If you struggle to draw a smiley face, the prospect of keeping a neat bullet journal might seem intimidating, but don’t be so quick to rule it out: there are no rules in bullet journaling, and a journal doesn’t even need to have pictures. A bullet journal is, at its core, a glorified checklist, and an effective journal can be maintained using only the simple set of symbols, such as dots, dashes, and slashes, that denote different tasks and make a huge difference when trying to wrangle a lot of ideas at once.

Bullet journal skeptics might argue that it is a waste of time to spend upwards of an hour on bullet journaling, but the act of bullet journaling can also serve as a fun respite from a stressful day. Taking time to doodle, plan, and prioritize every day is a great mindfulness exercise, and even spending five minutes making a to-do list every morning is an easy and accessible way anyone can adapt bullet journaling techniques to fit into their lifestyle.

No matter what strategies you choose to implement, bullet journaling is a great way to gather your thoughts and prioritize your tasks. And after all, what’s better than the pride of having a stack of pages you’ve filled as a physical record of everything you’ve accomplished?

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