What’s so special about this thing called a bullet journal? No, this journal is not super fast or super stupid, but can actually help you in many areas of your life. How you may be asking? Take the time to finish reading this article to help with organizing most areas of your life.

The bullet journal was created by Ryder Carroll (http://www.rydercarroll.com/) and can be summed up as a rapid logging system. It’s a system where everything you will need in your life (to-do list, schedules, event planning, sketchbook, journal, notebook, etc.)  is in one place: the pages of your notebook. The system allows the bulk of your life to be written down and still be organized by the key and index.

The key is a simple symbolic guide that allows you to distinguish between tasks, events, and notes. The basic symbolizing is:

Dot = event

< = task scheduled

> = task migrated (to the future)

– = notes

These symbols can be used in different logs broken down by month, day and future. Each of these logs can be organized however you feel will work the best for you. You can keep track of how you organize them in the index. Don’t feel like you have to plan out every single page or section in the journal, plan a little bit in advance, and continue as you go. Below are some more tips from my trial and error since starting my bullet journal.

It doesn’t have to be perfect

Don’t worry about your hand lettering looking good (I Googled many Youtube videos and still struggled to get it semi-okay) or your spelling isn’t very good. Keeping in mind that it’s not the end of the world that it’s not perfect. If you want to do your best, slow down and take your time. That way you can work toward making your journal the best for you.

Fake it ‘til you make it (calligraphy)

The hand lettering, or calligraphy style of writing, can add some flare to your journal and keep the process interesting and fun for your personality. The best advice I learned was to start with normal cursive writing, filling in all the down strokes afterwards. Check out Sunshine & Stationery’s ‘Letter Like a Lefty’ Youtube series to learn more of the ropes for hand lettering for beginners (the series is specifically for left-handers, but it also has useful information for any beginner).

Get creative

There are a million ways to create layouts and styles for your weekly or monthly log. Don’t worry about how it will compare to others, because the journal is for your life and schedule. Don’t be afraid to change the rules to fit your life.

Have a major key (that works for you)

Like the last tip, creating a key that you understand to log all of your information is going to be beneficial to you when your life gets really busy. Write the key down in the front or the back of your journal for record, and journal away.

Go with the flow, and keep going.

At first, it can seem like a lot, maybe even a chore. But, taking the time to get organized is going to help you out in every aspect of your life. If you mess up, keep going. If you’re too tired to do anything, keep going to your energy level. If you don’t know how to lay out your week, look up ideas and keep going. Eventually with hard work it will be a lifesaver and helpful to your well-being.

In today’s world we see this trend skyrocketing, so even a Google search can give you more tricks and tips. If you’re curious, check out the world of rapid logging and the art of bullet journaling.

Hailey Turpin is a Senior Communication Studies Major with a Public Relations Track and an English Minor. Hailey has worked for the paper for her entire secondary education career. She enjoys coffee, everything lifestyle related and sleeping. Hailey is also a member if Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity.