A Student’s Guide to an Organized Life

By Lizzie Peterson, Academic Mentor

College life can get chaotic and sometimes make you feel like you are drowning in assignments or like you don’t have time to do anything fun. Time management and organization can be hard skills to master. I found myself having a difficult time adjusting to the craziness of college life until I discovered the bullet journal.

What is a Bullet Journal?

In 2013, Ryder Carroll introduced the bullet journaling method to the world.  He created the bullet journal to “Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future” (see bulletjournal.com).

A bullet journal (or BuJo for short) is a personalized system of organizing your life. Since it is personalized, the bullet journal can be designed with just a pen and a notebook or with lots of color and creative expression. It is a planner tailored by you for you.

Get Organized and Manage Time

Being organized reduces stress, increases productivity, as well as lowers anxiety. In addition, using a bullet journal to get organized can also provide a creative outlet. Whether you are artistic or not, drawing or coloring is an excellent stress reliever and creative exercise.

A BuJo can be a tracker, a planner, a journal, a To-Do list, a sketchbook and more, all in one notebook. Bullet Journaling can be used to create yearly, monthly, weekly and daily organizers for events, tasks or even assignments. Students can use a BuJo to keep track of grades, attendance, assignments, goals, studying, finances and more. Organization and time management are easy with weekly or daily schedules; To-Do lists or reminder lists; class, exam, and work schedules and a master syllabus all in one convenient notebook. Bullet journals can also be used to keep track of cleaning or dorm duties, meal planning, or other personal tasks in addition to school or social tasks.

Mental and Physical Health

A Bullet Journal can also be used to keep track of and improve mental and physical health. You can keep track of water intake, sleep, workouts, weight loss, calories, heart rates, meals, and more to help improve physical health. Mental health can be improved with mood trackers, journaling, or self-care techniques.

Use a bullet journal to keep track of goals, brainstorm, or doodle. Having good mental and physical health is important for college students, but often gets pushed aside. College students will find themselves feeling less overwhelmed and ultimately do better in academics when they are of good health both mentally and physically.

The Bullet Journaling method is great for tracking and ultimately improving health through reflection, planning, and goal setting that keeps you more accountable.

Why use a Bullet Journal?

The act of physically writing things down increases your ability to remember them. A Bullet Journal is more than just a planner and can help keep your thoughts, plans, activities and life organized. It may sound like a lot of work having to create your own system of organizing, but it doesn’t have to be. It is your own personalized system so make it as complex or as simplistic as you would like! Planners can be bulky or simply ineffective for some students. Because of its personalization and brevity, bullet journaling is a great system for college students struggling with organizing their lives.


To schedule an appointment at the Ally Center, visit lbc.edu/ally


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