My Secret to Productivity at Uni? The Bullet Journal

Bullet Journals

A bullet journal is a tool that organises your life and lets you keep track of about anything you can think of. However, using the bullet journal is more than just keeping a diary. As stated on, ‘it’s a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system’ and it will genuinely help you accomplish more. In this article, I’m going to explain: what they are, how they’re used, and why it will enhance your uni life.


A sample spread for the month of July.


The bullet journal is unique in its approach to organisation. Unlike an ordinary diary, bullet journals allow you to keep track of your work, social, and your personal life all in one place. Importantly, this makes it easier to balance all 3.


The journal begins with a ‘Future Log’ which is simply a set of pages that allow you to enter any tasks/events/notes that might need attention months from now.

For each month, the journal should contain a double spread (see photograph above) for your month-specific goals alongside any events happening or notes you may have.

In the proceeding pages of the monthly spread, you log your days in the form of lists using a set of basic symbols:

  • Tasks are indicated by a dot 
  • Notes are indicated by a dash –
  • Things of particular importance are indicated by a star *
  • Events are indicated by a circle ○

Then the symbol gets converted to a cross when it is completed.

Day by day planning in the bullet journal.


There you have it, that’s the basic structure of a bullet journal. The full extent of the methodology can be found at


So why should you invest your time in setting up such an elaborate little book?

Well, by the time I got to Honours level, I found that the sheer volume of stuff I had to do day to day was overwhelming. Readings, self-directed tasks, social commitments, job applications, meter readings, birthday presents, essays, etc. I began feeling as if I was just trying to keep my head above water instead of feeling relaxed and composed.

However, after I started using the bullet journal I not only found that I could manage my life better, but I also found that I could genuinely fit more stuff into my day. There is something immensely satisfying about crossing out a task when completed, every day this is a motivating factor in keeping the ball rolling and completing as many items on the list as possible.

I have no doubt that having an organised life brings with it clarity of mind. If I organise the coming day the night before, then I don’t lie awake at night thinking about what I’ve got to do. If I’m struggling to get started in the morning, then I do something easy and tick it off to kickstart my productivity. If I ever feel as if I have forgotten something, I know exactly where to check.

Bullet journaling is not necessarily for everyone, but I implore you to try it out. It’s free – all you need is a blank journal to construct the bullet journal skeleton in, and it might just help you realise your potential.

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