Weekly Blog Roundup: Teacher Bullet Journaling
Creative Organization for Teachers
I stumbled upon bullet journaling one day on Pinterest when I was looking for a new planner. As a middle school teacher, I, like many others, am addicted to office supplies. I know what pens I like, I know what size sticky notes I prefer, and I know that the idea of a fresh new notebook makes me almost giddy. I even started making my own notebooks with my dad as a hobby because I love notebooks so much.
Even though I now was a creator of notebooks, I always seemed to want a better planner. I wanted a better way to keep track of life. However, I also wanted a notebook to write in, a notebook to creatively write with my students, and a notebook to track school meeting notes, etc. I could see the pile of notebooks getting larger, and I wasn't coming any closer to an answer about my planner issue. After looking online, I discovered bullet journaling.
What is Bullet Journaling?
Bullet journaling (aka bujo) was made by Ryder Carroll. Here is Ryder doing a TED Talk about How to Lead an Intentional Life:
Ryder's website breaks down the original process, even though you will catch on that this process works for how YOU want it to work for you. The main components of bullet journaling consist of:
Rapid Logging (topics, page Numbers, short Sentences, and bullets)
Tasks (represented with symbols)
Modules (like a daily log, future log, weekly log, etc)
Index (kept in the front)
Now, what I just described to you sounds boring. Allow me to show you some examples of how this works well for all people because you are essentially creating your own planner to fit your needs. Here is my Pinterest Board with examples:
Also, here is the explanation video from Ryder's website Bullet Journal:
Examples from MY personal bullet journal:
Many of these images look colorful and time-consuming. Some of them were. Even though there is now substantial research on how coloring helps with stress, bullet journaling does not have to be difficult. It can be a simple check-off system that can simultaneously be the place that you also write in the morning for your morning pages or where you take notes at for your meeting.
What You Need
All you need is a notebook and something to write with. I personally love the Leuchtturm 1917 Dotted Medium Notebook. It is awfully fancy. I also love the wooden notebooks that dad and I make to set up bullet journaling. However, you can use any notebook you like. I would start by looking through some examples online or on Pinterest, and then figure out what you need. When I first started, I began with a weekly spread of what I needed to accomplish that week. Then, I couldn't stop.
As educators, we are constantly looking for a better way to do things. I love bullet journaling because as a writing teacher (which we all are) I get to write in the same place where I keep my lists of things to do. Some people will want separation. Some people love their laptop. I love blogging online, but when it comes down to it the therapy is in writing words out by hand. Here are some of the things I keep in my bullet journal that make this TYPE of notebook system necessary for how I do business:
Daily spreads-For days when I need a moment by moment breakdown to get through the day.
Weekly spreads-For all weeks when I am trying to get my game plan together. I had a particularly rough week last week and I used a weekly spread as almost a check-off system for meetings. I was like, "When do I get to hang out with my husband and pup?" Bullet journaling was a way to track time during the week.
Monthly spreads-Teacher unit planning. I show some examples above, and also in my recent research post.
Recipe list-For days when I am cooking and need my shopping list with me.
Workout tracker-For incentive. I am currently tracking my miles and have set goals for running on the treadmill.
AM Pages-I like to write/journal in the morning to clear the fog that is waking up with a million things to do.
Meeting Notes-We just had conferences and I jotted down some to-do items afterward like follow-up with parents and sending videos of student presentations.
You have seen how I use bullet journaling to make my life more productive, now here are some links to some websites and people I enjoy following to look at their bujo examples. All of these links/posts are specifically for teachers.
Todd Foutz creates a guest post on Ryder Carroll's original website for bullet journaling that outlines how over 300 teachers are using bullet journals to be productive. This is an excellent post to read if you are still needing the why behind bullet journaling for teachers. The study is particularly interesting when it goes into that teachers report it making their jobs significantly easier, and it also shows the top 10 ways these respondents are using bullet journals.
Jessica works in higher education teaching college students, and this means that she is familiar with the need to keep up with a busy schedule. Her post for educators is a great start for the 16 layouts you could use if you don't know where to start. AND she offers a video in case you are in a rush and need to listen to her explanation instead of reading through. She also has some amazing page recommendations that are teacher specific (Example: Sh*t My Students Say...)
Alexandra is a history teacher with AMAZING pictures of her bullet journaling process. She shows her process in her "My Teacher Bullet Journal Setup" post, and I never thought I would swoon at a Bloom's Taxonomy or a Parent Call Log. I also like her idea of a Teacher Dashboard where you can rotate sticky notes in to save pages. Check out the video where she explains everything as well!
WeAreTeachers always has great resources for educators; however, I love this post where they show 21 different Teacher Planner Spreads. This list will get you excited and want to try to something new. They show a variety of spreads that involve color and stickers, and then they also look at more simple spreads that will get you excited if you aren't the creative, drawing type.
I have been following Kara on Instagram for a while now. She makes me smile with all of her creative designs, her cute studio where she works (and has ALL the office supplies), and where she posts amazing spreads consistently. She started on Etsy, and she has continued to grow her creative business. I love this post she did called "Bullet Journal for Education Work" where she had Jessica from Pretty Prints & Paper (see above) break down the process. I already include Jessica's work, but Kara's work is worth the gander if you want to look for some inspiration as well. She absolutely had to be on the list.
Want dotted paper for your own notebook? I sell printables in the Etsy Shop!
Writing Mindset Reflection: Do you bullet journal? Would you consider starting a bullet journal?