You’re sweating. You’ve just ordered custom polaroids, a full-grade office chair, a whiteboard calendar, ambiance lights…you’re all set for college! But in your dorm excitement frenzy, you’ve pushed those textbook and iclicker purchases out of your brain.
As your syllabi slowly gasp for air, buried deep in your desktop, your mind begins to panic:
“Exactly how hard is Bio 101? Chemistry? How do I even study those? Where do I start? Wait WAIT was I supposed to buy a textbook?! WHAT’S A CAMPUS WHERE IS THE CLASSRO-“
Hold your horses. Grab your Bullet Journal. You’re in luck-here are my easy steps to creating Semester & Class Future Logs, featuring your suffocating syllabi and assignment spreads 😉
(p.s.-you can let the horses go now. They like their personal space).
1) Semester Future Log: Important School & Class Dates at a Glance
Open your dotted-page-numbered-indexed-organizational-bullet-journal baby to its first blank spread. Or, grab one here. Or here, if you like pink. (For general information about starting a Bullet Journal check out bulletjournal(dot)com).
My fall semester runs from August to December, so I split my spread into 3 sections per page, leaving the last section for notes. Each section contains a mini calendar and a section for dates. If your school starts in September, you can create a layout of two months per page with a bigger notes section along the bottom (you definitely want this section 😉 ).
And now it’s time! Before we deliver some much-needed CPR to your class syllabi, head on over to Google or your favorite search engine and look up your school’s academic calendar. I marked all the important dates such as Move-In Day and vacations in blue. Use your favorite colored pen for the job, in dd-Event format. We’ll be adding in dates from classes later, so know that the dates won’t be in perfect chronological order (but it’s in blue, so no worries 🙂
Your Notes section becomes a freebie location for any vacation plans, travel arrangements, school transfers-okay maybe not that one, but you get the idea. Bonus, this page works as a wonderful parent-relaxer, as you can literally show the miniscule inches separating your drop-off date from Family Weekend.
2) Monthly Log: Mixing Important Dates with School Supplies
Phew, relax a bit-it’s your good ‘ole friendly monthly log! Copy over dates from your Semester Future Log for each month, and mark smaller events accordingly. I’ve also kept track of all room and stationary essentials I need to grab on the right side of this spread. (I personally recommend muji(dot)com for simple stationary and pencils. Super cheap yet high-grade items, for those who like sleek tools without constantly-breaking bells and whistles). Next month, I want to start a Habits Tracker under the Monthly Log, to fill in all that dead space.
Textbooks, iclickers and more: 3) Class Materials Log
Speaking of dead, it’s finally time to revive those sinking syllabi! By far the messiest yet arguably most essential log in this collection, the Class Materials Log is just that: a place to write down, once and for all, the required materials for your classes and what you’ve done so far to get them. Use a simple “Class: Material, State of Material, Checkbox” format to extract the important bits from each of your class’s syllabus.
If something goes wrong with an order, you can always cross out that item and write it again. Seriously, don’t worry about making this pretty-once the semester truly starts, you’ll be completely done with this page anyway.
4) Class Future Log: Incorporating Class Syllabi, Assignments, and General Information
Now, you haven’t closed those syllabi yet, have you? Don’t lose them again! Extract your course schedules and drag ‘em into preview (or just click print, if you’re the adventurous type). Set the scale to ~60%, print, cut the edges, and stick them on the right hand sides of some new spreads with some gorgeous washi tape. Use the space surrounding or under the schedules for class information, like professor office hours and classroom numbers. Now is also the time to pick another pretty pen color to copy your class test dates into your Semester Future Log 🙂
And there you go! All your subjects and readings in one place! If your syllabus comes with additional assignment tables, you can print those out for additional spreads, too.
Alastair Assignment Log
Now of course, you’re asking about the left hand pages. This is personally my favorite part of the class future log, inspired by the Alastair Forward Planning Method and an Assignment Schedule Method from Dani Dearest and Organized Charm.
First, the Alastair Forward Planning Method. This awesome Method allows for the listing of future tests and due dates organized by month, all within one table and page. Create 5 columns in the upper left for each month of your semester (+/- for your specific schedule). Separate these columns from the right side of the page. As assignments are announced, draw a dot in the corresponding month column, then record the date its due and a short description to the right. This creates a simple and effective place to stay productive within each class, with the added flexibility to add dates without chronological worries.
I’ve found this method useful for quickly jotting down projects mentioned by teachers in class; for more standard assignments I like to copy them from the syllabus into the chart each weekend. Now, instead of making specific assignment tasks in my daily log, I can make one task per class and then cross off the assignments as I go in the Alastair x Assignment Log.
And there you have it! The four spreads/logs I use to keep up with my busy schedule. Leave me a comment or email if you have any questions or need some help setting them up: trust me, it’s worth it 🙂
Until next time!