After moving into my Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook last quarter, I experimented with a bunch of different spreads to track my academic progress through the quarter. Now, a few weeks into the spring, I think I’ve finally found a way to make my Bullet Journal work for the quarter system.
Why the Bullet Journal
Bullet Journaling is still the best method I’ve found to organize my life in college. I’ve mentioned this before, but the adaptability of the system that gives me the freedom to change things up frequently is the best part of the system.
So for the last nearly 6 months, I have been trying all kinds of cool spreads to track schoolwork and help me balance my extracurricular activities.
These are the systems that I’ve found to be most effective.
Future Log For the Quarter
Instead of using a full future log, I make one for individual quarters. I find its an effective way to see the break down of assignments by date. It also makes it easy to know when to commit to other events and things.
I also use a class tracker that includes the contact information and office hours for my professors and TAs. It also has space for me to track grades or add any additional information. Last quarter, I tried a full grade tracker, but didn’t end up using it.
Finally, I create an ideal week spread that blocks out the time that would be spent on specific events and ideal work time. Although I don’t refer to it often, the exercise of creating it over the first couple weeks of school makes it easier for me to stick to it during the quarter. I also used it when I decided whether I could take on a new job this quarter.
In addition to the spreads for the quarter, every month I have a set of spreads that help me keep my life together. This includes a general monthly spread with events that I make using the future log for the quarter.
I also have a spread of my projects for the month. This keeps me on task for my School Year Goals. I break them down into Personal, Academic, and Extracurricular because I find it is an effective way to track these long term projects without being too broad.
This spread also includes a focus word (“Balance” is for April), which I try to keep in mind while taking on all these projects. I started doing this in February and I’ve found it is a nice reminder of my effectiveness
My weekly spreads haven’t changed too much over the last few months.
I added a meal planning section, which breaks down each day into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although I don’t usually stick to the breakfast plan, it has helped me make the most of my dinning plan because I plan the meals that I will be on campus for.
On the top right page I include a section called Top 5 that I use to prioritize my big projects that week. I take it from my projects spread for the month. It helps me keep perspective going into each week and helps me make progress towards my overarching goals for the school year.
For each day, I use a typical spread with my time tracker.
At the end of the week, I compile everything that I need to tackle for the weekend into one spread. This works for me because typically I don’t time track my weekends.
These are the spreads that worked best for me, but they might not work for everyone. The beauty of the Bullet Journal system is that you can always change spreads so that they fit your needs.
What do you use to organize your quarter (or semester!)? If you try any of my spreads, I’d love to see them!