What To Include In Your University Bullet Journal.
I graduated two years ago now but I can see the benefits of a bujo for university as clear as if I was still there. For maybe the first time you're somewhere where you're 100% responsible for yourself and for your organisation and having a bullet journal would definitely have been beneficial for me. Ohhhh if only they'd been a massive trend back then. I'm sure they were a thing but maybe not as popular as they are now but lord I wish I'd had one.
I am organised at the best of times and doing a degree seemed to make me even more so. From managing classes to assignments to deadlines to new projects all the way through to home life - train timetables, finances and meal trackers. I think I had 4 running notebooks when I was in university, two for finances, one for home life and one for my degree work; can you imagine having it all in one book?
I'd definitely have run through several journals whilst I was there with everything I'd fill it with. Here's my suggestions for what to include in your bujo for uni;
Sure you might have it online but there's nothing quite like a physical paper timetable is there? Keeping it in your bullet journal means you have it everywhere you go - mock up your timetable in whichever way suits you best. For me it would have been a weekly timetable as every day was the same but maybe for you it's fortnightly, monthly, quarterly....whenever your timetable changes add a new spread to your bujo.
A good old fashioned academic year calendar should do just the trick when it comes to future planning. Before you start in September or October create an academic calendar to take you up to the end of your year and fill in as you go. Pop in term dates, holidays, days off, deadlines, personal commitments etc. Make it very simple to use and use the rest of your journal for more detailed plans.
Module codes, module titles, module descriptions...whatever it may be get your modules down. When you start a new term remembering your module codes or even the correct term is a nightmare and you know the one time you'll need it off the cuff you won't be able to access your online portal. Get it down in your bujo and by the time you've written it down 10 times over it'll be engrained in your head.
Very important spread. Add your deadlines to your academic calendar but create a new spread for them on their own too. Aside from the dates something needs to be handed in make sure you jot down all the information as you're given it. Make a note of what needs to be handed in, module codes, titles, examining tutors, where to hand it in and exactly what is expected of you.
Aside from the deadlines you need a spread for each module for all the assignments you'll be given. For me that would have been images I had to create or sketchbook work I'd been asked to do. For you maybe it'll be a specific piece of reading or a critique you need to take to class next week. Don't just focus on the deadlines and the important things, the smaller tasks are the ones you're most likely to forget - get them in the bujo.
This would have been a vital one for me so I definitely would have included it. For most exams, assignments and assessments there is a series of criteria you have to hit to get a certain grade or reach a grade boundary. I always made sure I had a print out of my criteria to make sure I was where I wanted to be and ticking each box - definitely something I would have included in my journal.
Maybe you'd want to include this, maybe you wouldn't - depending on how your grades are doing! Keeping a track of your grades means you'll know if you're on track or not, where you're slacking and where you need to pick up on. You can also add up your percentage as you go to see how you're doing and record your feedback too.
I would definitely have a separate calendar to my academic planner and I'd probably make it a monthly look through like I have in my current journal. Using a monthly, more in depth calendar means you can mix personal and academic easily with more detail. Instead of just writing 'deadline' in your academic calendar, which makes it easy to use at a glance, with a monthly calendar as well you can include details on that deadline, and details on your plans to celebrate!
Travel home, exploring whilst you're in uni, bus timetables, train timetables, dates, times, booking references, ticket collection numbers....whatever it is, whap it in the bullet journal. Yes we live in a digital age but I don't think I have ever travelled without also having a physical copy in my notebooks or on a print out. Your signal will fail when you need it and you won't be able to access your confirmation. The text with your reference code won't come through and you've clicked off the booking form. The train is delayed and you're likely to miss your connection but you can't check online. Your bujo would save you from all of that.
Ohhh the bane of student life. No none of us like doing it but yes we all know we should track it. Just draw up a simple spreadsheet of what you're spending out every month and what is coming back in and make sure your books balance. It's all too easy to use contactless or spend on your card and have no real concept of what you're spending but when you have a physical copy in front of you it's not as easy to deny. All them takeaways sure add up huh? The amount you spend on your daily coffee on the way to the library could easily pay for the trip home you've been hankering after. Get them finances down.
Another boring student staple but oh so necessary. Keep a running list of the things you need, from food to freshers staples. Remind yourself with a list of what you need from the supermarket as well as when you need to stock up on paper or new pens cos all of yours have been lost to the depths of your bag. Also having a physical shopping list might remind you to pick up some veggies or fruit or something reasonably healthy when you're filling your basket with super noodles and crisps. If you want bonus points ask your Mum to write your shopping list - you might definitely get some goodness in ya then.
Noting down your student finance ID number will be the single most useful thing you do this year - trying to find the paperwork when you're on the phone to an advisor is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Also writing down the payment dates and how much you're expecting to come in is vital when managing your own finances.
Keeping a note of your accommodation details is also a very important and useful spread to have in your journal. A copy of your contract tucked inside wouldn't go amiss as well as your landlords details, address and phone number for emergencies. Details of bills if you've had to sort them out yourself, when payments need to be made, rent needs to be paid and any agreements between flatmates. Also handy for if you're just starting flat hunting and you want to remain organised on what you've viewed, what you liked, pros, cons and contact details.
Like a good old fashioned ICE card if you will. Your journal is likely to be on your person at most times, in your bag or with you at lectures so having an in case of emergency page, preferably at the beginning is very important. It could find you reunited with your beloved journal if it happens to fall out of your rucksack and picked up by a fellow student or it could be used to get in touch with someone if god forbid something happened to you. Include things like your full name, uni address, home address, mobile number, email and contact details for your parents or flatmates.
Oh how organised my life could have been if only I'd had a bujo for my degree! How about you - have you already started your degree with a journal? Wish you had?