Bullet Journaling 101

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Bullet Journaling 101

After having 3 midterms in one week, I felt as if my life was falling apart. I swore to myself that over fall break I would get my life back together. To help myself get organized again, I turned straight to my planner.

 Photo: Sofia Wieland

Photo: Sofia Wieland


A form of a planner that can be extremely helpful in organizing every aspect of your life is a Bullet Journal. The Bullet Journal was created by Ryder Carroll, who explains this system of journaling as a way to track the past, organize the present and plan for the future. The concept of this journal is to have all of your important thoughts in one place.

Not only can you keep a list of things you need to accomplish in a day, week or month in a bullet journal, but you can also track other aspects of your life. Popular subjects to track in these are daily water intake, finances and even your daily mood.

Since you will be creating a bullet journal in a plain empty notebook, there are many ways you can set it up. This video explains the basics. These basics include an index page, future log, monthly log and the daily log.

I created my bullet journal at the beginning of 2018. Here’s how I decided to organize mine:

To begin, I wanted a simple gridded notebook to use for my bullet journal. To write the titles of each page, I used the Tombow brush pens. For the writing in this journal, I used black fine tip pens. I also bought washi tape for easy but artistic decoration.

Since this journal is 100 percent customizable, I did not include an index page for my first page. Instead, I printed out a yearly calendar overview and pasted it to the first page.

I always would draw a monthly calendar that took up two pages so I could see what events and deadlines were coming up for that month. After my monthly calendar, I would draw out a mood tracker so at the end of the month, I could look back and see how I felt overall. I also included a gym tracker that would motivate me to draw a circle over the day everytime I actually went to the gym. Since I sell clothes online, I also added a tracker for that so I could keep track of my profit for that month.

For each month, I included a “line a day” page where I would write down one good thing that happened that day. This way, I had a physical page to look at to reflect on my month, which is also cool to look back on in future months or even years for memories.

Since I had the freedom to customize each page as I wanted, I would have different weekly spreads for the month instead of keeping the same layout for the whole year. Here are some pictures of some of my favorites that I did:


I would always gravitate towards Pinterest for inspiration. Here are some of the pictures that I have pinned to my journaling board that I took inspiration from for some of my pages:


Again, my basic essentials for my monthly spreads in my bullet journal was my monthly calendar, trackers and weekly spreads. But, I included more! Remember, since this is totally customizable, you can put whatever you wish in this journal! I enjoyed putting my monthly music playlists and even making decorative monthly collages.

Some useful spreads for fellow college students can include a semester at a glance (put important dates from syllabus into this), class schedules, sleep tracker or finance tracker.

Here are some extra resources to get inspiration for your bullet journal:

Remember, bullet journaling can also be a therapeutic activity to relax during the weekends. Go get your journal, markers, and creativity and give bullet journaling a try!







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The Art of the Essay

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The Art of the Essay

How many times have you wished out loud that you had time to read for pleasure in your hectic daily life?

How many times in the past few years have you picked up a novel and, after reading a few pages, set it down, never to pick it up again?

Essay provides a solution to the idea of being too busy to read, a respite from the tedium presented by the 500-page novel on your bedside table. A literary genre for the 21st century, modern essay doles out its prose in bite-sized pieces.  

Essay is a literary category that includes the iconic names of Ralph Waldo Emerson, T.S. Eliot and Langston Hughes, as well as many contemporary authors today writing about interesting and innovative topics. Subject matters range from humorous personal anecdotes to political manifestos, but all of them share one quality: the writer’s personal voice.

Essay is an art, as influential as it is underrated. The word essay comes from the French word “essayer,” meaning to attempt or try. And this is how many essayists describe their own writing: an attempt at putting their ideas on paper, an experimentation of prose. Whether in a narrative or argumentative style, the writer may begin in one place and, by the end, come around to a completely different stance or truism. Essayist and revolutionary Joan Didion said it well, “I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means.”

There is no fixed length or style to an essay - its nature is to be as flexible and diverse as its authors. As Aldous Huxley (famous author of Brave New World and renowned essayist) has said, “The essay is a literary device for saying almost everything about almost anything.”

That being said, essay is also a great place to start off as a writer. You can put all of your ideas on paper, mix them up and reword them until you feel you’ve created something presentable. Many essayists are also novelists, journalists, academics and generally influential people. What makes them essayists is simply their ability to write something concise, imaginative and impactful.

There is so much to gain from a few short but powerful pages of literature. Take, for example, this line from essayist Toure’s piece “No Such Place As Post-Racial America,”: “If your neighbor’s house is on fire, or gets foreclosed, you have a problem. If your neighbor’s soul is on fire you have a major problem.”

In so few words, Toure expresses the impact of racism on not just people of color, but every American, especially in a time when the term “post-racial” gets tossed around thoughtlessly. Such is the power of essay: each sentence has a very definite purpose, a contribution to the whole.

Next time you’re skimming the shelves of a bookstore (or more likely, Amazon), consider picking up a book of essays for maximum entertainment in an easy to digest format. A book like this, you can be sure, will never collect dust.

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October: things to look forward to

October: things to look forward to

October is here and so is a guide to some fun, exciting things to look out for around UNC-Chapel HIll and North Carolina.

Less is More: Living at the Mercy of Nature

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Less is More: Living at the Mercy of Nature

Imagine spending your summer off the coast of Maine, literally. Sara Holley sailed the coast on a 30-foot pulling boat with 9 peers and no technology... or real showers. Holley reflects on her experience and what she has learned from this opportunity. 

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New Year, New Me?

New Year, New Me?

Have you made your New Year's resolutions list yet? Here's some ideas! 

Taiwanese by Blood, American by Bond

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Taiwanese by Blood, American by Bond

Change often helps us discover our strengths and even reveals our identities, like for Jessica Wu when faced with a new environment. Read more of this interview and discover how identity is always evolving and waiting to be found.

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College: Beyond the Brochure

College: Beyond the Brochure

American culture does us a great disservice by putting college on a pedestal. University is championed as the best time of our lives. So if you don’t feel like you’re having the best time of your life, you begin to wonder if there is something wrong with you. Or worse: what if this is as good as it gets?