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.
In today’s world, it’s crucially important to continue
growing professionally. For this reason, so many people try to balance work and
studying at college.
If you also have chosen this challenging path, you should learn how to cope with the stress to live your life to the fullest. If you are looking for useful tips on how to improve your overall performance and better your state of mind, keep reading.
When you immerse yourself in work and studying, you burn lots of calories. For this reason, you should eat healthy food and control your calorie intake. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that your body gets enough nutritive elements to keep functioning effectively.
Doctors and scientists state that individuals who experience physical and mental stress must avoid eating junk food and fast food. Further, it’s highly recommended to increase the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and superfoods. If you feel exhausted, you should add the following products to your grocery list:
These products contain vitamin E and A, omega-3, antioxidants, copper, magnesium, selenium, and iron. Therefore, if you consume them regularly, you will boost your vital energy.
Only a person, who is physically and mentally healthy,
can cope with the balancing work and study. So if you want to be healthy, you
have to exercise daily.
It doesn’t matter whether you attend Zumba classes or work out at the gym – be sure that you enjoy the process. The sport will help you to decrease the stress level, and you will feel yourself much better.
Don’t say that you can’t go into the sport because you don’t have enough time. However, it’s not an excuse. You can always find at least 20 minutes a day to make some basic exercises or practice yoga at home.
Get Enough Sleep
Your mind and body require at least 7 hours for recovering after the long day. Further, a lack of sleep can cause anxiety, depression and even more severe mental health issues. So, if you want to live a happy life, you shouldn’t sacrifice your night’s sleep under any circumstances.
Moreover, it’s okay to take a 30-minutes
nap during the day. It will not affect your nighttime
sleep but will improve your mood and performance.
Spend Time with
Friends and Family
Balancing is all about setting the right priorities. First, find your priority number one: your work, studying, family or friends? You need less than a second to answer this question.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t let your busy schedule ruin your relationship with your loved ones. Further, you should always find a little time to talk to your close people on the phone or to meet them in person. Even if you live far away from your family, you can use Skype or any other services to have an in-depth conversation.
You should understand that the people whom you love provide you with great emotional support. They help you to overcome all the difficulties in your life. If you ignore your family and friends, you will not feel happy while working and studying.
Take Time Management
Time is the most precious resource, which people have. Do you agree with this statement? Try to imagine that you get 24 precious hours every day. Then, you have to decide how to invest them in building a happier future.
You should learn more about modern time management strategies and apply them to your real life. Doing so will help you to become the best employee and the best student.
The problem is that if you have poor time management skills, your attempt to balance work and study can turn to be a disaster. Further, to prevent the troubles, you should learn how to create an extra hour in your day.
If you are a waitress or cashier, you can’t work remotely. However, if you are an accountant or web designer, it’s likely that you can perform some of your tasks from home.
Be brave and talk to your boss. You should clearly
explain why you would like to work remotely. If you are good at negotiating,
your boss will allow you to work from home at least one day a week. As a result, you will get a more flexible
schedule and will save a few precious hours.
Don’t Hesitate to
Ask For Help
Sometimes, when you have to work and study all day long, it feels like your life is passing you quickly. This is a terrible situation, and you have to find a rational solution.
Don’t pretend that you are a superhero, because you
are not. You are an ordinary person, so you shouldn’t feel awkward asking for
Do you lack time to walk your dog early in the
morning? Well, you can pay $5 to your 12-years-old neighbor, and he will do you
Do you want to go to the friend’s birthday party, but
have to write a research paper tonight? It’s not a problem! You can get help
from the best
college writing services
Professional growth is essential for your success, and it’s a fact. However, there are a lot of beautiful things around you, which makes your life better. Make sure that your work and studying at college don’t take all of your time. Additionally, be sure that you can enjoy all the beauty the world has to offer.
Daniela McVicker is a blogger and writer with a degree in social psychology from Durham University. Daniela primarily focuses on writing about self-improvement. Additionally, she has authored several insightful and motivating articles like “Making The Right Choices Every Day” and “7 Steps To Open Yourself To New Opportunities & Possibilities”.
Disclosure: This post is a guest post. Another anonymous party authored this guest post. All posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here.
Piles upon piles of papers, sticky notes, and who knows what else can make your desk space stressful and cluttered (aka impossible to use). Your new year’s resolution was to “get organized” but you just can’t seem to figure out where to start and it’s discouraging. Lucky for you, I have just the cure! Here are 6 ways to declutter your desk space. This article includes Amazon Affiliate links
Keep Writing Utensils Accessible
The first step to organizing your desk requires attention to your pens, pencils, and other related supplies. There are a million ways to organize your pencils and pens (and rulers, and tape, and scissors, and paper clips, and… well you get the idea). It can feel nearly impossible to figure out what works best for your space.
When it comes to figuring this out, there is one rule: Keep writing utensils accessible. One of the worst things that could happen is to sit down and find that you don’t seem to have a pen or pencil in sight! Not even a crayon! This happens when writing utensils are stored in clutter drawers, or don’t have a place to belong.
Keeping your pens and pencils in a handily accessible location is essential.
Now that you have a spot located for the utensils, you need to figure out how to keep it from getting cluttered again. I use jars to keep my pens and pencils organized. For my scissors, rulers, paper clips, etc., I use a drawer shelf below my desk. You can use whatever method you find works best for you.
(Don’t be intimidated by all my jars and pens, I am an overachiever. You only really need one or two jars to store your writing utensils.)
Your method of organization is up to you. Just remember, no matter what you chose to keep the different items separated. One way to keep the utensils separated is to use drawer trays (small food storage containers like in the photo below work too).
Have A Place for Everything
When I say that everything needs a place, I literally mean EVERYTHING. If it doesn’t have a place to belong and you can’t find a place for it to belong, you probably don’t need it.
Creating a specific place for everything at your desk helps to purge your desk of all the unnecessary documents and knickknacks you have been collecting. If you are finding that your clutter is primarily important documents, try investing in a filing cabinet or filing bin. Your filing does not need to be located at your desk, I chose to store mine underneath my desk.
Check out my post on creating the perfect filing system here!
Once you have sifted through those nasty piles of paper and you have filed the necessary documents (purged others), it is time to avoid future paperwork-clutter. The best way I have found to do this is to invest or create a tray to put urgent documents in. Urgent documents are those that need your attention before they can be stored in your filing storage. This tray can be placed on your desktop or fastened to the wall, just make sure it is within reach and view so that it can be dealt with in a timely manner.
Another way to avoid future clutter is to have a cork board to pin important documents too. A cork board can only hold so many papers which force you to periodically tackle those papers before they pile too high. Here is my cork board. It may look cluttered, but mine is used primarily for reminders and decoration.
Leave Some Desk-Top Space Open
Now that you have found a way to declutter your desk, keep it that way. This isn’t going to come naturally and will probably take some discipline. But you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t down for the challenge, would you?
One rule of thumb is to always have enough empty space to fit items that you use on a daily basis. For me, these items include my laptop, mouse, a coaster, a notebook, and my cell phone. These are items that I find to get moved around often but are also very important to have when sitting down to work. You can choose whatever items work best for you.
Reduce Cord Clutter
Your desk is now clutter-free, yay! Except we forgot to look underneath it…oops.
Cord clutter is easily the most annoying and frustrating clutter that exists. Luckily there are quite a few ways to tidy them up.
The first you need to untangle and unplug everything. Once you’ve figured out where on earth all of these cords go, grab yourself a power strip. Plug the power strip into the bottom outlet and your desk lighting into the top one. These two items go straight into the wall because, generally, they don’t ever get moved around.
The cords for your lamp and power strip are probably way too long. This is an easy fix, grab a twist tie, alligator clip, hair tie, rubber band, or even a ribbon and tie up the unnecessary length of the cords.
Now just repeat this process for all your other cords! Simple!
Be Sure to Have Good Lighting on Your Desk
Now that we’ve mentioned the light source, let’s tackle it. A good lighting source at your desk is incredibly helpful if you plan on doing any working during the evening or night hours. Just having the room light on will probably not be enough to properly see your work. If your lighting is too dim, you could strain your eyes.
To fix this probably, a simple desk lamp will do just fine. I enjoy simple lamps but have been using one with an additional outlet and small storage space at the base as long as I can remember, and I love it.
Enhance Your Desk with Inspiring Decoration
The final step to a successful and decluttered desk is to enhance the space. This can be done in whatever way works best for you. I personally love photographs. I have an entire wall next to my desk dedicated to my family and keep other more inspirational pieces on the wall next to my cork board.
Another decoration piece that I think every workspace should have is a plant. I keep a hanging plant above my desk. I also try to keep one on my desk (though I keep killing it, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be). Succulents make perfect desk plants because they are easy to take care of and don’t require a ton of attention.
Any other decorating you do is completely up to you. I have a tank on my desk dedicated to my beautiful baby gecko, Kaida. Despite the fact that she is nocturnal, she is a huge contribution to my productivity.
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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