Bullet journaling can also be a relaxing leisure activity outside of academics.
Bullet journaling can also be a relaxing leisure activity outside of academics.
Emily Gonçalves

Bullet Journaling— what’s the hype?

If you’re looking for a new way to stay organized this semester, bullet journaling may be for you.

“Syllabus Week” is almost over, and there’s no turning back to 2019— which means the time for getting organized is now. Whether you’ve seen the kid who sits in front of you in lecture or “that” artsy cousin do it, we’re here to break down the hype behind the bullet journaling trend. 

In case you haven’t heard about this new approach to planning, bullet journals are notebooks where the lined paper is replaced with dotted paper, making them more conducive for artwork. 

“I took art classes in high school and loved them, but I don’t really have the time to do art now, so I prefer bullet journals for the creative aspect,” senior Betsey Ellis said. “They’re more freeform than a normal planner.”

Emily Gonçalves
Start your semester strong with the latest trend in organization: bullet journaling.

A common appeal to bullet journals is the freedom to customize each page so that it’s unique to the individual. Ellis uses hers to document important memories.

“My journal captures a lot more of what I was doing at each time of the year than a normal planner does,” she said. “I went on a trip to New York with my family, and I have a page of what we did everyday.”

Some students keep the journal separate from academia and use it for lifestyle purposes. 

“I use my bullet journal more for things like keeping track of books I’ve read or Netflix shows I’m watching. It’s a good creative outlet,” senior Shelby Wohlschlaeger said. “I also keep a planner for academic things, such as keeping track of assignments. I’ve never been  big on writing in a diary fashion, so I like my journal because it’s quick and easy.”

Emily Gonçalves
Shelby Wohlschlaeger‘s journal focuses on intentional goal-setting for 2020.

While the journals can serve as a creative outlet, having an artistic background is certainly not necessary. The purpose behind them is not to add unwanted chores but rather to deviate the mind from outward stressors and packed schedules by providing a place to move worries from pen to paper.

“You don’t even have to be super creative. I watch a YouTuber and try to mimic her designs since she’s super artistic, and I want mine to look like hers,” sophomore Andrea Dorantes said. “It does take a long time, but I like to set aside a couple of hours in the beginning of the week because it’s a huge stress reliever.”

Whether you’re a first-year or an experienced senior, Spring semester is the perfect time to reassess your study habits and see how they’ve been working for you. If you find yourself lacking direction in your planning and need a guiding hand, bullet journaling may be the answer. You can find them for as little as $10 on Amazon or at the Vanderbilt Barnes and Noble. 

Emily Gonçalves
Bullet journalling is a way to mesh creativity with quantitative organization.
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About the Contributors
Sahanya Bhaktaram, Former Life Copy Editor
Sahanya Bhaktaram ('23) is studying Communication Studies with minors in Business and the History of Art. She can be reached at [email protected].
Emily Gonçalves, Former Multimedia Director
Emily Gonçalves (‘20) was the Multimedia Director of the Vanderbilt Hustler. She majored in Mathematics and Economics and minored in Latin American Studies. When she’s not taking photos, you can catch this Jersey girl making puns, singing, advocating for girls’ education and drinking lots of chocolate milk and espresso!
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