Do you want to be more organized and get better grades in 2023? These essential bullet journal spreads for students will help you achieve that goal!
Using the bullet journal system as a student is perfect because of its flexibility to include what’s important in your life, rather than trying to fit your goals into a premade student planner.
The life of non-traditional online students can look much different than on-campus students. You may not have exam “schedules” or set class times each week, so keeping a bullet journal allows you to design YOUR life the way it makes sense to you.
I’ve been using a bullet journal for over a year now and it’s been extremely beneficial in tracking and planning both my personal and student life.
The best part? At the end of the year you’ll be able to look back and see how much you’ve achieved!
- How Do You Start a Student Bullet Journal?
- Minimalist Bullet Journal Spreads for Students
- 1. Year at a Glance
- 2. Annual Goals
- 3. Future Log
- 4. Monthly Spread
- 5. Habit Tracker
- 6. Study Time Tracker
- 7. Weekly Tracker
- 8. Daily Spread
- 9. Course Overview
- 10. Grade Tracker
- 11. Study Activity Tracker
- More Inspirational Bullet Journal Spreads for Students
How Do You Start a Student Bullet Journal?
All you really need to start a student bullet journal is a dotted notebook, a pen, a highlighter and a few ideas of pages you want to create.
Scroll through the spreads in this post for some inspiration if you’re new to bullet journaling or if you need some new ideas.
I recommend choosing a few spreads and using them for a full month to see how they work for you.
Bullet Journal Supplies
To create the bullet journal pages pictured in this post, I used the below supplies:
- Bullet journal – Mountparker dotted notebook 5.3″ x 8.4″ (for last year’s bullet journal I used the Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook which is a great choice as well)
- Mini ruler – Westcott 6″
- Regular ruler – Westcott 12″
- Coloured pens – Staedtler triplus fineliners in 0.3mm
- Highlighters – Stabilo Boss original pastel
- Black ball point pen – Zebra Retractable Z-Grip in 1.0mm
- Pencil – Pentel mechanical in 09.mm
- White eraser – Staedtler plastic eraser (they also have these in the mini size)
- Whiteout tape – Paper Mate dryLine grip
You can have all these supplies delivered in 2 days or less with free shipping if you have an Amazon Prime account. If you don’t have an account, sign up here for an Amazon Prime Student 6-month free trial!
Minimalist Bullet Journal Spreads for Students
Although you can get as fancy as you want with your bullet journal pages (think washi tape and illustrations), I prefer to use more minimalist spreads which are pictured below.
Pick a theme colour for either the entire year, or choose a dedicated accent colour for each month. For example, my theme colour for 2023 is green.
I also like to colour code each entry in my bullet journal. Every area of my life is represented by a different colour:
- Light blue – school
- Dark blue – work
- Green – money
- Pink – beauty
- Orange – health
- Purple – exercise
- Red – personal
- Brown – travel
- Black – headings and calendars
Even though the 0.3mm Staedtler triplus fineliners aren’t the cheapest on the market, they’re my favourite coloured pens by far and have extremely minimal bleed through on bullet journal pages.
1. Year at a Glance
Put this spread at the beginning of your student bullet journal for an overview of the year.
Choose an optional focus quote for the year (this year mine is “year of change and reinvention”).
On the year at a glance calendar page, you can highlight each day of significant importance. Think assignment due dates, exam dates and major milestones such as a course completion or graduation!
2. Annual Goals
The annual goals page is where you can see an overview of all your goals for the year. Put a checkbox beside each goal so you can check them off as the year progresses.
3. Future Log
A future log keeps all the the events, major milestones and future plans all in one place, broken down by month.
Use it to record both milestones that happen and to plan out future events.
4. Monthly Spread
Monthly spreads are a great way to record everything that happens in a month, in more detail than a future log.
On the left side of the page you can describe events and accomplishments for the month, and on the right side of the page you can note the exact day of significant occurrences, such as exams, birthdays and life events.
5. Habit Tracker
“Step by step, day by day, your choices will shape your actions until they become habits where practice makes them permanent.”– Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect
Habits are powerful. Every bullet journal, whether you’re a student or not, should include a habit tracker page.
At the end of the day you can go to bed with satisfaction because each habit you completed has been highlighted.
Since student life isn’t just about studying, include daily habits such as exercising, stretching, reading and healthy eating if these are things you want to improve in your life this year.
The Compound Effect is a perfect motivational book if you need that kick in the pants to remind you that there are no shortcuts in life – you need to put in the work.
6. Study Time Tracker
A study time tracker is an essential bullet journal page for every type of student. It allows you to see an overview of how many hours you study per day, and you can even track how much time you spend on each subject by using a different colour if you’re taking several classes at once.
If you need some more motivation to study, read the post How To Study When You Don’t Feel Like It for a list of tips to help you boost your study hours!
7. Weekly Tracker
A weekly tracker allows you to plan all the tasks you want to accomplish in a week.
You can also use this page as a diary or checklist to record all the things you got done, or major events or milestones that occurred.
I like to include the week number for reference as we move through the year.
8. Daily Spread
A daily spread is where you can really get into detail on what happens each day.
I use a checkbox for items I need to complete and a bullet point for all other items.
You can also record how you’re feeling about certain things if you wish, just like you would in a personal diary.
This is where colour coding each area of your life really shines. If your page looks like a rainbow by the time you go to bed, you know you had a balanced day!
9. Course Overview
The course overview page (also called a class overview) is helpful for many reasons. Online students may begin courses on any day of the year and have a set amount of time to finish the course. Keeping track of these dates is extremely important to be able to finish on time (or as fast as you want!)
It’s also helpful to write down your instructor’s name (especially if they have a unique spelling!)
10. Grade Tracker
Tracking your grades, both for each course and each assignment, helps you monitor your GPA if you’re looking to apply for scholarships, qualify for financial aid or just want to prove to your overachieving self that you got this.
It’s often convenient to put both your course overview and grade tracker on the same page; however, you could also create a separate section to list all your grades for every course.
11. Study Activity Tracker
This student bullet journal spread is different from the study time tracker. The study activity tracker is where you list what learning activities you complete each day.
For example, you could write: “M1 (module 1) section 1.1 notes & exercises 1, 3 & 5.”
Create a legend at the bottom of the page and colour code which activities you completed for each course.
At the end of the month, you’ll have a good overview of exactly what you get done each day and how you could improve.
More Inspirational Bullet Journal Spreads for Students
Pinterest is a goldmine for bullet journal inspiration, so set up a bullet journal board and get pinning!
Do you use a bullet journal as a student? Share your favourite spreads in the comments below!