As college students who juggle school, volunteering, socializing and multiple jobs, we can become overwhelmed with trying to organize our lives. I was one of those students, so I started a bullet journal to arrange all my activities and record my life in a fun and creative way. In short, a bullet journal is a journal system where you create your own pages to organize your activities, such as your expenses, goals, daily planning, and more.  

As someone who has been bullet journaling for some time, here's a couple of things I've learned so far (and for you to keep in mind if you ever want to start one).

It Takes Discipline 

Like using a planner, you actually have to open your bullet journal and write in it every single day. That's not a problem for people who like to record their lives daily, but for some, keeping and maintaining a journal requires a little more effort. When you start a bullet journal, you don't want to forget to use it and have your bullet journal collect dust. Therefore, know that it takes discipline to maintain and fill in your bullet journal, and that you have to make it a habit

You Find Your Own Voice 

I remember looking at other people's bullet journal spreads on Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube, and comparing my "artwork" with theirs. Don't do that. A bullet journal is supposed to be tailored to you as you can design it anyway you want. Your bullet journal is supposed to be created and maintained in a way that is beneficial for you. And as you continue with your bullet journal, you will discover your own artistic style, what works for you, and what you like or dislike, which will ultimately end with you creating your own beautiful and unique bullet journal. 

It Doesn't Have to Be "Creative" 

Most bullet journal spreads that you see online have cute doodles and beautiful calligraphy. If you want to copy other people with their styles, that's totally fine, but don't make it your mission to beautify every single page. Like I said before, create your bullet journal the way you want to. Ryder Carroll, the creator of the bullet journal system, fills in his own bullet journal in a simple style. 

It's Entirely Customizable 

When I started my bullet journal, I was copying other people's spreads and using the same formats when I discovered that some of the spreads didn't work for me — I simply didn't need them. I still use other people's formats as inspiration, but I also create my own spreads that work for my needs and my schedule. For example, for every month, I create a page to keep track of Spoon University Articles that I had written and that other writers in my school chapter had written, along with potential article ideas. 

It's Interesting to Look Back at What You've Done 

Like opening a diary you wrote in when you were five years old, it's interesting and so much fun to flip through your bullet journal and read what's happened in your life. In this day and age, it's nice to actually write stuff down and keep a physical copy of your memories instead of looking at your whole life through a cell phone or computer screen.

It's Supposed to De-Stress You

A bullet journal, like writing in a journal or diary, is supposed to be relaxing and helpful for organizing your life.  If you find yourself stressed out when trying to maintain a bullet journal, then you need to step back, look at what you're doing and scale it down to a system that works just for you. For example, use bullet points or shorthand; you don't have to make your journal all pretty and write all of your thoughts in coherent sentences. 

You can literally put whatever you want in your bullet journal — an expense tracker, bucket list, monthly calendar, pictures of your memories — the list goes on. Bullet journaling is not for everyone, but if you want your life organized, and create snapshots of your life, you should definitely give it a try. My advice is to start off really simple, visit the actual bullet journal website for help to get started, and look through some Instagram accounts for inspiration. Happy journaling!