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(photo by Tammy Wen)

(photo by Tammy Wen)

By Tammy Wen, Niles West

What in the world is a bullet journal? For starters, it’s not a Horcrux. (Sorry Tom Riddle.) Simply put, the journal is a method of organization. Its origins trace back to the developer and designer, Ryder Carroll. Since then, the bullet journal has become an asset for busy lives everywhere. In the Studyblr community of Tumblr, students are taking advantage of this method by using it for schoolwork and life tasks. Don’t be alarmed, the bullet journal is not just for students. It can also function as a planner, sketchbook, motivator and even a documentation of what you ate for breakfast. I hope my experience with the bullet journal can encourage you to make one as well. What better way to begin 2016 than with a super journaling system?

Making one is really simple because it requires a notebook and a writing utensil. A lot of people prefer the Moleskines brand, but the beauty of the bullet journal is that everything is based off the preferences of the journalist. You do not need expensive pens or stationary to get started. Whether you prefer lined, graphed, dotted or blank paper, you have unlimited options to choose from. The journal is structured according to your schedule, tasks, and needs. If you’re an artist or someone who simply enjoys efficiency, you’ll enjoy the freedom of customizing it to your vision.

How does one exactly set this system up? The system is relatively flexible, as people can choose to follow the standard system on the website. The method is designed to keep track of events you haven’t completed to what you do with those migrated events. Majority of journals contain an index, key/legend, calendar and monthly tasks page. For example, there are certain symbols that signify if a task is completed, incomplete, migrated or cancelled.

From there, you can create your journal’s pages based off your heart’s desire. The journal is extremely helpful when it comes to keeping track of school assignments and events. I tend to use it for brainstorming, doodling, and goals I have in the future. Some ideas for pages: future books to read, favorite music, topics you’d like to research, places you want to travel to, things that inspire you, and more. You can customize your journal with colorful pens, washi tape, stickers, and the like.

Don’t feel frustrated on how to format or structure your pages. What’s important is that the system works for you. Although the process tends to require a lot of pre-planning, the method guarantees an orderly system of compiling information. I get a sense of satisfaction by crossing off my tasks and seeing the week mapped out according to my schedule. It’s definitely made senior year less stressful. Sure, iPhone reminders may be the solution for some people. If you hate clutter and lists, the bullet journal method is the way to go.

Watch the official Bullet Journal video here

Official Bullet Journal Website

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