JULY 22, 2019

Crave Organization? Use Bullet Journaling for Back to Homeschool!


Have you ever heard of bullet journaling?  If you have, then perhaps you have even started your own journal already and that’s awesome!  If you haven’t, let me share this fun and effective organization method with you. Bullet journaling is all about the meeting point of both creativity and organization.  It’s meant to provide a fun element to planning, and in a way that should help you remember. Additionally, many bullet journalers often find themselves more productive and excited about their plans for the week or month when they track their activities or progress with a bullet journal!  If you often find yourself frustrated with traditional planners or online journaling due to limitations or lack of designated pages for certain schedules, then bullet journaling might be for you!

How exactly does a bullet journal work, and how to start journaling with one?  Most people begin with a blank canvas, such as an unlined notebook. It’s common to use refillable journals as well, which helps avoid a stiff spine and also offers easier options for drawing, sketching, or coloring.  You may want to do a little research on which notebooks are best for preventing page bleed-through, as well as which bullet journal pens would be most helpful.

The Five Main Elements of Bullet Journaling

  • Month.  Bullet journals are created by month.  You could create a few months at once, but they are meant to focus on one month at a time.  This monthly approach allows for journalers to reassess how their spreads worked during the month and whether they want to add any particular pages or even eliminate a spread.
  • Index. A journal index is the Table of Contents.  Here, you will list all your spreads in the order that they appear in your journal, in addition to the pages on which they fall.  This index will help you easily locate a specific spread, especially if you have included numerous collections in your bullet journal.  The index is the skeletal support for the journal itself, considering a bullet journal revolves around organization and collections. An index journal is a must-have for homeschoolers and bullet journaling is a great solution!
  • Collections/Spreads.  Whether you refer to them as spreads or collections, these are the pages that comprise the body of your content in your journal.  Each spread is a different topic. For example, your “Weekly Calendar” will be one spread, while your “Fitness Goals” will be another.  A spread can occupy more than one page, and they are differentiated by title art, as well as their page number in the Index.
  • Rapid-logging. Rapid-logging is all about helping with shorthand and notation.  There are two aspects of rapid-logging: bullet points and signifiers.  The bullet point form is the basis for the name “bullet journal”! There are three types of bullet points: a dot for tasks, an open circle (O) for events, and a dash for notes.  These points can be updated as they are completed, or migrated to the next month as needed. As for signifiers, they add extra context to bullet points. For example, an asterisk could refer to a priority task, an “!” could mean an inspirational idea, or a “$” could refer to a monetary need.  There are many other signifiers, you may just want to look more into bullet journaling for further information.
  • Migration. At the end of each month, journalers are encouraged to “migrate” their spreads over to the new month.  The process of migration requires evaluating how well the spreads functioned, how helpful they were, and possibly whether they would be more effective in a different way.  It’s also common to add new spreads as you like, or even not carry certain ones over if they were not beneficial. Finally, migration is especially helpful for carrying over tasks and checklists still in-the-works from the month.

5 Ways Bullet Journaling Can Organize Your Back to Homeschool Schedule

Now that you have a good idea of how bullet journaling works, let’s discuss how it can help organize your homeschool for back to school!  How can bullet journaling be used specifically for homeschooling? Here are a few of our bullet journaling ideas, but really, the sky’s the limit!  That’s the beauty of a BuJo; you can create any kind of spread you may need or desire.

  • Plan Your Weekly/Monthly Homeschool Schedule.  A lot of people often draw out their homeschool calendars!
  • Track Your Weekly/Monthly Goals. Whether it’s checklists, bullet points, progress bars, or graphs, it just needs to be something that works for you!  Whether this is for chores, chapters, projects, or activities, it can organize anything your family needs.
  • Create a space for random ideas & mind-mapping. This could be a great section for jotting notes, questions, inspiration, word bubbles, and so on.  You could even use it to work through any issues that pop up by mapping it out, writing a daily journaling entry, or whatever works.
  • Motivate Yourself to Keep a “Me Time” Schedule and/or Goal List. Every homeschool mom needs a break for her own sanity!  Schedule in a spa night at home, prioritize date night, or remind yourself to re-do your nail polish.  Perhaps make a task for a haircut appointment, or even just take the time to sit down and read.
  • Track/Plan/Arrange Homeschool Finances & Spending. I personally know that homeschool spending can get out of control far too quickly!  Perhaps keep a Spending Tracker or a flexible spread for your budget. If you write down all of your expenses, you may find it easier to determine what else you truly need, or even find yourself less willing to make an extra purchase.

Courtney Newman

Courtney Newman is a homeschool graduate and a freelance writer. Her favorite hobbies include reading, writing, and spending time with her husband and pets.