It’s back to school season and that means planning out a new semester full of new challenges and assignments for each student. Personally, as a graduate student, I find my bullet journal to be essential during this process. Each semester (if I remember) I create a semester overview layout. Additionally, when I was taking on-campus courses, I would create a visual weekly schedule; however, I am strictly online now and this is no longer necessary for me. Lastly, I keep a detailed account of all due dates in my weekly spreads. While this article is not going to talk about school layouts that are integrated; I wanted to show you some potentially useful back to school bullet journal spreads!
This first layout we are looking at has a lot going for it! I do not fully understand the class countdown since I am not aware of the program, but I assume it is marking courses or maybe even weeks in a semester as complete or not. This is such a great way to keep track. Additionally, there is a topic-specific countdown. Then to the right is a term planner. I love how detailed and colorful this back to school spread is!
This spread is far more specific than the previous one. This layout is one that helps plan out an essay or a research paper. This helps organize thoughts as well as structure. I highly recommend some kind of planning page when it comes to paper writing!
These timetables are good ways to visually organize time. Each is similar but looks different. The left features Monday through Friday pie charts to color a schedule into. Whereas, the right page is a simple table broken down by day and each half-hour to color a schedule into. I highly recommend something similar to these this school season.
Ever thought of a reading tracker? Me either! What a great idea! This layout lists the books needed for your courses as well as reading assignments by date or week and book. This is a good way to stay up on your readings.
This is not only a back to school weekly schedule but a semester at a glance. I personally use the at-a-glance style because it shows a brief overview of major assignments by month. It is a great way to look ahead if you don’t create your monthly setups in advance.
Ever think about keeping your notes in your bullet journal? hand written notes are a great way to help you remember information. Additionally, making your notes pretty and fun can make them that much more enjoyable. Give it a shot!
Here is a breakdown of the bullet journal inspired planner created for Gi. Gi ordered two notebooks; a reflection notebook and a school notebook.
For Gi’s reflection notebook the main color or theme was pastel and watercolor. Layouts involved include a title page, future log, 2018 reflections, when I am old page, when I did last, the 5 w’s of life, monthly cover pages, monthly learning plan, gratitude log, monthly thoughts log, monthly reflections, monthly memories, weekly thoughts, daily reflections, and 2019 reflections so far.
For Gi’s school notebook, the main color or theme was pastel and watercolor. Further, layouts involved include a title page, year at a glance, the 5 w’s of life, accountability, get back on track, 2019 goals, study tips, other tips, Cornell notetaking guide, semester overview, timetables, course overview, monthly layouts, a sentence a day, monthly assignments, reading log, brain dump, weekly layouts, blank Cornell notetaking pages, mindmaps, monthly reflection, vocabulary list, references list, and project pages.
This is a pastel blue watercolor title page. In a calligraphy font, I wrote “Gi’s” then on the second line “Reflections” is in an all-caps print font.
This layout features 2 columns per page. Each column features a month from that year. The header is a pastel minimal cursive.
This layout is mainly blank with a print and calligraphy header. “Reflection” is in pink calligraphy and “2018” in black print.
When I Am Old Page:
This page has a yellow print title stating “what I hope to remember about my life when I am old.”The remainder of the layout is blank but with a colorful pastel watercolor blur.
When I Did Last:
This layout is another watercolor layout. The header is in simple cursive over top of green watercolor. There is space on the left side of the page with green watercolor to note the task and several lines following it to write in dates of task completion.
The 5 W’s Of Life:
This is an all black layout. The header is print and simple cursive lettering. The rest of the layout is broken into 5 sections: who, what, when, where, and why.
Monthly Cover Pages:
These are simple circular watercolor hello pages. Each is a different pastel color. In black calligraphy cursive is the name of the month.
Monthly Learning Plan:
This layout is made up of four boxes. The boxes are titled reflect, observe, plan, and act. Additionally, the header, the month is in black print font, learning is in a pastel calligraphy cursive, and plan is in a smaller print font.
These layouts are all different but with the same idea. They depict a yellow sunshine. Each ray of sunlight is numbered for the days of that month and “I am grateful for” or “gratitude” or “grateful” is in the sun.
Monthly Thoughts Log:
This layout depicts colorful watercolor clouds. The headers are in black calligraphy cursive and black print font.
This page is a series of reflection questions spaced out between two pages. The header is in black print and pastel cursive.
This memory layout has a minimal cursive header. The remainder of the page is filled with pastel watercolor circles where Gi can write in memories each month.
Like the monthly layouts, this layout depicts colorful watercolor clouds. The headers are in black calligraphy cursive and black print font. This is a one-page layout.
The daily reflections layout was requested based on a layout created by Sublime Reflection. This layout is a three-page layout. The header is in a watercolor calligraphy cursive. The rest of the layout is a grid with a column for each day of the week. The rows include word of the day, wins, challenges, favorite memories, key lessons, tender mercies, gratitude, and <3.
2019 Reflections So Far:
This layout is mainly blank with a print and calligraphy header. “Reflection” is in pink calligraphy and “2019 so far” in black print.
This is a pink watercolor title page. In a calligraphy font, I wrote “Gi’s,” then on the second line “spring semester” is in an all-caps print font.
Year at a Glance:
This year at a glance features 124 months, January 2019 through December 2020, in a calendar format. The months are horizontal and in pastel colors. The main header is 2019 and 2020 in print font.
The 5 W’s Of Life:
The header of this layout is print and simple cursive lettering. The rest of the layout includes five sections: who, what, when, where, and why. Each section’s header is in a different pastel color.
This layout has a bold calligraphy cursive header in the center and includes 6 sections: quotes, intentions, definition, let go of, why, and invite in.
Get Back On Track:
This layout provides eight tips on getting back on track for school.
The 2019 goal layout features six sections all surrounded by colorful watercolor. The sections include other skills, physcial health, mental health, career, relationsihps, and art & hobbies.
This page is full of colorful tips and illustrations to help with studying. These sections include flashcards, margins, mind maps, mini mind maps, and teach.
This layout is mostly blank with a header. The header is an all-caps outlined print font.
Cornell Notetaking Guide:
This is a guide to the Cornell notetaking strategy. This page details what each section might include as well as the size and various other tips to notetaking.
The semester overview layout includes a pastel green calligraphy header. Further, the pages include four months: January, February, March, and April, Each section has a mini-calendar.
This layout includes two timetables. One breaks down the week in clock-like circles. Next, the second is a chart that breaks down each day of the week into 15 minutes increments.
This layout is another chart to keep track of course information including credit hours, grades, etc.
Each month’s layout is slightly different. However, what they have in common is the use of calligraphy cursive in the header and the month laid out in a horizontal list identified by both the day of the week and the date. January is unique because of the borderlines in both black and pastel purple which are above and below the dates and days of the week. Then, February has pink watercolor splattered behind the days and dates of the month. March is nearly identical to January except the header has a shadow in pastel yellow. Lastly, April is similar to February except the watercolor is green. May is like January and March except the blue header is outlined in black.
A Sentence A Day:
This is a calendar style chart to write down a single word for each day of the month.
Here is another calendar of the month. This calendar is to write down assignment due dates. And anything upcoming.
This log is meant to track reading and reading assignments for each month. Further, the header is a pastel-colored block print with black outlining.
The braindump layout is filled with watercolor splotches, always featuring two colors. Then, the header is done in pastel-colored block print with black outlining.
Each month features a different layout for the weeks. January’s weekly spreads vary by week, but each features a watercolor circle, the date, and the day of the week. For February, the weekly spreads include six sections, the 6th section broken into two. Also, I’ve used Minimal cursive in this spread. March’s weekly spreads show a watercolor cloud across the upper part of the page. Then above the columns is a black circle with the date in the circle. April’s layout is based on January’s and has seven watercolor circles for each day of the week. In the center of these circles is the date. Finally, May’s weekly layouts are just like February’s.
Blank Cornell Notetaking Pages:
These are blank pages drawn up to represent the Cornell notetaking pages as shown in the guide.
This layout is most blank with a header. The header is in an all-caps outlined print font. The inside of the font is filled in with pastel colors.
Each month finishes with a reflection page. The header is in calligraphy cursive and print font. the rest of the page is broken into 4 sections. The first section is broken into 3 sections on achievement. The second is drawn to look like a piece of lined notebook paper and is for what was learned. The third section is for memories and is a simple box. The final section is a triangle and arrow meant to feature items for the upcoming month.
This blank page has a black print header in the top left and right corners.
This blank page mirrors the vocabulary pages having black print headers in the top left and right corners.
This layout is blank and has a calligraphy cursive header in the top left corner.
Do you ever have a ton of random thoughts that you just need to get out? The brain or mind dump layouts are exactly what you need! Have you ever used a dump layout in your bullet journal? In this article, I will explain what a brain dump page is, how to get started, and will show you some beautiful examples! This post may contain affiliate links
What Is a Brain Dump Layout
For those of you who do not use or do not know what a brain dump page is, it is exactly what it sounds. A brain dump page is used to dump a bunch of random ideas running around in your mind down onto paper. This page helps to remove mental chaos onto the page. These pages can be organized or random, and any design can be used.
This layout is meant to alleviate a cluttered mind and to help reorganize information. To do this, it is often helpful to write down all of your thoughts and then organize them into their proper place afterward. Sometimes thoughts become impossible to manage without visualizing them.
Starting a brain dump page is simple. While, like any bullet journal layout, you have the option to add detail and thoroughly plan out your pages, for this one you do not have to. The easiest way to do a dump page is to throw a title at the top of the page and start scribbling down your notes.
My favorite way to organize a brain dump page as I go is to use a new color for each new thought. I have also seen layouts where a key is created for it, and a different symbol is used to identify different types of thoughts (i.e., stuff to look up, stuff to remember, stuff to do, etc.).
Another way to do a mind dump is like a mind map. If you never learned about mind mapping is works like a tree, you mark a main thought in the center then branch other thoughts off of the main thought.
Now that you understand the mind dump layout a little more, here is a bunch of brain dump inspiration from various bullet journalers.
This last layout is a simple one by BohoBerry. I am a sucker for a good simple bullet journal layout!
These layouts are not for everyone, but for some people, it is a game changer. What are your thoughts about brain dump layouts? Do you like them or use them? Let me know what you are thinking in the comments below!
Meet Elizabeth! Elizabeth is the creator and writer here at Elizabeth Journals. In addition to creating for ElizabethJournals, she is a full-time graduate student studying clinical mental health counseling. She started Jihi Elephant to share her experiences, spread organizational tips, and promote positive living. Elizabeth is an avid bullet journalist, dabbling artist, and houseplant fanatic.
You can also read more about the origins of Jihi Elephant and its creator here.
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