Spreads for students
The bullet journal system is absolutely perfect for student life! Its flexibility really lends itself to all types of learners, and people in all schooling levels. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been a student, but I still remember the late night assignments, thinking to myself “...we really could have started this earlier” or “next time, I’m going to be more organised with this!” Today, we're going to look at how to better achieve that organisation.
Crushing “student life”
Hi team! Jess or JashiiCorrin from YouTube / Instagram here bringing you a bunch of ideas for student-related bullet journal layouts. I’m not going to lie, I’m super jealous of people who have the bullet journaling system available to them while they’re a student. I personally found the system at the end of my first year of being a teacher, but in knowing the kinds of things that my students struggle with organisation-wise, I’ve got a heap of layout ideas to share with you today!
For our student bullet journal spread making today, I used the equipment below which you may also find helpful. Remember you can use my code JASHIICORRIN10 for 10% off your orders at Archer and Olive!
- A5 Archer and Olive notebook
- Pens of choice
- Markers of choice
- Washi tape (optional, but I like to use it for decoration!)
Rather watch, then read? For a quick overview of the spreads and layouts we’ll be looking at today, check out the video below!
Let’s get organised!
Year at a glance
Starting at the start (a very good place to start), we have the student-version of the year at a glance! On a spread like this, you can colour code the days of your academic year to note a bunch of information, including term dates, holiday periods, when assessments are due, and much more. This layout could stand alone, or you could combine it with the next idea we have.
This one is the semester overview. I say semester, but you could have it for any period of time your learning-institution uses (semester, trimester, term, etc.). There are a fair few ways you can set up a page or spread like this one, but what it essentially becomes is a future log for your academic year where you can note test dates, assignment dates, due dates, and other happenings. Taking any future log-style spread, you just need to adjust it to fit your school year. Some people may prefer to keep it in the style of month-by-month, but the example we have here is broken down into three semesters. For more ideas of future log styles though, you can of course check out my video on the topic!
I couldn't possibly leave this one out, but our next idea is the weekly timetable. As a teacher I find this super helpful to have in my bullet journal. In setting this one up, make sure you account for how your timetable is structured, both in terms of on a daily basis and the timetable rotation. For example, some people will find it more helpful to have an hourly breakdown for their timetable, while others will have set periods during each day. Some of us will be on a weekly timetable rotation, while others might have a 6-day timetable, or a fortnightly rotation. The example we have here would be for a weekly rotation, so the same times for each class on Monday through Friday, with each day having 6 periods. I've also included spaces for morning tea and lunch so that this hypothetical student could write in when they have meetings for clubs they’re in and things like that.
A very related idea is having a weekly schedule that looks not only at your “school hours”, but also beyond this to before and after your school times, and includes the weekend as well. This can be helpful to give you a snapshot of what time you have available outside of regular school, and your other commitments, for things like study routines which you could also put on a layout like this.
Our next idea is to set aside a page or spread for each of your course or topic outlines. These effectively act as your go to place for all the details you need for your course. The example we have here is for a university paper, so with information like the course code, title, how many points it is worth, and other relevant information.
Something that I found super helpful at university was having a grade tracker. This is a space where you can record all the graded work that makes up your course (tests, assignments, etc.) and write down how much they contribute to your overall grade. This information can then be used, as you get your marks back, to keep track of how you’re working towards your final grade.
When it comes to “doing the math” for your courses, in particular those where different assignments or tests contribute different weightings to your final grade, you can grab the free downloadable grade calculator below!
A course materials page effectively acts as a shopping list for your back to school shopping. Some courses of study will give you this list in advance, but if you’re making one for yourself, you just need to consider each of the classes you’re taking and the materials that would be necessary to keep on top of your work in them. This may also include textbooks, and recording the pricing of each of the different books and materials can be helpful in budgeting for your academic pursuits.
Some courses of study will require you to do a lot of different readings, so having a reading log or planner can be really helpful. On this one you could list things like which subject or topic the reading was for, which book it was in, and which pages or chapters need to be read. Some readings will come with deadlines, so including those as well can be really helpful for keeping you on top of your readings.
Study log or tracker
Our next idea can be broadly defined as student-related trackers, but the one we’re going to focus on is a study log. In this example, each little square would represent a certain amount of time dedicated to your studying efforts, and each of the blocks can be colour coded to represent different subjects you’re studying for. On any given day, depending on how much time you dedicate to your study for each of those subjects, you just colour in the relevant number of blocks. You can also combine these will other trackers into what I call a “combo tracker” which allows you to see how your completion of one thing might affect another. For more examples of combo trackers, feel free to check out my related video!
The next idea we have is a homework log or student Kanban board. On this we have six sections for the different stages of working on a piece of homework. This one works on the idea of having each homework piece written on individual sticky notes. As you complete each stage, you’d move the sticky note for that piece of homework to the relevant box. You can of course set this up in different ways, or even just use a running list, but this style of layout makes the page reusable.
Another layout idea is to have a place to record any study tips you receive. Sometimes it can be helpful to have a page of reminders for good study practises that you can come back to when you feel your revision routines aren’t serving you. Make sure to only put down study tips that you trust, or think will actually be helpful! One study tip is to practice mono-tasking with your study, as multitasking is typically just code for doing multiple things badly!
Our next idea is a study checklist. The example we have here is again based on the idea of having one page by course or subject, but on this you could list out what your lessons were or lectures were, and for each of them what things you can do to revise that content. The points we have here include things like doing pre-readings, taking lecture notes, writing summaries and making flashcards. What goes in here is completely up to you, but having some go-to strategies for revising the content you’re covering is recommended.
While the study checklist is more of a "have I done it" page, this layout idea is more of a "how will I do it" page. In this example, I’ve framed the study planner to be for test preparation, so outlining the different things that need to be done to revise for that assessment. Along with the revision tasks, it can also be helpful to include information about the assessment itself, such as when and where it will happen, how much it contributes to your final grade, and progress bars for both the amount of time you have left and the revision efforts you’re completing.
A similar but slightly different idea is that of an assignment planner. For this one, rather than planning the revision needed for a test, you instead use this one to plan your work towards an assignment or assessment that has a due date. It has some similar sections, for instance the details of the assessment piece, but after this the sections differ. On this example, I’ve put in a requirements section for the guidelines that need to be followed in the assessment piece, and a section to record your progress towards a word count. The actual structure of your assignment planner will differ depending on what type of assessment you are planning for, but this is an idea to get you started!
Want more ideas?
While the 14 ideas we have here are certainly going to help you tackle your studies in a more organised way, maybe you’re still looking for more inspiration. For another 14+ layout ideas to include in your bullet journal setup, be sure to check out my video on student-related spread ideas!
No longer a “struggling student”
Hopefully you’ve found the ideas in this blog post helpful, and you're excited to set up some student-related spreads of your own! Don’t forget to grab your free grade calculator and tag me, @jashiicorrin, and @archerandolive in you study journal-related posts over on Instagram. We can’t wait to see what you make!